WHEN it comes to staying by the sea, sophistication can be hard to find, with B&Bs stuck in a time warp and once grand seafront hotels now little more than retirement homes with a good view. Hawke’s Point is a series of new apartments in Cornwall; the exterior might resemble student halls but inside it’s all understated elegance.

All creams and beiges, it’s modern and fresh without being dull while the nautical elements (including telescope) stop well short of theme pub. Huge windows look onto the magnificent Carbis Bay – it has the relaxed and calming feel of someone’s home. The good taste is only fitting for the area; a short walk away is St Ives, the adopted home to the late Barbara Hepworth and it’s still the type of town where it’s easier to buy a painting than a pint of milk.

No need to rely on greasy fish and chips for sustenance. Thanks to useful website, local produce can be waiting for you when you arrive, from Jamie Oliver-approved English sparkling wine to everything you need for a quintessential Cornish cream tea. There’s a variety of hampers to choose from while well equipped kitchens make the apartments perfect for entertaining. Serious hosts should consider the penthouse with its six-seater sofa and two dining tables, one inside and one on the balcony, both giving stunning views over the bay.

What really impresses is the attention to detail. There’s a picnic hamper and rug for impromptu beach outings and a stack of DVDs and board games for wet days. The apartment is stuffed with technology, from Wii to WiFi while the soap and shower gels are all local spa products. Hawke’s Point is an exercise in sea with style.

A three-night stay costs from £250 in a balcony apartment, and £725 in a penthouse. Hawke’s Point, The Sands, Porthrepta Road, Carbis Bay (01726 884072;