Don’t know about you, but when I’m planning the perfect Cornish getaway, gingerly drawing up a wishlist, there are certain boxes that just have to be ticked.
Sun, sea and sand, obviously. Cream teas and pasties, naturally. Stunning scenery, views to set your pulse racing and, inevitably, something to do when the weather turns wet and wild. Definitely.
Since this is my wishlist, going to add somewhere to park too. That would be nice. Put them together and that would be the dream ticket.
Luckily, think I might just have found the ideal base for just such a beautiful adventure. Ticks every box, makes every dream come true, and there’s even somewhere to park your car. Right next to your front door, much less. It is Mullion Cove Hotel, Spa & Apartments.
To get there, you drive to the bottom of the M5, turn onto one of those lovely wide dual carriageways they do so well down there, then keep going.
You’ll find yourself moving through the boot of Cornwall, heading towards the tippy toes; the Lizard peninsula. Mullion Cove is just a few miles north of there, on the west coast.
It’s at the end of one of those wonderful windy roads that head down to the sea, only stopping when they reach the dead end of a tiny, picturesque harbour, facing out onto the wild and wide Atlantic Ocean.
The postcode is TR12 7EP.
The hotel itself, with its 30 beautiful bedrooms, sits on the shoulder of the headland, standing proud above the cliffs, A whitewashed landmark overlooking the harbour, the bay and the open sea beyond. It’s one of those grand Victorian buildings that has aged deliciously well.
Kept in tip top condition, with all the latest mod cons being added along the way, the staff are quietly superb. The decor is quietly luxurious, and everywhere you look everything is quietly upmarket.
Our room had seaviews, giving a sea birds eye view of the scenery, the sea and the weather. Whether it’s storms or sunshine, cloudy or clear, you get a front row seat.
This means you can see the sea whilst sitting up in bed, taking tea on the sofa, having a bath or just plain staring out of the window.
If you are in the mood for olde worlde service and charm, with the best of modern day conveniences, this is the perfect place to be. Hercule Poirot would love this establishment, if he was alive and not fictional.
If staying in posh hotels on headlands is not your thing; if you want to be self catering in the thick of the action, there’s good news.
The hotel owns a clutch of fab apartments right on the waters edge of the tiny harbour. No expense has been spared in fitting them out and it shows.
Not only are they palaces to pleasure inside, they also have beautiful balconies outside. Our two bedroom apartment, Rebecca, had a south facing balcony just perfect for sitting out on and watching the world go by.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, it also has parking just outside the front door. Seriously, if there are any better built and located apartments in Cornwall, I haven’t found them yet.
Enjoying the sunshine is easy, taking pleasure from rain and storms can be harder to manage. However, Mullion Cove has got this covered. There is a bright and airy, state of the art, spa on the grounds with all the usual spa suspects.
Sauna, steam room, treatment rooms for massages and whatnots, indoor and outdoor pools, along with an outside clifftop hot tub just perfect for sipping something lovely, whilst the weather does whatever it pleases.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, they also have a wealth of glass walls, designed to make the most of the amazing views. A breathtaking vista of cliffs, waves and rocky outcrops.
I Know I sound like a stuck record here, but I have to say, if there is a spa with better views in the UK, I haven’t found it. Whilst I was getting carried away by scenic splendour, my companion went for a massage which she assured me was up there with the best she has ever had. Gold stars and respect to Kirsty the masseuse.
The hotel has some dog friendly bedrooms, along with eating areas and lounges where dogs are welcome.
So you can take your canine companions along when it’s time for a glass or something tasty, or when meal times beckon.
Some of the apartments are dog friendly too. All in all, it’s a home from home for dogs and their humans. The hotel even offers doggy towels in the foyer so you can wipe muddy paws before they get all over everything.
There are a couple of options when it comes to cuisine. You can either go upmarket and swanky, and spoil yourselves with fine dining in the Bistro or Restaurant.
Where the the menu has something for all, offering such delights as pan fried scallops, succulent steaks, seafood platters and seasonal local produce (including catch of the day, my own personal fave).
Or, you can head to the bar, with a menu which includes all the ingredients necessary for a simple slap up feast. Pizzas, burgers and the like.
Naturally, the breakfasts are brilliant too. From a full Cornish fry up, to grilled kippers, it all sets you up for the day ahead.
Also, if you’re staying in one of the apartments and really can’t be bothered to self cater, you can order bar food as a takeout; the staff will happily deliver it to your door. What’s not to love about that?
The harbour is small, perfectly formed, full of life and great for sea swimmers. Especially at high tide. We could have quite happily spent our entire holiday sitting on the balcony outside our apartment.
All day, every day, was an endless procession of people. We saw fishermen setting out to sea in tiny boats, coastal path walkers striding up and down the heather, locals and holidaymakers going for a dip in the harbour.
Braver souls jumped from the harbour walls into the rolling swells of the bay.
On top of all that, we also got to watch the sea up close and personal; to watch it’s ever changing moods and tides. We didn’t even need to head to the shops for food.
There’s a good old fashioned cafe next door, where you can get ice cream, sandwiches and a variety of picnic pleasing goodies.
Out and About
Once the car is parked up, you don’t have to use it again. If spending time at the harbour isn’t enough to fill your days, you can always head out along the coastal path.
A few minutes stroll past the hotel brings you to Polpurrian beach, a picture postcard perfect sandy bay. If you would rather have a cafe to keep the snacks coming, a few minutes further walking along the coast brings you to Poldhu Cove.
You’ll find a cafe, surf school and a gloriously, generous helping of soft, sandy goodness.
If you don’t mind jumping in the car, Porthleven is just a few miles away. It’s a large and friendly fishing port with lots for visitors to see, do and enjoy.
On the day we visited there was a market along one edge of the harbour, plenty of pasty shops doing a roaring trade, and an indoor shopping space for those who crave knick knacks.
Further afield there is Kennack sands, down another road that ends with sand and sea, with its year round, dog friendly beach. And, if none of that appeals, there is the busy seaside town of Falmouth nearby.
You may have gathered by now, I’m a fan of this corner of Cornish paradise. It has a bit of everything for everyone.
Their online blurb describes the hotel as a truly magical place for a relaxing, peaceful and memorable experience.
I have to admit, they are not wrong. At this point in travel reviews, it is usual to say you can’t wait to go back some day.
Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I should probably admit I’ve visited here several times over the years and loved every minute of every stay. I absolutely will be going back. It would be wrong not to.
If you fancy finding out what has got this humble hack so over excited, I thoroughly recommend giving Mullion Cove a look, or even giving them a ring.