Upon arrival a uniformed doorman opened my partner’s door of the taxi but made no further attempt to help us. We were not offered assistance with luggage and were cursorily waved in the direction of reception. This was our first visit and the porch and entrance hall was congested by a large wedding party so it would have been useful to have been navigated through that. Instead we were made to feel that we were an inconvenience.
Having arrived at 12.45 our priority was lunch but thanks to said wedding the main bar was unavailable, as was the garden beyond. We were dispatched to the Spa Bar, where the terrace had a view of a mini golf course. To quote the hotel website “sea views will take your breath away.” I can confirm that the view of the mini golf course from the terrace of the Spa Bar does not take one’s breath away.
Again the wedding had precedence over hotel guests. When later we were able to inspect the grounds freely, we found a nice sea view from the garden to which we had been denied access. Alas, much of the rest of the 250 acres is dominated by an 18-hole “championship” golf course.
We should have been warned that this is a place to go for golf, mini golf, swimming pools, a spa, even on our upper floor (where overnight a chid’s buggy was parked in the main corridor) a nail salon; for character, sophistication and elegant surroundings there are other destinations in the area.
My partner ordered an omelette for lunch; the ingredients were fine but, not having been cooked properly, it was dry on top. I ordered the mussels and bread. Although this was Cornwall there were no mussels available. I ordered a crab sandwich instead. When it arrived a lady at the next table said, “I had one of those yesterday - all I could taste was mango and mayo: can you taste any crab?” She had a point.
Wishing to refill our glasses, we discovered that staff standing nearby were more attentive to each other than to the needs of their customers. A gentleman at the next table advised us that the only way to avoid frustration was to go to the bar oneself. The remainder of our stay confirmed that to be the case.
Once able to access our room the telephone didn’t work, the kettle lid didn’t close and one of our packets of complimentary biscuits had been opened, to be robbed of half its content. The sea view from the room was nice enough but by now we had had enough of a supposed four star hotel and headed out elsewhere. One shudders to think what an evening meal here might have been like...
Returning around 10.00 pm we found our room to have been turned down. The cushions and pillows had been rearranged and a chocolate plonked on each pillow - I say plonked since there had been no attempt to smooth out the pillows beforehand. I am not worried either way about a turn down service but if you are going to do it, do it properly. To me that vignette sums up our entire experience of the Carlyon Bay Hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- The Carlyon Bay Hotel St Austell
- Carlyon Bay St Austell
- Carlyon Bay Hotel St Austell
- The Carlyon Bay Cornwall/St Austell