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“Almost but not quite”

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The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in St Austell
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 2, 2011

Booked a weekend break (Fri to Sun) check in ok. Room pleasant but was expecting more seeing as we'd booked a deluxe room. Took full advantage of the spa facilities- these were excellent. (The young man on the desk was very helpful and friendly.) Breakfast was very good - we didn't eat at the hotel at any other time- and the staff were very attentive. Asked at reception for Wi-fi password only to be told that it was unavailable.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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Thank jayned2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,881 - 1,887 of 2,079 reviews

Reviewed October 2, 2011

I work in travel and spend much of my time inspecting hotels abroad for a luxury tour operator in the UK. Therefore have never really felt compelled to write a review on here. However my SHOCKING experience at the absolutely DISAPPOINTING The Cornwall has made me want to - even if it deters one person wasting their money here. And wasting their money is exactly what it will be.

I chose The Cornwall for my Mum and I - it was her birthday weekend and she had just been let out of hospital, so it was supposed to be a holiday of relaxation and recuperation. I also needed to work for the first two days - with a deadline of Wednesday morning. Therefore I liked the facilities of a great spa, complimentary Wi-Fi and extensive cocktail menu. Dear god, if I only knew that parting with £179 a night would mean I wouldn't even get these basic things!!

We arrived to be greeted by three youngsters crowded round the reception desk. They mumbled that the lift was broken and we would have to walk our bags up two flights. No offer of help or a porter. Alarm bells ringing already. Room was nice - strange that they had not explained that the bathroom is open plan - but decor was acceptable for the star rating and spacious balcony. We dined at Arboretum that night for Mum's birthday and ordered a bottle of Champagne Food was delicious - service was very slow.

The next morning we wanted an early start for the Gardens of Heligan. Oh dear. Breakfast was over 45 minutes late. There was no apology. Only an explanation of lack of staff. When it finally came, my eggs were not cooked. No compensation offered and I had to ask for a complimentary cream tea. Food was cold and very late, making us late for our trip. Returning from the Gardens, I wanted to work in the evening for my deadline. The Wi-Fi was broken. Phoned reception and they said they were trying to fix. This debacle went on for the three days I was there. I was met by inexperienced young staff who kept fobbing me off. I spent most of my time in Costa Coffee by the Travel Lodge, racking up a huge drinks bills so I could do my work. I had envisioned doing it whilst relaxing on my balcony. No chance. No apology. No compensation, perhaps in the form of coffee vouchers for Costa. Also ended up going to the White Hart for dinner to use there Wi-Fi. Thoroughly recommend this hotel now, for absolutely lovely staff, service and food. And Wi-Fi that works! What amazes me is that a hotel that are charging this rate, cannot even get a maintenance crew to fix Wi-Fi over three whole days. I understand things can break, but to not have the resources to fix it in three days and still charge the prices they do, is ludicrous.

Problems after problem came. Our towels were not changed once. We put them in the bath to receive fresh ones, and our old ones were put back every day. I know this because I wear bronzer. I also cut myself on a glass in the room and used a pillowcase to hold over my hand. I also put this in the bath to be taken away, Absolutely shockingly, it was PUT BACK ON MY PILLOW!!

We booked four spa treatments for half past eleven on Tuesday. After another very slow serviced and under cooked breakfast we arrived back at the room to prepare. At 11.10am the spa phoned us to say we were late for our treatments. I explained that the appointment card said 11.30am. She said this was impossible and we would now only be able to have one of our treatments each and these would also have to be cut down. So we didn't even get our spa day. And the appointment card was of course correct, and they were int he wrong. But again did not apologise. By this point I was in tears, Vile breakfast, no fresh towels, rubbish service, no Wi-Fi for three days, and now no spa day through no fault of ours.
I complained and asked to speak to the manager. he wasn't there so I had to speak to Sandra, who noted down my issues and said she would get back to me. Nobody got back to me.

That evening, I asked for the cocktail menu. The very young bar man said he would go away and get it and came back ten minutes later and handed me a menu. I scanned the menu to see there were no cocktails on it. I said to him I had just asked for the cocktail menu. his reply was, 'We don;t do cocktails' ???!!! I even have a magazine stating that the hotel has an extensive cocktail menu. Frustratingly I chose a Pimms. they asked me if I wanted ice. !! Umm...yes?? Our television also broke and we could not get ITV. they said they would senfd maintenance. Up came yet another seventeen year old, who took the batteries out, blew in the tv and then decided nothing could be done.

