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All reviews vip lodge terrace restaurant feadon farm hot tub meet the animals rock pooling swimming pool country park wildlife experience wood burner portreath beach night walk onsite restaurant on arrival st ives takeaway service dishwasher tablets
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Reviewed 18 September 2016

Just returned from my second visit to Gwel an mor and already trying g to plan my next trip! I don't even look at alternative accommodation because if I coming to Cornwall, I'm coming to Gwel an mor. This time I came with my husband, daughter and her friend.the girls both enjoyed their surf lesson on porthmeor beach.everywhere easy to get to via a30, I'd recommend trebah gardens.back to g an mor, staff delightful, handyman with a new toaster, receptionists, spa therapist and the young lady delivering our fish and chips from the restaurant, you obviously love the place as much as I do. I did visit your wildlife centre last time and the highlight for me was,feeding the foxes.the lodges are beautifully clean, well equipped,we have had a lowena and a tregea.the best bit for me is the swimming pool, always relaxing yet refreshing after a day out. I won!d like my son and girlfriend to come with us next time , so just waiting to organise which week is best for all and I shall be making my booking! Can't wait! X

Room Tip: It seems all lodges have a sea view
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank june8942016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William H, Owner at Gwel an Mor, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2016

June,

"I Just Love This place"

Great headline! and we agree with you, we love the place to!

Thanks for taking the time to add a write up, and such a great one, glad you and your family had such a great time with us and that you wouldn't even consider booking anywhere else in Cornwall, we know there are many choices of where to stay and we always aim to keep be so good that our guests will always want to cone back.

And next year when you come back we will have our stunning golf course and fishing lake,so theres even more to do!

