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Can't be that good - they let me in!
Carlyon Bay Hotel (St. Austell)
Member Name: nikkisly
Carlyon Bay Hotel (St. Austell)
Date: 09/02/01, updated on 09/02/01 (572 review reads)
Disadvantages: ...at a price
I'm not normally the sort of person who would be writing about a hotel which specialises in "Luxury Breaks". Lucky breaks, yes, because last year I was invited to a function at The Carlyon Bay Hotel...
Our first impressions on driving up to the entrance were that we were very definitely in the wrong place - this hotel has liveried doormen, for heavens sake. We were also a little early, since the hotel has a strict policy that rooms will not be ready for handover until 1.00pm. However, having been speedily checked in by a very friendly and efficient receptionist, we were shown to a comfortable lounge where we were able to buy a cafetiere of coffee at a very reasonable price whilst we waited.The hotel has a mixture of public rooms which cater for both smokers and non smokers,most of which have beautiful views out to the sea.
Once our room was declared ready, our keys were handed over. I was disappointed not to be offered the assistance of a porter - but perhaps this was not surprising since I only had an overnight bag. (There was a choice of lift or stairs, so it was hardly a tragedy.)
Our room was superb. Beautifully decorated, clean and comfortable and, for an extra £10, we had an incredible view of the sea. The beverage tray was piled high with coffee,tea, milk and drinking chocolate and also packets of very nice biscuits. There were bottles of mineral water, good quality free toiletries, and all sorts of other goodies including a free local daily newspaper, a nailbrush and shoe cleaning pad. The most impressive thing for a country bumpkin like me was that the TV was showing a personal welcome message...they'd spelled our name wrong, but, hey, it can't all be perfection.
The room had everything you could need - telephone,stationery,hairdryer,trouser press, good lighting and an en suite bathroom with plenty of towels and hot water. The satellite TV had an additional feature, in that you could view local attra
ctions - ideal for strangers to the area.
The luxury went to my head and I decided to try out room service. A huge plate of smoked salmon sandwiches with something better decribed as a salad than a garnish delivered to my door for £4.50. (even my husband didn't pale at the cost of the extensive room service menu which featured a variety of hot and cold dishes!)
The hotel has an 18 hole golf course, so no prizes for guessing where my husband disappeared to for the rest of the afternnon.One round of golf per day is included in the price of the hotel and tuition can be arranged. There is also a 9 hole 'approach course' for the less serious golfer.
Me, I had a look round the hotel's facilities which include heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools,spa bath,sauna, solarium, two full sized snooker tables, tennis courts,putting green, croquet lawn and table tennis. Most are free but there are nominal charges for the snooker,sauna, solarium and spa bath. There is also a Beauty Room where you can enjoy a variety of different beauty treatments. I chose to walk through the gardens and out onto the Cornish coast path which runs next to the hotel.
The food was good - not spectacular, but then again we were having a set meal at a function rather than eating from the hotel's own menu which sounded excellent. (Men are requested to wear a jacket and tie in the evenings). Breakfast, though, was very good.Help yourself to a variety of fruit juices, cereals and fresh fruit, followed by the full English breakfast, and unlimited toast and coffee. A newspaper of your choice is delivered to the bedroom door.
The hotel run a variety of special packages from golf holidays to beauty breaks. They are extremely child friendly and run entertainment for children throughout all the school holidays ranging from Arts and Crafts to Treasure Hunts.
The cost varies depending on the season and the type of room (Inland Facing, Sea
Facing, Superior Sea, Deluxe or State!). It's not cheap - B& B starts at £75.00 per person in the low season (twin or double room) with an extra £12 for dinner and rises to £82 / £94 in the high season. However the facilities and standards are excellent, so it's well worth treating yourself on a special occasion, particularly if you know that the children are being looked after and entertained.
Persoanlly, if I can ever save up enough money for a repeat visit, I would probably not want to leave the hotel at all.If you're more adventurous, then the North Cornish coast is literally a stones throw away, The Eden Project, Flambards Theme Park, National Trust properties and Lands End are all within easy driving distance. The hotel will also arrange other activities for you such as deep sea fishing,pony trekking and fly fishing.
The Carlyon Bay Hotel - part of the Brend Group - has 4 ****'s from both the AA and the RAC. It's getting 5 *****'s from me.
Carlyon Bay Hotel, Sea Road, St. Austell, Cornwall, PL25 3RD Tel: 01726 812304.