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“Cashing in on the ocean views...”
Review of Driftwood Hotel

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Driftwood Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Trewithian
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Cashing in on the ocean views...”
Reviewed July 6, 2009

We really have mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, the views are stupendous and the service generally is very attentive and friendly. But at this price (we paid around £700 for a 2 night stay, dining in the restaurant one night only) this place should be a lot higher quality. That pricing puts it in the same league price-wise as places like Babington House, Calcot Manor, Barnsley House and Lords of the Manor which are all our "local" top hotels. All of the above really are 5-star quality throughout so you feel like you've got value for money....

However, Driftwood (for the same price) just didn't quite hit the mark. The buildings are a bit 60s chalet-style and the rooms no better than a good B&B. The breakfast was very good but so it should be! However, dinner was a little disappointing. Nothing wrong with the quality or freshness - top marks there - but the portion size of the fish was minuscule. Remember you are right by the sea so there is no excuse to skimp on the fish portions. I think the fish course was £18 so surely they could afford to give you a decent piece of fish and still make a good profit.

The particular room we had was a ground floor with terrace with sea view. Slight mis-configuration in that you had to walk through the restaurant to get to the room which was a little strange. The views were breathtaking but not so relaxing when other guests use the lawn a few steps away to take a short cut to the bar/terrace/restaurant. I would recommend perhaps a first floor room instead as you still get the views but less intrusion.

Service was generally very good - front desk, bar, restaurant, maids - all tip top and with a smile. However, at this room rate, breakfast in the bedroom should be an option - my wife was not feeling great one morning so wanted to lie in - we were told (by the one sullen member of staff - a small older lady) that "we don't really do room service" and were constrained to having tea and toast only - no cereal, no cooked food. If you think about it, we were only 2 steps from the restaurant so what difference would it have made to carry it those extra 2 steps ...?

Don't get me wrong, this is still a pretty good place but just a little over-rated and over-priced for what you get.... maybe they can get away with this because there is little or no competiton and still plenty of people who want to visit this area of Cornwall....

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank undercovermoles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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462 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
London
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2009

We stayed here for two nights, and though we didn't think "wow", we were quite impressed. The room wasn't huge, but it was stylishly decorated, and the bed was extremely comfortable. The view of the sea from our room was fantastic. The earlier review which mentioned an old-fashioned TV may be out of date, as we had a flatscreen TV with Freeview.

The food was excellent and the staff were not only very professional, but also very thoughtful. As were were ordering coffee after our dinner we admired the full moon which we could see from our table. The waitress asked if we would like coffee served on the terrace -- and when we remarked that it was a bit chilly, she told us not to worry -- she'd give us some blankets to keep us warm. That's the sort of attitude which makes a lasting impression.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank skyman64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2009

Great location, with a fantastic view. Great deco - a very stylish hotel decorated with taste and class. Great service, from start to finish, morning to late evening. Great restaurant, a must try (but perhaps no more than 1 or 2 nights as the menu is limited). Great room but better be the last one to go to bed if your room is located above the bar as the noise travels easily through the ceiling. Excellent breakfast. Free wireless at all time but cell phones struggle to get signals.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank docanes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2009

My wife and I stayed for a number of days at Driftwood based on positive recommendations that we had read here and elsewhere. As you may have gathered from their website, Driftwood is towards the very top of the market (£200 per night) when you take into account that there is literally nothing around. The photos looked amazing, the fellow who took our call was great so all very positive.

Pulling into the premises, there is very much a feel of 'holiday cabins' as a number of rooms are away from the main house. Entering the house, it feels very much like a beige/nautical bed & breakfast with a lot of space devoted to the dining area but, as we found out, precious little to the actual rooms.

We stayed in a tiny room and found that the 'wardrobe' was being used as a storage area for spare foldup beds and other accessories for rooms within the hotel. This is simply not acceptable when the room is tiny and with nowhere to store luggage. The bed was comfortable and the 'tea service to room' made up for the lack of inroom facilities. There is no airconditioning so would be wary of how the room would cope with a hot day (which does happen in the UK!). This is a personal gripe of mine but when a place is marketed as premium, a tiny and ancient CRT television is a no-no! LCD's can be picked up these days for £250 or less (perhaps more with a bulk discount) and can be flat-mounted to the walls.