Thank you

Bill Haslam
(Owner)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2016

I am writing this after a recent wonderful week-long stay in a VIP Tregea lodge, which I wish we had booked for a fortnight as we enjoyed it so much.
We checked in with ease. Grace on reception was very helpful, especially when I realised the breakfast box I had pre-ordered wasn't in the lodge. Note to guests, don't be like me and order it for the day of your first breakfast or it won't be delivered until that day. Grace helpfully arranged a box to be put together the night we arrived so we had breakfast for the morning.
I had requested a stair gate for both the top and bottom, but only the top had been fitted when we got to our lodge. Again, Grace helped with this and a maintenance man come out promptly to fit and change the fuse in the night light.
Those grumbling about the 5* rating and expecting clean towels daily among other delights are confusing this accommodation with a 5* hotel. It's self-catering 5*, which clearly outlines on the comprehensive website what is included. If you want a daily maid service, like in a hotel, then expect to pay for it.
Sure you're on holiday but throwing a few towels into the (very fast) washer/dryer in the lodge really isn't that much of a stretch. Bring some washing liquid/softener from home in a cosmetic travel bottle.
There's even cleaning spray under the sink, a fresh cloth and sponge so you can wipe down the kitchen surfaces et al, so unless you've got a muddy dog running riot keeping the place clean and tidy is pretty simple. A handful of washing machine tablets are also under the sink. Note, if you take extra from home there's a sign saying to not to use the three-in-one tabs in the dishwasher. We bought some Tesco value ones from the nearby supermarket, which did a sterling job.
Our lodge had three spacious bedrooms downstairs. Two with two single beds and one with a double, which lead out to the decking where the hot tub was and had an en suite shower room. There was also a separate larger bathroom with overhead shower.
We requested a number of items for our son, which were all provided including a cot; made up and ready to go with fresh bedding, buggy, plastic bowls and spoons and a potty. Having all these extras for parents are a god-send. One thing missing from the list which the owners might like to consider is including a toilet trainer seat. The buggy was nice and lightweight to move around Cornwall with and easy to pop open/fold.
The hot tub was heated perfectly - and a really fun, luxury addition to the lodge. Ours - No 19 - looked out on to a patch of grass which appeared popular with dog walking guests. A slight concern would be in summer - when it's busier - that your view on the decking, whether in the hot tub or having a BBQ, would be frequently seeing dogs doing their business. I love animals but I would have preferred there to be a dedicated area on site for dog owners to take their pets to relieve themselves away from the lodges. A minor niggle.
Upstairs in the lodge was a generously sized kitchen, with most of the mod cons you could need. I would have loved a smoothie maker but again, it's not a 5* hotel so didn't expect one. A complimentary bottle of white wine in the fridge was a lovely welcome gift.
The dining table is a perfect size for a family with comfortable high back chairs. There were two sofas - one leather and one cloth, a coffee table, the wood burning fire, which we found very cosy on the odd chilly evening, and a small balcony with table and chairs and a high enough barrier to stop my son climbing over. Phew.
The TV has all the digital channels on it but no satellite. WIFI is free and worked perfectly in the lodge for the whole of our stay until the final evening. Perhaps as I chose to pay my newspaper bill the evening before we left we were 'checked out'. However we logged on to the neighbouring lodge fine instead.
Plenty of towels were provided, dressing gowns and in the downstairs storage cupboard, extra toilet rolls, a Henry Hoover and a small clothes drying stand.
We cooked for ourselves most evenings but also made use of the takeaway service. One evening no-one answered the phone so I walked round to the restaurant, which was minutes away, and was told there would be a wait of around 1hr 30 minutes. My only disappointment with the restaurant was this sort of waiting issue. In peak season when the restaurant is full, many guests would be let down as I can foresee it struggling to cater for everyone.
That aside I was extremely impressed with the restaurant when they kindly adapted meals to fit around my food intolerances. I was allowed to order items off the main menu, and on our last night treated myself to lobster, which the staff were able to track down fresh despite it not being in plentiful supply. I searched Cornwall all week and found no-where selling it. So big thanks to the restaurant staff for being so flexible and helpful.
The onsite soft play was one of the main reasons I was drawn to book this accommodation. However, like other reviewers, I was surprised that guests have to pay for it. It's sold as being a feature on the site like the swimming pool so I assumed it was included. I think an external company must own and run the soft play, which is why they charge. But a deal should be sought to offer a package to guests whereby unlimited soft play access for a week could be bought etc.
Yes, it's brand new and looks wonderful, is a great size for all ages and there's a smashing cafe serving hot food (although not at all times), cakes and even wine, but £6 a session IS expensive, especially if you go in more than once. All these little things eventually add up. I pay £3.50 in London and £5.10 in Essex in comparison.
I spoke to a number of local mums in the soft play, who also commented on the price being high, especially as it is competing with two other soft plays in the area. Many of the staff seemed bored. When the WIFI stopped working I asked the reception girl to help. She was more interested in chatting to a colleague and told me there was nothing she could do... Completely different standard to the other members of staff we met on site.
We booked two farm experiences before arrival - The Gruffalo and Meet The Animals. Unfortunately my tired son wouldn't sit still throughout The Gruffalo experience and wanted to explore the farm by himself rather than listen to the information about the animals, so we left halfway through as not to disturb the other guests. But I did get to hold an owl on his behalf before we left (which was very cool) and we met a snake and some mice. It was a really lovely experience that when my son is older I will try to repeat.
We cancelled the following day's Meet The Animals experience but as our places were not re-sold we couldn't get a refund, which was a shame but our own fault. The farm is a beautiful attraction on site - we walked past goats and reindeers - and the team there, as you'd expect, were extremely knowledgable and professional.
My husband had an enjoyable full body aromatherapy massage in the spa and I had a the LaStone therapy full body massage, which included back, face, neck, shoulders, head and scalp, over 90 minutes. It was one of the best massages I ever had! I wish I had booked it for the first day we arrived as I felt insanely relaxed afterwards. I am still thinking about it now. Thanks Daniella.
Unfortunately we ran out of time to explore the swimming pool, on site play park and gym as we went out and about most days. But they all looked excellent facilities.
Echoing other reviews I do think it's a shame there's not a small shop on site but appreciate the owners not wishing to make competition in the local area. Perhaps they could work together with the nearby Trevaskis Farm (which is where I believe our breakfast pack was purchased as I saw many of the items in store) to offer an outlet. Trevaskis is short drive away - approx 15 minutes - and where we stocked up our lodge fridge on some wonderful farm goods - the sweetcorn was delicious. Again, we didn't have time to explore the farm and pick our own fruit and veg so that's on the next time to-do list. They also have a large restaurant, whose home-made chips were chunky and delicious.
The lodges are roughly a 30 minute drive to St Ives, but there are plenty of smaller, less busy beaches closer. We gave up on St Ives after twice struggling to park there. Ignore the crowds and look at the info pack in the lodge for other alternatives.
If you have kids the seal sanctuary is a smashing place to visit and offers unlimited free returns all week after you pay for admission once. Note, it's a steep walk to the seals. We didn't notice there was a tram transporting people until we were halfway up. We also cycled through Tehidy park, which was a 10 minute drive away using our own bikes but there are ones to hire on site.
In summary, Gwel an Mor is a superb complex of beautiful lodges, perfect for families looking to explore the stunning local area. We loved it and will be taking advantage of the 5% discount offered to returning guests and hope to visit again next year - ideally for a fortnight rather than one week.

