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“A Great Job” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Idle Rocks

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The Idle Rocks
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in St Mawes
Certificate of Excellence
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A Great Job”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

Having visited St Mawes a few times in recent years it was great to see that the Idle Rocks has been brought up to the standard that its fantastic position deserves. We visited for drinks, lunch and dinner and found the food excellent and service good. It will no doubt take a bit of time to fully gel a new team but the signs of a great hotel are there in the making.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TGJR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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359 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Montego Bay, Saint James, Jamaica
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2013

I really like Idle Rocks it's such a beautiful building, I also really like the location and the views. I would recommend you to try the muscles that is one of my favorites meals to have. I also like the lighting in the bar and restaurant. The service is great, the waitresses are polite and on task.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Aurora B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

The recent major refurbishment has transformed this property and the hotel now presents a serious alternative to Hotel Tresanton just up the road which was the only real upmarket property in town until Idle Rocks reopened this summer. Idle Rocks has probably the best location in St Mawes being actually adjacent to the sea rather than across the road, which is the case elsewhere. The new décor is fresh and clean and very “seaside” with bright fresh colours, but with great style. Most of the rooms are harbourside and all these rooms have magnificent sea views. However please note none of the rooms at Idle Rocks are very big given the buildings history and constraints. However how much time do you spend in a hotel room anyway? It may be worthwhile looking at the rooms that face the village as they are considerably cheaper (well relatively speaking as this is not a cheap hotel!). The room called “Hideaway” also has quite a lot of space plus a dressing area and a very large bathroom but no sea view. If that doesn’t bother you it would be an excellent alternative choice and considerably cheaper. All the public areas (lounge, bar and restaurant) have the fantastic view in any case. You also understandably pay a premium for the sea facing rooms. On warm days you can take meals including breakfast and afternoon tea and evening drinks out on the sea terrace which has simply stunning views.
In the rooms they have fitted very comfortable Hypnos beds and there are also lots of delightful little touches such as being escorted to the room and able to check in to your room by way of their IPad system so no hanging around in reception on arrival.
Our room not only had Tea making facilities but also a Nespresso Coffee machine, an in-room safe and a mini bar (not all do so due to size issues, I would advise you check when booking if these are important to you). Lots of hanging space with good sized proper coathangers – again I guess they presume their guests aren’t planning to steal them anyway! Loads of plentiful different teas to choose from with fresh milk in the fridge and also complimentary chilled filtered water that is also replenished at the excellent turndown service each evening.
The bathrooms are well appointed with nice big fluffy bathsheets and plenty of towels. Aromatherapy Associates toiletries are also plentiful and again in generous packs. Beware some rooms only have showers (albeit excellent rainforest ones). However again The Hideaway has both large bath and a separate walk in rainforest shower.
Other little touches include Roberts Radios, Flatscreen TVs, Sugar in mini kilner jars. Good fast wifi in both the rooms and public areas at no extra cost (hooray!!).
Breakfast is available pretty much anytime so don’t worry about coming down late and the breakfast buffet offers a splendid range of products, fresh fruits and fresh juices beautifully presented. The wide selection of hot dishes is cooked to order so is actually fresh…and hot...and delicious. Excellent coffee and teas and breads and jams and marmalades are also served in their little mini kilner jars.
Dinner in the restaurant was also of excellent quality, though the service, whilst very friendly and polite, was rather on the slow side, but guess that is just a teething issue that will soon be sorted out by Josie Simcox, the excellent General Manager, who is constantly buzzing around looking after guests assisted by Wendy Watts and their small team of charming staff. All in all a terrific experience and well worth trying.

Room Tip: The room called "Hideaway" doesnt have the sea view but it more than makes up by being muc...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GastroInn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

Hardly ever dined in the old Idle Rocks ... couldn't stand the carpet. We had high hopes of the smartly refurbished new one, and indeed it is a huge improvement. Their top attribute remains the divine location, literally at water's edge, and unbeatable in St. Mawes. However, they have a long, long way to go before reaching the standards of The Tresanton. Our waitress was sweet but embarrassed when we chose "Small bites" .... "They are very, very small" ... she warned. So I chose Idle Rocks Salad (£10). "Would you like chips or new potatoes?" Strange with salad, I thought, but I chose new potatoes, which turned out to be £4 extra. I thought the signature salad must be good ... but it was just designer lettuce, a tiny bit of pickled vegetables, and some weeny shavings of goat's curd. Pathetic. The attitude seems to be "How little can we give?" instead of "How can we please our guests?" I would have happily paid more for something good.
Management should take a leaf out of The Tresanton book; they are professionals and show true generousity of spirit, concern for the happiness of the guest, and expert friendly service. It takes more than a sleek decor to win customer loyalty.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shaftesbury
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

I was staying at The Tresanton (wonderful) last week and visited the Idle Rocks twice. I can't make it out at all other than that it is clearly aimed at the upmarket trendy crowd who visit Rock and Padstow in high summer and holidays and then mostly stay away from Cornwall for the rest of the year. I hope they have analysed the target market correctly.

