Child and parent friendly facilities at the Esplanade
“we were genuinely impressed with the range, availability and quality of the activities available”
The Esplanade Hotel is smart, modern, very clean, and gives the impression of having been recently refurbished given the quality of the furniture and facilities. Amongst those we made good use of during our stay were:
the swimming pool at the Esplanade
The swimming pool
Tucked away behind reception, and a great way to kill a wet afternoon. There’s a main pool, a shallow toddler area, a cosy hot tub and a sauna, along with changing rooms and showers. Bedrooms at the Esplanade helpfully come equipped with towels and dressing gowns meaning we opted to get changed in the privacy of our room and wander down to the pool ready to jump straight in; the relaxed hotel atmosphere means you don’t feel remotely awkward walking through reception in your dressing gown! The swimming pool was busiest when several families descended in turn for an afternoon pre-dinner dip, but at other times we had the place to ourselves.
games room (soft play area just out of shot)
Soft play and games area
A huge hit with children of all ages, and in regular use throughout our stay. There’s a fun soft play climbing frame for younger tots, along with pool tables and table football for older kids. In what felt to us like some very clever parent friendly planning, the play area is immediately adjacent to the main dining room and partially open plan; making it the perfect place for children to let off steam while mum and dad enjoy a drink or bite to eat nearby. Obviously this doesn’t necessarily mean the dining room is a quiet place for adults to relax – we sympathised with the small number of couples who’d chosen the Esplanade for their romantic Valentines Day meal out! But for us, the family friendly vibe was ideal and really helped parents relax into their break.
the hotel’s 30 seat cinema
The cinema room
Before arriving we’d pictured a small room with a TV and a DVD player. But the Esplanade’s cinema room is genuinely really that: a 30 seat cinema with comfortable folding seats, a large screen and four showings a day from 10am till 8pm. For us, the evening showing of Jurassic Park was ideal for occupying our kids before bed; but if we’d had younger children then the daytime showings of Frozen and the rest would also have been a perfect distraction. There’s a tempting vending machine right outside too for film snacks.
The ‘book nook’
A small but handy space near reception with colouring, activities, board games and more. Probably aimed at children a little younger than ours, but we loved discovering some free milk and cookies waiting to be collected just before bedtime!
the light and spacious Cove restaurant
The Cove Restaurant
Our stay at the Esplanade was on a breakfast and dinner inclusive package, meaning we had the chance to try out all the on-site food offerings. Breakfast was a two-course affair with continental breakfast, cereals and fruit followed by a range of hot options including full English. We enjoyed three-course dinners on both nights of our stay, trying local specialities like mussels along with traditional meals like lamb and steak. Child-friendly options included sausages and chips, spaghetti bolognaise, pesto pasta and burgers. All our choices received a thumbs-up from the children and adults alike. The cheapest bottle of wine was around £22 (and tasted great to us!).
The cocktail bar
An adults-only space from 7pm, forming a cosy space for exhausted mums and dads or indeed child-free guests to relax in peace. We enjoyed some drinks here on our second night while the kids watched a film in the cinema room – feeling grateful our children are old enough to enable this.
the soft play area in full swing
Overall, then, we were genuinely impressed with the range, availability and quality of the activities available at the Esplanade. It really made our stay a relaxing and enjoyable one, even in the wet winter weather.
It’s hard to find much to criticise from our time at the Esplanade, with only the tiniest niggles encountered during our stay. The pool tables had clearly suffered a bit from youthful exuberance: one was out of order for most of our time, and the other missing a few balls when we got a turn (it was fairly competitive at peak times). That said, we reported both issues to be helpful and they were quickly resolved by the staff. We also spotted a few out of date menus in the lifts and online; obviously not a big issue, other than our fussy son inevitably setting his heart on pizza which turned out to be unavailable.
And finally, hardly a criticism of the hotel, but we found relatively little to like about the centre of Newquay itself – roughly a 20 minute walk away – compared with the attractive and quite separate Fistral Bay setting of the hotel. Maybe we’re not the main target audience for Newquay..