Newest Review: ... down the road. At the bottom of Sea Road, which is within a short walk of the hotel, is a pleasant beach but this is or was marred by an ... more
Is it getting better?
Carlyon Bay Hotel (St. Austell)
Member Name: georgie020
Carlyon Bay Hotel (St. Austell)
Date: 29/03/04, updated on 12/04/04 (455 review reads)
Advantages: Food, food, food, drink!, Places to visit, Staff
Disadvantages: Some parts are dated, Area being regenerated
I have stayed many times at this hotel since I was very young, several times with my family, a few times with a couple of boyfriends (!) and with a small group of friends. I know when you get older you tend to view things through rose-tinted spectacles but I remember absolutely loving this hotel when I was little (mid-1980's!). There is no doubt that the general standard is great.
The overall position astride the cliff top is pretty breathtaking, but St Austell is not the most fabulous town, nor the most picturesque. I have heard through the grapevine that alot of money is being ploughed into St Austell to regenerate the town centre, and I hope that this is the case. "Seedy" is the best word that described it last time I was there.
The hotel is well placed with regards to road links to various attractions including some lovely countryside, NT properties, and of course the infamous Eden project. I can't help thinking that the Eden Project has a lot to do with the success of the hotel as it is quite possibly the highest rated hotel within easy striking distance. If you are planning a visit to the Eden project (do - it's amazing - but that's another review!) then this hotel is literally 5-10minutes down the road.
At the bottom of Sea Road, which is within a short walk of the hotel, is a pleasant beach but this is or was marred by an unused ugly 1980's building / crazy golf / car park which by now may have been demolished to make way for a huge, rather plush housing development. I am not usually in favour of new housing for it's own sake but here it will be a vast improvement as long as they keep the beach open for local visitors to admire the lovely south facing bay. So - the location is up and coming but what about the hotel itself?
Well, having almost grown up with the hotel I feel I am well placed to
comment. The staff are in general superb, although they ought to be taught to smile a little more. They are so professional some of them forget to be friendly, but you can forgive that I guess. The entrance is impressive, the dining I would never fault, espcially if you have a flambee'd desert which is cooked at your table. The bar and lounge are lovely, very calming.
I think they have put a fair amount of money into improving the bedrooms and I have had varying experiences. A sea facing room being small but perfectly presented, and a cheaper inland facing room clean and tidy but dated, in need of a new bathroom suite, ill-fitting carpet in the bathroom and generally not up to much. If you can I would opt for a sea facing room, they are more expensive of course but in the grand scheme of things it's worth the extra money. The only thing I would say is if you plan on being out and about sightseeing and only being in your room when it's dark then a redurbished inland facing room will save you pennies! Maybe by the time I write this all of the rooms have been refurbished. The views from the sea facing rooms are quite incredible, looking out across the bay and you feel like you are on top of the world. There are tea and coffee making facilities, and a lovely little gift box with items such as a shower cap(!), stain remover (!) and mini needle and thread kit which I have to say can be quite useful!
As for leisure facilities, I feel that a large proportion of this hotels credibility comes from it's excellent golf course - and I don't even play golf. This is worth noting if you have no interest in the game as it seems to me like 90% of residents go to this hotel because of it and maybe the hotel are getting a little too used to relying on the trade the golf course brings in. Last time I stayed there, the indoor pool heater had broken down, as had the jacuzzi, and the pool changing rooms had not been updated since I first went th
he age of 7 or 8. Bearing in mind that was nearly 20 years ago this is the least impressive part of the hotel. All the money seems to have been spent on certain parts of the hotel whilst others have been neglected.
For me, I always went to the Carlyon Bay hotel for a short break as I live in Somerset anyway and the hotel is within a couple of hours drive, I have recommended many friends to the hotel in the past, but the telling sign for me was that after my last break I wrote to the hotel to give them some feedback on how disappointed I was with my stay ( this was the 8th or 9th time I has been there) and they didn't even acknowledge my e-mail or letter.
By all means, if you are going to the area anyway, stay at the hotel as it's quite possibly the best you'll find in the area, but I would not go there especially as I do not feel that it matches some other 4 or 5 star hotels. It used to, but not any more. I am sure if you have a lot of money (which I don't!) a suite would be beautiful, and from what I hear the PM has stayed their on a few occasions! But if you are saving up for a special treat I would spend your money on one of Cornwall's smaller "hip" hotels - less facilities but they don't take you for granted. Carlyon Bay Hotel - smarten up your act and I'll come back....
More reviews in the field of Hotel National
- Travelodge (Penrith)
- Ibis (Manchester, Charles St)
- Spa Hotel (Lancashire)
- Bed & Breakfast The Russel Guest House (Brighton)
- Hotel Premier Inn (Bristol-Emersons Green)
- Hotel Premier Inn (Heswall-Wirral)
- Mansfield Travel Lodge
- The Mitre (Greenwich)
- Hotel Stratford Manor (Stratford Upon Avon)
- Hotel Premier Inn (London-County Hall)