We booked this hotel for a Valentine's break for just under £100 for a superior room with breakfast. I last stayed here many, many years ago. I must add I have stayed in many different types of accommodation - from some very basic hostels to some top hotels in many different parts of the world so I have a rough idea of what you would expect for that price, even for a busy weekend.
We checked in an hour early and were allocated room 215. Our car keys were handed over to reception in case of any parking difficulties within the small car park opposite. We took the charming old lift up to the floor and entered through one set of doors, through another, and onto a freezing cold, creepy corridor with stripped wallpaper. I have stayed in hotels that are being refurbished before- it usually turns out to be fine - as they normally allocate you to a different part of the building- not in this case.
We opened the door to a freezing cold room with a very nice sea view and and a fairly old good luck symbol from a seagull on the sash window. There was a small heater in the corner which I turned on before we started to settle in. Above the heater was a battered hospitality shelf- with teas, a good coffee and a couple of biscuits - much like you'd expect in a basic b and b. There was one small bottle of mineral water on the dressing table with a small sign next to it explaining that the running water in the room was 'non potable'. There were two small bedside lights, one of which had a broken bulb.
The tiny tv was hooked up to a wall, with a trail of wires around it, and there was no clock, digital or analogue, anywhere in the room. An iron and ironing board were provided.
I looked at the fire route plan on the back of the door and then noticed the pretty art deco symbol that to me, used to symbolise the style and atmosphere of the hotel.
The bathroom was basic but fine, with slightly tatty towels, two cheap looking shower gels, one tiny soap and two basic sachets of shampoo. There were no shower caps, body lotions etc.
The hotel booklet had the basic stationery but with no pen, only a tiny pencil (?) and I noticed there was no customer comments/ survey slip.
There were two twin beds, zipped together. They were comfy, unlike the amazingly lumpy pillows and the two unattached headboards that slammed against the wall everytime you sat against them. There were also two small comfy chairs, with a cushion each. There were plently of coathangers in the wardrobe, and a basic blanket should you get cold in the night. If this was a superior room, I wondered what the standard rooms were like.
We went downstairs and asked for the lightbulb to be replaced and for another bottle of water, and this was done. We also took advantage of the 'Tate' card scheme, where you can pay a returnable deposit of £10 and have free entry to the Tate gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum.
St. Ives is lovely, and we really, really enjoyed our time there in spite of the hotel. There is plenty to see and do, lovely shops and places to eat. We decided not to eat in the hotel restaurant - I guess I thought if the room was basic then perhaps the food would be also. We did try to buy a coffee in the bar downstairs later on in the evening, but this could not be done, I can't remember why.
My breakfast was fine (scrambled eggs and smoked salmon) and my husband's fry up was edible, but of rather basic quality.
As we checked out, to add insult to injury, I noticed the 1st floor corridor rooms - that particular corridor looked totally normal (and warm!).
We weren't asked if we enjoyed our stay on checking out. I noticed a few smiles from the staff but not many from the customers during the stay.
I didn't mention my feelings during the stay, as to be honest, I was a bit embarrassed to think they thought the room standard was perfectly acceptable for the price.
Don't let this review put you off visiting St. Ives - it is really worth visiting now as it was all those years ago - just don't stay at the Porthminster for the time being- until perhaps the refurbishment has been completed in full.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel is directly above Porthminster beach, a position which gives stunning views across the water. Watch as the waves lap against the famous Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance and feel your troubles disappear. Explore the local harbour, as you meander through the cobbled streets, and then return for dinner at the Harbour Restaurant, serving up seasonal and local food, along with stunning sea views. The Harbour Spa will provide the perfect hideaway, as you indulge in a soothing treatment and then unwind by the pool, gazing out to sea from the comfort of a deeply relaxing and luxurious Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porthminster Hotel St Ives
- Porthminster St Ives
- St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa St Ives, Cornwall