I had the chance to review The Harbour hotel last month on a weekend trip to Newquay, a tiny town in the Cornwall region of England. Our trip to Newquay came at the right time- we needed a quiet weekend away. Our recent travels to Peru, the South of France, York, and Berlin, exciting as they were, had exhausted us and left us in desperate need of some rest and relaxation. Likewise, the busy work-weeks in loud London had worn us down. Some quiet time in this idyllic area of England was imperative.
I found cheap plane tickets online (only 90 GBP for a round trip ticket) and we flew to Cornwall bright and early on a Saturday morning. After an hour of flying time, we arrived at Newquay’s airport- with no guidebook, itinerary, or agenda. Our only plan was to laze about in our hotel room, eat good food, and walk aimlessly around town. Yes, I know that sounds incredibly slovenly and unambitious. But sometimes a couple of lazy days off the radar are necessary! And in our case, they were merited.
The Harbour hotel, as a result, was the perfect place to stay for us. As indicated by the name, it’s located right next to the Newquay harbour, with a quiet tree-lined street to the front and an enviable stretch of beach to its back. It’s a lovely English inn with only five rooms, each equipped with its own balcony where you can bask in the warm glow of the sun and take in a sea view.
Housed in a period building but refurbished to a contemporary standard, The Harbour is a great blend of old and new. Our room was quaint, sweetly decorated, and had so much personality and style that I wanted to wrap it all up and transport it back to my drab little apartment in East London. While the bed was a bit small by American standards, the charm and character of the room more than made up for the lack of space. I mean, how cute is this room?
You all know by now that I am fanatic about bathrooms, so I am happy to report that this one was spectacularly clean and stylish. The fixtures, brand new and/or meticulously maintained, shone, the grout between the bathroom tiles were free of mildew. There were an adequate amount of thick towels (one for the body, one for hair, one for face) and a lush robe that Liebling, in particular, enjoyed immensely.
I can’t forget to mention that the service was stellar. Being a small hotel, the lovely staff was sure to welcome us and make us feel as though we were their own personal guests. Alan, the manager, made sure our every need was attended to, while other members engaged us in pleasant conversation and gave us advice about where to go and what to see in Newquay.
Even better was the food. The Harbour has a restaurant attached to the hotel that serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Upon our arrival, we indulged in an order of freshly made scones with jam and Cornish clotted cream. Included in the room rate is a buffet breakfast, where a wide array of sweet and savoury fare tempted us into saying yes, yes, and yes again to second, third, and fourth(!) helpings.
So terrible for the waistline, sigh. But so worth it.
Also of note is the dinner menu at The Harbour’s restaurant. After walking all around Newquay and failing to find somewhere to eat (the places we saw were either packed or unappealing), we returned to our home base, remembering the offerings at The Harbour’s restaurant. We weren’t disappointed. For the fair price of 40 GBP for two, we had a starter, two drinks, and two mains. The food was exquisite and filling- I ordered mackerel fish. It was money well spent!
Hotels like this remind me why I often prefer boutique and bed & breakfast hotels to large chains. The personal touches, the attention to detail, and the individual attention really add to the experience.
Are you a fan of bed & breakfasts or hotel chains? What type of things do you look for in a hotel?
Thanks to Visit England and The Harbour for hosting our one-night stay. All opinions are my own.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed (it’s free!) so you don’t miss an update from Oneika the Traveller!