Hotel Review: Merchants Manor, Falmouth in Cornwall
Falmouth, on Cornwall’s southern coast, is a place to escape to and enjoy freshly cooked seafood, stunning seaside views and to completely relax. Bringing the winning elements of the town inside, Merchants Manor hotel, spa and restaurant offers a welcoming getaway in this stylish 1913 manor house with 18th century origins.
Although I had a slightly odd start to my stay (the gentleman on reception wasn’t overly helpful) my two night jaunt with my other half, Nick, was a real treat. We couldn’t have been better looked after (excluding the above) and made to feel at ease by the friendly staff.
During our stay both Nick and I were treated to an all over body massage, plenty of food and drink to keep us fuelled, a comfortable room all aided with a relaxing atmosphere. After we found our room we swiftly abandoned it to discover Falmouth. The town centre and quay is a short walk away (10 -15 minutes) and the hotel is based at the top of a hill amongst pretty gardens. Nick and I loved the town; the mix of shops and eateries sitting beside the water and the picturesque walk to the beach were right up our street.
Once we were done exploring we returned to the manor to prepare for our treatments with the lovely Alex. I had booked what I thought was a foot massage but was actually an Indian massage where the therapist uses their feet to work through deep tension, specifically in your lower back. I have lower back pain and problems, which require the gentle touch so we decided to go with an essential oils all over body massage instead. We sat down and I chose some oils that I liked the smell of (orange, lavender, chamomile and a woody one, which I forget!) and I lay on the bed ready to be pampered. All thoughts of the outside world soon drifted away as Alex worked her magic on my legs, feet, back and arms (taking special care of my lower back) and neck and shoulders before I turned over (reluctantly, I was so relaxed!) and my legs, feet and arms got another work through, right to the tips of my fingers and toes – it was wonderful. She then massaged my neck before finishing with a scalp massage – even my ears got a look in!
I am happy to admit that it was the most wonderful massage – I left feeling so relaxed, happy and very radiant. Alex really listened to what I said about my back and used her expertise to leave me feeling positively wonderful. She is very friendly and even complemented me on my “elegant fingers and toes” – good to hear! She comes highly recommended from me.
There are a wide range of treatments available to book at Merchants Manor, which are inspired by massage from all over the world including an hour long Indonesian massage, a 60 or 90 minute Hawaiian massage and a Swedish offering. Classic treatments are also available and include a pedicure, manicure, facial, reflexology, as well as treatments utilising the skills of two therapists. Nick also enjoyed the same massage with Alex and he agreed that it was one of the best massages he has had and complemented her skills, which left him feeling relaxed and “floating on air.”
I was in a happy trance afterwards and took myself to the library to continue my relaxation (as instructed) with a pot of tea. The current owners have been here for four years and have been making many improvements to the hotel. The library, bar, lounge and restaurant all have a rich blue, green, grey theme running throughout with dark wood furniture and stylish artwork in each space. The library has a sea theme with paintings of harbours and boats hanging on the walls with unique furniture (including a coffee table made with books) and circular seating within a turret, while the restaurant, Rastella, has slate grey walls and contemporary artwork with flashes of colour. Through the restaurant is the conservatory, where we ate most of our meals, this holds green/blue leather seating with dark wood or marble effect table tops with a view over the lovely gardens looking towards the sea.
Our room was quite simple in terms of décor with drawings of the house, bottles of drinks and a painting of a fisherman sitting on the white walls. Two large windows let plenty of light in and there was lots of space to store our belongings, while some fresh, white roses, a blue blanket on the bed and tea making facilities added the homely touch. The bathroom had been recently refurbished and was very stylish and modern with a black tiled floor, white tiled walls and contemporary basin, toilet and shower head. We really did struggle to get out of bed after a glorious night’s sleep (perhaps the sea air helped) but the thought of missing breakfast was too much to bear!
Options for our morning meal included the usual cold items like meats, pastries, cheese, muesli, fruits and juices and dishes cooked to order such as Eggs Benedict, milk poached smoked haddock and a ‘smugglers’ cooked breakfast. My favourite breakfast of the two days was the French toast with streaky bacon and maple syrup, which was delicious. Thin, crispy, delicate French toast with the sweet syrup poured over and salty, streaky bacon made up this tasty treat along with a lovely dense breakfast muffin with berries, which started my day nicely. Nick enjoyed smoked salmon with creamy scrambled eggs one day and the Smugglers breakfast the next, while I filled up on the Eggs Benedict the second day, which was a big portion and came with spinach.
We also enjoyed plenty of delicious food in Rastella, more of which you can read about here.
The hotel also happens to have a 12 metre pool, hydrotherapy pool, Nordic barrel sauna, aromatherapy steam room and gym, and is fully armed for events. A wedding reception was taking place while we were there – not that we were disturbed, if that’s the worry – and it took place in the dedicated event suite, Trelawny. Servicing up to 200 guests, it is available for larger numbers, while the restaurant can fit 60 and the library, 20.
In a nutshell
Merchants Manor is a place to which I would return without a doubt. The spa and treatments will no doubt leave you feeling on air, as I felt, and the food, mostly seafood and largely local, was gorgeous. Every reception room in which you relax and wander about in are comfortable and stylish and you can truly escape here.
Address: 1 Western Terrace, Falmouth TR11 4QJ / 01326 312734