The next day Jeremy still hadn't called. After my day in Costa, I phoned him again he apologised for not calling and said his explanation of the problems was that they had just recruited a new Food and Beverage manager. He said he saw that my problem lay int eh food department and he would alter my bill and give me the first night at Arboretum free and one free breakfast. I rather unhappily agreed. Breakfast was awful all week and in fact Arboretum had been the only good thing about the hotel. But fine.

Check out time at last! The most happiest i have been the whole trip. I get the bill. Of course, it's wrong. As is the person's in front of me too. I am met with silence when I dispute it. I have to speak to someone higher, as these kids just don't have a clue how to run a hotel. I have been charged £140 extra for spa treatments I didn't even have because they messed up the time and then couldn't offer me a solution. On top of this I was also charged £189 a night instead of £179. The hotel is not even worth £79 a night. And believe me, I have stayed in a lot of hotels! Then I checked the complimentary first dinner bill that jeremy said he would give us. And basically all he had done was take off our meals, and left the bottle of Champagne on the bill. Surely, with the amount of problems I encountered, he could have stretched to the Champagne bottle! There are no goodwill gestures at this hotel, no good service, no good facilities, and no fresh towels!

I was shocked and disappointed by The Cornwall form start to finish. Having the bill so wrong at the end was just the icing on the cake. This was supposed to be a holiday of recuperation for my Mum and it was the most stressful experience we have been on. It is quite simply not worth the money they are charging. They are advertising a Champagne hotel and running it on a Lemonade budget.

We continued our holiday else where and actually found two of the most incredible places to stay. In fact, they are so good I want to keep them a secret! But I won't! Instead of going to The Cornwall, I urge you to go to Watergate Bay. I have never been met with such fantastic service, location, facilities, kindness, extra touches, fresh towel and Wi-Fi that works! And we loved Watergate Bay so much, we have even booked in over Christmas. I will be taking my issues with the Cornwall further as I still do not believe I have been compensated correctly.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank Kathryn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2011

I booked a superior room for the weekend not least so we could also check out the lodges for a family holiday next summer. First niggle was not being told by the receptionist that the spa actually involved walking outside over a gravel track !! Before we went out for the day on Saturday we asked about viewing the lodges and said we would do this later that day. When we arrived back about 5pm we just casually asked to book a table for dinner to be told sorry both restaurants are full, as we have a gourmet dining event. When asked why we hadnt been told... blank looks. We were given phone numbers of five supposedly nice restaurants... which we duly called... all fully booked. No problem said the receiptionist, just head to Charlstown and there are plenty of places to eat without booking... Not so... unless you fancy queuing for ages in a not so nice pub... So back to driving round St Austell becoming increasingly irate, until after the sixth phone call, the receptionist was able to squeeze us into the Acorns restaurant event though they were full. Grateful, we returned to the hotel and into the Acorns but were a bit surpised to see several empty tables so how full could they have been ? However the subsequent service proved to be completely Fawlty- esque and was clearly the reason why they tried to dissuade us from dining there... 8 minutes to bring our drinks ( but only glasses not a bottle as ordered so they ended up having to sell us a bottle of Champagne at half pice.. thanks.. ), then bread rolls at 12 minutes after some chasing up... but no plates for them and no butter... more chasing up for these. Starters took 41 minutes and to be fair were good... then the waitress ( who had spent 7 minutes chatting to the next table while all around her were desperate for their food ).. cleared our starter plates and asked if we wanted desserts.. It would be nice to have main course first was our reply !! By now increasingly alcohol fuelled despair.. main courses came at 98 minutes and again the food was fine but the waiting time was ridiculous and several tables around us were complaining about their lack of service too... untrained staff and complete lack of proper management.. By all means come again for the weekend and waste £475 ?... I think not.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2011

