Tim Warrington stays at Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes, one of the prettiest fishing villages in Cornwall
Check-in experience: Absolutely flawless. After an hour of driving through horizontal rain to St Mawes during a thunderstorm, dodging Cornish hedgerows and sundry bewildered badgers, it was much appreciated.
Professional, slick and quick, the staff were uber efficient. The carpark is at the top of the cliff and I was at the bottom but my luggage magically appeared in my room before me. Just in time for cocktail hour and the most divine Aperol Spritz. And the superlatives kept coming. Ten out of 10.
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Room: Ground-floor room with separate entrance, writing desk, flatscreen and huge walk-in robe. Tresanton is essentially a cluster of houses on the edge of town. The hotel, perched on the cliffside, soars skywards, straddling the Cornish granite and presenting each room with panoramic views of the Percuil Rivermouth and St Anthony's lighthouse.
And the elevated harmonies continue inside with sumptuous, individual decor in every room. Tresanton has 30 rooms and suites; a restaurant with large terraces; a room for private parties; the dog's bar, where you can dine with your pooch; a beach club; a private sailing boat; and a kitchen sink. Several of them judging by the lightning fast service at dinner.
Bathroom: Huge bath and across the wet-room a vast and glorious rainwater shower. I dried off with the softest towels.
On my second night, after a long day eating pasties, I relished a soak in the tub but probably could have done laps. It was enormous. Top-notch amenities by Mitchell and Peach. A wonderful bay window provided the ideal perch to while away the hours with a well-thumbed Daphne du Maurier, occasionally losing oneself in a daydream glance across the water.
Location: St Mawes is one of the prettiest fishing villages in Cornwall. England's picturesque southwest est is known for its quaint riparian harbour towns, but St Mawes upped the ante and Tresanton topped it.
Dining: At breakfast I helped myself to fresh fruit, granola, yoghurt and pastries and chased it with a cooked breakfast with eggs every which way. The Cornish field mushrooms were disarmingly moreish.
In keeping with tradition, afternoon tea is the highlight of every afternoon at Tresanton. I was still exploring the castle just up the road, but the oohs and ahhhs from the hotel were clearly audible. Two words: clotted cream.
In the evening I dined to a symphony of popping champagne corks at the milestone birthday across the way. It's a "celebrate something special" kind of place. The scallops were fork-quiveringly plump and juicy.
Tech: There is complimentary in-room Wi-Fi and all public areas — it's fast and connected all my interweb wotsity gadgets.
Would I return? Yes. And often. And stay longer. And bring the pooch. There is no better place to spend your time and treasure.
Perfect for: Couples, families, doggies, holidays and weekends away.
Kids: They love children and have a playroom and children's garden. Children under 6 are politely asked not to dine in the restaurant in the evening.
Bottom line: "There is no muzak whatsoever at Tresanton," to quote its website, "only the sound of the waves and the occasional sea shanty".