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St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in St Ives
Reviewed 23 October 2008

We arrived in St Ives on a wonderful warm day, we were greated by very helpful receptionist who gladly gave us a sea view room.

The room was amazing, well decorated with views to die for!! The upkeep of the room was impressive and it seems that great care had been taken in perparing it for us.

The resturaunt was extermely impressive and we were waited on by the two most delightful South African gentlemen who attended to our every need with a smile and great sense of humour... we thank you for making our stay truely enjoyable with your warm smiles

I recommended anyone who is thinking of going to stay there should make a booking immediately!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank icebreaker121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,418 - 1,424 of 1,481 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2008

I did not even get to stay at the Porthminster this year. I hit a brick wall at the booking line!!! I have stayed at this hotel about 5 times over the years and yes it does need updating etc but I have always loved it warts and all because of location, pool, staff!! I phoned to try and book for my annual break in St Ives, October, but was told there were no single rooms available....a double for single occupancy was going to cost me £110 per night which I just could not afford I was not advised of advertised 10% in October for 3 or more nights..I wanted 4 nights.
I Subsequently booked with a very very nice B & B but later looked on the Porthminster website (I know I should have done this first but for special offers you had to phone in) to find that there were 2 singles available!!!! I then trawled through the usual late booking type sites to find that the Porthminster was booking per room not per head and that prices for double for single occupancy ranged from £110 per night (Porthminster reception) through to £75 per night and £60 per night depending on what site one looked at. I was very upset about this and wrote a long letter to the Porthminster ( I have the copy with me now dated 22nd August) and never received a reply.
This is just rude!
So even though the quality of the hotel has come under fire this review is not for that ..it's for the poor booking system and the fact they lost a loyal customer due to not know what rooms were actually available (saying no single when there were), giving wrong information (saying that the rates were per body not room) and being totally inflexible with old customers giving them a better out of season deal..
Having said all this I will try my hardest next year to make a booking again by whatever means and bloomin' well have that swim!!
With irritated affection CB Somerset

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled solo
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Thank CABSouthSomerset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MidlandsRunningMan, Manager at St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2008

Dear CABsouthsomerset

I was alarmed to read of your experience whilst attempting to book with us earlier this year, I cannot imagine why you had such a frustrating experience but I do apologise for it.

I am not aware of a letter regarding this, perhaps this got lost in the post. I wonder if I could ask you to send a copy back to me at the hotel so I can respond more appropriately?

Many thanks.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2008

My husband and I have just returned from a weekend break at the Porthminster Hotel and I feel compelled to add to the reviews written about this hotel. The reason for this is that after reading some of the reviews written I had a couple of doubts about what I had booked but I need not have worried. Sure the hotel may be a little 'dated' but the hotel is over 100 years old and peeling paint is to be expected - in fact it adds to it's charm. The staff, from the reception, porters and restaurant staff to even the cleaners were polite, cheerful and professional and extremely guest focussed.
The concerns raised about parking are understandable, and even though we did visit out of main holiday season, there was still the need to leave the car keys with the hotel reception, in case our vehicle needed to be moved - but as they are locked away in a safe area then there really is no issue and the reception area is continually manned.

My husband and I booked 'best room' accomodation at the hotel (We contacted the hotel directly after booking with Late Rooms and upgraded - the hotel were more than efficient in doing this) and the room was fantastic - The bathroom was spotless as was the room itself and the little touches like the cosmetic mirror and toileties in the bathroom prove that the hotel has listened to feedback and whilst may need to paint a few walls certainly puts guests requirements first. So what if the decoration was not to our taste! The view out of the window was phenomenal, and even though we didn't have a door onto the balcony, the sash windows in this beautiful old building had a lovely window seat to sit on and appreciate the view and sound of the waves.

My only criticism - if you can call it that is that the walk through the hotel gardens back up from the beach is not signposted well when you reach the hotel - there is no clear direction as to which door comes back into the hotel - we ended up in an apartment that was being refurbished!

We had a lovely weekend thank you Porthminster

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank trphillips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2008

My wife and I stayed for one night on October 5th. The room was a standard room but was very clean and comfortable with an excellent view of the harbour and the sea. The hotel has a super setting on Porthminster Bay. The staff were most friendly and helpful. The evening dinner was most enjoyable, excellent cuisine and we were made very welcome by the head waitress and her team. The bargain break was excellent value for money. We look forward to returning to this superb hotel. Nick, West Midlands.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Leisureseekers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2008

