“ Address: East Street / Newquay TR7 1DB / Cornwall „
When I think Newquay I think teenagers drinking and surfing in the summer. It sounds my idea of hell so I've never been and never wished to visit. However, my partner and I are always saying that we haven't seen enough of the UK and I've always wanted to visit Cornwall having never done so before. Last year I subscribed to the Groupon alerts for the South West and finally saw a fantastic offer for a hotel which we snapped up immediately!
=== The deal ===
The offer was a two night stay at the Hotel Victoria in Newquay with breakfast both mornings and a massage for two people for just £99. I assumed it was a mistake and actually meant per person until I read further into the offer and read the terms and conditions. Before actually making the purchase and wasting the money I decided to call the hotel directly and ask for details about when we could stay and their availability. It turned out to be a good plan because they only had one weekend still available. The voucher was valid in October and November 2011 so we made our booking for the first weekend in November and booked a day off work and travelled down on a Friday for a weekend stay. We were presented on arrival with the opportunity to upgrade to a sea front room with access to the terrace for £40 extra which we decided to do as the weather was glorious sunshine (although quite cold!).
=== On arrival ===
Parking was easy although we were surprised to find that when we walked into the hotel that we had to pay £5 for parking during out stay! Luckily we were in great moods so paid it happily and took the voucher out to display in the car. The reception was quite small but very cosy in warm red colours and a large Christmas tree! I'm one of the people who buys a tree as soon as they are available in the garden centre so I loved this in early November! We were greeted by the young receptionist, Ruby, whose name I still remember three months later because she was so helpful and friendly! We were given our room key and she explained where and when breakfast would be served, where the pool and gym were and gave us information about bars and restaurants in the area.
=== The room ===
We definitely made the right decision in the upgrade to the sea view, balcony room. As we walked into the huge room the first thing we noticed was how bright it was which was the benefit of the big sliding doors which led to the huge shared terrace overlooking the sea front. The view was spectacular; the beach in Newquay is actually stunning when there are no drunken teenagers ruining it. The room itself was quite dated but a great size for two people to be very comfortable and with lots of space to spread out. All the necessary wardrobe and drawer space for a longer stay although for two nights we didn't unpack much. The bed was comfortable and really quite big! I slept well both nights and was impressed with the cosy duvet as that's very important to me! The bathroom again was spacious and light with no problems whatsoever. The hotel issued the usual small soaps, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner which were decent enough but not quite good enough to take home!
=== The facilities ===
The hotel pool was great and I loved the setting; it looked like it was in an old barn with the wooden panels along the roof and walls. There were windows right the way around which made it light and bright during the daytime and cosy in the evening which was made even better by the wooden interior. The pool was heated to a nice temperature and even though it was small, there were very few people using it so that was quite nice. The pool was shaped like a kidney rather than the traditional rectangle which makes me feel like I have to swim lengths! This was more like a holiday pool. There were a number of wooden benches and plastic tables and chairs around the pool area which added to the holiday feel. In one of the corners of the room was the Jacuzzi; my favourite part of the hotel! It was gorgeous and warm, exactly what you want an expect from a Jacuzzi. There was also a sauna and steam room which were nice. I wouldn't normally use them as I find it weird when lots of people sit in close proximity sweating but with no one else around it was quite nice!
The gym was basic but functional. I didn't use it during the two days we were there, but the other half went twice, because he "needed something to do while I was taking ages getting changed"!
=== Restaurants and dining ===
We only made it down to breakfast one of the two days which was a shame considering both were included. We were both really impressed with the selection of food which included a full English with nice crispy bacon, well cooked sausages and eggs as you like them. There was also a selection of cereals, fruits, jams and marmalades and pastries. The waiting staff were really nice and friendly and couldn't do enough to help. Breakfast is served in the hotel's restaurant La Rochelle which opens in the evening for dinner.
The hotel was attached to Buzio's Bar and Grill, a sports pub with big screens showing Sky Sports, lots of pool tables, big sofas and cheap drinks. It was a great place to spend the evening relaxing after dinner.
=== The massage ===
We were encouraged to book our free massage at the time of making our initial reservation as the beauty clinic can get very busy at weekends. None of the times worked very well for us if we wanted to spend time exploring the area and also wanted our appointments at the same time so we booked for Sunday morning at 10.30 a.m. just before we were due to leave. Unfortunately one of the beauticians hadn't turned up so they were behind schedule. Luckily the receptionist was able to arrange a late check out for us so we could stay in our room a bit longer so the wait was no inconvenient. It actually took a whole hour until they called to say they were ready for us and the receptionists and beauticians were very apologetic.
The beauty therapists were very nice and invited us into a lovely room with two beds set up in the middle. We were told to undress and lie on our fronts while they left the room. The colour scheme was black and white which looked really classy and soothing and the music in the background was quiet and relaxing. The therapists asked whether we would prefer a more relaxing aromatherapy massage or a Swedish massage to get the knots out! We bo5th went for the aromatherapy massage which turned out to be a great choice as it was lovely and I think I fell asleep towards the end of it! The massage itself lasted just under an hour which I thought was excellent considering it was part of such a great deal. We both came out very relaxed and satisfied! It's just a shame I didn't think about the fact we would have to drive home afterwards! We took a break, ate some lunch, drank some water and luckily it didn't affect the driving!
=== The area ===
The hotel is in the centre of Newquay close to bars, restaurants and shops. The best thing about the location however has to be that it is set high up on a cliff overlooking the seafront and the view are just stunning. On the first evening we wanted to stay local for dinner and were advised on reception that as hotel guests we were eligible for 10% off at Senor Dicks, the local Mexican. We decided to give the restaurant a try and were delighted with the great service and wonderful food, however it was absolutely dead which must have been to do with the fact it was November.
The reason we were happy with Newquay as the location, as well as the great deal we got, was that it was close to some of the other areas of Cornwall that we wanted to visit. It is around 30-40 minutes drive from St Ives which is stunning and you can also get to Penzance and Lands End within the hour.
=== Conclusion ===
Our break at the Hotel Victoria was fantastic, especially for the price we paid. To get two nights' bed and breakfast for that price is great anyway but for the additional massage and the facilities at the hotel made it a really special weekend away. While I wouldn't make an effort to go back to Newquay, if the same deal came up again I would snap it up and use it as a base to visit other parts of Cornwall.
I would recommend the hotel fully, especially if you can find it at a good price. I imagine it's horrendous in the middle of summer but in winter it was wonderful and quiet and made our Cornwall trip so much fun! 4 out of 5 stars!