A last minute decision to take a break; booked on Friday for a stay Sat & Sun night and it proved to be a decision well made.
Inevitably no suites were available so late but the hotel reception very helpful in suggestions of rooms and we were given a discount for a late booking.
The room was modern, very well furnished and a nice touch was the card next to the kettle saying fresh milk could be brought which we availed ourselves of. Other hotels please note this touch!
Breakfast Buffet was superb, freshly cooked and constantly replenished; a la carte available and promptly brought. The staff were attentive and very pleasant, always on hand.
We dined both nights in the "Fine Dining Restaurant" and again superb food and impeccible service. The menu and wines were very reasonably priced and you didn't feel that you were being ripped off if you selected a more expensive wine.
There's a brasserie which we didn't try but judging by the popularity of it has a standard that matches.
We have friends in Cornwall and heard from them of the reported teething problems when it first opened. We were told that they had just appointed a new head chef and restaurant front of house who had been given effectively carte blanche to organise. We didn't experience any of the problems told to us by our friends so the appointments look as though they are working.
If it continues like this I can see a Michelin Star in the offing!
We weren't able to use the spa treatments, fully booked. We looked around and hoped, unsuccessfully, for a last minute cancellation!
All in all, an experience we shall repeat again. We've stayed at hotels costing twice as much, and more that weren't up to the standard of the Cornwall.
Overall a hotel well worth looking at for either a couples stay or a family with children

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank jlbarrett42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2011

This hotel was pleasant to stay in and the staff were very good in all respects.

Wifi was a problem for our whole stay which was a little annoying as we didn't know the area. However this was the only negative from a positive experience.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank Scottjamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2011

We have followed The Cornwall's progress with interest as we visited just after it opened and have stayed in both the woodland homes twice and the hotel twice. We really like this hotel and I really want to write an excellent review , but it is still just not there. I feel anxious about what will go wrong each stay and there are still too many issues. I would agree with so much of what has recently been said. We arrived this time to stay in the hotel and were given a room on the 2nd floor overlooking the airconditioning duct - you dont drive to Cornwall for that - I did complain- they did find us a better room but it took a couple of hours to sort this as our phone line had been re-directed to office next door and they were trying to call us and we had to tell them the phone was not working! We stayed in August and it was not particularly hot but the rooms were , we had to sleep with the door open and i hate to think how uncomfortable the room would be if it was a hot spell. The rooms are nice and the balconies lovely but the delivery noises and bottle recycling every morning at 8am did not make for the gentlest of alarm calls! Breakfast was improved from our last visit ( a disaster previously) but it did have another blip during the week with long queues and not enough staff - its not rocket science - you know how many you are going to have for breakfast! The Bistro in the evening is disappointing and overpriced - the menu is dull really and does not have enough locally sourced dishes - it seems too safe and not that good . There are far better options eating out to warrant more than one visit.
The SPA continues to be excellent , the treatments and products are top class. The bad smell in the pool area has been resolved and the changing rooms were cleaner. The grounds are lovely and beginning to mature and the new play area a great addition.
Overall it has so much potential and has so many attributes to be an outstanding hotel it just needs all these issues ironed out, someone or something needs to pull this all together soon as goodwill will run out eventually. We will continue to watch with interest and maybe visit again once more...

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Jeanette H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2011

We stayed at the Woodland Lodge for a week in September. The cabins were spotlessly clean and the overall first impression was good, comfy beds, sparkling kitchen, etc. A few small points - the living room furniture is uncomfortable - we had to remove the back cushion of the sofa just to be able to sit on the sofa and the chairs are small with hard edges. The kitchen was not well equipped, no oven glove, no salt or pepper, no vegetable peeler, such small things and so easy to remedy! The big niggle was the internet - it wasn't working at all and I was given conflicting information on this. 6 days into our holiday they provided us with a dongle.
The staff are sweet but no one seems to be in charge or able to resolve any problems.
We ate at the restaurant on our second last night - food tasted very good, staff nice but inexperienced. I was however violently ill that night, so I'm a little bit concerned that the inexperience of staff is impacting kitchen hygiene.
The setting is in need or landscaping and close to a busy road.Overall, this could be a great place to stay but whoever is in charge doesn't seem to want to put in the effort to look after guests' needs or to react to any of the problems. Definitely not 5 star, except for the prices they charge!

Room Tip: The lodges are graded (and priced) according to the privacy factor - all bedrooms are downstairs wit...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank TamsinE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate

Address: Pentewan Road | Tregorrick, St Austell PL26 7AB, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > St Austell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in St Austell
#2 Romantic Hotel in St Austell
Price Range: $102 - $191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate 4*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relax, unwind and rejuvenate in the luxurious surroundings of The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate; an exquisite 4* hotel & spa set in 43 acres of tranquil, wooded parkland in St Austell. Just a breath away from many of Cornwall’s most popular sandy beaches and attractions; The Cornwall Hotel is the perfect base to explore the best of Cornwall. ... more   less 
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The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate St Austell

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