This weekend Gerald & Jen, Group Organisers of a family and friends group in Somerset took my husband Grant and I on an overnight familiarisation visit to the AA 3 Star rated Leisureplex Cottage Hotel. The hotel is located in the Carbis Bay area of St Ives.
The hotel has 80 bedrooms, a snooker table, a bar, a ballroom with live entertainment most evenings, TV Lounge, and an outdoor heated swimming pool (open May – September). Many of the bedrooms as well as the restaurant and sun lounge enjoy the amazing sea-views across Carbis Bay.
The hotel caters mainly for the over 50’s market, either arriving by an Alfa Travel or third-party operator coach or self drive. The Alfa Travel coach guests usually have excursions included in their holiday package to a variety of local places including:
- Marazion, Penzance and Lands End
- Trebah Gardens & The Lizard Peninsula
- Truro & St Mawes
- The Lizard Peninsula and Porthleven
We arrived by car, enjoying the view as we came down the hill, and had no problem parking in the spacious car park with room for lots of cars and coaches. At the end of the car park lie Carbis Bay Railway Station, which is really affordable at a £1 each way into St Ives and accessible for people wanting to visit St Ives when they have a free resort day, if they have travelled by coach. It also avoids walking up the hill to the main road.
After a welcoming and informative check in we made our way to our rooms, and obviously as we were exploring the hotel and all it had to offer we looked at each other rooms, which were exactly the same decor, furniture and nice sea-views. Our rooms were very clean, and had the basics you need like tea-making facilities, en-suite with a powerful shower (don’t you hate it when the shower just dribbles out?) and heated towel rail (there is nothing like a warm fluffy towel to wrap yourself in after a shower). The added bonus of our rooms is that we also had wi-fi. All the Alfa Leisureplex hotels presently have internet access in the lounges/reception areas, but they are now rolling out in-room wi-fi, throughout their 21 hotels which is great.
The hotel is set in 4 acres of grounds with footpaths through the woods to the swimming pool which was being prepared to open at the end of the month, but was in a lovely situation in a wooded area, over a little bridge, with a large patio area for sunbathing and relaxing. The views from our room were sea-views overlooking the trees, and even on the afternoon we arrived as the weather took a turn for the worse, the view is one you won’t tire of with the turquoise sea and views from St Ives on the left all the way round to Godrevy Island (which is owned by the National Trust) on the right, with the golden sands of Hayle Beach.
We ordered drinks (including a lovely bottle of Gradport Cabernet Savignon – yum!) and went in for dinner. The waiting staff were very friendly and efficient. you have a 3 course dinner plus tea or coffee. We settled for scampi to start, I had hake with a cream and parsley sauce, whilst Grant enjoyed Chicken Chasseur and we both had Bakewell tart for dessert. The food was proper home cooked food and enjoyable. Breakfast the following morning, was good too, with a selection of starters – cereal, fruit and yoghurt, and a good choice of cooked breakfasts including a traditional full breakfast with fried bread, hash brown, and black pudding to accompany the usual bacon, egg, sausage, beans and tomatoes as well as toast and preserves, so I can assure you don’t go hungary after a Leisureplex breakfast! In fact I think is was about 3pm before we thought of eating lunch on Sunday.
The bar on the ground floor is open from 10am – 8pm for drinks, tea and coffee and sandwiches etc for lunch. The bar in the entertainment room is open from 8-11pm with a live entertainer most evenings, and the obligatory bingo. However after years of working in hotels for both myself and Grant we do tend to avoid it. but we did go up there after dinner. The Cottage has a nice large entertainment room with dance floor and bar, again making the most of the stunning views. There is a full size snooker table and dart board and the lounge next door, again enjoying the breathtaking views.
We awoke the next day to a beautiful sunny morning and decided to head back to Devon with some sightseeing en-route, but that’s a whole other blog post, that will feature soon!
So in conclusion:
The only downside I could find is that St Ives and Carbis Bay are hilly, so some of the clientele may struggle to get around, however Alfa Travel do say this on their website. So onto the best bits:
- the hotel is perfect for the senior and group markets it caters for
- the location and views are stunning
- its close to the beach
- large car park for cars and coaches
- set in lovely wooded grounds with swimming pool
- really close to the train station
- friendly & efficient staff including the manager
- great choice of food and caters for many dietary requirements
- nightly entertainment to keep the guests busy
- close to St Ives and lots of other great places to visit
- great base for walking the South West Coast Path or the Cornish Mining Heritage Site
For group booking enquiries to the Cottage Hotel phone 01257 248007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For other reservations call 01257 248000 or book online at http://www.alfatravel.co.uk