St Ives, Cornwall
Petite, family-run hotel with spectacular ocean views and a sand-and-surf beach on the doorstep, just 3 minutes by train from St Ives
If you want a masterclass on how to run a chic, boutique hotel,
this is the place to go. The owners Jonathan and Marianne Bassett
were novices themselves when they planned their escape from London.
But they stuck to familiar territory (Jonathan was born in the
area); struck lucky when they found a tired hotel perched on a
hillside just above Carbis Bay’s white-sand beach; and
clearly knew what they were doing when they redesigned the place,
and upgraded the service, for its relaunch in 2003.
For the ground-floor salon they picked duck egg blue and Designers Guild silks, cream rugs on wood floors, deep damask sofas, piles of books, low-lighting and local art. The dining room has a fresh by-the-sea look with a hint of Provence and the 15 bedrooms are pale but interesting, jazzed up with lush fabrics and luxury bathrooms. Best of all, the wide, decked terrace has spectacular sea views – and the whole ensemble is infused with the light that inspired generations of Cornish artists.
Reviewed by Lesley Gillilan
- Stunning views, across the bay towards St Ives Harbour and Godrevy Lighthouse
- Watching the sun go down from the terrace, with a glass of fizz (cider, beer, chilled white wine, whatever your favourite tipple)
- The food: simple Mediterranean suppers, home-cooked with imagination and fresh local produce
- Warm, homely atmosphere – and service with a genuine smile
- Carbis Bay’s branch-line station which links the London-Penzance line to St Ives, is just 5 minutes walk – you could leave the car at home
- If you are expecting St Ives proper, the location may feel a little suburban
- Ditto if you like low beams and creaking oak doors: this place might feel a little too 20th century
- Not all the rooms have sea views, though in the summer you’ll probably spend most of your time hanging out on the terrace
The perfect swanky, contemporary pad from which to explore swanky, contemporary St Ives...The Guardian