Hotel Review: St Michaels Resort, Falmouth in Cornwall
With views of the southern Cornish shores, Falmouth’s newly renovated St. Michael’s Resort sits in a lovely spot, miles from worry, ready and waiting to comfort its guests.
Resort really is the only word for this place, with two spas (each with a pool), state of the art gym that beats most town leisure centres, two restaurants – one awarded with 2 AA rosettes, a lounge, two bars and 84 rooms, it’s practically its own village. Most of this is result of an ongoing multi-million pound refurbishment with future plans including building a direct road from the hotel to the beach.
Sitting close to Gyllyngvase Beach and a short walk to the town centre and train station, St Michael’s is ideally located to enjoy the best of both worlds, and with easy access, there’s no reason this place shouldn’t be on your list of hotels to visit.
Food was a significant part of my stay here; I took great pleasure in dining at both eateries, embracing the relaxed nature of the Garden Kitchen, while fully enjoying the elegance of Brasserie on the Bay.
The Garden Kitchen is a laid back venue, ideal for scoffing a slice of homemade cake or quiche, a tasty salad bowl or one of the delightful pizzas, with the scents of the pizza oven tempting me in from afar. Try the Cliff Road pizza, which is topped with juicy beetroot, crunchy, warming hazelnuts, creamy goat’s cheese and dill (and rocket but I’m not a fan). The salad selection is plentiful and the combinations are delicious, from Greek style to courgette and carrot to a tasty couscous offering, which convinced me to want to eat salads this good every day.
Described as a place for good health (salads, smoothies) and wellbeing (cake, pizza) the light, bright and open space with its sea views, relaxed atmosphere and light wood décor is ideal to visit before the spa, after a walk or for a casual light meal.
Still embodying that enchanting and relaxed coastal vibe that only an eatery with sea views can muster, but bringing with it a level of modern sophistication to let you know that you are dining in an award-winning restaurant, Brasserie on the Bay is a stylish and smart space with beach-inspired décor.
The 2 AA rosette-awarded eatery offered up some delectable starters including the Cornish nanny goat’s cheese mousse with heritage beetroots, balsamic and candied walnuts (£7.25), which was full of flavour, texture and colour. The real treat was the 16oz cote de boeuf to share (£50). Served with braised shallot, blue cheese, walnuts, lamb’s lettuce salad and hand cut chips, this rib of beef was an absolute delight, heightened only with a glass of Malbec. The quality of the meat was excellent and the accompaniments were well chosen, especially the rich and salty blue cheese and the crunchy walnuts. Desserts were a bit disappointing and, I felt, were an afterthought rather than a course to be remembered.
For a drink head to The Locker, a bar decorated loosely in the style of a traditional British pub, with chunky tan leather booths and armchairs, a large TV and wall of books behind. This offers a different feel to the main bar, with its bright blue and sandy tones, light wood floor and a round lit bar in the centre of the room, reminiscent of a poolside bar in warmer climes.
I made full use of the spa facilities one lazy afternoon during my stay and my visit left me feeling wonderful. With an outdoor Finnish barrel sauna and red cedar hot tub sitting among the beautifully manicured gardens, an indoor hydrotherapy pool (the largest in the South West) with 21 massage stations, experience showers, sauna, Cornish salt and herbal steam rooms, heated loungers and day beds to recline on, it was impossible not to relax.
There are a whole range of treatments to choose from too and the luxurious Elemis products are at the heart of most. I had a go at the Moroccan Rhassoul mud treatment, which involved a natural scrub followed by a shower, after which I applied muds, which were immersed into the skin during a steam room session. It got hot but I persevered, thinking of how supremely smooth my skin might feel afterwards. Overall it was a very pleasing experience and my skin felt amazing as a result. I think it was a visit to the relaxation room afterwards, which sealed the deal for me – the cosy loungers in the darkened, quiet room, were covered with comfy pillows and throws and I could easily have drifted off to sleep for a few hours. Bliss.
The health club is set in a different building and is open to the public for the selection of some 100 classes per week, rowing room, spin room, largely equipped gym, 17-metre indoor pool with massage jets, steam room, sauna and more experience showers.
Being so close to the coast, it is inevitable that the décor would reflect the nearby surroundings, and the rooms are no different. I stayed in a beach house room, which sits in a new part of the building and boasted a balcony and modern interiors. A dark wood feature wall behind the bed made a statement against the otherwise white walls, while shades of blue – including striped cushions – brought some colour to the room. Cosy grey robes hung behind the bathroom door and slippers extended the comfort factor. There was a blue two seater sofa, desk, built in wardrobe and bedside tables as well as a balcony with furniture to enjoy the views. A coffee machine, fridge safe and TV were welcome and the modern shower room, with sandy tiles, was just what was required. Although I wasn’t sure of the window between the bedroom and shower room!
IN A NUTSHELL
Enjoy the surroundings and the newness of everything; the food, the stylish spa and the level of relaxation that the sea air brings. A visit here is sure to lift your spirits and leave you feeling nourished – that’s exactly how I felt when departure time came around.
Address: Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth TR11 4NB
Phone: 01326 312707