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Fowey Hall Hotel review: a gorgeous family-friendly retreat in south Cornwall

Stately but in no way stuffy, Fowey Hall Hotel is perfect for families looking for a stylish getaway with an emphasis on family fun.

By Rachel Erdos | Last updated Mar 25, 2024

Fowey Hall Hotel review
Our rating:
What we like
  • Rates include 90 minutes of childcare at the hotel's Ofsted-registered Den (per night)

  • Daily activity schedule for families 

  • Gorgeous outdoor pool 

  • Stunning views of Fowey 

  • Early dinner sittings for kids and a baby listening service

What we don't like
  • Pricey 

  • The walk down to Fowey is very steep

Key specs

Price: From £165 | Location: Hanson Drive, Fowey PL23 1ET | Nearest train station: Par (4 miles) | Fowey Hall Hotel is part of the Luxury Family Hotels collection

Food and drink:

Overlooking the cute coastal town of Fowey (pronounced Foy, as in Claire), this former manor house offers contemporary good looks, child-friendly facilities and a thoroughly warm welcome. 

It may look like the kind of grand residence where guests tiptoe between formal lounges and hushed dining rooms but inside you'll find babies, kids, couples, extended families and dogs all kicking back to admire the views, play games and plan local adventures.  

Children are VERY well catered for at Fowey Hall but not in a way that feels garish or jarring for other guests. It's all thoughtfully and stylishly done, from the Bugaboo baby gear available at reception (prams, highchairs and travel cots) to the library stuffed with kids books and the family movie room kitted out with retro cinema seats. Everything is centred around kids but with a nod to parents that appreciate luxurious touches and boutique style. 

A major parental perk is that the price includes 90 minutes of childcare at the Ofsted-registered Four Bears Den per night (for kids aged between three months and eight). A glorious hour and a half in which to make the most of the pools, the spa, the cocktails, the afternoon tea, or like us, a much-needed nap. 

Weekend escapes with kids can often feel more exhausting than relaxing but Fowey Hall Hotel puts families front and centre and provides an indulgent space for parents to unwind. It's perfectly placed for a Cornish getaway with kids of all ages. 

How we tested

I stayed at Fowey Hall Hotel with my husband and two kids (4 and 7) for three nights in March. We drove down from south London and it took us around six hours. We stayed in a two-bedroom suite and made use of the childcare at the Four Bears Den as well as the swimming pool, the games room and the lounges. We dined at the hotel and joined in with family-friendly activities during our stay.

Read next: The best family-friendly hotels in the UK, according to Mumsnetters

What are the rooms like? 

Fowey Hall Hotel accommodation

We stayed in the two-bedroom Rosalind Suite. My kids loved (and fought over) the bunk beds.

Many rooms make the most of Victorian proportions (high ceilings and cosy nooks) and those at the front offer fantastic sea views. The colour scheme is contemporary and calming (putty-coloured walls, sage green furnishings, splashes of mustard and burnt orange) and there are nods to the location throughout, from the artwork to the Cornish tea supplies.

Fowey Hall Hotel bunk beds

Kids rooms are smartly decked out with colourful bunk beds and fun accessories like Yoto Players and mini dressing gowns. 

Cosy Rooms are great for couples travelling with a baby (Bugaboo cots are supplied) and Deluxe Rooms can sleep two adults and two kids using pull-out beds. It’s well worth plumping for a family room or suite to take advantage of separate space. 

Fowey Hall Hotel Rosalind Suite

The master bedroom in the Rosalind Suite

A huge revamp in 2023 saw the addition of 20 new rooms including four fancy suites that sit atop the spa with prime views of Fowey. 

It was lovely - very laid back, warm staff... The food was delicious and a lovely childrens menu/tea was available around 5... quiet location, but walking distance to a lovely beach, and Fowey itself.

-Mumsnet user, TheSoundOfMucus 

What activities are on offer at Fowey Hall Hotel? 

Fowey Hall Hotel review Four Bears Den

My kids skipped into the Four Bears Den and were reluctant to leave. Success!