The dinner service was fine - not bad, not great but ok. Foodwise, we would rate the dinner as 8/10 but there did seem to be a pecking order with the same people sat in the main room night after night with others banished to the side room.

The breakfast was great - a fine selection of food, perfectly cooked and the homemade cereal was divine. However, on two mornings we were unfortunate to have an older woman (name unknown) serve us and, in short, she suffered from a severe attitude problem. Whether it was due to not liking to work early in the mornings, or having to work in her later years, she was rude and abrupt - to both us and a number of other couples. My wife did not want to cause a fuss so I did not go an immediately go to the manager, which is what I intended to do. Unfortunately, I did not get her name or would have wrote a letter to the hotel afterwards. If she does not want to work there, then leave and let someone else take the position!

We have stayed in a range of hotels from the cheap and cheerful in Egypt through to the off the charts hotels in Dubai and so felt that we were able to reach a fairly accurate conclusion.

Aside from the tiny room and woeful lady at breakfast, Driftwood was nice but not worth the very high price per night. At £150, we would rate it as very good value for money but at £200 per night, we would recommend going elsewhere. It is for this reason that we would not recommend it to a friend, despite some of the very positive features.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank XB70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Driftwood last week.
From our arrival to departure, the staff could not have been more helpful or efficient.
The views from our room were delightful and the room itself was spacious with everything a 5 star hotel would offer.
The whole place offered comfort in every way. A cosy sitting room with a welcoming fire made you want to curl up and fall asleep.
There were a couple of large families staying at the same time and there was plenty to occupy them indoors without outside trampolines and slides spoiling the very lovely gardens.
This hotel is unique in that it caters for all from the elderley to the very young.
We can't wait to return.

  • Liked — Spacious and extremely comfortable
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank KGLGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
devon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2008

Living in Devon and having a little baby of 16 months, my wife and I can only manage a night away on our own every now and again. Where better than coastal Cornwall to celebrate an anniversary.

I chose the Driftwood as I had heard of its solid reputation and wanted a quality, relaxing night away.

The site is fantastic and no let down from the description on the website. It looks over the coast line from an elevated position and during the hotter months (it was damp during our stay) has its own beach to enjoy.

We stayed in a newly created room which was large and well equipped and ate in the restaurant. I usually struggle to enjoy restaurant food were accolades have been awarded, as my expectation is always higher than the standard fayre produced. Not so here - the service was discreet and professionally and the menu was inventive and flavoursome.

I can recommend this little gem for those looking for a romantic break, or with a family - my one worry is that I thought they may be a lot of children around - but of the few we saw they were very well mannered and will be an inspiration for our little boy’s education.....

I am sure my wife and I will return, only next time for longer.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank arthursfather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford-upon-Avon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2008

My girlfriend and I have stayed at Driftwood twice now, once in October 2007 (for a couple of nights) and again this weekend just passed.

On the two occasions we’ve checked into the hotel we have been greeted warmly by Driftwood’s owners, who have then taken us on a brief tour of the hotel to show us the facilities and where everything is located. Even though we already had our bearings the second time around, the five minute tour to reacquaint ourselves with the hotel was a nice touch and made us feel instantly settled again. We were also offered help with our bags, which is always a welcome gesture.

As a landlocked couple the thing that appealed most about Driftwood was its location. Situated on the southern Cornish coast, the hotel has its own private beach that guests can access down a winding path. When we first stayed there last year, we arrived at the hotel late afternoon during some unseasonably glorious weather. We subsequently made the decision to dump our bags in our room and head immediately for the beach, where we kicked off our socks and shoes and let the waves wash over our feet! The weather was decidedly chillier when we arrived this year (so the socks and shoes stayed firmly on), but we had the beach completely to ourselves for a good couple of hours and wandered around happily with the sun on our faces and a fresh wind blowing away the cobwebs.

