“Fun and funky art hotel with good-value rooms and a 3-bedroom cottage, plus a sociable eatery”
The fun doesn’t stop there. The ground floor boasts The Cornish Barn, an informal rustic-meets-industrial restaurant serving up tasty Cornish fare. Grab a booth, order a beer, and relax over an evening feast. There's also a relaxed lounge-bar with cocktails, candles and a crackling wood-burner. Head out the back for the enclosed Festival Garden with trestle tables, a buzzy bar in season, table tennis and ping pong. Or walk out of the chunky red front door and you’re moments from Penzance’s cafés, pubs and galleries.
- Well-designed, imaginative rooms; we particularly liked the Comfy Luxe, Super Comfy Luxe and Lookout options with their roll-top tubs
- A buzzing restaurant, delicious breakfasts packed with local produce, a fire-warmed lounge-bar, and a sunny courtyard bar space for summer drinks
- The affable young team can keep you up to speed on anything from the Cornish art scene to the nearest sandy beach
- A great base for exploring this gorgeous corner of Cornwall, and minutes from the Scilly Isles ferry
- Fantastic value for money
- Some might find the art a little too off-the-wall, but the 'House' and 'Comfy' rooms are more contemporary classic in design
- Soundproofing could be better between rooms, and those at the front might experience some street noise
- Some carpets and fittings look a little tired, though they're gradually being spruced up
- No car park, though you can park for free on the streets nearby
Best time to go
Our top tips
If you’re into the gastronomic good life, stock up on meat to take home with you at the Higher Trenowin farm shop, north of Penzance on the road to St Ives.”
- Boutique Hotel
- 21 rooms + 1 cottage
- Restaurant and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Table football
The original playful rooms were decorated by local artists and are utterly unique. Select one which suits your taste – perhaps a Snug room with their jazzy artworks, or Medium Arty Double with its colourful seaside-themed walls. They're compact with showers only, but you'll feel like you're staying in a private gallery.
If you want a bit more luxury then opt for one of the newer Comfy Luxe and Super Comfy Luxe rooms, in adjacent buildings, which have decadent tubs, bathrobes, Nespresso machines and walk-in rainfall showers. They’re more understated in terms of décor, but you’ll still find eclectic touches such as lights made from old fishing baskets and crates for bedside tables. There’s also a Family Room in the loft, with a mezzanine level holding extra beds. Top of the house - and top of the range - is The Lookout, which consists of a bedroom, a separate living room with a log-burner and kitchenette, a freestanding copper tub, and a terrace looking out over the rooftops to sea.
For those seeking independence, there's a 3-bedroom cottage next door to the hotel. It's ideal for longer stays and families, with a spacious fire-warmed living and kitchen area, 2 double bedrooms, a snug bunk-bed room, and a bathroom with a copper tub and separate shower.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player (on request)
- Extra beds
- Fan (on request)
- Satellite TV
The Cornish Barn is the heart of the hotel, serving up shareable dishes using local produce. The menu has a particular focus on cured meats and fish, much of them smoked on site - we tucked into delicious pulled pork with oak-smoked cheddar and pickled apple, grilled prawns with lemon and garlic, and enormous smoked steaks that were cooked to perfection. Vegetarian options are also available, and there are occasional Mediterranean influences - perhaps octopus with chorizo, or honey-roasted beets with feta.
Breakfast is just as tasty, with a few unusual options alongside the normal Full Cornish and smoked salmon. We started with cute jars of yoghurt and compote, before moving onto scrambled eggs with spinach, Cornish blue cheese and sourdough toast.
The shabby chic lounge-bar is open throughout the day for coffee and cocktails, and in good weather guests head to the Festival Garden to the rear which has a sociable bar and trestle tables.
Penzance has plenty of local cafés for light lunches - just ask for recommendations. If you don’t mind a short drive to Mousehole, chic little harbourside bistro 2 Fore Street does fantastic seafood.
The Attic Loft and The Lookout both have basic kitchenettes with a combination microwave/oven; cottage guests get a kitchen area with all you need for simple meals.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Explore Penzance’s faded architectural splendour and immerse yourself in its prospering art scene
- Take a dip in the Jubilee Pool (open June-September), the town's stunning Art Deco outdoor lido - or watch the action from its café
- Venture across the granite causeway at low tide to the fairytale island castle of St Michael’s Mount
- Pop southwest along Mount’s Bay to the picturesque harbour of Mousehole
- Laze on the lovely beach at Porthcurno (a 20-minute drive), then catch a performance at the open-air Minack Theatre, hewn from the cliffs above the sand
- Treat yourself to a bracing hike (and mind-clearing views) along the South West Coastal Path, or cycle to Marazion along the Cornish Way Cycle Path (the team can advise on bike hire)
- Explore the wider area - you’re within easy reach of Land’s End, St Ives and Sennen Cove
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Art classes
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
Children are welcome and will enjoy the eye-catching and playful décor, the Festival Garden to the rear, and the many attractions of Penzance and environs. That said, there’s not much space to run around, and no dedicated facilities.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The 3-bedroom cottage next door to the hotel is well set-up for families, with a spacious living area and kitchen, a master double, another double/twin and a bunk room.
The Family Room is also a great option - it has a mezzanine level with a small double bed and a single, though the stairs are steep with open treads. The Lookout, the Bigger Double and one of the Comfy Doubles have sofabeds. Be aware that many bathrooms have showers only
The Barn has crowd-pleasing fare on offer
Kids Activities on site:
- Table tennis and ping pong in the Festival Garden
- Board games in the lounge-bar
Kids Activities nearby:
- St Michael's Mount
- Land's End
- Beaches including Sennen Cove
- The cinema in Newlyn for rainy days
- Jubilee Pool (June-September)
- Tin mines
- St Ives
- Birding at Hayle
Families Should Know:
Not ideal for toddlers as there are several steps and different levels, and not much space for them to run about
- Airport: 1hr10m (Newquay)
- Hospital: 10 minutes
- Shops: 1 minute
Artist Residence Cornwall is in the centre of Penzance, southwest England. It's a short walk from the ferry to the Scilly Isles.
Penzance is just off the A30, the main road through Cornwall. It's 5 hours from London and 3.5 hours from Bristol. There's no car park on site, but you can park on the streets nearby for free, or there's a paid car park a 3-minute walk from the hotel.
The nearest airport is Newquay (64km), but you'll find more flights to Exeter (188km). Transfers aren't available and taxis are expensive, so we'd recommend hiring a car.
There are regular trains to Penzance from London, Bristol and elsewhere in the UK. The station is a 5-minute stroll or a short taxi ride from Artist Residence Cornwall.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Newquay 64.0 km NQY
- Exeter 188.0 km EXT
- Beach 1.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km