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The Headland, Newquay, Cornwall 

See the Devon + Cornwall Guide ›
Fistral Beach
Newquay , Cornwall
England TR7 1EW
Tel: 44 1637 872 211
view web site ›'s insider take:

Perched on a bluff in Newquay, the historic Headland Hotel commands an impressive view of the sea and Fistral Beach, one of the best and most popular surfing beaches in Cornwall. Since this Victorian grande dame's main building opened in 1900, it's seen its share of stylish Gatsby-era parties, wartime struggle, and visits from movie stars and royalty. The 104 rooms in the main building, freshly updated with elegant linens and furnishings, are a pleasant surprise in such an antique setting (you were expecting hot water bottles and chintz wallpaper, perhaps?). The Armstrong family, which owns and manages the hotel, oversaw a multi-year face-lift, completed in 2007, that also added 40 one-, two-, and three-bedroom cottages with kitchens, fireplaces, ocean views, and an assortment of eco-conscious amenities such as self-closing taps, low-flow plumbing, power-saving appliances and light bulbs, and biodegradable cleaning supplies. The surrounding college town of Newquay doesn't have much to recommend it, but the dramatic South West Coast Path runs around Newquay and through the Headland's property; the summer months bring a series of surfing events (and a good-looking surfer crowd) to Fistral Beach.

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