Watergate Bay Hotel
Built in 1900, Watergate Bay Hotel was originally intended to serve as a railway terminus hotel for a proposed Newquay to Padstow branch line, but the railway never came. During the Second World War, it became an RAF Officers Mess and was later converted into married quarters, but fell into disrepair during the 1960s.
John and Mary Ashworth bought the Watergate Bay Hotel in 1967, initially running it as self-catering flats. The Ashworths converted the premises back to a 55 bedroom hotel in 1971, adding an extension to include a living area and restaurant. It was successfully run as a seasonal family hotel for the traditional bucket-and-spade holiday for many years.
Also in the 1970s one of the UK’s first skate parks opened at Watergate Bay. The concrete bowl was popular among skateboarders of the era including Nigel Semmens.
The Beach Hut & Extreme Academy
In 1999, John and Mary’s middle son, Henry Ashworth, developed the hire shop into The Beach Hut restaurant and Extreme Academy sports school. His vision was to create a ‘ski resort on a beach’, to make Watergate Bay a place where people could get active amongst the elements one minute and then relax and eat good food the next. Somewhere to hang out.
Extreme Academy’s sports schools transformed the beach into a mixture of classroom, playground and the wild outdoors, all year round when before people only came to the beach in the summer. Offering lessons to those who wanted to try new sports or improve their skills in a range of activities including: surfing, waveski, traction kiting, kitesurfing, standup paddlesurfing and hand planing. 2010 saw Extreme Academy sports school completely rebuilt to include heated changing facilities with hot showers, and a new booking and equipment hire office.
Located right next to the sand, The Beach Hut has stunning views across Watergate Bay from both the indoor tables and from the decked balcony that runs around the restaurant. Open 365 days a year, the menu runs from breakfast to mid morning coffees, lazy lunches and afternoon cakes, through to dinner. Daily specials reflect the best of Cornish seasonal produce and the iconic Extreme Hot Chocolates are worth a visit by themselves.
Over the years The Beach Hut has been transformed from a single story building into a two stories. In 2006 Fifteen Cornwall moved into upstairs and The Beach Hut became one level once again. The storm of March 2008 played havoc with Watergate Bay and the restaurant found itself underwater. Since then we’ve build a new sea wall and The Beach Hut got a whole new look.
The Living Space & Swim Club
In 2004 Will Ashworth took over the running of the hotel from his parents, John and Mary. The same year, the hotel embarked upon a four phase redevelopment, which transformed the hotel over the course of the next eight years. The regeneration of Watergate Bay Hotel created the Living Space which opened in 2005 and Swim Club which opened in 2012.
Only accessible to hotel guests and members Swim Club offers exclusive use of the lower-ground of The Living Space. The Ocean Room has commanding views of the Atlantic and serves coffees and cocktails, beer, wine, spirits and patisserie from the café bar. The ethos is aprés ski by the beach.
May 2006 saw the addition of Fifteen Cornwall to Watergate Bay, transforming the second floor of The Beach Hut into the second Fifteen restaurant in the UK. The restaurant has achieved huge success and has trained over 140 apprentices to date.
We are now in 2013 and developing some even bigger and better plans for the hotel. Stay tuned for our dining room project!