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“An expensive treat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Carlyon Bay

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The Carlyon Bay
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Sea Road, St Austell PL25 3RD, England   |  
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Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in St Austell
Winchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“An expensive treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2011

I stayed last weekend with my son (14) we booked at the last minute and had a very good reduction on usual price. The room, although at the back so no sea view, was very pleasant with comfy beds, well equiped and very clean, toileteries and tea and coffee equipment, all the things you expect at this price including choccy on the pillow and beds turned down at night. Large car park and porter to assist with cases. Hotel very well maintained and facilities included both indoor and outdoor pool with spa area, we made good use of both although my son was unable to use the gym (over 18 only) this was a shame he would have been happy to undergo an induction if necessary. Outdoor pool and terrace was fantstic in the sun, wonderful views of the bay and out to sea and the waiter service by the pool was speedy and efficient. Lots of nice padded sun beds and fluffy towels to use. Both pools very clean and very warm, small childrens pool for very young ones. Food was as always at Brend Hotels very good, we enjoyed our evening meal very much, we started with a cocktail in the bar and then into the restaurant, not as formal as other Brend hotels quite a few chaps not wearing a tie or jacket, bit of a shame, but very friendly staff . A very pleasant stay, expensive for the extras but for a treat is was great. Shame its so far from home or we would return sooner. Thanks Carlyon for a great end to our trip around Devon and Cornwall.

Room Tip: Back rooms look over carpark. Part of the experience is the view of the bay. Book DBB if pos to kee...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Guest Relations Manager at The Carlyon Bay, responded to this review, September 13, 2011
What a lovely review. It is always a pleasure to welcome back guests of Brend Hotels. We were very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. We apologise that your son was unable to make use of the gym, our health and safety policy will not allow under 18`s to use the gym apparatus. I hope this did not cause too much of an inconvenience for you. We hope that you enjoyed your trip around the West Country and come to visit us again in the future.
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726 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (288)
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2011

We got married at the hotel and the day could not have been any better. From the moment we checked in, till the time we left, the entire service was 5 star. The staff could not have been any more helpful or professional and even popped out to get props for our entertainment staff (The Showwaiters). The hotel and grounds were beautiful and spotlessly clean. The spa and pool were spot on and the treatments I had were amazing. The food was out of this world (even though they were catering for over 80 guests) and I have never tasted sticky toffee pudding like it! The setting is also incredible with the hotel set high on a cliff overlooking the ocean and the very Cornish Charlestown a 15 minute walk away. It is expensive but you definitely get what you pay for and they do stick to their smart clothes dining rule so be aware of that before you go. Overall an incredible experience and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Guest Relations Manager at The Carlyon Bay, responded to this review, September 13, 2011
Firstly we would like to say congratulations to you both and thank you for such a fantastic review. It is always very important to us that our guests enjoy their stay, but even more so when it is for such a special celebration. Thank you for taking the time to leave your review, we will look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
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liondon
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

A well run, if slightly prentious, hotel. Ideal for families. Lots of amenities and facilities. However...staff, all of whom are anxious to please, should try and avoid being too mechanical. An example being the overuse of the phrase "no problem" where 'its a pleasure' is more appropriate and certainly the correct response to "thank you".The staff do work extremely hard, but bringing only 1 boiled egg (surely 2?) without thinking to bring a spoon?
On the very positive side, our problem with a collapsed mattress was handled very efficiently and courteously by all involved, from the chambermaid right up to managemernt level , to our complete satisfaction.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Guest Relations Manager at The Carlyon Bay, responded to this review, September 13, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. Your comments are extremely valuable and will help to improve the service that we deliver. We pride ourselves on giving outstanding service and we would not be able to achieve this without the feedback from our guests. We would appreciate the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel in the future.
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Staffordshire
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

We stayed for 3 nights and really enjoyed the hotel and also exploring the area.

The Lost Gardens, Fowey and Megavissey are a must see and are highly recommended.

This is a good quality English hotel in a great location.The hotel itself is spotlessly clean and well maintained with a good size, extremely comfortable lounge and bar area and a well appointed restaurant.
The staff at all touch points are pleasant, helpful and accommodating.
Leisure facilities exceeded my expectations and I made regular use of the spa and also played the 18 hole golf course which was simply spectacular in terms of the views across the cliffs and the sea.
The food is fairly good with a wide selection at dinner (the Al a Carte option however is confusing and is a little overpriced as a supplementary cost) and the wine is reasonably priced. Breakfast again offers choice and is well presented but I feel that the hot buffet needed attention as the food wasn't quite hot enough on a couple of occasions.
We would definitely visit again as we enjoyed the overall experience.

