Originally built as a grand Queen Anne style manor house in 1913, this boutique hotel and spa in Falmouth is perfectly placed above the town and beaches. Formerly known as ‘Green Lawns’, its new young owners have ditched the dated name and decor and created a stunning new style and vibe.
In two words, grown-ups, a place for couples to be seriously pampered, whether in the pool and spa, in the excellent restaurant Rastella, or the surrounding and award-winning sub-tropical gardens. Wooden floors, carefully curated furniture, and posh pastel paints throughout the property all add to the chic and exclusive boutique country house feel.
All 39 rooms are uniquely attractive, the Master Rooms in the New House have balconies, while in the charming Old House the Master Rooms get the high views, as well as sunken baths and four-poster beds.
The Comfy Double Rooms are good sized for relaxing between spas, while the ground-floor Comfy Shower rooms are close to the pool and deliver all the style but to a lower budget. Top of the line are Lookout and Landlubber, two stand-alone 5 – star ‘apartments’.
Landlubber, where we stayed, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a well-fitted out sitting room and kitchen and its own private garden with a hot tub, while in Lookout every room ‘looks out’ over Falmouth Bay. Both can use every facility of the hotel.
Food & Drink
The Hotel’s Rastella restaurant has three AA Rosettes, as well as the reputation of being the best restaurant in Falmouth. It’s not hard to see why with a seven course, well-priced tasting menu that impressed us with its focus on locally-sourced and foraged food. Head Chef Aiden Blakely-May’s fondness for the far east showed in his delicate handling of Falmouth Bay scallops brushed with XO sauce topped with a single ring of chilli, as well as in Char Siu pork belly, a brilliant dish that features regularly on his seasonal menu. A paired wine for each course showed flair, and some bravery, from the talented young sommelier, with a sparkling Brazilian wine being a particularly pleasant surprise. Breakfast certainly hits the spot, a muffin with sausage, egg and Davidstow cheese was an umami feast, while home-smoked salmon, oven-fresh sourdough and the sunniest of scrambled eggs set us well up for the day.
The ground floor abounds with snug corners that feel lived in and welcoming, with pictures on the wall telling the fascinating house history. Wellness comes from The Linen Rooms Spa which uses 100% organic Cornish cosmetics and has 13 different therapies for body and mind relaxation and recovery.
There are two treatment rooms, a Technogym, a barrel sauna, steam room, a 13-metre heated indoor pool and a hydrotherapy tub. You can also take a yoga or boxfit class in the old ballroom.The sub tropical gardens that lushly surround the hotel, block out the outside world, yet still allow glorious glimpses of the sea from the wooden deckchairs and hot tub.
The hotel is just a few minutes’ walk away from the quayside and its independent shops, cafés, galleries, bars and pubs. We loved Beerwolf Books Freehouse, tucked away at the top of a drangway, between the shops on Market Street, for its unique chilled-out atmosphere, while for a more lively time Blue Flag Gyllyngvase Beach with its water sports is close by.
Merchant’s Manor is a laid-back gem of a place that offers the kind of unique experience you only get in a privately owned hotel. Nothing is off the peg, it’s all carefully bespoke, and the food matches the decor by being both creative and classy. A young and breezy team provides a slick service with a big smile and you leave smiling too.
A one-night B&B stay costs from £158 based on 2 people sharing a Comfy King room.