We were invited to review Bedruthan Steps for Mumsnet.
We’d been reluctant to take our children, aged three and 20 months, to a hotel as we felt it would be stressful but it has to be said, Bedruthan Steps makes it a great experience for everyone. Bedruthan was one of the first hotels to offer family-friendly breaks and has been doing so for more than 40 years, so they’ve got it down to a fine art.
The children loved the soft play room and the huge outdoor play areas, which look out to sea – I couldn’t think of a more pleasant spot to sit with a book, smugly watching them get their fill of sea air and wondering how much earlier than usual they were likely to fall asleep as a result. And obviously the beach itself, just minutes away, is a big draw.
We were impressed with the set-up for kids’ food. Buffet-style meals – veg sticks, cheese, rolls, fruit etc – as well as hot meals available to order meant even the fussiest of fusspots would be hard-pushed to find something they didn’t like to eat here. After the early kids’ tea, the on-site entertainment was ideal for tiring them out before bed – everything from magicians to mini beasts on tour.
Despite sneakily snacking on the children’s fish and chips and stir-fry, we tried out The Herring restaurant one evening – lovely and fancy, but perhaps just slightly overpriced for what it is. Annoyingly, our kids are just at the wrong stage to use the hotel’s excellent listening service, being able to run a bath themselves, and get in it, silent and ninja-like, but we hired a babysitter through the hotel who was fantastic. The following night, we had food delivered to our room from the Wild Café which was very good value and the food was lovely. The rooms are spacious and well-designed with pull-down screens between adult and child sleeping areas so we spent a happy evening watching TV with a bottle of wine and stone-baked pizzas, while the children were asleep just feet away.
For parents of pre-schoolers, what’s most precious is the chance to get some time to yourselves. While the DCs were covering the well-equipped kids’ club rooms in all manner of glitter and gunge, we had a facial in the wonderful spa, soaked in the Jacuzzi, swam, napped and sat in the adult-only ‘tranquility’ room with the papers – amazing what you can fit into a few hours when you’ve barely enjoyed a moment’s peace in three and a half years.
The best bits? Well, we all came back exhausted yet rested and with lots of happy memories. The stand-out plus has to be the staff, who could not do enough for any of the guests. You want six yoghurts for your son’s tea? It’s there. Need to work out how tide times fit round two naps? No problem. And there aren’t many places you could go this well set up for families. There are even dedicated break-out landings off the corridors where you can take your screaming baby in the middle of the night, equipped with microwaves, tea and coffee stations and comfy seats for weary parents.
The downsides? It is a bit pricey. If you have pre-schoolers, make the most of it now because high-season it’s pretty expensive. And be prepared to be slightly underwhelmed as you approach. The building is very fifties, with a vague hint of Communist Russia about it! But then step inside and it all makes sense. They’ve gone to town on the fifties interior details, with mid-century modern furniture, Orla Kiely prints and acres of calm, well-designed space. And that view of the sea, from the bedrooms, the playground, the restaurants… totally lifts the heart.