Room Tip: Get a room with a sea view and explore a package that is inclusive to help control the costs.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Guest Relations Manager at The Carlyon Bay, responded to this review, September 13, 2011
Thank you for leaving your review, it always great to hear that our guests have enjoyed their stay and even more so when the wish to return. Your comments are always well received. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Carlyon Bay Hotel in the future.
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Tring, Herts
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

Our party varied in age from 15 - 80 and we are regular visitors to The Carlyon Bay Hotel. Whilst we all rate the service received in previous years we were agreed that this year was the best ever! Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff and the Management Team were also very 'hands on'. Our daughter has just started a bar job and to our surprise the hotel arranged for her to make two cocktails on her first evening, and on later evenings to open and pour the wine, which was all very useful experience and a very thoughtful touch to involve a teenager in this way.

The Spa is much better now that it has been separated from the indoor pool - far cooler and quieter. Three of our party enjoyed Spa treatments and others used the gym - small but reasonably well equipped.

The main golf course is excellent and was in very good condition with lovely views across the bay - ideal for walking as well. The nine hole pitch and putt is not easy but is fun for all ages - a bit of TLC needed in places but nothing major.

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools both popular, as were the tennis courts - you need to book the court but we never had a problem.

The food is not cheap but we felt the Menu in the Bay View was better than in previous years with more choice for the traditional diner, whilst allowing creativity with some dishes. We ate in the Taste restaurant once - fabulous food but I agree with a previous review that the £20 allowance is not really sufficient, given that the main courses average £20 or so. I think two courses should be allowed in place of the Bay View menu.

We also greatly missed Margaret, who has been an institution at Carlyon Bay for almost 50 years - her serving 'table' seemed very empty.

The hotel is kept immaculate and those cleaning the rooms were quite happy with us popping back on occasions - all very friendly and cheerful.

We visited Fowey, which is close by, and walked to Charlestown, where you can see some of the traditional ships, or hire a canoe. The Eden Project and Heligan are close by and we went body boarding in Mawgan Porth - lots to do if you like trips out.

A great week away - we keep wondering if it will be our last year with 'the Grandchildren' as they grow older, and it is to the hotel's credit that they are keen to return each year. They enjoyed archery and laser shooting and we had a reasonable go at the Quiz - all good fun and much enjoyed. No, it's not cheap, but it is well set up to enjoy some family time, although I'm still hoping for a group of girls to travel down for a few days golf, plus R+R!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Guest Relations Manager at The Carlyon Bay, responded to this review, September 13, 2011
What a wonderful review, thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback. We are very pleased to hear that you found that the service you received was better than ever before. We are always looking at ways of maintaining our high level of service. Positive feedback is a great way of motivating our staff, all the comments that we receive are passed on to the departments involved. With regards to Margaret, as i am sure that you will understand, Margaret was a lady that was truly irreplaceable and we miss her very much. We do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future, hopefully your daughter has settled into her new role and enjoyed her training session here at Carlyon Bay.
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Worcester
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

