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“Over-hyped and not value for money”

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Bedruthan Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Mawgan Porth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 October 2013

The short version: Great views, good spa and pool, good kids activities. Mixed service levels, faulty accommodation and poor value for money.

The very long version.

We stayed for a week at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel using it for relaxation and as a base for exploring some of the attractions of Cornwall. We're a couple with a 15mo toddler. Although we had a nice holiday in all, I've come away somewhat underwhelmed by the hotel and with a sizeable hole in my pocket that I'm now questioning!

The hotel itself is in a nice spot overlooking a lovely bay and beach. The views from the cafe and front-facing rooms are amazing - we had some sunny days looking at calm blue waters and a couple of rough days watching the waves crash onto the beach - great! Views from some rooms can be obstructed slightly by wire fencing etc so bare that in mind.

I would echo what other reviewers have said about the hotel building itself; although you could spin it as a 70s masterpiece it is in fact a bit dated and could do with some TLC in places. The layout is also not ideal - much of the building is single storey and 'sprawls' down the hill face via corridor after corridor. For example, walking from reception to the spa/pool will take you 2 or 3 minutes, from an upstairs room or apartment maybe a minute longer. Factor small kids into that and it's a mission!

The spa and pool area is nice. It's been done in a basic way with no fancy decor or moody lighting and is light and airy. In the spa there are 6 or 7 loungers to relax on whilst taking in the views or having a read. Plus a large jacuzzi and the usual spa rooms like sauna, steam etc. I think it could be improved by providing towels and dressing gowns at the Spa personally. I realise this might not be very eco-friendly but again, it can be a mission carrying this stuff from the room if you don't choose to wear it from you room. On treatments, my wife had a 75 min facial and head massage and said it was amazing.

There is a gym but it's pretty small and when I tried to get to the only running machine it was always in use.

Next the accommodation - we stayed in an apartment, which was expensive but I wanted to make it special for my wife's birthday and it also gave us a separate room for little one. We enjoyed the space it afforded us but I was disappointed with quite a few things about the apartments which would make me avoid them in the future.

1. The kids room in our apartment (number 8) smelt damp.
2. We often found insects in the rooms - earwigs, silverfish and woodlice.
3. Maybe an oversight but there was no iron or board in the room on arrival.
4. No room safe.
5. No slippers!
6. Toiletries were some kind of eco soap bars. A personal thing but I'd prefer nicer liquid ones.
7. View was slightly obscured by fencing and the kids wire slide.
8. 'Sticking' doors into the bathroom.
9. Access (see below)
10. Child listening appropriateness (see below).
11. No menus for room service (had to ask, daily)
12. Quality of towels and robes is not great, the robes especially.
13. No aircon may be an issue if you stay in the summer.

Quite a list!

On access, the apartments are separate from the main hotel, which they did tell me on booking. I didn't delve too much into this and I think envisaged a quick walk, maybe through a covered walkway, to the hotel. Instead, you'll find yourself walking up a hill at the side of the hotel past the garage/delivery area which takes around a minute door to door. Maybe that doesn't sound too bad but on a blustery, rainy October day will you be in your spa gown?

The hotel also offer a child listening service which appealed to us; we were really looking forward to dining out together no matter how brief. However, we didn't feel confident with the systems in place and ended up staying in every night with room service! I'll try to explain. The service has a couple of features - you can engage an intercom that reception will listen in on for any noise. If noise persisted you get paged.. Whilst this may sound ok to some, I think I would have preferred dedicated listening staff. The other safety/security feature is a door alarm you can engage when leaving the room. According to the instructions, if the sensor is triggered and not disabled within 30 seconds reception will be alerted. Firstly, I think 30 seconds is a very long time for an intruder to have access to your room. Secondly, I'm no expert but the system seemed to be some sort of phone dialer/alerter - what happens if the plug is pulled? In addition to these issues, I just don't think I'd considered (or understood) how separate the apartments were from the hotel. When we stayed they were mainly empty - would you leave your child alone in a separate building in this scenario? I'm not sure I'd do it in the hotel either since reception is hidden away and not immediately on the main entry door.

All other things related to kids at the hotel I must say are very good. The creche facilities are excellent and the staff in there were very good. The soft play room is awesome, I had a great time in there! There also looked like some good outdoor play stuff too but given the time of year and age of our child we didn't use it. I would also like to say that most staff were very engaging and pleasant to out toddler, especially at meal times.

Meals and food for kids at the hotel is very good indeed. They are completely catered for - a range of foods, healthy (and unhealthy) buffet nibbles, bibs, cups, cutlery - you name it. Basically, just turn up with them without any of the usual kit and you'll be ok. Childrens tea time between 4-6 is a great idea - the cafe is just taken up by the kids - choose to have some buffet nibbles and/or a hot meal. We were regulars.

For adults, I would say the food is also very good. As I mentioned before we didn't go to dinner in the Cafe or the Herring so I can't comment on the atmosphere but the food we got from the cafe as room service was very good. We didn't try the Herring, it felt too posh/inappropriate for room service! Breakfast was the star for me though. Great ingredients cooked really well; one of the best hotel breakfasts I've had.

