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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, LateRooms, Odigeo, Ebookers and HotelsClick so you can book your Bedruthan Hotel & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Bedruthan Steps Mawgan Porth
- Hotel Bedruthan Steps
- Bedruthan Steps Hotel
- Bedruthan Hotel & Spa Cornwall/Mawgan Porth