The hotel publishes a handy flyer to highlight daily family-friendly events. We had access to biscuit decorating, marshmallow toasting, a family quiz and rabbit feeding during our stay and the story time and family movie sessions take place every day. 

The Ofsted-registered Four Bears Den is in an outbuilding away from the main hotel and is staffed by cheery childcare specialists in Breton tops. The small-group sessions can be pre-booked - note that the weekend morning sessions are particularly popular. My nursery- and primary school-aged kids got stuck into slime making, painting, dancing and Lego-building and were reluctant to leave at pick up. 

There are pools for all seasons - the small indoor pool sits next to the spa area with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Fowey, and the heated outdoor pool is something of a showstopper with decking and loungers.

Fowey Hall Hotel zipline

The outdoor play area and zipline got a lot of use during our stay and we all enjoyed the games room for a bit of post-dinner pool and Connect Four. 

Fowey Hall Hotel games room

There are two games rooms kitted out with pool tables, table football, retro arcade games, a giant Connect Four and more.

Read next: The best family-friendly spa hotels in the UK, as tested by Mumsnetters

What amenities are available for kids?

Fowey Hall Hotel amenities

The hotel is stylishly decked out with useful family amenities throughout.

Pack lightly and take advantage of the hotel’s excellent stash of baby gear including Bugaboo Butterfly prams, travel cots and high chairs. There’s even a Milk Butler service that provides sterilised bottles and warm milk. And thoughtful extras like baby baths, bathroom steps and kids’ toilet seats. 

Fowey Hall is absolutely lovely, really recommend it

-Mumsnet user, LittleGwyneth 

Join Fowey Hall Hotel's Parenthood Retreat (sponsored by Bugaboo) this May

Fowey Hall Hotel is hosting a Parenthood Retreat with Tiffany Norris - The Mummy Concierge on 11 May. An ideal getaway for expectant or new parents, the package includes a workshop and Q&A that focuses on hands-on tips and hacks from the celebrity maternity concierge and baby planner. An informative and indulgent way to prep for parenthood in a gorgeous setting. 

Book now

What’s the food like? 

Fowey Hall Hotel restaurant

My mini mixologist in action.

Breakfast and dinner is served in the grand-but-relaxed dining room. There’s a continental selection and cooked options every morning. The pancakes were a particular highlight for my kids and they loved loading up the kid-friendly silicone bowls with cereal. 

Fowey Hall Hotel dining room

The elegant wood-panelled dining room.

There’s an early dinner sitting for kids at 5pm - perfect if you want to stick to a routine, get little ones in bed by 7ish and sneak downstairs for some whinge-free wining and dining thanks to the hotel’s baby listening service. Glance around the dining room and you’ll notice parents conversing, cocktail-sipping and glancing down at video monitors on the table to keep tabs on kids in nearby rooms. Babysitting can also be booked from £25 per hour. We dined with the kids and took advantage of a wooden noughts and crosses game from the games room to keep them entertained/distracted between courses. 

The menu features gastropub classics, seasonal dishes and specials that focus on local ingredients. And the drinks list showcases Cornish beers, ciders and spirits. There's a children's menu made up of a hitlist of popular dishes, and also a kid-friendly afternoon tea.

Fowey Hall Hotel lounge

Afternoon tea can be taken in any of the lounges.

What is there to do nearby?

Fowey, Cornwall

Fowey, with its cute and colourful shops, bars and restaurants is within walking distance but note that it’s a very steep route down (there’s step-free access for prams). Don’t miss a trip on the ferry to explore the neighbouring village of Polruan across the harbour. 

The nearest beach is Readmoney Cove at the mouth of the River Fowey. It’s family-friendly with a swimming platform and is great for rockpooling at low tide. 

The Eden Project’s iconic domes can be reached within a 15-minute drive and The Lost Gardens of Heligan with its excellent adventure playground and jungle rope bridge is a 30-minute drive away. 

About the author

Rachel Erdos is an Editor at Mumsnet where she commissions, edits and writes content with a focus on family travel. She has written hotel reviews, features and destination guides for publications including the Guardian, Four Seasons Magazine, Travelzoo, Visit Britain and Visit London and loves nothing more than researching and writing about fun things for families to do in destinations near and far.