Service levels at the hotel I found mixed. Most staff were very good and the occasional one or two were average. However I did feel (like some other reviewers) that customers were not always considered as much as they should be. Some examples - performing maintenance on the apartment whilst we were in it. Ok, so maybe we're out of main season in October but I don't expect (a) someone to be painting outside the patio window and (b) someone 'resetting' the lock on the apartment door, opening it whilst we were in there unannounced. I also pre-ordered flowers and a cake for my wifes birthday as a suprise before we arrived at the hotel. Once we were there I confirmed the arrangements and had to adjust some mistakes on what i had specified. On the day I did get the floweres but the cake didn't arrive as I had requested. I complained the next day and got an apology (and a free cake since it had been made, just not delivered) but it's still an annoyance and not what I expected given the price of the stay.

In summary I think if you can eliminate some of the mistakes/assumptions I made and hopefully not experience some of the issues we had ,you may have a pleasant stay. I do think though that as an experience it's a little over-hyped and the quality of the hotel is nowhere near the price tag.

Room Tip: If you want to be close to the pool/spa choose a villa suite. Consider the apartments carefully - th...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank TravelTidge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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798 - 804 of 1,245 reviews

Reviewed 17 October 2013

The hotel is set in a nice location with good views. The spa is well equipped and is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the sea. There are a lot activities for children.

We unfortunately were very disappointed with our stay. Dinner in the Wild Cafe was poor quality and breakfast was certainly not 4* - I was surprised to have to pay extra (beyond our B&B rate) for some basic options such as salmon and pancakes. The hotel atmosphere is dreary, dated and customer service isn't a priority. Our room was stuffy and smelt damp. Whilst the spa was lovely, we were surprised not to be given robes to make visiting it more convenient. Wifi worked intermittently. We definitely got the impression that the hotel is trying to cut it's costs at the expense of customer experience.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank LizzieSerg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

My husband and I have just returned from a 3 night break at Bedruthan Steps. We stayed with our two dogs and took the option to pay £20 per night each, which in turn gave £30 towards food and hot drinks. This actually turned out not to be a good option for us and we did not achieve the £60 spend on any day. The room had a fantastic view of the sea and was ideally placed for a family, including 2 child beds. However for October almost £270 for two plus two dogs, per night was expensive. Breakfast was good with excellent home made muesli and jams. I think another time I would return to Watergate Bay which felt more value for money.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wendyladds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

My husband and I got married here at the beginning of October and I have to say everything was perfect. I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone wishing to stay here, whether for a short break or an event like a wedding.
Our rooms were spacious - getting a sea view room is well worth it - particularly if you're lucky with the weather, like we were. However, the service was what made it really special for us. All the staff were very professional and friendly - from the ladies on reception to the restaurant staff - nothing was too much trouble. The food was also amazing in the Wild Cafe, whether you go there for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The events centre was really versatile and we were able to tailor and decorate the space how we wanted. Anneliese, one of the events managers was really superb - we really couldn't have asked for more.
We didn't try out the spa facilities, but they looked amazing - we'll definitely be back to try them out!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Lynsie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights in a seaview room at the beginning of October at a cost of £155 per night. The hotel has a very high reputation for family holidays,with extensive facilities including indoor and outdoor pools,spa,children`s play area,childrens club,zip wire,games room etc.These facilities obviously cost a lot of money to install and maintain but for pensioners such as ourselves most of them were not particularly relevant. I considered this was quite expensive for a break in October and for us not very good value for money.

On the plus side the room was spacious,clean and had a good view over Mawgan Porth beach.The bed was comfortable.The buffet breakfast was reasonably good.

On the minus side there was no airconditioning(a portable fan was hardly the answer) and the location on the cliff meant that you had to drive to the beach.There was a rather tortuous unsigned 10 minute walk to find the coastal path to walk to Bedruthan Steps,about 1 mile away.
There are 2 restaurants but the Wild Cafe is really for families. When we wanted to eat in we used the Herring,which serves excellent food but at a fixed £30 per head for 2 courses.A more flexible restaurant for adults only would have been better for us.

The staff were mainly young,enthusiastic and helpful.

I would certainly recommend this hotel for families,but I think pensioners might find better valucourses.A more flexible restaurant for adults only would have been better for us.

Room Tip: A seaview room is really necessay if you do not want to overlook a car park.The second floor is bett...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank derek y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

We booked a spa break over a long weekend and I have to say were not disappointed. The location of the hotel is fantastic, spa is very relaxing and quality of the treatments was good. One of the best hotel breakfast I think I have experienced and the lunch and evening meals were of a very good standard. Whilst it is a family orientated hotel there are still plenty of areas which are adult only so you can relax away from the "younger" generation if that is what you want. In my opinon it caters for both familys and adults well. Definately recommend taking a surf lesson from Nick at the surf shack if you are a beginner! We have already booked a stay again for next yr

Room Tip: Has to be sea facing - stunnig view over the bay and cliffs beyond
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gowersi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

We spent a fantastic couple of days on a spa break in September. We came away feeling really chilled out and felt we had been away for a lot longer. The hotel feels so relaxed and had a wonderful atmosphere. All the staff were lovely and the food and facilities were very good. We can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Caroline H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bedruthan Hotel & Spa

Address: | Trenance, Mawgan Porth TR8 4BU, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Mawgan Porth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Mawgan Porth
Price Range: £145 - £216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Bedruthan Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 100
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

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