Need to know
52: 15 smaller doubles, 15 king doubles or twins, 22 suites.
11am; Check-in, 4pm. Both can be flexible, depending on availability.
Double rooms from $132.50 (£100), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
Rates include full English or Continental breakfast.
Be sure to book dinner and any spa treatments well in advance – both the restaurant and Cowshed are local hotspots and can get busy. The hotel offers a Landrover chauffeur service from 8am to 6pm every day, to take you to nearby Polzeath and Rock.
At the hotel
Free parking; DVD library; helipad; Cowshed spa with nine treatment rooms, pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and gym. Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Flatscreen TV with Sky, board games, minibar, Hypnos bed with Frette linen, Cowshed toiletries, slippers, bathrobes, hair straighteners. First Floor suites have sea views, balconies, full kitchens, lounges and dining areas.
Our favourite rooms
All the first-floor Suites have sea views: we particularly like the vista from 107a; 108a has a slightly bigger balcony. At the end of the building, room 110b has lots of space and two cosy armchairs.
There's a mosaic-tiled indoor pool at the hotel's Leisure Club, and an outdoor pool (open in good weather) that's surrounded by hammocks and sunloungers.
The nine-room Cowshed spa offers a range of sumptuous treatments, but it gets full quickly, so book in advance.
The wherewithal to dress for four seasons in one day.
Wellies are provided. You can buy Cowshed products from the spa, and Cornish deli items in the restaurant.
The kids' room has two Xboxes. The hotel has a deal with a local surf outfit to offer beach sessions with a 10 per cent discount. Under-12s can stay on Z-beds in your room for £35 B&B. Cots for babies are free, but there's a one-off £5 charge for linen.
The hotel welcomes families with small children, so you can bring your whole brood. Older Smiths should avoid school holidays, when the beaches are at their most crowded.
Small, surfing Smiths
The ground-floor suites offer the most family space, as well as doors opening onto the garden.
Not as such, but babysitting can be organised in advance, and there is a kids' club open during school holidays down on the beach that keeps little ones occupied during the day.
The Xboxes in the games room may be diversion enough, but there's no substitute for surfing in this part of the world – St Moritz can organise lessons for budding wave-riders at a nearby surf school with a 10 per cent discount. Young guests can join in with the kids' club surf lessons down on Polzeath Beach between 9.45am and 12.30pm during school holidays. There's also an outdoor tennis court and table tennis on-site. If little ones are still bored, the hotel can help arrange other activities, such as trips to nearby adventure parks.
Both indoor (open 9am – 6pm for children) and outdoor (open seasonally) pools have shallow ends, and there are flotation aids on hand.
Youngsters are welcome in the restaurant between 6pm and 7pm, and there's a children's menu on offer. Highchairs can be provided, lunches can be packed, and milk/baby food can be heated. The seasonal Sea Side has a children's menu at all hours.
Local nannies can be arranged 24 hours in advance.