Hotel Review: Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate, near St Ives in Cornwall
We all know the Cornish coastline is a place worth travelling for, and not just because we might catch a glimpse of a shirtless Aidan Turner taking on his role as the rugged Poldark, no, this (almost) 300 mile stretch of coast hosts vast fine-sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, captivating coves and small fishing ports that wouldn’t look out of place on the sun-drenched Mediterranean shores. And we all want to experience a piece of this heaven, even if just for a few days.
Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate sits in prime position over the idyllic St Ives Bay, at the end of the country. Looking out to the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean, this 47 bedroomed hotel is very geared up for weddings with a selection of event spaces – one of which is at the beach – and is also overseeing a new section of the hotel, the Ocean Club. Promising to offer some pretty swish suites complete with a hot tub on each balcony, a larger event space for 200-250 guests and some family suites with floor to ceiling windows offering outstanding views of the bay, it will certainly be a game-changer for the estate.
There is an array of accommodation you can pick from should you wish to visit, including deluxe rooms, junior suites, cottages and beachside houses, all within the estate and all with access to the privately-owned 25-acre Blue Flag beach.
I spent a few nights in a double with a balcony and views of the gorgeous bay, which encompasses a large pale-sand beach and turquoise water. The room was compact but had everything I needed and the balcony, with space for a table and two chairs, extended the living space nicely. It was wonderful waking up to the sounds of the seaside in the mornings and the classically-styled room had blues and sandy tones on the furnishings to tie in with the location as well as dark wood furniture and champagne coloured walls. On arrival my guest and I were greeted with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier and some hand-crafted Cornish chocolates, which I sampled on the chaise-longue at the foot of the bed – very decadent!
Any spa that has a Champagne bar and a relaxation room like the one at C Bay Spa has already won, in my opinion. Add to that an outdoor pool, sauna pod, nail bar and a long list of glorious treatments on offer and there’s no going back. Choose from tailored spa days, facials including an organic seaweed marine eye treatment or aroma lift facial. Massages include a ‘sleep deeply,’ an ultimate aromatherapy experience, lava shell massage, mum-to-be, male specific offerings, body scrubs, wraps, manicures, pedicures, waxes and more.
I received a ‘head in the clouds’ treatment by Abbie and what a treat it was! Very professional, polite and friendly, Abbie massaged my back, neck and shoulders expertly, working through the tension before I turned onto my back for a further neck and shoulder rub and delightful scalp massage, which was the best! Designed to help clear the mind and support the immune system, this 45 minute massage left me feeling calm and nourished.
After this I ventured to the relaxation room, trying not to fall asleep on one of the large, sumptuous sofas and took in the cracking views from the elevated position through the floor to ceiling windows. The room was peaceful, airy and modern with a fire at one end and windows all around. I then bagged a lounger by the pool (there’s a hydrotherapy pool outside too and a higher deck with loungers) before it started to rain and I decided I was hungry and needed some lunch after my exhausting morning.
There are a number of ways you can dine here – in the airy conservatory, on the outdoor terrace, private dining for occasions or in the 2 AA Rosette awarded, Sands Restaurant. The relaxed atmosphere of the conservatory had us returning again and again for lunch and pre and post dinner drinks. There was often a musician or two playing, guitar, piano or saxophone, which was so inviting and lifted the ambience to create a welcoming setting.
We dined in Sands Restaurant on our first evening and highlights would have to be the venison loin starter, lamb main course and the chocolate and mocha mousse for dessert.
The open, airy room made the most of the captivating views with floor to ceiling windows and doors, which lead out to the terrace. Ceiling spotlights, dark wood flooring, dark, bare tables and soft, striped high-backed seating offered a cosy atmosphere and the service was good.
Back to the food and the seared loin of venison was served with roasted fig, spiced raspberry jam, chive parmesan risotto. At £13.50 this was rich and tasty with succulent meat and creamy, flavoursome risotto lifted by the sweet fig and jam.
The lamb breast was slow roasted and also served as a mini wellington along with a best end chop. This was accompanied with a carrot purée, mint jelly, roasted potato, cauliflower fritter and lamb sauce (£26.95) and all elements complemented the delicious lamb very well. To end such a sumptuous meal of course it was the white chocolate mousse and mocha panna cotta with pistachio genoese, pineapple, peach compote and sesame seed crisps at £8.50. It was a dish of varied elements, nicely presented and light enough to devour the lot.
IN A NUTSHELL
Carbis Bay is an utterly stunning spot that offers you a secluded place to breathe in some fresh, nourishing air. Everyone is smiling, relaxed and enjoying themselves and it is certainly worth travelling to the end of the country for. Just know that your stay will most likely coincide with a wedding if it’s a weekend, my stay did but I can’t say it hampered my stay at all.
Room rates at Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate start at £270 per night. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast, taxes and fees. To book visit www.carbisbayhotel.co.uk Or call 01736 795311.
Beach lodge rates start at £1,200 per night. This is based on occupancy of up to six people and includes breakfast, taxes and fees. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate, Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2NP / +44 (0)1736 795311