The refurbished terrace is magnificent and stylishly done and so is the small sitting room. I found the Bar/Restaurant a bit of a mish mash. Sort of minimalism meets cottage garden, but to be fair it is a huge improvement on the old decor and the furnishings are quality. But the effect is strangely cold, not helped by the fact that there were very few people about. Two or three tables dining (wildly expensive menu with not a lot of choice) and two drinkers. Despite this, the solitary bar man was elusive and much more interested in the fact that he was leaving for University the next day. I couldn't help noticing that his trendy hessian apron was completely filthy. Horrible. I had a glass of wine on the terrace and later asked for another. Despite my being the only person there, he couldn't remember what I'd had. Nice enough chap but not good enough to put in charge of the bar in a brand new hotel.

The next night there was another bar man who was much more professional and an extremely nice lady who was also organising the restaurant. Despite it being a cold night I enjoyed sitting on the terrace looking out over the water and enjoying the warmth of the flares they have installed. Would willingly repeat this visit but don't think I'd want to stay there until they get their service under control. The place is not cheap and you expect Tresanton standards at that price. I wonder why they didn't go for a more reasonable tariff just to get the place established.

Footnote: On my way out asked for a brochure and tariff of young lady engrossed with her computer (this is SO not the right thing). She looked at me as if I'd asked for an elephant and said 'I don't they THEY are going to do one but we have a postcard. I didn't find out who THEY were but she did tell me that from November they are changing over to a dinner, bed and breakfast rate that was about £350 which I thought was extortionate for off season. She also implied that there would be no choice which I think is a mistake because a lot of people who come to this part of Cornwall like to eat in different places.

I don't know who is running this place but to me it seemed that too much effort had gone into creating a trendy environment, assuming that this would be enough. It isn't. They need to analyse their target market, pitch the rates accordingly and get their service sorted. Pronto.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank penny s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013

So, we live locally, and having finished our luncheon elsewhere, I thought while we were over in St. Mawes, let's pop in and get some information on the newly refurbished Idle Rocks. The re fit looks fantastic, although I only got a glimpse from the front of the entrance / reception.
On entering, the lady behind the desk, hidden behind a Mac, stayed seated and glanced up, I sort of expected a bit more than 'glance' so asked more to break the ice, do you have a brochure? A quickly well spoken put down came back, " oh I don't think we will do those" ...still seated, and glancing by now back to the Mac, I replied, sorry , just thought it might be a good place for a conference? ( didn't really know what to say as clearly realised I was not wanted there) back came the reply...Oh, I don't think we would want to do those.
And that was that, not a word more, other than busy with The Mac.

Point of the review? Well, I was made to feel stupid, not sure why, but, we won't dine there or stay.
Out of interest, I have never been made to feel like that at Gidleigh ,Tresanton , Nathan Outlawes,
Le manoir, or even in London at Jason Athertons, ......
If this had been my new hotel, which is emptyish, I would have got up and said something like.....can I show you what we have done? Doesn't take a genius really.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
34 Thank Pommepuree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
114 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013

My wife and I stopped over in St Mawes en route south. We've stayed in St Mawes before and rather daringly decided to try somewhere new.
Idle Rocks must be the discovery of all romantic Cornish hotels.
Beautifully finished throughout with a perfect location right on the rocks. The rooms/beds are super comfortable and the "dernier mot" in luxury must be the auto guide light for the loo. Try the local sparkling wine, it's a very good aperitif. Local catch for dinner is a must.
Proper kippers were available for breakfast, served timely with a ready smile.
What a great start for the rest of the day.
We will certainly return!

Room Tip: Always try for the seaview rooms, the sound of the lapping tide is very soporific.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Idle Rocks

Property: The Idle Rocks
Address: Harbourside, St Mawes TR2 5AN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Roseland Peninsula > St Mawes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in St Mawes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Idle Rocks has the most enviable location in St Mawes, overlooking the harbour with views across the River Fal to Falmouth. Our 19 bedrooms, most with stunning vistas over the bay, have been thoughtfully designed, each having their own unique identity with fabulous fabrics and decor that leave you in no doubt that you are by the sea. After a long day lazing on the beach, our south facing terrace is the perfect place to relax, have a long drink, and watch the world go by. You may even see your dinner being landed on the harbourside.The Idle Rock's restaurant, run by our head chef, Guy Owen, is a celebration of Cornwall; showcasing a range of fabulous produce that has been sourced locally using only seasonal fresh ingredients. In many cases it will have been swimming right on our doorstep only a few hours earlier and while the food is of the very highest standard our setting is very relaxed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Idle Rocks Hotel
Idle Rocks St Mawes
The Idle Rocks St Mawes, Cornwall

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