We chose the 2 star Fairbank based on Tripadvisor reviews - as we so often do. The trouble with this strategy is that, too often nowadays, the over use of superlatives by reviewers can distort reality. Do not get us wrong, this hotel is 'pleasant' but not exceptional as apparently judged by a recent hotel inspector and some other guests. We try to be very objective and tell it as it is - eg. have a look at our concurrent reviews on the Old Albion Inn and Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant.
Our welcome was nothing out of the ordinary - generally warm and our room was nothing special - adequate and comfortable - though it had great views over Crantock Bay, and the en-suite, whilst not capacious, did what it said on the tin. The power shower was efficient and effective. We slept well every night of our three nights at the hotel and we were never disturbed by the sound of other guests, even when a wedding group stayed overnight. The decor was ordinary, in the bedroom and public areas - just the sort of style and colour scheme you would expect in most reasonable B&B's nowadays. So how the recent inspection could conclude that the accommodation was 'exceptional' is puzzling. 'Exceptional' by definition has to be an exception to that which one would find generally - the accommodation is not exceptional.
The breakfast room has great views towards the sea - but only if you have a table by the window. The hotel has received an award for its breakfast and this is proudly advertised in the breakfast room. But did the breakfast really live up to the hype? - in our view, not quite. The breakfast buffet was run of the mill - the usual selection of cereals, grapefruit, mixed fruit, yoghurt and jams. There was no choice of milk - full cream, semi-skinned, soya, etc. - only one jug of unlabelled milk. The owners could argue - 'You only had to ask' - but with an award winning breakfast, should you have to ask? Staff serving the breakfast were barefoot - moving between a food preparation area and the breakfast room in bare feet does not point to high enough standards of hygiene. The choice at breakfast was nothing out of the ordinary other than the option of a fresh fruit platter. Everything else is what you would expect to see in a decent hotel. However, porridge was not overtly offered and when we asked if kippers were available, the response was hardly encouraging. In other hotels and guest houses, when we have posed a similar question, the best response has been 'We're really sorry, but we'll get them in for tomorrow.'
Elaine and Paul were engaging and helpful. Tips on parking in Padstow and general local knowledge were good but we were never asked if we had a good night or how we found the new vegetarian sausages - these were ordered in the absence of the kippers. There was no real sense of wanting to know how things were going during our stay, though we were asked how much we enjoyed eating at Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant - excellent on both occasions by the way.
Overall, value for money was not that good. £104 per night was over the top even allowing for the sea views. One of our favourite hotels - the Croft Hotel in Bridgnorth - is rated 4 star, has an outstanding welcome, a superb breakfast buffet and menu choice including kippers, home made jams, home made fresh fruit salad, home made muesli, etc, all in a timber framed, original Tudor setting - no sea views, but an engaging welcome, great character accommodation and a superb location for no more than £75 per night for two, including breakfast.
We had a pleasant 3 night stay in a reasonable hotel in Crantock - nothing exceptional, other than the price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fairbank Hotel is a family run small hotel perfectly located in a tranquil, traditional Cornish country village by the sea. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Fairbank Hotel Crantock, Cornwall