My wife & two boys aged 14 & 17 spent one week here at a cost in excess of £3,000 so we expected a high quality experience. The hotel is very good in many respects - the standard of cleanliness is high, our two connecting rooms were fine, the Spa facilities are good, and the 18 hole golf course is very good for the reasonably proficient golfer (too difficult for non handicappers but at least they allow you to play without a handicap). The pitch and put course could do with better upkeep - the greens are average, the bunkers have insufficient sand, and two of the raised tee off platforms were completely rotten and in need of urgent replacement.
There was evening entertainment of a reasonable standard but daily activities although available were not adequately publicized (falconry, clay pigeon shooting etc) and we were unaware of them until too late to take advantage.
Staff were friendly in the main and reasonably efficient.
The food was a conundrum - the cooked breakfasts were fine but fruit & cereals, bread roll selection was poor. There was no skimmed milk freely available.
My main gripe was with the evening food which was advertised in the main restaurant at £38. My first main course (rib of beef) was very poor and I complained to the general manager after the meal and in fairness he said I could order a la carte items at no extra cost in order to keep me happy, he also said that we could use the Taste restaurant at no extra food cost. He also said that the food was often complimented on so I did wonder if I was just unlucky with my first meal. We ate in the main restaurant 6 times & only once in the Taste restaurant which was a bit lacking in atmosphere and is darkly lit which would be fine in winter but not high summer. Some meals were better than others but there were several complaints from fellow diners about the main chicken course on our last night. The vegetables were always poor. Occasionally some courses were very good and the scallops starter one day was excellent. Overall the food was of 2/3 star standard which simply is not good enough when you are looking at a £38 menu. Furthermore many items were a la carte when they surely could be incorporated within a £38 cost. With regards to the Taste restaurant you are only given £20 towards the cost of your meal when on half board basis - this was very miserly in view of the cost of the items on the Taste menu. I conclude that Brend Hotels are penny pinching in this vital area of customer satisfaction.
The standard of food at similar hotels - Woolacombe Bay Hotel or Thurlestone Hotel is far higher. The meal we had at The Blue Plate Restaurant, Downderry a day before arriving at Carlyon was superb (three courses at £19).
In summary I doubt I will return to Carlyon or try other Brend hotels but for many people Carlyon Bay will be a good choice of hotel for seeing Charlestown, the Eden project, Lost Gardens of Heligan (fantastic). Perhaps stay on B & B terms and eat out most nights.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Guest Relations Manager at The Carlyon Bay, responded to this review, August 6, 2011
We appreciate we’re not the cheapest hotel in the area, we like to think that the price that we charge reflects the standard of service we deliver to our guests. We were very happy to hear that you were impressed by the standard of cleanliness, hotel rooms and spa facilities that we offer. Your comments with regards to our 18 hole golf course was much appreciated, however we will make our green keepers aware of your comments concerning our 9 hole approach course. We were concerned that you did not enjoy your dining experience on the first night of your stay, I can assure you that if you did choose to re visit us here at The Carlyon Bay Hotel, we would ensure every effort was made to exceed your expectations. I would like to thank you for taking the time to leave your review, Customer feedback is essentials to us, we aim to deliver exceptional customer service and your comments will help us to do that. We would be grateful of the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel in the future.
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Epsom, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

We have been to this hotel several times over the past ten years, most recently spending a few days there, on db &b terms, earlier this week. The fact that we keep going back there suggests we like it a lot. It is in fact the kind of hotel that does attract people back time after time.

It is part of the Brend Chain. Not an impersonal corporate chain but a family business that confines its operations to Devon and Cornwall. It is old-fashioned in the best sense; it does keep up with the times but does not try to - dreadful word - 'modernize'. It is quite a large hotel yet the atmosphere is cosy and staff are invariably friendly. The grounds are beautiful and immaculately kept by their hardworking and affable gardener. July is especially beautiful as there are a lot of hydrangeas in bloom, both in the hotel grounds and all along Sea Road, where the hotel is located. There seems -something that is increasingly rare these days - to be a downward loyalty to, not just the exepectation of upward loyalty from, the staff. For example during earlier stays coffee in the lounge was served by the charming, but ever so slightly bossy, Margaret, who kept going well into her seventies though sadly she recently died. We miss her.

Meals are invariably excellent. During our three night stay I enjoyed, successively, guinea fowl, 24 hour cooked beef and spiced belly of pork We dined in the Bay View Restaurant which offers excellent views over the Bay from which the hotel is named. Ian, the restaurant manager who has been in the post for a number of years, is very hands on and makes a point of getting to know his clientele.

There is a swimming pool and a gym and of course St Austell is very well placed as a base for exploring the beautiful county of Cornwall. All parts of it are within easy reach if one is driving.

The only jarring note is the rather bossy notices about saving the environment. We are, I must stress, ourselves serious about saving the planet so applaud the hotel for doing its best to be eco-friendly. It is irritating nevertheless to find a notice in ones bedroom which among other things tells one that one uses a third of the amount of water if one showers rather than has a bath. Since we enjoy soaking in a bath, and are not much into showering, we rather resent attempts to make us feel guilty in this regard. This is really a niggle however and we fully expect to be back at the Carlyon Bay.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Owner at The Carlyon Bay, responded to this review, August 8, 2011
Firstly I would just like to say thank you for such a lovely review. We were very pleased to hear that you continue to enjoy your stay year after year hear at Carlyon Bay. Positive feedback has a profoundly motivational effect on team. With regards to your comments on our green notice, it is displayed purely to create awareness and we apologize if it sounded a little bossy! We are also very sad to have lost Margaret this year, I can assure you that that her memory still lives on here at The Carlyon Bay Hotel and will for many years to come, she was a true asset to our Hotel. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to our hotel in the future.

Mr Justin Brend
Director
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Additional Information about The Carlyon Bay

Address: Sea Road, St Austell PL25 3RD, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > St Austell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in St Austell
#4 Family Hotel in St Austell
#4 Romantic Hotel in St Austell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Carlyon Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 72
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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 St Austell, Cornwall

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