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St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa
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1,497 - 1,502 of 1,598 reviews
Reviewed September 7, 2009

We were desperate, there was torrential rain in St Ives the day we phoned the Porthminster. I really wanted somewhere I could easily park, so was happy when they said there was parking.

The room was a bit tired and shabby, layers of wallpaper coming away, in need of refurbishment and I wondered if it was the same hotel photographed for the website. Still, it wasn't raining inside the room, so that was good.

When I looked down at the carpark when we planned to go out again about 5pm I was surprised to see my car blocked in. When I went downstairs to reception I was told that someone would be out soon to move the cars that were blocking mine. That took half an hour. If I had been told about this ridiculous system I wouldn't have stayed here. The next morning I was asked to move my car for someone else. I could, of course have left my cars keys with someone in reception to move it for me, but that also seemed a laughable way to get so called parking. I was fuming at the time and the staff didn't seem to even acknowledge that this bizarre system was anything other than normal.

The dining room was lovely with amazing views of the beach. The breakfast was nice, when it arrived. Having had a conversation with the waiter about what the vegetarian breakfast contained and ordering a vegetarian breakfast for my partner, a meat-filled breakfast arrived. This was replaced eventually by a vegetarian breakfast. I had to ask for my own breakfast to be reheated so that I could eat at the same time as my partner.

My partner's debit card details were taken at the time of booking, but he was not told that the full amount would be taken from his card, rather than just the details being taken.

Nice lift. Nice waiter. Looked like a nice menu and had the car moving business been any slower we'd have stayed been trapped there for an evening meal.

I would have said all this at the time I checked out, but no-one asked how our stay had been.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ilikehottoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PorthminsterManager, Manager at St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2009

Dear ilikehottoast

Thank you for your review.

As you have pointed out you booked on the day of arrival and as such we only had our last let room available, this being St Ives in August.

As I have expressed inexhaustively on this site the rooms requiring refurbishment are diminishing, by Christmas all will be entirely refurbished.
I note you neither asked to move, to receive a discounted rate nor check out early. This surprises me considering your comments?

I understand our parking arrangments are not perfect, but would add that unlike a great many hotels in the region we do, at least, have a car park. The reason your car was blocked in was due to your not providing your keys to the attendant when he asked (to avoid this exact issue)

I am pleased you enjoyed the restaurant, the breakfast, our antique lift and the location.

If you would care to contact me directly I would like to attempt to make amends for the standard of accommodation provided to you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2009

Our stay in the Porthminster was absolutely fantastic - as a young family the amenties and the location of this hotel offers are perfect - indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, games room etc. The beach at the foot of the hotel (just around the corner from St Ives bay) is a real treasure - I honestly didn't think holidays in England could be this good - it was safe, clean, good fun (there were lots of activities running while we were there) and had good food in the cafes that are there - even the public that used the beach were pleasant - there were some quite incredible sandcastles that put me to shame!!! The hotel is perfectly placed, not only with this fantastic beach, but it is also about 1/2 mile from noise of the pleasantly bustling St Ives.....early nights with children don't pose a problem. Our sea view room was a really good size, recently refurbished, very clean - and what a view! Equally, the breakfast and dining rooms overlooked the bay - so each day had it's own terrific start (the breakfasts by the way are excellent!). I am surprised by some of the negative reviews here - The hotel is clearly undergoing some unobtrusive work to modernise the common areas, sympathetic to it's late Victorian (I assume) roots - which previous refurbishments may have ignored. The management are clearly working hard to restore this 'grand old lady' to her former glory - but in the meantime the friendly staff, the hotel's obvious assets and the great food all mean that this is a fantastic place to stay. I had to book this hotel after an accident I had suffered meant that I couldn't fly and had to stay in the UK this year - I will definitely be booking the Porthminster in the future, as my faith in UK holidays has been completely restored - we really had such a perfect break and thought that Cornwall itself was wonderful!! PS - if you're driving down from London make sure you stop off for breakfast at Heston Blumenthal's Little Chef in Popham - it really is as good as you think it's going to be!!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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Thank nick45king
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2009

Tired 80s style rooms, the beds were so soft you sink into them, rooms on the road side are very noisy as the hotel is on a busy intersection. Room prices are PER PERSON so very overpriced and almost a con.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank UKtraveler995345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PorthminsterManager, Manager at St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 1, 2009

Dear UKtraveler995345

Thank you for your review.