The location aside, it is the staff and the food that also make Driftwood a fantastic place to stay. After two stays at the hotel, we have nothing but the highest praise for both. We also found that there was a nice sense of continuity when we stayed at the hotel the second time, because all of the key staff that made our first stay so pleasant and enjoyable were still there. There is also a feeling that nothing is ever too much trouble (I’ve stayed at plenty of hotels where a simple request can be greeted with a look of disdain from the waiting staff!)

During our most recent visit we got caught in some pretty horrific weather while out walking on the coastal path. When we subsequently arrived in the hotel reception to collect our key, with sodden and muddy clothes (and broken spirits), we asked the maǐtre d' if it would be possible to have a couple of hot chocolates brought up to our room to help restore our body temperatures to normal while we dried off. Not only was this not a problem, but he also suggested: “…and maybe some cake?” We were then treated to two slices of a lovely homemade Victoria Sponge and a couple of wonderful hot chocolates, which were brought to our room with a smile by the lovely Australian waitress (who said that she’d made them extra hot to warm us up!) It was just what we both needed at that moment, and the staff at Driftwood made it happen with the minimum of fuss and without making us feel awkward about inconveniencing them.

The food at Driftwood is absolutely delectable and we can honestly say that we’ve never had a bad meal during either of our stays. If you intend to eat in the Driftwood restaurant it’s probably wise to book ahead (a few days before your arrival) to ensure you get a table. We didn’t do that the last time we stayed, but were lucky enough to get a table anyway. However, the restaurant also takes bookings from non-residents and the evening services were decidedly busier during our second stay. In fact, when we checked in there were only two time-slots still available for tables that evening. We thankfully managed to snap up an early evening table for that night and swiftly booked ahead for the following evening.

We usually started the evening with a drink in the bar-lounge area (a G&T for my girlfriend and a pint of Cornish Knocker for me!), which we enjoyed while deciding what to order from the mouth-watering options on the menu. It really is a fantastic menu and well worth the price (three courses: £40 each). However, if we were staying any longer than a couple of nights we’d probably have to seek alternative (and slightly cheaper) dinner options elsewhere in the local area, which is good to do anyway. Of course, if you’re moneyed and want to spend an entire week enjoying fantastic food and drinking great wine at the hotel restaurant, then there’s nothing to stop you!

As a coastal hotel/restaurant it’s perhaps unsurprising that fresh fish plays a large part in Driftwood’s menu. During our last stay, my girlfriend and I had starters of crab risotto and dover sole, which were both phenomenal. And the seabass that my girlfriend had as a main course was to die for (in fact, I finished my own meal and then polished off hers as well!) Any coastal restaurant worth its salt should make the most of the treasures on its doorstep, and Driftwood does this magnificently with some wonderful seafood. However, the menu also includes meat and vegetarian dishes as well. I’m not a veggie, so I enjoyed duck on my first night and pork on the second – both of which I wanted to eat all over again as soon as I’d finished!

In the information we received after booking, we were told to let the hotel know in advance of any special dietary requirements and also that, with a little notice, it was possible to request something special, like lobster, in advance. The fact that Driftwood seems to have a very accommodating chef and kitchen is very much in keeping with the ‘nothing is too much trouble’ approach.

Breakfast is just as satisfying and should cover everyone’s tastes in one way or another. There are all the usual options of cereal, toast, muffins, yoghurts, fruit, orange juice, apple juice, tea, coffee etc, which can be followed up with either a full English (which I couldn’t resist on both mornings), kippers in butter and lemon (delectable), or salmon and scrambled eggs (I wish we’d had a third morning at the hotel so I could’ve had this!) The breakfast service (like dinner) is also efficient, informal, friendly and relaxed.

It’s also worth noting that you can arrange for tea and coffee to be brought to your room in advance of breakfast, which comes with a little shortbread biscuit and is a lovely way to start the day. You can also order a newspaper when you check-in, which can be collected from the bar-lounge area every morning at breakfast.

