We stayed at this hotel as we were visiting the Eden Project and decided to make a weekend of it. On the morning of our arrival, I called the hotel to ask if we needed to book our table for dinner. I was told that they were quiet and there would be no need to do this till we got there.
When we arrived, it turned out that the hotel was actually very full, and there were only two times left for dinner – one a bit too early and one a bit too late for us. We ummed and ahhed for ages over this, and had a bit of a laugh with the staff on reception about our inability to decide. Finally, we went for the later time and ordered a bottle of champagne in our room in the meantime.
When the champagne came, some complimentary nibbles had been added, to keep us going till the later meal time. We were delighted with this and thought what a lovely touch.
On our way past reception later, I nipped over to say thank you for the nibbles and to apologise for having been a bit high-maintenance on our arrival. So far, so good.
However, when we got to dinner, we were shown to our table, and then Andy (the duty manager?) came past and said to the waitress ‘Watch out for these two, they’ve done nothing but complain since they got here.’ I was utterly shocked, appalled and confused. I have no idea why on earth he said this. I actually said to him that I thought that was a bit unfair and untrue and he completely ignored me. I think he might have thought he was being funny, but it was not remotely funny; it was insulting and rude and a million miles from what I would expect from a hotel that describes its customer service as ‘the ultimate in charming and attentive’. I have stayed in many very nice hotels and never been spoken to like this by a member of staff. His comment almost ruined my evening. Thankfully, our waitress Zoe was absolutely lovely and looked after us beautifully from this point onwards.
Other than this incident, we found the rest of the staff to be great. As well as Zoe, Hannah on reception was particularly friendly, and the guy on the bar (can’t remember his name but he’s from Wales) was lovely too.
So. Andy lost the hotel one point. The other point was lost for the following reasons.
The room was extremely small and the adjoining bathroom SO tiny that you had to go inside and shut the door behind you before you could even reach the sink.
The windows (room 109) were possibly not properly sealed. It was quite a windy night and a screeching sound coming through the windows woke us repeatedly throughout the night.
We had asked if we could eat in the bar, but were told that it only served sandwiches. On arriving slightly early at the restaurant, we were asked to come back in ten minutes. When we went to the bar to get a drink, we saw another couple eating their meal (from the exact menu and the same deal as us) who told us that they had asked if they could eat in the bar, and were doing!
If the hotel didn’t set itself up to have such high standards, describing itself on its website as ‘one of the finest luxury hotels in Cornwall’ these things wouldn’t matter so much. The Carbis Bay Hotel, Scarlet in Mawgan Porth, St Enodoc in Rock – having stayed at all of these are hotels, I would comfortably tell people THEY are amongst the finest luxury hotels in Cornwall. In my opinion, the Carlyon Bay is a very long way from this description.
I would like to point out that most of these problems would not be deal breakers for us returning. Andy’s attitude would, though.
I have noticed that the general manager often replies to negative feedback on Trip Advisor. I very much hope that this review doesn’t elicit a response justifying Andy’s behaviour. A simple apology would have been nice at the time, and would be welcome now. But any attempt to justify his remark would, I’m afraid, be an indication that my genuine upset at his attitude has not been taken seriously. I am not a person who likes to give negative feedback (as you’ll see if you read my other reviews) so I hope that the hotel will take these comments on board and perhaps find a way to prevent future customers having experiences like ours.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that the rest of our experience at the hotel, including breakfast, dinner, the spa and the views – was very good.
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- Also Known As:
- The Carlyon Bay Hotel St Austell
- Carlyon Bay St Austell
- Carlyon Bay Hotel St Austell
- The Carlyon Bay St Austell, Cornwall