I am sorry that you seemingly misinterpreted our tariff. I can guarantee that the prices charged are completely in line with, or indeed better than, all the hotels within St. Ives during the peak summer season.

I am also surprised that you expected a non road-side room? You did book a 'standard' room, all of which are (as stated) non sea view and 4 of which are due for refurbishment.

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Reviewed August 27, 2009

The Porthminster could well have refurbished rooms, as the management claim. The fact is that we ended up in a very poor room indeed: Room 301 to be exact. The faded decor of the bed room was depressing. I took photographs of the paint peeling from the ceiling of the bathroom. However, the technology does not yet exist to capture the odour coming off the bathroom carpet. The urine of an incontinent cat is the closest I can get. The charge for that room: £135 per night.

If as management state, in response to other complaints, that the hotel is being refurbished then management should lower the prices of the un-refurbished rooms or close them all together.

However, we did not get the idea that there was a great deal of refurbishment going on. The public areas are shabby. There is no Internet access. "We are waiting for a router, !" was the response. The lift looks as though it was last used by Neville Chamberlain.

The final indignity was when we received a bill that obviously wrong. We were in a queue with others who not only had incorrect bills but serious complaints about the state of their rooms.

The one bright feature is the staff. They are keen and helpful. It is a pity that they have to work under management devised systems that are obviously failing.

This could be a great hotel. It is well positioned and has an interesting history. £135 per night should entitle you to something better than a grubby substandard room.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank JKTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PorthminsterManager, Manager at St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 1, 2009

Dear JKTravel

Thank you for your review.

Whilst I would agree that room 301 is in need of refurbishment, I cannot agree that the room smells, our standards of cleanliness are of absolute paramount importance.

I am cheered that you appreciated the quality of the staff and I am sure you would agree that once the hotel refurbishment is complete we will have a truely special hotel, as you point out the location and history are also second to none.

I would be delighted to invite you back when our refurbishments are complete (we had to put them on hold through August for obvious reasons) so If you would care to get in touch with me I would be delighted to make try to make amends for your disappointment you felt over the quality of room provided to you last week.

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Reviewed August 22, 2009

We booked on-line and recieved a confirmation # and email. When we arrived at 9pm after a nine hour train ride we were told that the hotel was full and that our reservation was for the following week (when we would have been home for three days). The receptionist did find us a hotel down the street at 1 1/2 times the price. That evening as we walked past the hotel there was a sign outside advertising available rooms. Our intent was to stay four nights but we were so discouraged we left after two.

MnB

Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
1  Thank NovaScotiaMnB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PorthminsterManager, Manager at St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2009

Dear NovaScotiaMnB

Thank you for sharing your experience, what a great shame you didn't get to stay with us.

As you would expect there are one or two facts which I feel duty bound to point out regarding the alledged mishandling of your reservation.

As you booked through an online agent there is a substantial paper trail, all of which is referencing a booking for Tuesday 18th August for 4 nights.

As much as I am sorry you got your dates wrong, I cannot see how this can be levied at us as our fault? You booked for the 18th and this is when we booked you in for, the fact that you turned up on the 14th is not our fault!

Secondly we struggled to find you any other hotel accommodation, this being when the town is at capacity. The receptionist spent a great deal of time trying to help to find you a room and I am surprised you didn't feel more grateful especially considering we were not at fault.

Our sign is a permanent feature which states 'Stunning Sea View Rooms Available' this is a generic statement and not date specific. We were fully booked for the duration of your intended visit.

Should you wish to discuss anything here in I would be delighted to hear from you.

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