If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, you’ll love Three Mile Beach in Cornwall. This coastal collection of breezy beach houses provides everything you could possibly need for a Great British seaside break (except weather guarantees). Each colourful, clapboard house has bright white interiors with splashes of pink, turquoise and blue, but the star of the sandy show is out on the deck: sunken cedar hot tubs, a barrel sauna and an optimistic barbecue. Handy trucks are set up by the dunes to dispatch sundowners and street food, or you can hire a chef to use your lovely kitchen for you.
Get this when you book through us:
A welcome hamper of Cornish produce, including a bottle of local sparkling wine
15 self-contained beach houses. A minimum stay applies on some dates.
10am. Earliest check-in, 5pm.
Double rooms from £692.86, including tax at 20 per cent.
Rates don’t include breakfast.
As with any beach hut worth its sea salt, each house has all of the coastal British break essentials, including board games, books and beach bags, towels and toys.
At the hotel
Each house has free WiFi, beach bags, towels and toys, board games, books, under-floor heating, smart TV, a Bluetooth speaker, a fully-equipped kitchen, filtered-water taps, a wine fridge and Land & Water bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Half of the beach houses face the fields out back, the others the sea in the distance – for a glimpse of the Atlantic served up to your hot tub, go for the latter. The three-bedroom Club Tropicana is the furthest away from the road and check-in area, and the quietest of the residences.
Relieve your roof-rack of any bulky boards – all wave-riding equipment can be borrowed nearby, as can wetsuits to help with easing into the Atlantic temperatures.
The sandy setting is not easily navigable for wheelchair users.
There are a handful of picnic benches right by the truck – or retreat to your well-equipped terrace.
Windbreakers and wellies in winter; light linens in summer.
There’s no formal restaurant, just a handy street-food truck dispensing dinners of tapas with influences from all over the world: feta-stuffed peppers, marinated manchego and harissa prawn cocktail. Delivery direct to your beach house is available for residents, and private chefs can be booked to do the hard work for you. All meals should be pre-ordered by 11am. In winter, the truck is shuttered on Mondays and Tuesdays, and service hours may vary.
Next door to the truck is a pink Piaggio tuk-tuk, where you can order beers, wine and soft drinks.
The truck serves food on Monday to Saturday between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, with bar service from 5pm to 9pm. On Sunday, the bar is open between noon and 6pm, with food available from 1pm to 5pm.
The room-service offering extends to helpful forgotten items such as surf wax and sunscreen – along with actually edible things from the truck’s menu.
This set of boutique beach houses is right beside the dunes of Gwithian Towans Beach on the shores of St Ives Bay in Cornwall.
Newquay’s airport is closest, a 50-minute drive away. Flights land here from other parts of the UK, as well as Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal and Spain.
The nearest station is St Erth, which is on the Paddington to Penzance line. The drive from here to the beach should take less than 15 minutes and staff can pre-book you a taxi. If you’re hiring a car, get off the train at Truro – from here, the drive should take around 40 minutes. Or catch the glamorously (and possibly misleadingly) named Night Riviera Sleeper, which leaves London just before midnight and chugs into Cornwall bright and early.
Each house has three private parking bays, as well as a charging point. The hotel is a two-hour drive from Exeter, just over three hours from Bristol and at least five hours from London. A car will definitely come in handy.
Penzance has its own heliport and private jets can land at Newquay Airport.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf, there are few better places in the UK to try it than right here in Cornwall – Global Boarders has a surf school on Gwithian Towans Beach. The hotel can arrange paddleboards and surfboards to borrow, along with bicycle hire and coasteering. Other water-based adventures include kite-surfing and swimming with horses, or stick to dry land with a trip to the Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden in St Ives.
Masterchef star Adam Handling is manning the kitchens at the Ugly Butterfly, overlooking Carbis Bay through floor-to-ceiling windows. Locally sourced produce is put to good use in the dishes, with zero waste, since offcuts reappear in drinks and creative bar snacks. Cornwall’s most authentic Italian awaits at The Old Forge in Lelant, where the breakfast has a list of pre-noon cocktails and ordering them is actively encouraged. Above the harbour in St Ives, Porthminster Kitchen adds a little global influence to its Cornish cooking – expect dishes such as crispy fried squid with miso and roasted cod with herb gnocchi.
A 20-minute drive south from Three Mile Beach, The Mexico Innis a Longrock institution, having served refreshments to the community for 200 years. Today, it’s a gastropub with colourful plates of food that put shame to its beige British culinary cousins. For somewhere to drink in St Ives, head to Little Palais, a charming little wine bar and bottle shop.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this seaside hotel in Cornwall and unpacked their buckets and spades, a full account of their boutique break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Three Mile Beach near St Ives…
Three Mile Beach is the vision of the owner of a luxury tour operator who has been globe-trotting for more than 25 years – and with an entrepreneurial explorer running the show, you can be sure that the best bits from their travel experiences all over the planet have made their way to Cornwall. And it’s not just the food dispensed from the street-food truck that’s well-travelled (though that is too, of course – flavours span North African harissa prawns to Korean fried cauliflower). Each beach house has been carefully considered to make sure it has everything you could possibly need for a Great British beach break, including obligatory board games for when the weather is being especially English. It’s a long drive down to this corner of Cornwall from most parts of the country, but the helpful team will tip you off on the best places to stop and stretch your legs along the way. And if you’ve always wanted to know your point break from your hang 10, there’s no better place in Britain to learn. Surf’s up.