Michelin-star Modern European restaurant with extensive wine list
Intimate bar next to the restaurant
Individually styled rooms -- most with sea views
Patio with lounge chairs and views of the sea
Access to a private beach
Library with books and DVDs and a cozy lounge with a piano
Children's game room
Free parking on-site
Remote Cornwall location may feel isolated to some
Some guests complain of thin walls
Perched on a rugged and picturesque stretch of Cornwall coast, the upscale Driftwood Hotel is a rustic and charming boutique hotel whose every detail has been carefully thought out by the on-site owners. Each of the 15 individually styled rooms -- all but one of which have sea views -- are bright and homey, beachy but not kitschy. The Michelin-rated restaurant, run by Chef Chris Eden, and the postcard-worthy gardens overlooking the sea are the hotel's highlights, though its somewhat remote location -- St. Mawes is the closest major town, five miles away -- can feel isolated.
Cozy beach-house feel, popular with couples on romantic getaways
From the outside, the Driftood Hotel resembles a large, relatively modern beach house, with baby-blue siding and white trim. The lobby is simple, with little more than a small front desk, but the simplicity works here, especially in the cozy, welcoming lounge with soft and contemporary furnishings, piano, and roaring fireplace. The back of the hotel opens onto a well-tended cliff-top garden of colorful flowers and dramatic windswept trees that looks out over the sea. The hotel is small and straightforward, and the owners, who live on site, go out of their way to make sure it feels more like a private home than a commercial hotel. As such, it is especially popular with couples looking to get out of London on a romantic getaway, and those who want a more personalized home base for exploring the Cornish coast.
Rugged Cornwall coast, outside Portscatho and five miles from St. Mawes
The hotel located on Cornwall's southern coast in a somewhat remote area reached via a single lane country road. There is little development in the immediate vicinity; rolling hills, pastoral farmland, wind-swept cliffs, and the ocean are your neighbors here. The nearest village is Portscatho, a 20-minute walk along the coast or a six-minute drive by road. Trendy St. Mawes, a popular summer seaside destination, is the closest major town, five miles away. St Austell, the largest town in Cornwall, is a half-hour away, and London is a five-hour drive away.
Comfortable, homey rooms with nautical decor and luxury toiletries
Each of the 15 rooms at the Driftwood Hotel has its own unique touches, although all have off-white walls, white-painted cottage furniture, and small flat-screen TVs. Most have a nautical theme, with boat-themed wall hangings, light-blue accent pillows, and table lamps and mirrors made of driftwood. All but one of the rooms have sea views, and some have private balconies. Bathrooms have shower/tub combinations and come with luxury REN brand toiletries.
Well-tended grounds with sea views, private beach, cozy common areas, and Michelin-star restaurant
The Driftwood's beautiful grounds -- with windswept trees and stunning sea views -- are its most alluring feature, and include a sunny patio with lounge chairs and direct access to a quiet, private beach cove. That said, the quaint hotel's interiors have plenty to offer, too. On chilly days, guests lounge with a cup of tea or something stronger in either the small library with books, DVDs, and a wrap-around sofa, or the cozy lounge with soft sofas, a fireplace, piano, and access to the bar. There's also a game room for children. The inn's Michelin-star rated restaurant attracts guests from further afield and serves locally inspired fine-dining dishes alongside an extensive wine list. Free breakfast at the restaurant is included in all rates. Parking is free and abundant, as is Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the grounds.