This year-round getaway is tucked away on a long drive amid sheep-strewn fields and with views over hills and farmland.
The accommodation for two to twelve people is mostly located on the reed banks of a collection of small, natural lakes. The resort expands with more luxury barns as it moves upscale. There is a large indoor pool, gym, and spa.
A lake offers water sports that are open to non-guests – a collection of inflatable slides and things to climb on, plus a wire brake for windsurfers and paddleboarders. Everything is monitored and there is a cafe / bar where parents can offer assistance. There is also a restaurant / bar with great views of the countryside, while a local produce store is promised in 2021.
Retallack’s secluded location is a bonus, just a few miles from the main A30 road, which brings in most of the holiday traffic from the rest of the country
There are plenty of families with young children, large family groups, friends on short breaks, and more mature couples enjoying the solitude. There seem to be many West Country visitors who take a short break and use Retallack as a base to explore further into Cornwall, while those with teenagers enjoy easy access to beaches just 10 miles away and still return to tranquil greenery can pleasant self-catering home.
Petite lakes, small slopes hide different types of accommodation for up to 12 people. New for 2020 is the Meadows area, a collection of wood-clad “barns” – chic, modern places with floor-to-ceiling windows, decks and trendy furniture.
They have two, three, four or six bedrooms – the ultimate is a rooftop terrace with sofas and a hot tub offering great views of the sunset over the fields.
Then there are the alpine-style lodges, all made of polished wood and sloping roofs (but with a more conventional interior). On a gentle hill, they form a true Tyrolean enclave, just like on an Austrian lake and mountain holiday. They also come with two, three, four or six bedrooms. Barns and lodges are available for stays of three, four or seven nights.
For couples there are Hotel Suites, not a hotel at all, but a two-story collection of lakeside rooms, either with terraces in the middle of the rushes or on balconies. Each one has the sleeping area, which is largely separated from the living area by the very elegant bathroom, and the kitchen even has a dishwasher and washing machine. Available for two nights and more. They are all within a few minutes’ walk of the reception, restaurant and pool. There is excellent free Wi-Fi throughout.
to eat and drink
Upstairs by the pool, the Lookout Bar and Eatery is spacious and overlooks the FlowRider and the Cornish countryside. The menu ranges from burgers to curries, fish and chips and nachos.
On the shore of the aqua park is the Phat Pasty, a wooden hut that offers pies and other goodies, as well as a bar with indoor and outdoor seating.
The pool is airy and modern, a place to swim, not just splash around. There are swimming lessons for teenagers and aqua aerobics for adults. There is also a sauna and jacuzzi. The gym (upstairs with good views) has treadmills and other equipment, and there is a weight room. In the summer there are year round fitness classes with some outdoors. Treatments at Esya Spa (Cornish for “wellbeing”) include facials and massages.
Big attractions are the water sports (which are available for an additional charge and are open to non-guests). The Aqua Park (closed winter) is an extinguishing course for inflatable objects with a slide, trampoline and towers. An adventure playground nearby has a zip line.
The FlowRider, an outdoor pool with an artificial wave experience, is open all year round (and apparently the only one in Cornwall).
Retallack is on a country road and is perfect for exploring both sides of the Cornwall peninsula. It is eight miles from the port city of Padstow (with its full selection of Rick Stein restaurants, from the posh seafood restaurant on the water to the causal cafe / snack bar Stein’s Fish & Chips) and six miles from the seaside Mecca of Newquay with its cliff collection – supported beaches such as Watergate and Fistral.
On the south coast, it’s 13 miles from the picturesque, historic port of Charlestown (immortalized in the TV series Poldark) and less from the Eden Project with its rainforest domes and the Lost Gardens of Heligan with its jungle of giant tree ferns. Land’s End is just over an hour’s drive away.
Four nights in a hotel suite for two starts at £ 240. A six bedroom barn for 12 starts at £ 796 for four nights (ariaresorts.co.uk)
MORE INFORMATION OR BOOK YOUR STAY
Retallack is in operation and with its spacious accommodations ideal for a winter vacation. The Aqua Park / Phat Pasty is closed for the winter; Everything else is open, although the lookout only offers takeout.