Perched high above the pretty sailing town of Fowey on the south Cornish coast, an impressive Grade II-listed Queen Anne mansion surveys expansive views of the estuary and the fishing boats and yachts that drift back and forth to the port.
A hotel since the late 1960s, Fowey Hall has recently undergone a multimillion-pound renovation, transforming it into something of a rarity in British hospitality: a destination aimed at families that still exudes stylish sophistication and packs a real design punch.
With its vaulted roofs, it looks like a dramatic setting from one of local writer Daphne du Maurier’s novels, but inside the feel is altogether more modern.
Walking into the entrance, guests are greeted by a light and airy drawing room, where a globe pendant by Jamb and ‘Noctambule’ glass lights by Konstantin Grcic for Flos sit among welcoming sofas and armchairs upholstered in tweed and herringbone. The bar features exquisite hand-painted De Gournay wallpaper. It’s a thoroughly modern British mix where contemporary and classic design meet.
‘We wanted to reconnect the hotel and the hotel experience with the building, its architecture, the landscape and the community,’ says Jill Higgins, whose company StudioJill implemented the bedroom concepts and oversaw design of the public areas. ‘It was important to keep the soul and history of the hotel while giving it an understated, relaxed modern feel with a strong sense of place.’
This link to the hotel’s setting was achieved by working with craftspeople from Cornwall and across the UK. StudioJill created coffee tables with Hampshire woodworkers &Bespoke; the custom-made beds came from Falmouth-based Headandhaft; and wardrobes are lined with paper illustrated by North Cornwall artist Nicole Heidaripour.
In fact, collaboration is key. The hotel is the first in the country to feature a new hotel-grade mattress by The White Company in all 36 rooms and the grounds feature a tiny boutique curated by local, and Vogue writer, Fiona Golfar. Plus, with a popular restaurant, Elemis spa and full activities schedule, guests of all tastes and ages are catered for.
As Higgins points out: ‘Family-friendly does not mean we are designing for children, we are focused on adults who want to feel relaxed and confident that their children are welcome, too, and if little ones jump up and down on a sofa they won’t get told off or given a stern look!’ Rooms from £149 per night, including breakfast. luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk
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