Chapel House PZ

Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom Book from

Reviewed by Nikki Tinto
A stylish contemporary restoration, a house-party mood and beautiful food at this 6-bedroom sanctuary in Penzance
On one of Cornwall’s most charming streets is a Georgian house built by an Admiral who fought at Trafalgar, commanded a ship painted by Turner, and liked a sea view. One of the best is from the landing - but most of the guest rooms have them, views that sail to St Michael’s Bay and the Lizard beyond.

From the moment you enter, you experience perfection. Susan Stuart’s minimalist transformation is a triumph of restoration but what makes the place so special is that it actually feels like home. You get homemade cake and a cuppa on arrival, you can hunker down by a fire whenever you fancy, or take a drink to the small walled garden. Nothing’s off limits; you come and go as you please, and there’s a boot room with coats, hats, flippers and wellies in case you’ve left yours behind (toothbrushes too!). Taxis are ordered, restaurants booked, kids’ games provided, dogs accommodated - and you can watch breakfast being cooked on the range, by Susan. (Don’t miss the sizzled cods’ roes.) She’s a fabulous cook - pre-dinner drinks are on the house for her Kitchen Suppers - and with a tinkling on the piano, these evenings can feel like a brilliant house party.


  • Just 6 large, luminous bedrooms, with state-of-the-art bathrooms and sea views
  • An intimate and relaxing feel
  • Delicious meals from Cornish produce, and complimentary coffees and cakes throughout the day
  • Georgian features blend with exceptional workmanship, local art and ingenious design
  • A car pass to gated parking nearby


  • Kitchen Suppers (Mon-Sat) are served communally, which might not suit everyone, but there are great restaurants nearby
  • No twin rooms
  • Room 3's bathroom is door-free, and Room 5's is in a glass box!

Best time to go

September and October are wonderful: the sun has been warming the sea all summer, and you’ll be glad not to have to think about holiday traffic on narrow Cornish roads. May and June are brilliant for flowers: sea pinks, sea campion, ox-eye daisies.

Our top tips

  • Come for a car-free long weekend. Grab a cheap train fare to Penzance and Chapel House is only a short walk from the station. Day trip to picturesque St Ives via a scenic train journey. Passing the huge sand dunes of Hayle Towans and the sweep of Carbis Bay, you cleverly avoid the scrum for a parking space in St Ives
  • We love the whitewashed Tolcarne Inn at Newlyn for fabulous seafood on the coastal path. Live jazz on Sundays is a plus
  • Great for...

    City Style
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 6
    • Breakfast; weekend dinners; restaurants nearby
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym


    All 6 bedrooms are bathed in light, decorated in sea tones, and have views of the sea - in most cases, to Mount’s Bay and the Lizard beyond.

    Décor is immaculate, a blend of period and contemporary. Renovated floorboards have been painted white, and topped with rugs. Large Georgian windows are shuttered and sashed, enormous beds have been hand-crafted from oak, there are easy chairs and sofas in beautiful colours, and if your child needs a spare bed, chances are it will be an Ercol.

    Bedrooms 1, 2 and 3 are on the first floor, cleanly furnished with elegant antiques; Room 2 has a wood-burner. Rooms 4, 5 and 6 are more contemporary in feel, set on the top floor beneath the rafters, where a glass dormer gives views to the harbour, and the church tower above. Room 6 is a real wow, with a free-standing bath under a sliding glass roof so you can enjoy a soak beneath the stars.

    The attention to detail is second to none: fresh flowers and nice bevvies, even shaving kits. Smart TVs and tea/coffee-making facilities are yours if requested, and each room has an iPad which includes Facetime for room service and a hand-picked selection of walks, beaches, galleries, pubs and eateries - brilliant.

    Bed linen is crisp, mattresses deep and bathrooms are exquisite. All are stocked with locally-made soaps and big white towels, deep tubs and/or waterfall showers.

