I’ve always loved St. Ives; it really the slice of seaside Cornish heaven that everyone imagines.
This week, to celebrate Valentine’s day, Alex and I headed down to this beautiful seaside town for some fresh air and a bit of a break from work.
Last year around the same time, I stayed at the St. Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, and while I was really impressed by the spa and restaurant, I actually ended up complaining about my room. After explaining that the hotel had been under refurbishment at the time, the manager offered me a complimentary stay once their rooms were finished – and so that brings me to now!
We were welcomed into one of their beautiful deluxe rooms, with emperor size bed, ensuite with rainfall shower and even its own private balcony with views across St. Ives bay.
This was worlds apart from the room I’d stayed in last year, and was certainly a much better reflection of this four star hotel as a whole!
As soon as we arrived, the sun miraculously made an appearance! Not wanting to waste a moment of it (and also because we were pretty hungry after sugary pancakes for breakfast!), we headed down to Porthminster Beach Cafe for some lunch (separate blog post with photos to come!).
After lunch we went for a stroll along the seafront, past the beaches and into the town.
St. Ives always reminds me of the Scilly Isles, with its cobbled streets and beautiful blue and white cottages. Everything seems to be nautical themed, but in an arty, quaint way rather than tacky, while the harbour is filled with little fishing boats and buoys, and sandcastles when the tide is out.
The weather was truly stunning, and the sun stayed out for us all afternoon! I’m always used to St. Ives being grey and quiet in Winter, but on this particular day it was super busy. Partly because of the sun, but also because of half term – which I completely forgot about!
The tide was completely in whilst we were walking about, and it made me think whether I’ve actually ever seen the tide so high in St. Ives before! It was the most beautiful aquamarine blue as well – totally stunning for a relaxed afternoon walk.
Once we got back to the hotel, it was definitely time to make the most of it, so we headed downstairs to the spa. This is definitely my favourite part of the hotel – I love the way they’ve decorated it and the lighting is so calming. With a hot tub, pool, sauna and steam room, it was the perfect way to chill out after a long walk.
Feeling refreshed, we got dressed and walked down into town for some dinner. I’ve been wanting to go back to Rum & Crab Shack for ages, and Alex had never been, so it had to be done. With a menu full of hearty comfort food including crab, lobster and chicken wings, this Louisiana inspired restaurant always hits the spot if you’re feeling hungry!
I went with popcorn shrimp and garlic mayo for starters, while Alex went for wings. Both enjoying a spiced rum mojito, because you can’t come here without trying the rum!
For mains, we were pretty torn, but I ended up going with my classic favourite – the crab mac n’ cheese – while Alex eventually settled on the shrimp and chorizo jambalaya. It smelt great!
With bellies full, we braved the walk back up to the hotel in the cold, both pretty tired from an early start and looking forward to falling asleep in the amazing emperor bed in our room.
^ This last photo was actually taken from our balcony at sunset, which was a beautiful end to our trip! Check out the St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa website for more info. Whilst I don’t actually know what their standard rooms look like now after refurbishment, I’d highly recommend spending the little bit extra and staying in their Deluxe rooms if available, as it really was a lovely experience.
* I was not asked to review my complimentary stay at this hotel.
** Links relating to my outfit are affiliate links.