Room Tip: We stayed in Lodge 19 and were very happy with it.
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Shruggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William H, Owner at Gwel an Mor, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2016

Shruggy,

This is a review and some!

Thanks for some great words and I am so pleased you had such a great time with us, you appear to have dome pretty much everything we offer and I will pass on all your positive comments to our staff.

Our Base Camp facility is excellent and we do not apologise that its not the cheapest to use the soft play at £6, but it is excellent, kept spotlessly clean and is manned properly, with health and safety always the priority, it is air conditioned and offers excellent food as well, this is not cheap, and therefore our prices reflect this.

You also visited many other places in Cornwall and Gwel is well located being so close to the A30 for all the other attractions the county offers.

Glad you want to come back next year... and for two weeks! thats what we like to read.

Bill Haslam
(Owner)

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Reviewed 16 September 2016

Arrived at my vip lodge and was impressed by the lovely goodies waiting for me.
Delicious canapés were waiting for me in the fridge, a bottle of cold champagne and a fridge full of local goodies. Everything was of the highest quality and al were local produce.
The lodge was immaculately clean and stacked full of lovely fluffy towels. The hot tub was all ready for us to use and was most welcome after a long 10 hour drive. We even had a dailymaid service included in the price.
I booked into the spa and was treated to the most relaxing 2 hour experience. The young lady who carried out my treatments was lovely and knew exactly what she was doing. I had a facial and full foot moisture wrap and french manicure. All of the treatments were free of charge as it was included in my Vip lodge experience.
We used the lovely indoor swimming pool that was spotlessly clean and spent a few hours with my young son in there every morning.
We also tried the new "base camp" which again was spotlessly clean and fantastically equipped for indoor soft play for my youngest son. We also looked at the new indoor climbing wall which was a great experience.
We all visited the onsite farm and again we were thoughly impressed. Garry and his wife made the visit a very memorable one ! From foxes, owls reindeer to goats and hens, it was a hands on experience for the whole family. My 4 year old was amazed he was able to fly an owl, feed the foxes and handle all of the animals big and small in a friendly safe environment.
My only criticism and it is a very minor one is I was slightly dissapointed with the terrace (onsite restaurant) food quality.
The only thing I would change next time I stay would be to book into the new residence accommodation for an even more luxury experience.

Room Tip: Go vip or book into the new luxury residence it is well worth the extra cost
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank debrajanewhite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William H, Owner at Gwel an Mor, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2016

Debra,

What a lovely write up, really pleased you had such a great time, and seemed to enjoy every aspect of Gwel an Mor.

Our new Base Camp facility is awesome, and i hope brings soft play and climbing to a new level locally with spotless clean and well maintained activities and great food and drink in the cafe there as well.

And of course the farm is always a great experience for our guests, educational and fun.

Glad you would recommend us and please come back soon.

Bill Haslam
(Owner)

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Reviewed 7 September 2016

Been here twice now and if you have young children then it's a must. They have a Gruffalo trail for the children where they can touch all the animals that are in the book. My son touched a mouse and fed foxes and touched a snake and even let an owl fly to his arm... Amazing.