    Features include:

    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • IPad
    • Tea & coffee (on request)
    • Toiletries
    • TV (on request)
    • WiFi


    Keen cook Susan is mad about fresh produce and offers you Cornwall’s finest. We loved our breakfast. It is served at chunky tables in the sleek basement kitchen-dining room, where coffee, tea and scrumptious cake is on tap all day. Tuck into Greek yogurt, just-squeezed juices, artisan breads and warm pastries, along with local preserves and homemade smoothies, sizzled cods' roes (a west Cornish speciality), smoked haddock, buttered samphire, and eggs any way you want them. If you're feeling lazy, light breakfasts - breads and pastries or hot breakfast sandwiches - can be brought to your room.

    Other meals on offer are Sunday brunch, Sunday lunch (roast or vegetarian) and Monday-Saturday Kitchen Suppers, served communally around a big table. On sunny days you can eat in the walled garden and hotel guests get a free pre-dinner drink. Expect a short menu designed around seasonal Cornish produce: lobster, scallops, bowls of crab ravioli, risottos, bouillabaisse, cheeses, bread and butter pudding… The wines flow and the food is a treat.

    For a change of scene, cross the road to the Cornish Barn at Artist Residence for small sharing plates, cocktails and a buzzy vibe or visit the Admiral Benbow for traditional pub grub.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Children meals
    • Communal dining
    • Cooking classes
    • Dinner by arrangement
    • Organic produce
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service
    • Vegetarian menu


  • Tie in with one of Chapel House’s demo cooking events or foraging weekends. If you like food and you’ve got kids, you’ve come to the right place: on Saturdays there are children’s cookery classes
  • Away from tourist mayhem, Penzance is a pleasant little town to walk around, with subtropical gardens, a terrific Art Deco lido (recently revived) and a breezy prom. Chapel Street is its most historic street, all period frontages, quirky galleries, and the jolly Admiral Benbow pub
  • Walk the coastal path from St Ives to tiny Zennor (6 miles) then stagger into the Tinner’s Arms. Enjoy a really good lunch by a crackling log fire or tuck into crab sandwiches in the garden overlooking the sea
  • The Minack is a cliffside theatre (bring all-weather togs) with breathtaking views, whose first performance - The Tempest, summer of 1932 - was lit by batteries and car headlamps. If there are no performances during your stay, you can tour the stage and visitors' centre
  • Just below the Minack are the white sands and turquoise waters of Porthcurno - heaven on earth
  • Two miles from Penzance are the sub-tropical Tremenheere Gardens, among the loveliest in Cornwall. Find trees, streams, sculptures, James Turrell’s Skyspace, a ‘camera obscura’, an excellent restaurant and, from the top, views of Mount’s Bay
  • Zip across the Penwith Peninsula to Sennen Cove, a vast sweep of sands just north of Land’s End with a café and a surf school. En route, drop in on the village of St Just and the “last proper pub in Cornwall”: the Star Inn is genuinely unspoilt. No food, no telly, just crisps, nuts, coal fires and great ales (great on a stormy day)
  • Discover the dramatic rocky coves and deserted white beaches of the Scilly Isles. The Scillonian ferry runs between Penzance and St Mary's from early spring until autumn typically leaving at 9.15am and arriving in Hugh Town around noon, 6 days a week.

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Cooking classes
    • Foraging
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Shopping / markets
    • Surfing
    • Swimming
    • Theatre
  • Kids

    Parents and children are warmly welcomed at Chapel House. The kitchen/breakfast room is stocked with complimentary teas, coffee and cake. There are books, games and colouring things for rainy days and childrens’ cooking classes on Saturdays.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    All bedrooms are big, with lots of space for a baby cot (all rooms) or rollaway bed (Rooms 4 & 6). All bar one (Room 5) have a bath. Rooms 4, 5 and 6 can be taken together to create a family suite with a large sofa’d landing. Kids will love the in-room iPads! Note, there are no twin rooms


    On request

    Baby equipment:


    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    On request

    Kids Activities on site:

    Kids' cookery classes on Saturdays


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    Kid Friendly:

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