Luke Hayes is a gritty architectural and landscape photographer with an eye for finding new perspectives. Here’s what happened when we invited him to stay and take over our Instagram account for a few days.
“My children had been looking forward to jumping in to the pool at Watergate Bay Hotel since the moment we found out we were going to stay a few nights as part of my Instagram takeover. I have been commissioned several times to take photographs of the hotel, and I had shown my family images of the beautiful Swim Club with its infinity pool looking out over the Atlantic, much to their jealousy.
We were also looking forward to visiting with the dog. It’s very hard finding somewhere with a liberal attitude towards dogs, especially in the summer months. Pepper is a new addition to the family and we didn’t want to leave her at home, plus we new she would love racing down the beach in the evenings.
Gail and the kids flew in to Newquay Airport from Stanstead and I drove down with Pepper. We had already planned to spend the rest of our holiday in St Ives, so it was a lovely start to the holiday and a real treat for the kids to fly to Cornwall.
Gail and I both lived and studied at Falmouth College of Art for three years and have always been tempted to permanently move back down to Cornwall. The atmosphere is so much more relaxed and the landscape and ocean offers unending photographic opportunity, but for now the hotel is the next best thing to living here. That laid-back feeling resonates around the hotel, and in lots of ways it feels like you are a guest in someone’s home.
The breakfast here is ridiculous – in a very good way – and I could easily spend a couple of hours working my way through all the lovey food on offer. The waffles are always popular! So much so that a waffle-making machine has appeared in my kitchen at home. Of course the surfing lessons we had booked meant some emergency adjustments to my diet.
The Extreme Academy surf lesson was great fun, although it made me realise just how unfit I am. My daughter managed to stand up on her third ever go which was great to see, and I think she has the bug now.
All of the food we had was excellent. We enjoyed The Beach Hut in particular as we were able to watch the pro surfers showing us how it’s done from the comfort of the restaurant. The Kids’ Club and Kids’ Zone were very handy too, offering the kids dinner and then a film so that Gail and I could enjoy a rare meal on our own.
On our last day a huge storm blew in, for me it was great fun to go out and shoot the waves smashing against the cliffs, and for Gail and the children to watch all the action from the warmth of the pool.
I don’t think I’ve stayed in a hotel quite like Watergate Bay Hotel before and enjoy finding surprises every time I come back here.”
Book your stay at Watergate Bay Hotel online or call 01637 860543.