Looking for a child friendly beach holiday but can’t face or afford the flights abroad? Well look no further because the Sands Resort Hotel and Spa in North Cornwall could be the perfect solution.

From Essex to Cornwall…

Cornwall is a good five hour journey from our home in Maldon. We decided to leave early (5am) which meant missing the traffic and even with a breakfast stop we made it there in 5 ½ hours!

Sands Resort Hotel We headed straight to the Sands Resort Hotel and Spa in Porth, which is perfectly located between Padstow and Newquay.

On arrival our children couldn’t contain their excitement, heading straight to the massive toddler play area and sand pit. After checking in we managed to drag the kids away from the play area to discover the other outdoor facilities the hotel had to offer. We didn’t get very far as round the next corner was two large bouncy castles!

There is also another large play area with wooden climbing frame and zip wire (which we also had a go on too!), football, adult and mini-tennis court, croquet, mini golf, and a fabulous maze which the kids loved as they thought we couldn’t see them, but it is trimmed to a perfect height so you can find them if they get lost. There is also a 9 hole golf course which folds around the perimeter of the grounds.

While we waited for our room to be prepared we spent a couple of hours in the outdoor pools; an adult deep pool and a fab shallow baby pool with slide that our kids loved!

Family values

At 3pm we went to our room, a ‘Contemporary Suite’ with a large double bed in the living area, overlooking the seaSands Resort Hotel and a connection children’s room that slept three plus a cot. In the living area there was a sofa, a few arm chairs and a mini fridge, perfectly for keeping cold drinks, milk, etc. cool during our stay.

All the rooms are kitted out with children’s safety in mind, with safety bars on the patio doors, covered plug sockets and a baby listening service. Most rooms also have a DVD player and some suites have Playstations. There is plenty of storage space in the rooms for all your luggage.

After unpacking we headed down to investigate the indoor facilities. We were not disappointed! There are two large play rooms, one with little tike toys, playhouses and other equipment for role playing games, and another kitted out with soft play equipment. As well as the outdoor pools, the site contains a large indoor pool and baby pool that has a great little ‘padded large play pen’ perfect for keeping babies/toddlers safe while getting ready to enter/leave the pool. On top of that there is an indoor play area with table tennis and air hockey, and an entertainment room with wide screen TV and gaming stations for the older children.

We could not believe the range of equipment on offer at the hotel and most of it was free of charge, from prams, kiddie carriers, windbreaks, wetsuits and buckets and spades to bottle warmers and sterilisers. For £5 a day you can also hire an off road buggie. They really have thought of everything!

The beauty is in the details

Another feature of the hotel is the dining options. Firstly, they split residents into areas, i.e. families dining with babies and young children are seated in the family area, whereas families with older children and residents with no children are seated in a quieter area. This is something we loved as you aren’t constantly worrying about noise or the odd bit of food that makes its way onto the floor. But if you want to have a bit of adult time, you can take advantage of the early children’s tea and then book the children into the kids’ club while you have a quiet meal.

Sands Resort Hotel We could not fault the food and best of all the service was so quick, which is essential when dining with babies and young children.

I am sure you will all be interested in the kids’ club option which caters for all children from 0 to 12 years. For a small fee (from £4 for 1hr 15mins session) you can book you children into the club and enjoy a couple of hours of child free relaxation. Our children attended the ‘Pirates’ session 9.00-11.00am and really enjoyed themselves.

The hotel has really gone the extra mile with regards to families travelling with babies and toddlers, with homemade baby food on offer, plenty of highchairs, cots on request, softplay area and a toddler playground.

I would definitely recommend visiting the Spa, which we had the opportunity to try whilst the kids were in the Kids Club one morning. The Ocean Breeze Spa offers a wide range of health and beauty treatments and the resort also features a gym, swimming pool and steam room. Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the treatments – I don’t remember the last time we were both so relaxed.

Blissful location

Sands Resort Hotel The location was also idyllic. Porth beach is situated at the bottom of the hill from the hotel (about 5 min walk) or you can drive down and park on the beach, which is perfect if you are planning a BBQ.

We ventured out a few times during our stay as we were keen to see the other beautiful beaches this region has to offer and we were not disappointed, they were some of the most stunning beaches we have ever seen! We would highly recommend Watergate Bay, Crantock Beach, Padstow and St Ives; all within 25 minutes of the hotel.

Family Breaks at the Sands Resort Hotel & Spa in a Standard two-room suite with balcony start from £45 per adult, per night during low season or £65 per adult, per night during high season. Rates include breakfast. Children discounts apply depending on their age.

For more information call 01637 872 864 or visit: