Packed with fresh adventure and infused with mythical tales, Cornwall, the picturesque peninsula, is a treasure hunter’s paradise.
While the open-air Minack Theatre will delight culture vultures, a visit to St. Mawes or St. Ives will satisfy sightseers. But the beauty of Cornwall isn’t limited to its vast landscapes. Its thoughtfully ornamented beach houses- jail turned into a luxury boutique and artist’s studio refurbished into private pool houses- are something else.
From spectacular views of the stunning beaches to relishing local jams and scones, these self-catering stays are unique for a reason. To enjoy all that Cornwall has to offer, the best way to explore and enjoy your time in this county is to live like the locals by renting a cottage.
We’ve rounded up 10 unusual places in Cornwall that offer amazing views and guarantee a one-of-a-kind experience.
10 Best Unique Stays In Cornwall
1. Star House, Marazion
Nestled in an enviable location, the heart of Marazion, Star House is a tastefully decorated property that offers picturesque views of St. Michael’s Mount.
The interior of this 2-storey property is remarkable with contemporary furniture and this charming cottage features a beautiful freestanding bathtub for a relaxing experience. Its open-plan, charming living area with a toasty leg burner, creates a cosy atmosphere while adding a warm glow.
If you step out of the room on the balcony, you’ll witness the picturesque beauty of St. Michael’s Mount. Dine alfresco on the balcony and immerse yourself in the outstanding natural beauty of the south-west coast path.
Do you know what the real gem of this seaside cottage is? Its location. As you step out of Star House, the alleyway with granite stones will take you to the historic castle.
Inhale the fresh sea air by strolling along the nearby coastal path in the evening, while the various beaches offer opportunities for sailing, kite-surfing, paddle boarding and windsurfing.
2. The Bodmin Jail Hotel, Bodmin
Settled at the edge of Bodmin Moor, The Bodmin Jail Hotel is full of mystery, intrigue and wonder. Though a luxury boutique hotel, The Bodmin Jail Hotel was a decrepit 18th Century prison where hundreds of convicts were imprisoned.
After refurbishing and reinventing the jail as a luxury hotel, The Bodmin Jail Hotel opened its doors to tourists in 2021. Twelve Architects has done a great job intertwining contemporary design without tearing down the 300-year-old original structure. Because many of the original features are kept as it is, this hotel exudes vintage charm.
Along with weathered stone walls and barred windows, authentic prison doors from Wandsworth Jail salvaged and refurbished, are fitted in the wall fabric.
Set over 4 stories, this luxury hotel consists of 70 boutique rooms and each has a different story to tell. Striking a perfect balance between luxury and heritage, the interior design and the colour restorative schemes are a nod to the Duchy of Cornwall.
The Dark Walk, combining dramatic effects with cutting-edge technology, provides visitors with a truly immersive experience into the disturbing history of Cornwall. When visiting Cornwall, rest assured that your stay at The Bodmin Hotel will be exciting and like no other!
3. Trevose Harbour House, St. Ives
Perched between Porthminster Beach and Harbour Beach, Trevose Harbour House is a lovingly restored property in St. Ives. This boutique coastal retreat strikes the perfect balance between mid-century and retro design.
A bright colour palette is used throughout the guest house, which is unusual. White interiors, together with blue designer fabrics, exude a serene and calming vibe besides lending a sophisticated and modern appeal.
St. Ives is surrounded by 4 award-winning beaches- a short walk from Trevose Harbour House will take you to Porthgwidden Beach.
For aesthetes, Trevose Harbour House will be an ideal location for a romantic getaway because numerous art galleries, studios and workshops are strewn throughout the charming lanes and streets. Drop in Barbara Hepworth Museum or Art School Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange to check out some of the stunning artwork of Cornish artists.
4. Chy An Eglos, Carbis Bay
Situated in a thriving beachside village, Carbis Bay, Chy An Eglos home is the ultimate spot for a family holiday.
Just a short stroll from Carbis Bay, this sublimely renovated holiday home consists of 8 rooms, which accommodate up to 8 guests. Alongside a spectacular kitchen diner area, this property is outfitted with mod cons.
While the living room offers plenty of space for socialising, you can transition to the balcony through bi-folding doors. With al fresco sun loungers, BBQ and dining table, you can chill out without leaving the holiday home.
A wraparound terrace and a heated outdoor swimming pool is the highlight of this holiday home, where you can sit in the afternoon, soak in the sun, and inhale the Cornish air. The addition of the pool house bathroom with an extra water closet and shower is a thoughtful touch.
When in Carbis Bay, don’t forget to visit the Godrevy National Trust area to witness the beauty of the setting sun. And just a short distance from St. Ives is the Tate Art Museum, showcasing 100 years of art.
5. Aphrodite, Trevalga, Boscastle
Hidden between the mystical village of Tintagel and Boscastle, this enhanced luxury coastal holiday home offers a unique escape by the sea. This luxury self-catering coastal chapel is a short walk from the North Cornwall coast.
Set over 5 floors, Aphrodite has been refurbished to entice guests looking for an unforgettable beachfront hideaway. Its magnificent sea views flaunt nothing but secluded romance.
From the doorstep of Aphrodite, the South West Coast Path is just a few minutes away. Throw on your boots and set out to explore the spectacular surroundings. Trudge through the ancient woodlands of the Glen of St. Nectan or walk along the cliffs until you reach the steep trails to Merlin’s Cave and King Arthur’s castle.
