“ Address: West Looe / Cornwall / PL13 2BU / Tel: +44 (0)1503 262071 „
Our visit to the 3* Portbyhan Hotel on the harbour front of the small fishing town of Looe in Cornwall began with a browse through www.laterooms.com. I managed to secure the booking for £79.00 a night, reduced from £129.99 a night for a bedroom with double bed and en-suite. Laterooms.com offered 50+ user reviews, a lot of which stated that the bathroom was small but the accommodation and service was good overall.
Finding the hotel itself would have been easier had the Satnav not tried to direct us 1 mile out of Looe, apparently the postcode covers a larger area than I had anticipated and I ended up calling the hotel for directions.
Check in was easy, Laterooms had already (apparently) taken a £99.00 deposit from my bank card - though the confirmation email I received stated that they take no money unless requested by the hotel. I hadn't been informed that a deposit had been taken, but for me this wasn't a problem. I paid the balance on arrival and the receptionist showed us to our 1st floor room.
The room was square, not overly big and contained a double bed, chest of drawers, bedside table, wardrobe and dressing table with a small flat screen TV above it. Tea and coffee making facilities were on the dressing table and a small hairdryer was fixed to the wall. Also on the wall was a full length mirror. The wardrobe contained additional blankets, an information pack had been placed on the dressing table for our convenience and a telephone sat on the chest of drawers.
The bathroom was small. I am a size 8 and just as well because had I have been much bigger the shower would have been a very tight squeeze between opening the door and actually showering. As it was I managed to burn myself on the pipes inside the shower cubicle when turning around to apply shower gel. The bathroom was an L shape with the toilet in one side and the shower cubicle in the other. On the wall was a very small basin. Towels had been placed on a rail above and to the left of the toilet and there was a small shelf with a bottle of hand wash and bottle of shower gel. The bathroom door was a slide door with no lock, handy when it was necessary to have it open if you wanted the space to dry off after showering.
For me the room was outdated and expensive for what it was. Our bedding had a very old fashioned print on it with wool trim on the pillows, the curtains were also dated. For some reason the radiator was on; we realised in the morning when the room was stifling, that the effect of the open window was being countered out by the heating.
I had purposely not booked a "quayside view" room because the price rocketed for the privilege; instead we had a window which was about 2 feet away from a wall with grass area. The Portbyhan Hotel is built on the lower section of the hill; it is roadside, quayside whereas other buildings have been built into the hillside above it. It offers 45 rooms ranging between single occupancy to family rooms. For me there was a lot of noise and I made use of my earplugs on both nights of my stay.
There was the constant hum of what I believe was a generator of some kind, and also a repetitive noise which sounded like a drill. This noise occurred irregularly and I noticed it most frequently in the morning. This led me to believe that it may have been something to do with the bathroom above or to the side of our room though I cannot confirm this. Either way it was annoying.
Our room was nice, basic and smallish with a small bathroom. If I had paid the "RRP" price on the room of £129.99 I would have been extremely disappointed and wondering what I had paid for, as it is I still find £79.00 per night extortionate.
Our price did however include breakfast. Breakfast was served between 8am and 10am in the restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel. A full English breakfast was on offer as well as cereal, croissants, toast and fruit. I had toast which was fine and the fruit salad which was a little sour for my liking, but I believe down to the grapefruit in it. My boyfriend had a full English which he enjoyed. There were no complaints about the food. The restaurant also catered for lunch and dinner and the menu I saw had no main meal over £4.95. They also had a deal whereby 3 courses cost £11.00 and on a Friday night and Sunday they offered a Carvery for £4.95. This menu was available to the public as well as guests and was advertised on a board on the roadside.
The bar was to the left of the front door and when we visited at 9pm one night it was empty all bar a few men who appeared to be friends of the owner rather than hotel guests. We were allowed to take our drinks to our rooms and that's exactly what we did.
In the reception area was a small amount of seating and both male and female toilets. There was also a parrot that was excellent, he let you stroke his back and would hold his claw out to grab your finger if you let him. The entrance was accessible by stairs or stair lift, whilst a lift in the reception area took those who choose to use it to the upper floors.
Aside of the reception area was a games room, we walked through this to get to the stairs and restaurant. In this room was information leaflets on local attractions, a pool table which cost 60p per game, seating and a fruit machine which was out of order. We didn't use this room as anything other than the path to our room.
The Portbyhan Hotel also offers a laundry service, free WiFi, room service, breakfast/lunch to go and a free wake-up call. The prices of the laundry service were extortionate - £1 per underwear item and I think £7 per dress, £4 per pair of shorts etc etc; Best not to do the laundry until the end of the holiday when back at home where it is affordable.
For us this hotel served us well, aside of being dated in appearance, the staff were all very friendly and helpful and it wasn't overly busy. There was not a rush of children about the place, which I personally was happy about - but this could be to do with booking our stay the week the children go back to school. The facilities were basic but good.
The only other downfall to this hotel, aside of the price is the lack of parking. Looe has a shortfall in parking with one main parking area. Other parking is available but are primarily short stay slots with high charges. The Portbyhan Hotel gave us parking vouchers for the main Carpark in Looe which was a 5 minute walk away. Fine for us but perhaps not too helpful for those who need their car on the doorstep or for those who are not happy leaving their car in a public Carpark.
Overall I would recommend the Portbyhan Hotel if you can get a good price on it. Had it not have been the lowest price I could find available at the time I required a room I would have avoided it. I look for the cheapest deal I can find, I don't expect the place to be perfect but £79.00 a night isn't cheap and £129.99 is just not a reasonable price for the room we stayed in.
Also on ciao.