A coastal resort in an unrivalled, elevated position overlooking the beach and bay at Portreath.
Words by Hannah Tapping
Now is the time of year that many of us are turning our thoughts to holidays for 2023. With 2022’s festivities drawn to a close, what could be better than to have a holiday to look forward to? Cornwall boasts a plethora of places to stay, from boutique hotels to cosy cottages, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to look to find a stay that will tick all of the boxes. I was introduced to Gwel An Mor a number of years ago, not for the fact that it’s a five-star luxury holiday resort but for its onsite farm, Feadon Wildlife Centre. Unique to this resort, guests are able to get close to the animals meeting the resident reindeer, owls, pygmy goats and more. The centre also offers some incredible wildlife activities and experiences; from fire and den building to pond dipping and foraging, and even collecting some fresh eggs to cook up for breakfast in Feadon Woods over an open fire, this offers an experience that I’ve not seen the like of anywhere else.
Aside from its incredible wildlife experience, and the fact that it is a unique wedding venue with a barn and yurt licensed for ceremonies, Gwel An Mor has a host of other strings to its bow, not least its luxury lodges. High above the beach, the resort has a wide range of lodges to choose from, each positioned to make the most of the elevated coastal location.
The traditional timber Scandinavian Lodges offer a warm welcome, with stylish designer interiors. Sleeping up to six guests, some benefit from log burners for cosying up on chilly evenings, while others have hot tubs where you can soak away the day, taking advantage of some dark sky stargazing. Children will be enthralled with the Kinder Lodge which has its own cinema, games room and treehouse, Bollo-themed bedrooms.
For a self-catering holiday with a more contemporary feel, the modern and luxurious Heligan Eco Lodges all have hot tubs and log burners. These state-of-the-art lodges benefit from open-plan living and, as some sleep up to eight, are perfect for a multi-generational or friends and family getaway. No detail has been forgotten as they come with everything from a full log basket to mood lighting, music players and the all-essential Wi-Fi. The vast sun decks on these lodges are a huge plus and the most wonderful place to relax and soak up the sun, or sit wrapped in a cosy blanket with a mug of something reading a good book on an autumn afternoon. The Luxury Eco range also includes an assisted living lodge with ramp access, adjustable bed, hoist and wet room. For those who are happiest on the fairway or with rod in hand, the glorious setting overlooking Clover Lake and the Famous Nine golf course sees Gwel An Mor’s Lakeside Lodges. These sleep-two studio lodges are particularly popular for short luxury getaways and ideal for firing up the BBQ and cooking up some fresh local fish while soaking up the views out across the links to the open countryside beyond.
Whichever lodge you choose, added extras such as welcome packs, luxury robes, or a welcoming bottle of wine make your arrival at Gwel An Mor that little bit more special; as does the fact that Gwel An Mor appreciates that leaving your dog at home is sometimes not an option, so many of the lodges are pet friendly, where your dog will be treated to a fluffy bed to sleep in during their stay and a bag of tasty welcome treats.
Gwel An Mor is a resort that truly keeps on giving. Along with the Feadon Wildlife Centre, additional outdoor activities come in the form of Clover Lake which is fully stocked with carp and tench; the Famous Nine golf course; a tennis court and indoor archery. As a family friendly resort, it also houses one of Cornwall’s largest indoor activity centres. Base Camp is perfect for rainy-day fun with climbing walls, ball pools and slides. The Terrace Bar and Restaurant is the place to go to refuel, which is open for dine-in or takeaways to your lodge and when the weather’s fine it offers beautiful sea views out across the bay below. What’s more, The Terrace is also dog friendly in both the conservatory and the beer garden.
Finally, no holiday would be complete without some me-time, which you’ll find doing some gentle laps of the indoor pool, soaking in the hot tub, warming in the sauna or while enjoying a blissful treatment in the Wellbeing Spa which utilises the unique Elemental Herbology concept. Whatever your reason to visit Gwel An Mor, this is a luxury self-catering holiday like no other and it’s no wonder that many guests park their cars on arrival and don’t return to them until their departure, such is the range of activities on offer.
A stroll down the hill will take you to the harbour village of Portreath. Its beach is popular with surfers and wild swimmers, with a glorious sea pool revealed at low tide just along the harbour wall. After cold water dips, the Bakery on the Beach offers warming coffees and succulent pastries while the wider village has a number of excellent pubs, cafés and restaurants. The South West Coast Path runs in both directions from the beach; head south across the impressive North Cliffs and you arrive at Godrevy; the path to the north takes you past the historic huer’s hut known as the Portreath Pepperpot, before it dips down to Porthtowan taking in Blue Hills and the St Agnes Heritage Coast. This area of north Cornwall is peppered with the relics of Cornwall’s mining heritage, revealing iconic engine houses at each bend in the cliff path. Its rugged landscape is the perfect natural backdrop to the endless Atlantic ocean that extends before it and is a place of wild wonder that puts all who visit here under its spell.
For some the lure is too much and many guests choose to become owners at Gwel An Mor, such is its captivation. The brand-new Heligan Lodges are currently for sale on a leasehold basis with homes starting from £385,000. Many existing owners take advantage of Gwel An Mor’s rental schemes, finding they are getting excellent returns. Sales Manager, Trudy Dowty, welcomes prospective owners to visit and experience Gwel An Mor for themselves, commenting: “Each lodge is constructed and finished to the highest of standards and with sustainability in mind. Just 32 letting breaks can cover ongoing running costs, letting management fees, housekeeping services, hot tub cleans, plus an excellent income for owners.” Knowing that Gwel An Mor has an experienced sales team to help throughout the buying process makes a big difference and it appears that holiday home ownership can mean that you get the best of both worlds – your own luxury holiday lifestyle combined with excellent earning potential. Whether you buy or rent, your next Cornish adventure could be just moments away.