The accommodation at Driftwood is simple, stylish and comfortable. We stayed in a first floor bedroom in one of the outer buildings during our first visit, which had French doors that opened up to reveal a beautiful southerly view down the coast. We stayed in a first floor room actually in the hotel for our second stay, which was perfectly comfortable and had a breathtaking sea view. The fact that there was no tray in the room with a kettle, some cheap sachets of tea and coffee, and little plastic pots of long-life milk, simply reminded us that we weren’t staying in a Travelodge. We didn’t miss it, but some people might pine for that sort of thing. There also wasn’t a mini bar in the room, which, again, we didn’t miss. Quite frankly, if you want to stay in your room necking whisky miniatures and packets of nuts while watching Countdown, then you’ve come to the wrong place!

The negatives about Driftwood could be written on the back of a stamp. For instance, the fact that our tea and coffee was delivered to our room with only one cup on the first day of our second visit is a simple and forgivable oversight (and probably would’ve been instantly rectified had we been the kind of people to stomp down to reception in our pyjamas!) We also found our first floor room in the hotel to be a little bit noisy on occassions. I don’t know whether we were picking up banging and clunking from the kitchen, as they cleared up after the evening service, but it was quite noticeable at times. Still, in a relatively small hotel it’s difficult to escape that kind of residual noise and it certainly wasn’t anything that kept us awake. Although, we did have a really noisy radiator in the bathroom, which possibly needed bleeding!

Our brief stays at Driftwood were punctuated by exhilarating walks along the beautiful coastal paths, which can be accessed via steps leading up from Driftwood’s private beach. The pretty fishing village of Portscatho is only about a mile along the coastal path and we stopped off at the ‘Plume of Feathers’ for a pint last year (to refresh ourselves after a long walk). The village also has a convenience store (small, but perfectly formed) where we’ve purchased the odd much-needed pasty along the way, as well as taking out some cash from the machine at the back of the shop (which charges about £1.50 for the privilege).

The coastal path towards St Mawes is beautiful, but it’s worth remembering that Portscatho is the only village you’ll encounter along the way that actually sits on the path. So don’t be expecting to come across pasty shops and quaint pubs every step of the way. We attempted a walk to the St Mawes ferry point, which took us 3-4 hours. However, by the time we reached the ferry point we really had to start thinking about walking back to Driftwood! If you’re going to embark on a long coastal walk we’d advise packing a small rucksack with some snacks, water, extra layers and some waterproofs (depending on the weather). Trust us, we’ve enjoyed coastal walks in unseasonably warm weather, but we’ve also been caught in high winds and rain that lashed stinging rain against our faces and nearly blew us off our feet! The more manageable walk to Portloe (approx. 2 hours) is one that we perhaps should have attempted instead.

All in all, in good weather and in bad, we’ve had two massively enjoyable and memorable stays at Driftwood. And we certainly couldn’t have asked for anything more from the hotel and its highly professional staff. Now that we’ve found Driftwood, I know that it’s somewhere we’ll be returning to for many years to come.

  • Liked — The location; the service; the food
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Putoots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Driftwood Hotel

Property: Driftwood Hotel
Address: Rosevine | Near Portscatho, Trewithian TR2 5EW, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Trewithian
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Trewithian
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Driftwood Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine your perfect holiday - a stylish, privately run Cornish Beach House Hotel, overlooking the stunning Gerrans Bay, near the pretty village of Portscatho, near St Mawes South Cornwall. Driftwood is like no other boutique hotel in Cornwall. Driftwood has the friendly informal service, a michelin star restaurant, and the efficiency you would expect. Where else can you walk down a wooded path, to your own beach and cove? Where else can you lie back on a steamer chair, with a glass of wine, and enjoy an unbroken sea view. Where else can you eat the best, locally sourced food, perhaps lobster caught that morning, or crab from the bay? Whoever you are or whatever your looking for, whether that be a family holiday, a boutique or romantic hotel in Cornwall, Driftwood is perfect for all your needs. At Driftwood, families can be as well looked after as romantic couples or small groups of grown-ups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Driftwood Hotel Rosevine
Driftwood Hotel Cornwall, UK

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