Surf and Sea | St. Moritz Hotel and Spa Near Rock & Polzeath

Locally, of course, we’re a beach hotel in Cornwall, and the sea we’re beside is the Atlantic, which means weather (which can quickly change) and waves (which can give you the ride of your life).

Bigger picture, though, we’re just as close to the Camel Estuary (lovely walks, paddle- and wakeboarding, fishing) and we’ll say a bit more about that later. Mainly, though, if you’re heading for a beautiful beach holiday in Cornwall you might understandably have an image in mind of miles of sandy beaches, towering cliffs and an exciting sea whose colours change with the weather and whose mood swings can be no less dramatic.

If this is what you’re used to and why you’re here, well, you’ll know where to go and what to do; we wish you an enjoyable time and will be here when you’re back, with all the luxury and creature comforts you might crave after a session going one-on-one with the sea.

If, on the other hand, you’re a little newer to it all and would like some help in reading and riding the waves, then (a lot) of help is at hand. We’re good friends with a wide range of friendly local experts whose expertise is matched by the excellence of their guidance and instruction …

We advise booking your surf lessons before you arrive. This can be done through our Guest Host by emailing


Padstow & Polzeath



These good people teach surfing at all levels at the beaches in Polzeath and Watergate Bay. As our guest, if you book through us you’ll get a 10% discount off their lessons.

Much as their lessons are carefully planned and expertly delivered, that’s not the limit of what they do: they also offer charters, boat tours, beach fitness, beach yoga, surf hire and delivery. Their Sea Safari trips are a great way to explore our dramatic coast, as is the slightly more adrenalin-heavy thrill of a ride in one of their 12 seater, 10-metre powerboats.

As far as surfing goes, though, their expertise and experience go back over 20 years, and seasoned, sensitive coaches take all needs and abilities into account, starting – for beginners – with how to ‘pop-up’ before hitting the waves. They operate in – and we’re close to – the beautiful waters at Polzeath and Watergate Bay, some of Cornwall’s safest and most reliable. (The latter is as beautiful as it is vast – two miles long – and they’re right on the beach so there’s no onerous fiddling about lugging everything down there from a distant car park.)

(Wavehunters also run a water taxi across the Camel Estuary, from Padstow to Rock and Rock to Padstow, which is a great way to travel between two very popular destinations.)

Camel Ski School



Camel Ski School is based on the River Camel in Rock; this more sheltered, inland water means it can offer wakeboarding, paddle boarding, wake surfing, kayaking, inflatable rides and of course waterskiing. They’re the UK’s largest waterski centre, have been going since 1977, and their current owner, Charlie Toogood, has been running it since 2002. So it’s business but personal for him: he selects and trains all the instructors as he wants to make sure you have the best and safest experience possible. As well as all the on-the-water experiences and instruction, you can also charter a boat for group activities on the Estuary, and hire its unique floating Island for private events and celebrations.

Here’s a little more detail about they offer:

A wakeboard looks like a cross between a snowboard and a skateboard: a short rectangular board with two boot bindings, and in wakeboarding you’re pulled behind a boat and skim across the water.

The Ski School has all you need – equipment, know-how and patience –  whatever your level.

Wake surfing

In wake surfing, you’re initially towed by a boat which is designed to create a wave, or wake. As soon as this wave forms you drop the rope and start to surf the wave the boat created.

One thing this means is, because it’s the boat which is responsible for the wave, conditions are more predictable and waves more reliable, which in turn means less waiting and more doing! Camel Ski have invested in a boat designed specifically for this job (it creates a bigger, steeper wake than a waterski boat). Not only is this better for beginners but it suits those with more experience and confidence too.

Inflatable rides

Another upside to Camel Ski’s location is the availability (and safety) of inflatable rides.

The water down the middle of the estuary best lends itself to this experience, and their drivers are not only specifically trained but all have three years’ experience before being allowed to tow. All of which means the most fun in the safest possible environment for users.

These rides are truly something else though: eight years old is the minimum age, and the inflatable takes one person at a time, lying or kneeling (while holding on to the handles). They have two inflatables so two people at a time can be towed, and if there’s a large group, you all go out in the boat and take turns until everyone’s had a go.


George's Surf School


George’s Surf School is based close to us in Polzeath and is run by George Stoy, a surf coach and ski instructor who divides his time between Cornwall and Switzerland. He also judges competitions, runs ocean safety and avalanche awareness courses and trains instructors.

His surf school is based around a specific way of teaching surfing, having fun and building confidence in the water. Key to all this is George’s 25 years’ experience, a carefully structured methodology and a small team of trusted and highly experienced instructors.

One-to-one or in groups, an hour at a time or for a day or more, each bespoke lesson is geared to the client’s specific needs, whatever your level. The culture of George’s surf school is that people thrive in a fun, dynamic learning environment, and his immersive lessons are a proven and effective way for either beginners to learn fast or for improvers to come on in leaps and bounds.