A trip to Cornwall would not be complete without a visit to St. Mawes and the exemplary Tresanton Hotel. This is in no small part due to its owner, Olga Polizzi who was destined from birth to create beautiful places for people to stay, being the daughter of Lord Charles Forte. Thankfully for all of us who have been fortunate to stay at Tresanton or Hotel Endsleigh (her country hotel at Milton Abbot near Tavistock), she is very good at it.
Tresanton is her interpretation of the perfect seaside hotel. Since it opened in 1998 there have been many imitators and as a result all our experiences of British seaside hotels have improved but somehow there is nowhere quite like Tresanton. Maybe it is the ‘Italian’ influence – that effortless style that comes naturally to the Italians with their inherent sense of chic.
Hotel Tresanton has 30 rooms to chose from – This is a family suite with private terrace with views over the bay
Olga Polizzi has improved the hotel year on year and each time it has evolved organically. Although the hotel’s predominate style is seaside, mainly due to its yacht club origins, there does not seem to be an overall contrived style as can be observed in each of the thirty bedrooms and reception rooms. Subtly positioned art works are placed around the hotel – each piece chosen purely for their style and beauty.
A Welcoming Sheep on the terrace at the entrance to Tresanton
Since our last visit, the hotel has enlarged the terraces of rooms 5 and 6 which now have sofas and eating areas and six bathrooms have been redesigned so that they now have free-standing showers as well as bathtubs. To view all the different rooms or suites to book please click here and get an idea of the superb, different accomodation which should fit every criteria.
Olga Polizzi introducing the New Beach Club
However, the most exciting addition this year has been the purchase of the land opposite the hotel. This is a fitting acquisition as this land had originally been part of the property but had been sold to a private owner prior to Olga Polizzi’s purchase of Tresanton. With this additional land they have created the Cornish equivalent of a Mediterranean beach club. With the aid of the summer currents of the Gulf Stream creating the balmy Cornish climate, many happy, relaxing hours could be spent taking in the splendid views of St.Mawes Bay and listening to the sound of the waves gently breaking on the rocks beneath.
Delicious, Succulent P.O.S.H. Burgers being prepared in The Nook
In fact you could spend all day there, either lounging at mid terrace level on the loungers with blue and white striped cantilever umbrellas, only rising to the top terrace for snacks and drinks – from July to August the hotel barbeque delicious P.O.S.H. burgers made from specially chosen beef from Cusgarne Farm and finally at the end of the day gazing out to sea, cocktail in hand, as the sun sets on the horizon.
Of course this is the scenario on a perfect summer day and it can only be to all the guests’ advantage to have facilities to meet all eventualities. Reality however must be faced and all of us who love Cornwall know that uninterrupted sunshine is not the typical weather, in fact it can be positively grim with high winds and torrential rain in spite of those golf stream currents! So thankfully Tresanton is the type of hotel that is so comfortable, homely yet stylish, that you can hunker down in your room or curl up in the very welcoming sitting room or take an extra long lunch in the Mediterranean style restaurant and wait for the rain to pass, as surely it will.
The restautant with its views over the bay to the Roseland Peninsula.
Tresanton specialises in fresh fish prepared simply. Lunch might be a crab and dandelion salad or a wild garlic soup, followed by a whole Dover sole and homemade ice cream and sorbet
Hotel Tresanton’s Yacht Pinuccia – For Hire From May to September
And when that sun shines again there is no better way to explore the beautiful Falmouth Bay which includes the Fal Estuary and Helford River than in the hotel’s own skippered wooden 8 metre classic 1939 yacht, Pinuccia. You can chose a whole day sailing including a picnic for two and a bottle of pink prosecco or a picnic for four and a bottle of white wine for £650 or half day for £350 or an evening sail with a bottle of house wine for £350. On a perfect Cornish day this must be worth every penny.
So what’s the next project for Tresanton? At the same time as acquiring the terraced land for the beach club, a three bedroom house was included in the purchase. This property will be renovated over the winter and should be ready around Spring 2018. The house will be either self-catering or the guests will be able to take advantage of the facilities of the hotel.
Tresanton never fails to please and with Olga Polizzi at the helm with her delightful staff, headed by the General Manager, Karen Baxter, she will continue to make our stays there ever more a special retreat from our hectic lifestyles.
Click HERE for Things to Do during your stay at Hotel tresanton
Chrissy studied at Southampton University where she gained a degree in Fine Art Valuation and worked for 16 years at Gerald Marsh Antique Clocks in Winchester, now known as Carter Marsh. Following her departure from Carter Marsh she has been instrumental in the launch of The Vintage Magazine and the design of its website. As well as being a contributing author she is the Features Editor of the magazine with special responsibility for Arts and Culture.