“Petite family-run hotel with spectacular ocean views, set above a sand-and-surf beach just 3 minutes by train from St Ives”
The 15 rooms, some on the first floor, others on the lower ground floor beneath the terrace, share the same basic style - clean and uncluttered, with pale walls and carpets enlivened by eye-catching prints in shades of aquamarine, coral and apple-green. Ensuites come with smart stone tiles and Grohe fittings, and many have jazzy glass or hammered-metal basins. You also get White Company toiletries, waffle robes and slippers, tea- and coffee-making kit, homemade biscuits, digital radios and plenty of storage space.
Classic Rooms (with or without a sea view) are small but comfortable, with baths and overhead showers or showers only in their ensuites; trade up to a Superior (all with a sea view) for more space, a roll-top tub and a separate walk-in shower. Top of the pile is the romantic Celebration Room, which is well worth splashing out for if you’re marking something special. It comes complete with a sunken in-room corner bath gazing out over the ocean, as well as a huge bathroom hidden behind a curved wall.
Breakfast is a generous buffet of locally sourced goodies: homemade muesli, fruit juice, yoghurts, cereal, pastries and the like. You can also order cooked options, including the classic Full Cornish and more unusual dishes such as baked bananas with cinnamon and ricotta frittatas with berry compote. It’s all served up with a sea view in the airy, Provençale-style dining room - a lovely way to start the day.
There’s no restaurant, but afternoon tea, cakes and bar food are available, along with a vast selection of wines, beers and other tipples. During our 2015 revisit we spent a lazy evening lounging on the terrace with a bottle of bubbly, before tucking into a deliciously tender steak, fish stew made from the daily catch, and a spread of Cornish cheeses with cider chutney.
There’s plenty of choice nearby when it comes to eating out, and staff will happily book tables for you. There’s a restaurant just below the hotel in Carbis Bay, or you can hop on the train and head into St Ives. Our favourite spots are surfer hangout Porthmeor Beach Café on the town’s northern beach, smart restaurant and bar Alba (housed in the old lifeboat station) and the famous Porthminster Beach Café, which specialises in super-fresh seafood.