The interiors of this luxury chapel conversion are remarkable. Simple scandi-style white wash floors running throughout the place perfectly complement the quirky design of the space. Upcycled furnishings further elevate the decor.
Even better? Unlike other Cornwall properties, Aphrodite opens its doors to pets. Though the rule is 2 dogs per person, you can take 3 by making a request.
6. The Pigsty, St Levan
In search of unique hideaways for a romantic break? The Pigsty, 1.6 miles North of Porthcurno, is a cottage worth visiting.
This serene sanctuary exudes rustic romantic charm because of the neutral colour palette that runs across the space. On top of that, this country-chic barn is adorned with rustic furnishings, polished floorboards and panelled walls.
A wood burner enhances the aesthetics of the living area, which keeps residents warm on chilly winter nights.
Perfect for couples with a single kid, this converted barn features only 1 bedroom with plenty of quirky features. A small daybed and a comfy double bed for young children are added, so everyone can sleep without issues.
Besides stunning countryside views, the patio area can be utilised as an al fresco dining area. Enjoy your breakfasts, lunches and dinners while taking in the beautiful scenery.
7. North Rock Beach House, Sennen Cove
Sandy beaches and crystal-clear sea curving from Sennen Cove to Gwenver delivers a dreamy coastal setting to this West Cornwall self-retreating getaway.
With rolling ocean views providing beautiful scenery and a cliff-top heated swimming pool, North Rock Beach House is much sought-after by families. Traditional seaside colours are used in the interiors, which are paired with fine linens and a medley of rococo beds.
This luxury self-catering stay offers 4 bright and airy bedrooms, each with stunning views of either the sea or the enclosed coastal gardens.
The white-blue colour palette of this beach house is complemented with Cornish coastline artwork. Meanwhile, the living room is spacious enough to accommodate more than 8 people.
As the sun begins to set, sink into the squishy sofa of the living room and witness the scenic beauty. Though there is no al fresco kitchen, you can feast on olives and meats outdoors by ordering al fresco lunches.
With the Cornish coast as the backdrop, you can even destress in the heated outdoor pool.
8. Ukiyo, Coverack
On the South Cornwall coast above Coverack Cove is a striking structure, Ukiyo. In Japanese culture, “Ukiyo” means “the floating world”- a feeling that you’ll surely experience at this luxury self-catering hideaway.
Paying homage to the modern Scandinavian summerhouse, Ukiyo is an eco-friendly home with modern elements. Poured concrete and a contemporary haven of sculptural furnishings are balanced with silvering Siberian larch cladding that melts into the ocean seamlessly.
Deep window sills are lined by linen cushions, and jute rugs are added to elevate the space.
Even better? A floating staircase leads to the bedrooms atop the open-plan living area. That’s not all; a walk-in shower en-suite and free-standing ash-clad bath sharing the panoramic view make it among the unique hotels for couples.
What’s more, the sheltered cove of Coverack is ideal for a refreshing swim. And if you prefer to swim in warm water, recline in the jacuzzi hot tub cedar spa of Ukiyo.
Don’t mind dragging yourself out of bed early? Then go out to the garden and watch the fisherman hauling lobster for your supper.
9. The Manor House, Lostwithiel
Among the unusual places to stay in Cornwall is the 15th Century The Manor House, whose 7 bedrooms can accommodate up to 13 guests. This spectacular, self-catering property features an outdoor hot tub, where you can recline and bask in the sun with a glass of cocktail while soaking in the scenic beauty of the garden.
Because antiques are used in the interiors, The Manor House has an old-world charm. This elegantly decorated home is made up of the East Wing and the West Wing, which flow together as one big residence.
Besides the private hot tub, the West Wing has an en-suite master bedroom with a family bathroom, 2 king-size bedrooms, and a bunk bedroom. Adding to that is a large drawing room with a wood-burning fire pit and 2 cloakrooms with a sun-lounging conservatory that complete this wing.
On the other wing are 3 bedrooms- a master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and 2 king-sized bedrooms. A separate bathroom is also found in this wing, which can be used by all guests.
Noteworthily, the leafed table top of the spacious lounge area converts into an outstanding snooker table. Though there is no games room, you can indulge in badminton, table football, outdoor chess, table tennis and boules outdoors.
10. Umber Cottage, St. Agnes
Tucked in a deep, green valley, St. Agnes exudes the charm of a rural location, like villages in North Cornwall. In this large seaside village, Umber Cottage sits at the bottom of Stippy Stappy Row. Textured patterns and eclectic interiors make it an ideal destination for a romantic retreat.
Ensconced in a traditional Cornish fishing village, this laidback abode features earthy tones which complement the bohemian interior well. Kilim rugs are also integrated into the interior design of the cottage to create a warm and cosy space.
The multi-level garden overflowing with greenery offers the perfect setting for al fresco dining during summer. And in the evening, enjoy the rural charm of the place from the back garden while sipping coffee.
Night owls can also experience everyday life in the region by exploring the winding roads and nearby pubs.
These unique stays in Cornwall strike a perfect balance between rural architecture and modern interior.
The luxury self-catering cottages of Cornwall offer a master bedroom with a king-size bed, shower room, wood-burning stove, gas bbq and an open space for al fresco dining. Beyond the doors of these properties are plenty of spaces from where you can gaze out to the infinite sea with golden sand dunes or indulge in fun activities, like surfing.
All of this, plus insider suggestions and deluxe hampers on arrival, makes these cottages well worth a stay.
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