[PRESS TRIP] For me the words ‘hotel’ and ‘child friendly’ are not something that go hand in hand and I almost always opt for self catering with the family as I find it easier to keep the children happy and I don’t have to worry about them all annoying other guests!
However when The Esplanade Hotel asked me to come and stay for a few days I was eager to see how we would all get on.
I haven’t been to Cornwall since I was a child and for a long time I have wanted to return with the children as I knew it was going to be somewhere we would love and I wasn’t wrong.
As soon as we arrived at Fistral Beach the view took my breath away and the children were itching to dip their toes into the inviting sea and as we were a little to early to check in we did just that.
The children ran on ahead with Frankie exclaiming ‘this is the best day of my life’ and it was then I knew that seven hour car journey had been worth it.
Sopping wet, caked in sand and ready to see where we would be staying we took the short walk back to the hotel and this is when my anxiety kicked in.
We were more than a little windswept and I was panicking about walking into the beautiful hotel reception in such a state of disarray, but all those worries were lifted when we were greeted by a warm smile and not a judgmental look in sight; In fact while the receptionist was getting everything sorted my gaze was drawn to a huge trunk with a sign above encouraging the children to borrow buckets and spades and enjoy the beach as well as a board full of children’s activities from pizza making to arts and crafts, doughnut decorating to bingo and a whole host of other things to keep the children entertained.
From this alone I could tell that the hotel was more than child friendly and certainly settled my nerves.
We headed up our room to clean up and I was really surprised at how spacious the room was. There was a huge double bed, a set of bunk beds and a sofa bed in a little anex off of the main room which was perfect to create an area that the older children could use to get a bit of time away from the little ones. This also lead onto a decked area that I enjoyed sitting on in peace watching the sunrise before the children got up!
The room had everything you could need for your stay and included a lovely personal touch of buckets and colouring books with the children’s names embellished on them. My preconceived ideas of a hotel stay being stressful were being quashed at every turn.
All settled in the children were eager to take part in the ‘build a bear’ session which was a really relaxed activity where they got the chance to make a bear of their own whilst making some new friends.
We were all ravenous by now and headed to the restaurant for dinner. We were seated by the window and the view alone was worth eating at The Esplanade. The friendly waitress went through the menu with us and although there was a separate menu for the children they also gave you the option to select anything from the main menu and they would make up a smaller portion which is always something I love to see.
I can honestly say that each and every dish was absolutely outstanding. From my soft and flavoursome breaded Brie to the creamy seafood linguine my meal couldn’t be faulted in any way.
The children made their way through all three courses and enjoyed every mouthful and it was lovely to see them have something that wasn’t based on the usual ‘beige’ offerings a lot of restaurants offer.
After a good nights sleep it was more food on the menu and on the proclamation of Izzy (an extremely opinionated teen) it was the best breakfast she had ever had, with top marks going to the buttery, flaky croissants.
The buffet style breakfast offered a huge range from a full English to fresh fruit and yoghurt, a great selection of pastries and all kinds of cereals.
I think it was definitely the pancake station that won Oscar over though!
The children were certainly in need of running some of the sugar off so we headed to the soft play area that was perfect to keep them entertained and let off some steam before we made our way for a dip in the pool.
The pool was perfect for the children and they were over the moon that they were allowed in the jacuzzi as this is so often of limits for little ones.
Whilst we were enjoying a bit of water play we stayed with the theme and headed to the Quicksilver Surf school that is attached to the hotel for our surf lesson.
Fistral beach is famous for its surfing and it would be a crime to not have a go whilst staying at the hotel.
We meet our instructor JJ who was young, bubbly, full of fun and hugely passionate about surfing which really helped to keep the children engaged.
After our pep talk we hit the sea and put what we had learnt into practice. Izzy was annoyingly a natural and took to it straight away whilst it took me a good few attempts to even get to my knees.
Oscar in hindsight was a little young and even though he gave it a good go it wasn’t really for him, but Frankie relished in every moment and hasn’t stopped talking about JJ since!
Fistral Beach really does have so much to offer and aside from the surfing we spent plenty of time swimming, rock pooling and strolling along in the evening watching the sunset.
We came away from our stay with a new found love of Cornwall, a new set of skills by the way of surfing and a realisation that a hotel stay with children needed been something to worry about when a hotel like The Esplanade has got it so right.
It was the perfect combination of somewhere for the children to explore and enjoy freely with a touch of something special for the adults too.
We have been missing those sea views in the morning and will certainly be back to visit very soon.