The lodges are fantastic too and very high standards. Very close to the beach as well.

Room Tip: Can see the sea from most cabins and all have outside BBQ if you wish to use them.
  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William H, Owner at Gwel an Mor, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2016

John,

Thanks for such lovely words, we do love it when people think Gwel an Mor is "Amazing"

Of course we are lucky with out location as we are close the the beach as you say, and we are also very close to the Main A30 making everything in Cornwall east to get to!

Its always great to hear views from returning guests as they can compare us each visit so I am really pleased you had such a great time.

See you soon!

Bill Haslam
(Owner)

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Reviewed 7 September 2016

We spent our main summer holiday at Gwel an Mor this summer and had a lovely, relaxing time. We stayed in one of the VIP lodges and found the experience very good. The greeting when we arrived at site was friendly and the check in very efficient. That seemed to be the tone throughout the stay - efficient and friendly service.

The lodge itself was very good - the lodge is "upside down", i.e. bedrooms at the bottom, living space at the top, which means the doors open out onto a view of the sea in the distance. Lovely. Although the lodges are reasonably close together, they have slightly different aspects and levels and there is good screening from hedges, etc, so we did feel private.

The lodge is very well equipped, with everything you could need (including dishwasher and washer/dryer). The only real niggle we found was that the only barbecues allowed were single use disposable. This proved to be a challenge when there was any sort of wind. Amongst the appliance manuals in the lodge was one for a gas powered barbecue. That would have been excellent, so why they have taken them away is odd. Something for them to think about.

The leisure facilities on site are very good. The indoor heated pool was nicely warm. We were there in the height of August, but it only got very busy on a few occasions (late afternoon with younger children having a dip was busiest). There is also a sauna and steam room attached and a gym room. Plenty to do.

There is also a newly opened soft play / climbing centre on site. Whilst the climbing area looks reasonably small, our two children (aged 11 and 14) plus dad had a go at the climbing and it was challenging enough to raise a sweat - good fun.

Cycle hire is available on site and there are some fairly flat rides out into the Tehidy park nearby, without going on roads. For the more adventurous (not us!), there are route maps for longer rides, so definitely worth considering if cycling is your thing.

One area that we felt could improve was the restaurant. (This is why we give 4 stars, not 5). I should start by saying that the food itself is not the problem as it was very good - very nicely cooked. There is also a good selection of fresh fish to choose from as well as the main menu. The issue really is that despite the restaurant itself not being that big, they seem to struggle to keep up. Courses do drag on and are slow to come out. On one night (A busy but not packed Monday), it took 75 minutes from being seated at the table to getting our starters.

We also ordered takeaway a few times (You order by phone from your lodge and they deliver - very good). This comes from the restaurant. The wait was never less than an hour and each time they managed to forget part of the order and we had to call back.

It's a shame that the service in the restaurant let's things down, because in principle, the offering is very good and it wouldn't take much to make it great.

So, overall, a lovely relaxing place to stay. The holiday flew by and we had a great break. We'd definitely go back again.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank rajec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William H, Owner at Gwel an Mor, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2016

Rajec,

Thank you for such a lovely review of Gwel an Mot and I am pleased you had such a "lovely and relaxing time". And that you felt all our staff were friendly and and efficient.

We have removed Gas BBQs and replaced them with BBQ tray holders, this was a health and safety issue, as we are so close to the sea the salt in the air was ageing the BBQs badly and we felt it best to replace these with specially built tray holders for disposable BBQs.

I am sorry you felt you had slow service in the restaurant and decided to mark us down a star due to this, I have as you are aware written to you directly on this advising that there is a separate Trip Advisor page for "The Terrace Restaurant Portreath" where you could have written about your experience, as this page is primarily for accommodation views.

As we are a self catering resort with many guests not even using the restaurant facilities It seems best that these are split to stop any confusion, about half of our restaurant business is local people as well, the TA page for the Terrace reflects their views as they have not been staying with us.

Thanks for all your other positive comments.

Glad you would definitely come back.

Bill Haslam
(Owner)

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