My wife and I recently spent a couple of nights at this hotel to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Unusually for me, I booked first and read the reviews afterwards, and in fairness, they did put me off a bit. Having now stayed there, I would have to say that I think most of them are a bit harsh and give the wrong impression.
I do feel sorry for the hotel. From the guests I saw during our brief stay, it seems to attract more than enough nouveau riche, people with more money than manners who expect a Ferrari for Ford Escort money and who will complain when they don't get it. However for those who have a fairer outlook on life, then from our experience you can expect the following.
When you arrive, you simply park outside in a lay-by. If the garage has room, you will be invited to park in it. If it doesn't, one of the "parking men" will either take your car and park it for you, or lead you to the parking and bring you back. Sure, this isn't the most convenient thing, but this is St Ives. Parking is at a premium everywhere and if that is a problem then you need to holiday elsewhere. Besides, both the guys I saw were so friendly that I felt I had made 2 new friends. (To the younger guy, I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Eden Sessions - you were right, it is a fantastic place!)
The hotel reception area is very striking and we couldn't have been better received. Friendly, polite and very courteous staff, (who incidentally had upgraded our room free of charge), made us feel very welcome. The room was nicely appointed, clean and everything worked as it should (including a rather impressive air-bath). Okay, the sash window rattled a bit in a high wind, but this is an old building and sash windows often rattle. A judiciously placed piece of cardboard solved the problem. The hot water does take a few seconds to come through but certainly not so long that is worth complaining about.
The restaurant is superb with fantastic sea views. The chef produces excellent breakfasts and dinners; the restaurant manager is extremely professional and runs a very, very good dining room, and the waitresses were all very polite, attentive and helpful. The food is served for you, so if you want an all-you-can-eat style buffet you will be disappointed. One downside, the bar is extremely expensive, but I suppose this does mean no drunken guests careering around the corridors late at night!
Yes, the walk down into St Ives or to the beach is quite a steep one, but again, this is St Ives. Everywhere in St Ives is a steep walk up or down so if that isn't for you then I would suggest a holiday in Norfolk.
Overall, we thought this was a really nice, proper old-school English hotel. Okay, it might not be 100% perfect, (I've yet to see anywhere that is), but it does offer very good value for its middle-of-the-range price tag, all of the staff are polite and friendly, and you do feel like a guest rather than just a customer.
We would definitely stay there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa is perfectly positioned directly above Porthminster beach boasting stunning views across the water. Watch as the waves lap against the famous Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance and feel your troubles disappear. Explore the local harbour, as you meander through the cobbled streets, and then return for dinner at the Terrace Restaurant, serving up seasonal and local food, along with stunning sea views. The Harbour Spa provides the perfect hideaway, as you indulge in a soothing treatment and then unwind by the pool, gazing out to sea from the comfort of a lounger! Enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea, cocktail or light lunch on the alfresco dining terrace and soak up the sea air and sensational views. The 46 bedrooms offer complete comfort and some of the Superior Bedrooms have balconies - a perfect place to relax over a morning coffee with the papers or afternoon tea watching the boats sail by... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porthminster Hotel St Ives
- Porthminster St Ives
- St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa St Ives, Cornwall