Headland House Hotel, St Ives
Each named after a different Cornish beach, the rooms are done up like a summer's day in shades of driftwood and vanilla, nautical blues and deck-chair stripes. You get pocket-sprung mattresses on king-size beds, bay windows with views across Carbis bay to Godrevy Lighthouse, White Company toiletries in luxury bathrooms and complimentary cake in the afternoon. There's a decked terrace, a snug with a licensed bar, and a long strip of sandy beach on the doorstep. St Ives is a 30-minute walk along the coast-path (or take the scenic branch-line train from Carbis bay station).
• Headland Road, Carbis bay, 01736 796647, headlandhousehotel.co.uk. B&B doubles from ?85
Within spitting distance of lovely Porthminster beach, this popular St Ives hotel is big on sustainable tourism (it's only five minutes' walk from the station, so no need to take the car). Some of the rooms are on the small side, but others have decked patios or sea view balconies. The decor is fresh and bright (lush fabrics, oak floors and original features), and there's a cafe-bar, a therapy room and a passion for all things Cornish (from local beers and Camel Valley wines to Trevaskis Farm bacon and Delabole salami). Porthminster beach cafe is just across the road.
• Porthminster beach, 01736 794939, primroseonline.co.uk. B&B doubles from ?85
At the foot of Stippy Stappy (a steep terrace of old mining cottages) in surfy St Agnes, this groovy little number was the AA's choice for the funkiest B&B in Britain award last year. It's run by music-bizz escapees Amie and Kye, and its style is boutique meets rock and roll: vivid colours (fuschia, lime, leather, peacock, a hint of gold and glitter), late breakfasts, midday check-outs, room service, spare wellies and a stream at the bottom of the garden. A walk downhill takes you to Trevaunance Cove for rockpools, restaurants and old engine houses (St Agnes is part of the Cornish mining world heritage site).
• Quay Road, 01872 553546, thearamay.com. B&B doubles from ?105 per night
Just up from the harbour, this Edwardian mini mansion goes for an old-fashioned look: antique beds (brass, French or walnut), vintage rugs on polished wood floors, wing back chairs and – in three of the rooms – working fireplaces (you can snuggle up to a real fire). Decanters of sherry are offered on the house. Fresh Cornish breakfasts are served in the rooms or on a decked terrace with fabulous views across the Camel Estuary to Rock village (the fruit for the homemade jams are grown in Treverbyn's own gardens). Padstow's fish restaurants are a short stroll down the hill.
• Station Road, 01841 532855, treverbynhouse.com. B&B doubles from ?85 per night
A crusty old St Moritz was knocked down to make way for this glitzy, deco-style hotel, built from scratch in 2008. From ship-like decks and glassy portals, it overlooks the Atlantic from its own landscaped grounds and solar heated outdoor pool. Inside, the rooms are crisply modern (think high-spec show home) with oak floors and super-comfy beds – thanks to marshmallow mattress comforters and downy duvets. There is a lively brasserie and bar, the Sea Side restaurant by the pool, a gym and the Cowshed Spa. Sounds expensive. Well, yes (this is Kensington-on-Sea, after all) but the smaller rooms – the hotel calls them "cosy" – are good value. Nearby beaches include Polzeath, Rock, Daymer bay and, at the foot of the garden, Greenaway. • Trebetherick, 01208 862242, stmoritzhotel.co.uk. B&B doubles from ?105
From the village (the bit the locals call Paradise), Sean and Morwenna Gee's ornate period villa peeks at the Atlantic across slate rooftops and brooding headlands. The rooms are stylish, contemporary, with good beds and snazzy bathrooms (with solar-heated water). Great breakfasts, too (like spinach and poached egg on a toasted muffin). It takes about 15 minutes to wander down to Boscastle's salty little village and rocky tidal inlet – all rebuilt since the devastating floods of 2004. It takes twice as long to puff your way back up the hill.
• Doctors Hill, Tintagel Road, 01840 250225, boscastlehouse.com. B&B doubles from ?120
Back in the 1870s, Thomas Hardy fell in love with his first wife, Emma Gifford (the rector's daughter) while staying in this bucolic former rectory – set in three acres of wildflowers, hidden dells, woodland and a kitchen garden. The rooms are pure Victoriana (one has an en-suite thunderbox), furnished with chintzy florals, curios, pelmets and French polish. Breakfast includes the Rectory's own fresh fruit and free-range eggs. Or you can stay for dinner – dining on home-grown vegetables and fish and Cornish farm meats from nearby Boscastle.
• St Juliot, 01840 250225, stjuliot.com. B&B doubles from ?70
When it opened nine years ago, it claimed to be Britain's first 100% organic B&B. Now it's one of three (the others are in Cumbria), but it still maintains its Soil Association standards. Just off the "Atlantic Highway" (the A39 – a mile from Widemouth bay), Gill and Neil Faler's low-carbon Victorian house sits on a five-acre smallholding. They offer two spacious eco-luxe rooms, bike storage, underfloor heating (powered by wind turbine) and free pick-ups for guests arriving on public transport. The emphasis, however, is on the food: home-baked, home-grown, delicious organic breakfasts and evening meals.
• 01288 361297, bangorsorganic.co.uk. B&B doubles from ?110
A run-down hotel on Bude's Summerleaze beach was gutted and rebuilt to create this New England-style boutique B&B, which opened in 2011. The 15 swish rooms look a wee bit corporate but they want for nothing in terms of comfort (Vi-sprung beds, flat-screen tellies and lots of space). With a glamorous sun terrace overlooking the sea (one of Bude's finest beaches is metres away), it has a grown-up surfer vibe – mixing cool interiors, a library and a business centre with surf-board storage, Blu-ray players and outdoor showers. Sadly, no children under 12, and no restaurant, though the latter is in the pipeline.
• Summerleaze Crescent, 01288 389800, thebeachatbude.co.uk. B&B doubles from ?110
A few miles from the Cornwall-Devon border, this medieval free house has got it all – a low beamed bar with log fires and a whiff of old smugglers, occasional live-music nights (local bands – like Blind Brother Stubbs or Fifers Ruse), simple, country-style bedrooms with Atlantic views, an all-day menu of reasonably priced gastro-pub food (beetroot and Cornish Yarg salad, homemade beef casserole with dumplings) and breakfast served until 11am. An added bonus, are the wild cliff-top landscapes of this rugged stretch of Cornish coast. And the Cornish ales, of course.
• 01288 331242, bushinn-morwenstow.co.uk. B&B doubles ?85
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