The hotel rooms need to be refurbished, very dated decor and our window rattled constantly throughout the night. Very good toiletries in the room though - shampoo, cotton wool, buds , face wipes etc which was a lovely touch. We had our room for £60 on late rooms so a bargain with breakfast included for the 1 night so we werent expecting the Ritz however if I'd paid full price I think I would be disappointed with the room ( old, mildew, damp smell, quilt was lumpy, winow didnt close - draughty and rattled etc). The Restaurant is lovely with a fab view of the beach and I have to say that the food was delicious and staff were extremley helpful and cheerful.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank laurawelsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2008

Hard one to review. I am sentimentally biased from a spell working there 30 years ago. Had intended to revisit ever since and be 'on the other side'.
Fantastic location and masses of potential. The Portminster is like an elegant tired lady in need of a full makeover.
It's a wonderful building and there are many features of the hotel which need to taken forward with whatever plans there are for it.
We stayed in room 12 (a suite) and it was spacious, comfortable and with THE most wonderful views and balcony. We peeked at couple of other rooms and they looked lovely. I gather only 16 of 46 are left to be refurbed.
We ate breakfast in the hotel after arriving in St Ives on the sleeper train from London and the cooked Cornish breakfast was good. Room service brekkie the next morning in the suite was brought up promptly but missing things we had ordered, no salt and pepper and no plates for toast. A poached egg slapped wet on dry toast and all a bit anyhow............
The pool is pleasant enough but again all dated and tired.
You can walk from the hotel down to the beach which is great. The gardens are pretty. Some long brambles need cutting back as you go down the steps and on the way back up but it isn't clear which door to enter the hotel by. You either trek through the games room and wind your way back to the main part of hotel, crash through the dining rooom or on our third try, we went through the function suite!
The outside of the building is very much in need of TLC and I am quite sure it is in the plans to sort it out. IT was so grand and so beautiful in its day and it deserves to 'live' again.
We left St Ives and went onto The Watergate Bay Hotel at Newquay, If the Porthminster could combine it's potential with half of what they have done with Watergate Bay it would be an amazing place to stay.
The Porthminster needs to move into this century but keep hold of the good bits of the past. Somehow it needs to combine the best of both worlds for its regular older clientelle but also attract upmarket visitors who will spend money, return and put the life back into the place that there once was. It can be done, as The Porthminster Beach cafe has proved. We ate there on Saturday eve and it was exceptional.
The hotel needs a sharper and more modern reception, new carpets and definately different music! Ben Young is making a valiant effort to ensure he deals with the issues but he needs the owner to step up a gear with the plans for the future.
I'll be back in a year or so to see how it's going...................

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jane J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2008

This hotel looks really lovely on the website. We chose it for my birthday treat so that we could walk into St Ives and enjoy a luxury stay.

The booking was made by phone and it took 3 requests before it was confirmed in writing, I should have realised this reflects the attitude of staff there.

We had a sea view room for the first two nights - the window was small and the room very dark and dingy. The cleaning was non existent after the first night, just the duvet tidied and that seemed about it. The carpet was stained and the whole thing was really depressing. We have stayed in nice hotels and this was not nice. I complained about breakfast - fresh fruit is on the menu but there was none on the first morning, just tinned stuff. Very poor when you are paying £200 for the room.
I have stayed in London hotels for far less with a very very much nicer breakfast. The staff are very unconcerned about complaints - no apology at all, probably they are used to it. The second night was a Friday with a wedding taking over and the same on the thrid night, wedding and very loud disco running late into the night. We had a room move after the second night and the next room although very small was a bit brighter with a better view.

Public areas and corridors smell very funky, more cleaning needed for sure.

One morning when dropping our key into reception I said good morning to one of the staff who just looked at me as if I had come from Mars. More staff training needed. The funniest was breakfast on the third morning, I had boiled eggs - they arrived without a spoon, when I asked for a spoon the young waitress brought a huge dessert spoon! We just had to laugh much to her surprise!! Still more staff training needed!!

We shan't be going back. I suggest it is probably fine as a wedding venue but not for the more discerning traveller. The website is very misleading, it all looks modern and clean and luxurious, but it sure is not.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank livinlight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PorthminsterManager, Manager at St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2008

Dear Livinlight
Thank you for your feedback following a recent stay with us, although I am very disappointed that it was not more positive. I am surprised not to have heard from you directly during your stay, or from the staff that you complained to - very odd - as you suggest perhaps there was a training issue there. I can assure you that I do take your review very seriously, given the many issues you mention. I can't imagine how we appear to have got it so wrong on so many levels for you. Managing our guests expectation is vital and I am concerned that you feel we did not live up to your prior perception of the hotel. As we continue to improve our offering I am sure that we will shortly over-deliver against our guests preconceptions. Please now give me the opportunity to put things right for you following your clearly disappointing stay.

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Additional Information about St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa

Address: The Terrace, St Ives TR26 2BN, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > St Ives
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in St Ives
#6 On the Beach Hotel in St Ives
Price Range: £113 - £244 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 46
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

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