The Headland Hotel opened its doors in June 1900. Finished to the highest standards, it was built with the sole purpose of creating the finest hotel in South West England.
- Family History
A stylish hotel that has perfected the art of luxury holidays in Cornwall, over the decades it has attracted a string of royal visitors including Edward VIII, King George VI, King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, and recently HRH Prince Charles, and HRH The Princess Royal. To put you in the picture of the past, London orchestras would come and play here throughout the summer season, and at its best the ballroom saw at least 300 guests waltzing gracefully on its wooden, coil-sprung floor.
With a 100 year family history of owning and running hotels in Newquay, John and Carolyn Armstrong bought the hotel in a rundown condition in 1979. (Bedruthan Steps, Sands Resort, Watergate Bay, The Scarlet and The Nare Hotels are currently in the family, as are Watergate Bay's Beach Hut Restaurant and Extreme Academy). In over 30 years they have spent well over £15 million on an extensive facelift of the hotel - making the most of its oceanic viewpoint inside and out, and bringing it up to a high standard of comfort. One of the most radical developments has been the building of Cornwall's first five-star holiday village in a world class location.
Boasting a unique history, location and architecture, the Headland Hotel is a Grade II listed building on a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (being a raised beach containing many interesting fossils). Now open year-round, the hotel attracts guests from all over the world, for short breaks, romantic retreats, family holidays, film and fashion shoots (David Bailey has used the hotel for a shoot for Italian Vogue), conferences and weddings.
Throughout the years, the staff have always been extremely important in the success of the Headland Hotel, and in 1992 it was the first company in Cornwall to receive the Investors in People award – just one of many, many awards and accolades accumulated over the years from the likes of The English Tourist Board, the British Hospitality Association, the AA, Green Tourism Business Scheme and others.
Darryl, Adam, Wenny and George and our excellent team, invite you to relax and enjoy what Cornwall's most iconic hotel has to offer.
- The Witches
Adapted from the Roald Dahl book and starring Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, The Witches was filmed on location at the Headland Hotel over eight days, back in 1987.
We were all in awe of Anjelica, although she was totally charming. Unobtrusive, stunningly beautiful and the perfect guest, she described her room as having "one of the best views in the world". The star was the current girlfriend of Jack Nicholson at the time and he often telephoned to speak to her (long before the days of mobile phones) and the girls on the switchboard became extremely excited at putting calls through to Room 103.
The part of the hotel manager was played by Rowan Atkinson who was a most engaging character, although, as it turned out, a bit too much like his alter ego, Mr Bean. One evening, a flood coming down through the ceiling of the restaurant was traced back up through three floors to his bedroom. Knock, knock: "Go away, I am asleep." was the response. Insistent staff finally managed to get in to discover the bath with the plug in, taps full on and, yes, "Mr Bean" fast asleep on his bed whilst causing chaos in the rooms below. The water also wrote off all the electric typewriters in the temporary production office directly under his room.
We also helped out the props department with a Silver Cross pram that was pushed towards the cliff edge with the baby in; this was the pram the Armstrong family had all spent a lot of time in as babies.
- Ghosts from the past
During the Second World War, the hotel was requisitioned and became an RAF hospital and on several occasions, guests have reported the harmless ghosts of men in uniforms walking around the corridors late at night. Extensive renovations during the late 1990s may have awoken more ghosts of the past; one sighting was of a woman wearing a maid's uniform disappearing through a wall into the Ladies' Powder Room – spookily, in exactly the same position as where there was once a door.