Watergate Bay Hotel in Newquay – paradise found….

Our journey to finding this place is a story in itself. Our wonderful holiday group, who, if you’re a regular reader of mine, will know I love and mention all the time, were looking for somewhere to book for a mini break. In our group, we have a lot of very good sports boys and girls (not my kids I hasten to add). We have an England hockey player with a sister no doubt soon to be joining her, a very good rugby player, a brilliant cricketer and several very good academy football players, and as any sports parent knows, this rules out a lot of the year, what with time spent at matches and training. So Easter was the perfect time for our group to travel. 

family photographer Nina Callow of 3 Boys & Me Photography London and Kent

We started off with a hotel I had seen a friend share on social media, ”another place” on Lake Windermere. This place needs to be seen to be believed so please do click on the link and have a quick look!

Our group has up to 14 children in it and whilst this is an excellent family hotel with loads going on for kids, we decided that our teens may find it a bit limiting in the evenings. We then found out about the sister hotel, the above-titled Watergate Bay in Newquay and what’s not to like about that part of our beautiful country? It’s a bit tricky to get booked at key times of the year, however, the hotel were really helpful and as “group admin”, the dates on which the rooms would go on general release were diarised and a phone call made, and we got in! Once in, you get priority booking on the same rooms for the same time of year in subsequent years and we have taken advantage of this and will be traveling there again this Easter.

family photographer Nina Callow of 3 Boys & Me Photography London and Kent

This weekend was dreamy. It didn’t have the best start for my family, with an hour‘s drive to LHR taking us almost 4 hours, a mad dash with me and the kids to the check in while Dan sorted out the meet and greet parking but we made it with about 10 minutes to spare!! We arrived, late in the night, to Newquay Airport.

The Flybe flight was seamless but we won’t be flying this year. The cost is ridiculous and where it was about £600 for a family of 5 last year, it’s now pushing over the £1,000 mark so we shall be driving! We spent the night in the local Premier Inn as we didn’t arrive till almost 11 pm, and after a very nice breakfast, took the very short drive to the hotel that would be our home for the next 4 days.

There are some places that you know you‘re going to love; the imagery helps you get that feeling, just by looking at the website. Following their instagram feed too, I had already seen lots and lots of beautiful pictures that adorn their Instagram feed.

As I walked into the lobby, wooden steps lead up to reception and there’s a pile of wellies for you to borrow, in a rack by a window with a ledge big and low enough to sit on, with sand on the steps as it’s right on the beach. And the smell – the kind of smell you get in a really lovely spa. The feeling was just amazing and we walked up to the main reception to be greeted by the welcoming staff. We were the second family to arrive, and having left our cases at reception and filled in our check in forms, we walked through the main bar and saw our wonderful friends, and their dog (did I mention it’s dog friendly too?) enjoying the crazily unseasonal April sunshine on the deck. You can imaging how excited we all were to be back together again, and as the others turned up, more chairs were pulled over and the gang was complete. There was laughter, smiles and a few cheeky glasses of Rosé and it was like we were back in Greece where we had said goodbye some months earlier.

The rooms are beautiful but we never spend much time in them, which is a shame. We stayed in a Family suite with white bunkbeds and a New England style decor. Wooden floors, red and white striped coffee mugs and Watergate Bay’s own toiletries in the bathroom are just some of the things that I remember. It was spacious, comfortable and perfect for the five of us.

family photographer Nina Callow of 3 Boys & Me Photography London and Kent

I could write a thousand pages but I need to stop as I want to highlight the best bits and help you decide to take a trip there, and you must!!

The hotel has a large infinity swimming pool, and a deck with sun-beds and a hot tub or two. The big glass doors push all the way back and the floor-to-ceiling glass windows make you feel like you are part of the beach. The spa looks amazing and whilst I didn’t take advantage of the facilities, I could tell they were fabulous. In the spa is a library-type room, again with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that look out onto the beach and a bar serving coffee and alcohol that you can just curl up in a big chair and enjoy the absolute peace of the place. Upstairs is a large restaurant/bar with lots of glass windows and a deck perfect for sundowners with plenty of seating. There are 3 more restaurants, well, there were when we visitied although one has sadly closed down. Zacharays, which is where you will eat your breakfast, has make your own waffles – yes – you heard me – where these days can kids be let loose with a waffle machine? But they are – and I love this, because I think we should let our kids get used to stuff like this. Jackson in particular loved it!! The Beach Hut sits on stilts overlooking the beach and we ate there twice. The other restaurant was Jamie Oliver‘s Fifteen, sadly now closed, but we had an amazing meal and don’t even get me started on the soda rye bread they made!! I can still taste it now! We had the best table in the house that my group thought I had booked but it was just a lucky coincidence!!

We had bonkers weather, I’m talking about sun screen weather. We all packed one pair of shorts, and preceded to wear the one pair for 4 days (don’t judge!!). The group took surfing lessons which were free for the kids and loads of fun for all and we walked along the cliff top, through [ lusty glaze ] and into Newquay for lunch and walked back again. This took hours but was just amazing. We ate, we drank, we swam, we sunbathed and we chatted. We stayed up late and we got up early to enjoy the sunset and sunrise respectively. The whole group had the best time ever and we were so sad to leave on Bank Holiday Monday that we booked again as soon as we got home!!

So, please, enjoy all these photographs. Photos speak volumes and if you‘re still reading, you must be one of my best mates because no one else would read this much of my waffle!!

And one last thing – one of my images taken that weekend made it into Vogue Italia!! can’t tell you what that means to me!!

family photographer Nina Callow of 3 Boys & Me Photography London and Kent

Book – you won’t be disappointed!! 


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