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“A stunning slice of luxury on an unspoilt island” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hell Bay

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Hell Bay
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bryher
Certificate of Excellence
foolsgold__
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A stunning slice of luxury on an unspoilt island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

This was our second stay at the Hell Bay, our first having been a couple of years ago as part of our honeymoon. It’s still just as wonderful. Staying on Bryher is always special, but staying at Hell Bay is something else. It is expensive – really, really expensive – but you enter a bubble of understated, unpretentious luxury and suddenly the price (and any other worries) don’t seem to matter.

The hotel itself is simply beautiful. It’s small and manicured just enough to feel like a little haven without being stuffy. It has a real sense of fun too – an inner quad with little screened sitting areas, a giant chess set, croquet on the lawn, and chickens in the posh-est hen houses you’ll ever see. There is a heated outdoor pool , a play area for small children, and a games room with jacuzzi, sauna and gym. The jazuzzi is a fun way to warm through after a day walking in the rain. But this isn’t what this hotel is really about; most people spend their time pottering around the island rather than sitting by the pool.

There is a range of rooms to choose from. We went with a studio suite, which although they don’t have a separate lounge, they do have a terrace or balcony with the most amazing views over Great Porth and out to sea. The rooms are thoughtfully laid out. Little things make it special. Like the fact the tea cupboard has a fridge with fresh milk, a teapot and cafetiere rather than sachets, plus a sink so you can still fill up the kettle if the bathroom is in use. Or the fresh bottled water left in the fridge each day (the drinking water is perfectly safe, but tastes chalky because of the way it is stored and processed on the island). Or the bed, which is so very comfortable and if, you want them, then feather pillows are available.

The food is consistently great. Breakfast is a cold buffet (pastries, cereal, yoghurt, fruit etc) with hot options. Dinner is a fine dining five course affair. The range of options isn’t huge, but given it’s all shipped in or foraged (you sometimes see the chef in the garden picking things for the table) that’s understandable. The restaurant deserves its rosettes. We are lucky enough to live in a part of the UK with some of the best restaurants in the country, but Hell Bay is up there with them. The wine list is pretty good too.

We found the staff to be fantastic, especially the girls who man the restaurant and bar. People clearly come to Hell Bay with really high expectations and we were impressed that the staff were unrelentingly positive and tried to meet pretty much whatever request came their way.

Part of the fun is the adventure of getting there. We would have flown into St Mary’s but it was foggy so we were transferred to the ferry. It was a smooth crossing but I think we were lucky and we were able to fly back. When you come to Bryher, you have to be prepared for flexible travel plans! The transfer between the hotel and the airport is well managed and smooth. The hotel doesn’t have its own boat; transfers are by Bryher Boat Services who operate a service for both Bryher and its bigger sister Tresco. Times are dictated by the tides and therefore only arranged the night before. You can’t get too rigid about your expectations of having a boat ready and waiting to transfer you. Just relax and go with it. Or, if you’re feeling flush, you can always charter your own boat.

Probably the most difficult thing about staying at Hell Bay is the risk of not making it there at all in bad weather. Whilst we were staying there were a couple of people who had sadly missed a few days of their holiday due to fog grounding the planes and not being able to make the ferry (which leaves early morning). Because we knew there’s always a risk that can happen we booked a couple of nights on St Mary’s first as a “buffer” against losing precious Hell Bay time. You can’t blame the hotel for the weather, but when you’re paying so much for your stay, you don’t want to lose any nights if you can avoid it.

All in all, we had a magical stay. It was only a four night break, but we felt like we bumped happily from treat to treat. I got so into the holiday mode that I forgot what day of the week it was. We will be back... In fact we’ve already booked.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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?
1 Thank foolsgold__71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hell Bay H, Front Office Manager at Hell Bay, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you for your review, we are so pleased to hear you enjoy your stay with us in September and we hope we will be able to welcome you back in the not to distant future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 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 (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2013

