We’ve just returned from a fabulous 10 night stay at the Esplanade Hotel, our third visit in as many years and without a doubt the best yet. I cannot fault any aspect of the hotel, service, staff or food during the entire period we were there, which is quite an achievement.
Without wanting to sound pompous I stay in hotels regularly on business trips including some upmarket brands and often find a combination of indifference and incompetence even on a single overnight stopover. So to stay 10 days without a single hitch with the room, facilities, food or service is quite remarkable and testament to how well run this hotel is.
We went for the half board option including dinner which surprisingly few people seem to opt for. The advantage of doing so is a reserved table for breakfast and dinner with a sea view throughout your stay – if you are B & B you’ll be allocated a table on arrival which may or may be near the window so you won’t get the benefit of the glorious views of Fistral Beach. While it is probably cheaper to eat out elsewhere in Newquay you don’t have the sense of occasion of a varied 3 course meal every night, and our 2 children love trying new things as they are allowed to eat from the adult menu or the dedicated children’s one (which is the usual nuggets/pizza/pasta).
We found the food to be of a consistently high standard and well presented – there is a choice of 3-4 starters, mains and desserts every night which rotates weekly (so does get slightly repetitive if you are staying more than a week). There’s also an option to have steaks at a reasonable supplement – The fillet steak was delicious and worth the extra. Breakfasts were also extremely good with decent quality bacon and sausages. However, the outstanding aspect was the service – having found in previous years that the service deteriorated a little at peak times resulting in queues, delays or difficulties attracting attention, everything worked like clockwork on this visit. Every order was correct, every meal arrived hot and without undue delay, and all breakfast buffet items were replenished regularly. The ketchup had even been upgraded from a rather vinegary substitute to a Heinz-like quality. Kenny the restaurant manager deserves great credit for keeping everything running smoothly despite the hotel being packed over the August bank holiday weekend. He’d recently been promoted and seemed to be keeping everyone on task throughout. Our waiter Tom was also friendly and attentive, as were all the other restaurant staff.
Elsewhere, the reception staff were extremely efficient and welcoming – nothing was too much trouble and they were always available to offer help and advice – and the very lovely manager Gemma was also always on hand to oversee proceedings and for a friendly chat. I think the hotel is pretty good value considering that our 10 night stay including D,B & B for a family of four was under £2,000, if you compare that to a stay in a mid-range holiday park over the same period it would be around £1,500 for 7 night’s accommodation before even thinking about food and you’d have to do all the same chores as at home. At the Esplanade we all get to kick back and relax and enjoy time together as a family which for me is what holidays are all about.
The bar staff were all great , in particular Vicky who lined up our regular drinks orders and always chatted about our day even though it must be pretty dull listening to weather / bucket and spade related exploits every night – she also chatted to our children when they ordered soft drinks which made them feel very important.
We request the same room (238) each year which is at the back of the hotel but suits us fine – although it doesn’t have the sea views you get these at mealtimes or from the lounge instead. We like this room as it has a separate alcove with twin rather than bunk beds for our children (so they don’t wake each other up), is on the top floor (no thumping about from the people above) and has a large double bed for us (I hate small double beds on holiday as I never sleep well).
The only gripe I could come up with is not really the fault of the hotel – one of the evening entertainers (Bob Seymour) was a bit of a diva and didn’t like the small group of children dancing and playing games during his performance – he had a hissy fit and told them twice quite rudely to go and play outside which we felt was unnecessary considering he was playing a family hotel during the school summer holidays, and especially given that 90% of the audience were the parents of the “offending” children. He should perhaps have moved the table football outside beforehand if he didn’t want anyone playing on it during his act.
The other entertainment was all good – Glenn the bar manager did bingo and a quiz with prizes for the kids – Mr Wacky was funnier than his name suggests although again did the same act each week, and there were plenty of kid’s activities (treasure hunts etc) although I believe these are only run during peak periods.
The hotel is a little unusual in that it understandably wants to appeal to all markets so while it is a family friendly hotel you will also find couples on romantic breaks and couch tours coming and going – resulting in some children (OK, ours) also getting told off by a grumpy German who clearly felt that all children should be in bed or silenced by 9.30pm!
Don’t be put off by concerns over parking – as I say we’ve been 3 years running over the August bank holiday weekend and never failed to find a space within 50 feet of the hotel. As long as you are coming back from a day out around 5pm or later when the day trippers are heading home it’s fine.
Overall, there are very few hotels or holidays we have enjoyed as much as our stays at the Esplanade and I hope that we’ll continue coming here each year for as long as it stays that way or until our children no longer want to come with us!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Esplanade Hotel is a contemporary family-focused hotel overlooking the world-famous Fistral Beach in Newquay with stunning views from inside and out. The Hotel is more than just a place to sleep - it's a place where you can enjoy quality family holidays on the North Cornwall coast; from splashing about in the heated indoor pool and dining together in the informal family-friendly Ocean View Restaurant to exploring the indoor and outdoor play areas or chilling out in the reception lounge whilst soaking up the view and enjoying a coffee. The hotel is also home to the Quiksilver Surf School and all guests receive discounted surf lessons and equipment hire- the Esplanade Hotel really does have something for all the family! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Esplanade Hotel Newquay
- The Esplanade Hotel Newquay, Cornwall