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We were lucky enough to get a great review recently from The Telegraph - with an overall score of 9/10. "Cornish manor house set far away from the madding crowds, on a magnificent private estate of lawns, woodland and a private golf course sloping down to the banks of the sheltered River Helford. This is a wonderful old-fashioned country house hotel, where a loyal clientele return year after year."
There may be no sea or river view, but undulating vistas over the grounds, where subtropical and coniferous trees keep things green year round, can be equally good for the soul – as can the silence, broken only by the sound of the wind in the trees and the occasional birdsong. Walk down through the grounds to the river (with a sunlounge and private beach), or cross behind the golf course to the lovely village of Helford Passage, with a great pub and boats across the river to Helford.
Style & character - 8 / 10
The 18th-century manor house has been a hotel since the Thirties, and with just three family owners – including a certain Mr Whiteside, the man who introduced Sun Pat peanut butter to Britain. With a deeply loyal clientele, it has evolved – and continues to evolve –slowly, while the good old-fashioned values of cordial, personal service remain undiminished.
Service & facilities - 9 / 10
There’s a spacious cocktail bar, conservatory, pubby golf bar, and three lounges, yet the feel remains intimate, homely, and respectfully unpretentious. An excellent spa has a superb 20-metre swimming pool sheltered in a giant hexagonal gazebo with beautiful wooden ceiling, open-log fire, sauna, and an outdoor hot tub. The golf course is nine holes, with 18 tees and was designed by James Braid. River trips and kayaking are organised from the hotel beach. This is the kind of place where the staff remember guests from year to year, and send out birthday cards.
Rooms - 8 / 10
Around a third of the 57 rooms have been refurbished, along with some stretches of corridor, with more being completed every year. The new rooms are delightful, with luminous pearl grey Farrow and Ball walls, delicate wood-block print wallpapers, soft furnishings in muted shades Hypnos beds, prints by local artists, cloudy duvets and loads of cushions. All have large bathrooms with bathtubs, gowns, slippers, pool towels and large bottles of Elemis products. There are also several self catering cottages.
Food & drink - 8 / 10
No mashed avocados or chia seeds here, instead a good old-fashioned British breakfast cooked to order – locally cured bacon, sausages and hog’s pudding, smoked salmon, haddock from a Cornish smokery, and local eggs. Abundant buffet, with local yogurt, buttery croissants and an unforgettable organic raspberry jam. Generous pots of tea and excellent coffee too. Casual lunches with daily specials are served in the cocktail bar from noon until 2pm, with locally sourced oysters, scallops, mussels, fish, lobster and steak appearing alongside year-round staples. Sandwiches are available all day (try Cornish roast beef, or Newlyn crab), and served with homemade sauces and chutneys. Dinner in the restaurant is more formal (no shorts, flip flops) with both à la carte and a daily changing set menu (£42 per head for four courses plus coffee or £21 if booked in advance as part of the stay).
Value for money - 9 / 10
From £73 per person per night in low season; and from £118 per person per night in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities? - Yes, best to contact the hotel directly so that they can meet your needs.
Family-friendly? - There is currently one family room with double bed and bunkbeds, and one interconnecting room. Self-catering cottages and houses sleep six to eight. Children’s swimming times under 11s from 10am until 5pm, and Easter and summer activities include laser clay, archery, kayaking. Children can either dine with parents in country club room off the restaurant, or have high tea.