My husband, son and I recently stayed 3 nights at the Hell Bay Hotel. The hotel is cute and somehow reminds you of being at the Bahamas. However, we travelled with our 16months old son and this place is not ideal. Firstly the pool was dirty and cold. The spa looked like something that might have been nice in the 80'ties. And the most difficult part for us traveling with a small child was that we had to stick to the "meal times". there was no flexibility in terms of eating before the official meal time or ordering food from the menu after lunch time. This made it a bit difficult when you have a child whom might be hungry at different time. The food was good but not extraordinary. The breakfast selection was poor and one morning there was no fruit. The other mornings there was a some plums and pears- that was it. And for a fruit-loving person,- this was quite disappointing. The spa was good and I had a great massage. Especially the reception staff was very helpful and professional. The hotel location is beautiful and the island itself something very special. For a family holiday where we would have liked to stay by the pool and relax a bit this place was not ideal for us.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hell Bay H, Front Office Manager at Hell Bay, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us.
Since you stayed we have taken on board the comments from yourselves and others. We have improved the breakfast buffet, having a fresh fruit basket as well as a selection on sliced tropical fruits. We realise when travelling with children, families do like to dine together. As well as serving the high teas at 1730 we have introduced a 1830 seating where parents can be served the restaurant menu and the children still have the high teas.
The spa treatment room has been a really popular addition to the hotel and we have extended the treatment list for 2014.
We hope to be able to welcome you back to Hell Bay Hotel and show you the upgrades we have made around the hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
134 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

We try to make a trip to Phillip & his team's wonderful hotel on Bryher once every year. If you get the weather & we did, this cracking little hotel has no equal. It really is a touch paradise in the UK.
All the qualities & ammenities of a much grander hotel. The staff will always give you a warm welcome, if you have heavy bags they will pick you up from the quay. Very quiet, very relaxing. Food did not quite hit the spot this year, but the breakfast was superb. The rooms are beautifully decorated. I love this place.

Room Tip: Lower Nos are the better rooms
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2013

This hotels offers all a warm welcome and then shows you to your room, which was clean fresh and well appointed with stunning views from our room. The staff are very hard working and make sure nothing is too much bother. The dinner each night was divine and as a chef I felt spoilt and inspired.

  • Stayed August 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?
1 Thank Ruth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

It's four years since our last visit and we weren't disappointed on our return. The journey was v easy from Newquay and the view from our bedroom was fabulous, but my husband and I both thought the bed was too soft and the pillows uncomfortable so our first 2 nights were not good ones ! The food was excellent and we asked for lobster for my husbands birthday dinner which was delicious and wonderfully presented. We paid for a four night package to include travel as well as DBand B so we were surprised to be asked for an extra £40 for our return boat if we didn't go on a scheduled boat. We will go again there is no where else like it

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Jan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

The hotel is well appointed and in a superb location. Being met at the airport and transported without any fuss by a good crew was great. The reception at Bryher was good as well. The place is pricey so you expect an excellent experience, but unfortunately it is not quite there. We were a little disappointed with the range of fresh fruit for breakfast which was very limited. The cooked options were very good though. The croissants and pain au chocolat were obviously reheated in a hot oven that resulted in them being somewhat crisp on the outside. The biggest issue we had though was one evening when one of our party (who is undoubtedly a very fussy eater) did not fancy anything on dinner menu. He did fancy something on the bar menu though. However we were told that he could not eat his meal in the restaurant with the rest of us (we were a party of 6). The only options we were given were to eat separately or we all eat outside the main restaurant. Upon complaining bitterly, and at length, and being told that the manager was unavailable and the person in charge did not have authority to bend the rules, a compromise was found whereby he had oven baked sea bream with salad and french fries instead of fish and chips!!!!! We thought this was a nonsense and were further told that they would not serve bar meals in the restaurant under any circumstances because they had rosettes for the restaurant and the hotel inspectors would mark them down if they found out. We found this hard to stomach and believe as we have dined in many fine restaurants where the maxim is the customer gets what the customer asks for (Shepherds Pie in the Ivy anyone?). All in all this soured what could have been, and nearly was, fabulous.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank 1bursledon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hayle, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

I have to say that this must be the best Hotel that i have stayed in on the British isles.
Firstly what a fantastic location for a Hotel set in what i would describe as Paradise.
I was over on a business trip to the Isles of Scilly along with my son and the service was absolutely fantastic and faultless.
The general manager was sound and a very genuine positive thinking person.
All of the staff that we met we all very friendly and nothing was a problem.
The rooms that we stayed in were extremely confortable and very clean.
Excellent to all at Hell Bay and keep the great work up.

Room Tip: I would say that all of the rooms are just as good as each other.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 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?
2 Thank davey2404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hell Bay

Property: Hell Bay
Address: Bryher, TR23 0PR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Isles of Scilly > Bryher
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bryher
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hell Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hell Bay Hotel is an award winning hotel on the beautiful island of Bryher on the Isles of Scilly. Set in a picturesque cove facing the Atlantic Ocean, Hell Bay offers families and couples a friendly and private oasis to relax and spend quality time together and to enjoy the wild, natural delights of Bryher and the other islands of Scilly. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hell Bay Bryher, Isles Of Scilly
Hell Bay Hotel Bryher

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