I so wish that I could provide a 5* rating for our stay at Bedruthan as it is such a great place to take the family on holiday. I will explain why I can't, but would dearly love to!
We have only ever stayed in spring or Autumn school holidays and have always had such a great holiday that we always look forward to returning. Originally staying for one of our honeymoons (one in the UK straight after the wedding and one in the summer as my wife is a teacher!) back in 2007 - we chose Bedruthan as it was recommended to me by my boss. We were not disappointed. Since then we have been back twice more.
The hotel has always catered excellently for a family stay. The kids high tea (like feeding time at the zoo previously!) and the listening service so that parents can enjoy an evening adult meal in a relaxing atmosphere has always been a real winner with us. The quality of the food and the service from the hotel staff I cannot fault. I even saw Heston Blumenthal in the restaurant one evening. I don't know who the head chef is, or if he /she has changed recently, but the eating experience at Bedruthan really is very very very good.
This year the set up has changed. Generally (in fact perhaps it is obligatory - i'm not sure) the holidays at Bedruthan are Dinner, bed and breakfast. Now, you are given a monetary allowance (you have already paid for this in the holiday payment rate) for each day to use for eating in the hotel restaurants. You are allowed to use this for eating at any time throughout the day - other than at breakfast, which is included for outside of the allowance. This makes eating at the hotel extremely flexible. We wondered how it would work in practice, but it works excellently, and actually even better than before - which is amazing. You basically just have whatever you want, a snack in the morning, lunch and dinner with the kids, or let them have their tea and then put them to bed and utilise the listening service to have a meal as just you, the parents; and you book it all to the room. There are prices on the menus and you can choose to add this up as you go along to make sure you stay within your allowance, or not. Drinks are not included within the allowance, only food. We chose not to keep check of everything we ate - as we were looking at the trip as a special treat - and knew that the alcohol would mount up. But nonetheless, without tracking and keeping pace of our eating, and without limiting ourselves in any way - we were amazed that we did not exceed our allowance for our stay. We ate really well all week, sometimes having lunch and dinner, and not one single day did we exceed the allowance. We found the new arrangement to be extremely easy, very flexible and we think it is a great improvement to the already excellent system that was in place. It must be said that the choice, quality and presentation of food is superb. The policy to source 80% of the food from local suppliers is such a great idea - and the apple juice for breakfast resulting from this is divine! You would favourably compare Bedruthan to the best restaurants that you have ever eaten in. We are lucky to live in Jersey which has many many great places to eat and Bedruthan did not disappoint in the slightest.
Enough about the food.
Bedruthan has evening entertainment for the kids and for adults, a spa (which we used for the first time this year and would highly recommend - I had the spa's signature massage and it is really really really good), kids club (which we don't normally use but as it was offered free for a few hours each day this gave us the opportunity to use the spa), swimming pool, outside play areas, indoor soft play area, surf school, games rooms, gym - and many more facilities. We chose Bedruthan over EuroDisney for our last trip and were so glad that we did. There really are many activities and facilities to keep you entertained if you wish to just hang around the hotel. The nearby beach is excellent, karting track a short distance away is one of the best I've driven on (the boy is now old enough to do it!) and Newquay Aquarium is a must to visit.
All this and much more really should justify making this a top rated hotel for Trip Advisor - however......
I have to point out why I cannot justify a 5* rating after our last stay, which really is a true shame as the hotel does deserve it if it could sort a couple of things:-
1. Do not allow iPads, dvd players or handheld game devices into any of the restaurants. Whilst this may be an easy way to placate your own children - this is meant to be a family holiday where you actually interact with your children. Everyone now seems to have an iPad - but plugging the kids into it while they eat their breakfast or dinner is just not right. This is a family hotel, meant for the family to enjoy its own company and get away from the normal everyday drudgery. The hotel policy should be that such devices are banned from the breakfast, lunch and dinner table.
2. The above counts for adults too. Coming away on holiday with your family, surely checking your emails can wait until after you have eaten? The amount of parents checking their iPads, iphones, blackberry's, ipads, etc. whilst they are meant to be enjoying their food with their family is unbelievable. We generally all only get 4 or 5 weeks holiday a year from our jobs - why not enjoy this time with your family before they grow up and become too old to come on holiday with you. Again - these devices should be banned from the restaurants.
3. Dogs! Argh! I like dogs - generally. I had one when I was growing up, my wife did, we have nothing against dogs - apart from the one that lives in the house next door which yaps all day when left alone whilst its owners are out. We came on holiday to escape that. However, upon returning one day to the hotel, we heard a very loud barking whilst in our room. We then discovered that the hotel was undertaking a trial of dogs in the hotel - a family hotel, at half term, with dogs roaming around! No. that is not right. Perhaps at quiet times when the hotel is not bursting at the seams with children - maybe trial the dog thing, but not at peak school holiday times. Please don't reply with the "but my dog is perfectly safe and would never cause any harm" - perhaps not, but that is what every dog owners whose dog has caused a problem said before there was a problem. Bedruthan - please do not entertain this 'dog friendly hotel' idea. Not at a family orientated hotel.
And that's it really. You'll be bored if I type anymore. The hotel is truly excellent, and when looking at the above few gripes, it is generally down to the guests perhaps rather than the hotel itself which prevents the perfect score. However, I do think that a couple of friendly family policies in regard to the use of modern technology at the dinner table would assist - and perhaps even help the Bedruthan holidaying society into interacting more with their children at mealtimes!
Oh, finally - i've just seen a review commenting on the dated exterior. Do not let the external appearance have any bearing on your choice. It doesn't matter in the slightest what the hotel looks like from the outside. It's what happens inside that counts, and that is extremely very good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfectly placed Cornwall with beaches and stunning coastline on our doorstep, Bedruthan is so much more than a hotel with theatre, workshops, fairs and a art gallery. Spend your days enjoying locally sourced food in our Wild Cafe and Herring Restaurant or indulging and unwinding in our indoor spa, for a really invigorating experience try our Sensory Spa Garden. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bedruthan Steps Mawgan Porth
- Hotel Bedruthan Steps
- Bedruthan Steps Hotel
- Bedruthan Hotel & Spa Cornwall/Mawgan Porth