Cornish heaven

Want to make the most of the glorious weather? There’s nowhere better than Cornwall for sand, sea, surf and one rather special resort as Hannah Talmage discovered

Gwel an Mor– Cornish for ‘view of the sea’ sits high above Portreath, a fishing village built around one of Cornwall’s many picture-postcard coves. The resort offers a range of accommodation for self-catering guests but our recommendation are the luxury Residences, a mix of chic two and three-bedroom single storey eco-lodges, finished to an incredibly high spec and all complete with sun deck and hot tub. The low-rise style and natural wood and stone material used are all designed to be sympathetic to the landscape, while remaining utterly five-star. They also sit in their own area at the edge of the site, with wildflower beds and other landscaping that create a woodland feel.

Arriving at our lodge, you can feel the tension of city life ebb away. Each lodge is decorated differently but all have a ultra-modern feel, with wood-burning stove, a kitchen with all the mod cons, underfloor heating and air conditioning, excellent Sonos music system, even a flatscreen TV at the end of the bath. Bath and pool towels are provided, along with a lovely selection of toiletries.

From beach to baby weasels
Getting outdoors is essential, whether you make the short and very pretty stroll down to the family-friendly beach (stopping by reception to borrow buckets and spades), go for a woodland walk or for a bike ride. If you fancy staying put, there’s a heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room and a gym. There’s also a nine-hole golf course and a fishing lake for the grown-ups, plus soft play and a climbing course for little ones.

Our two young sons loved on-site Feadon Farm with goats, emus, chickens, tame foxes, reindeers, owls and birds of prey and other little animals, many of which have been rescued. They hold a daily Gruffalo story-telling session and we signed up for Meet the Animals, a two-hour introduction to the residents that was billed as perfect for younger children but left the adults utterly charmed too. The baby weasel was an instant hit and the resident young fox gave George a kiss which he’s still talking about!

Should the weather turn, DVDs can be borrowed from reception, while our lodge was equipped with board games, books and TV. And naturally a hot tub is appropriate, whatever time of day and whatever the weather.

Make sure you pre-book a treatment at the Wellness Spa, I indulged in the treatment of the month, a wonderful full body massage followed by a hand massage and an aromatic facial. Complete bliss.

Eating in, and out
With such a well-equipped kitchen in the lodge (better than at home!), cooking breakfasts and family dinners was so easy, especially with a dishwasher to take the pain of cleaning up. You’ll need to drive to Redruth for a proper shop or if you are super-organised, you can arrange a supermarket delivery online.

If you don’t fancy cooking, the resort restaurant, The Terrace serves lunch, snacks and evening meals with a seafood and Mediterranean focus (as result of having a Spanish-born, French-trained chef based in Cornwall), as well as takeaways if you’d rather eat in your lodge. The children’s menu is simple with tasty options like grilled fish or chicken, handmade burgers and local sausages. We enjoyed a flavour packed steak and some locally sourced dressed crab then lemon posset and pecan pie with Cornish clotted cream, which we took back to our lodge (with a rather nice bottle of wine) to relax and so we could put the kids to bed.

The verdict
Gwel a Mor really does have it all with five star amenities and so much to do that you’ll need to stay a week to fit it all in. The eco-lodges are exceptional and nothing like any self-catering accommodation we have ever stayed in before, we didn’t want to leave! PS: You can even buy one of the Residences and enjoy your own little slice of Cornish heaven whenever you feel like it. Now there’s a thought for next year!

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For more details and prices for two to seven-night holidays call 01209 842 354 or visit the website for last minute special offers gwelanmor.com

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