By Mike May

Very few hotels in Great Britain offer its guests the type of experience that the Pedn-Olva Hotel provides to its patrons when they travel to St. Ives, a seaside town, located along the north coast of western Cornwall, England’s most southwesterly county.  The Pedn-Olva Hotel, a one-of-a-kind structure, is perched upon a blue-black granite peninsula-like foundation, just a few yards away from the St. Ives Bay.  The hotel is perched on what historically was called Pedn-Olva Point.  It’s also worth noting that the Pedn-Olva Hotel was actually built on the site of the old Wheal Providence copper mine, which adds to its allure and appeal.

At the Pedn-Olva Hotel, every room – only 30 in all — has a view of either the picturesque St. Ives’ Harbour or St. Ives Bay.  It’s a view which many people have been known to describe as eye-opening, remarkable and breathtaking.  Very few hotels, if any, in England – or all of Great Britain, for that matter – can make such a claim.  It’s no surprise that the Pedn-Olva Hotel has earned a Four Castle Inn Gold rating from the St. Austell Brewery.

In addition to 30 modern, efficiently designed rooms, the Pedn-Olva Hotel offers a first-class restaurant, an outdoor heated swimming pool, and a bar with unobstructed, panoramic views of the St. Ives Harbour, St. Ives Bay, and the Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance.  There are five categories of rooms at the Pedn-Olva:  Classic Cabins, Classic Family Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Superior Cabins, and Suites.  There are also outdoor patio decks along this hotel’s rooftop which are stunning vistas for morning coffee, lunch, a cream tea (served with Cornish clotted cream), or a place to enjoy a good book.  In keeping with this hotel’s Cornish heritage, each room has been given a name which is usually a Cornish moniker.   The special Cornish-themed titles include Carrick Gladden (room 5), Porthmeor (room 8), Carrick Du (room 29), and Pendinas (room 33).  One of the rooms is actually called the Chapel (room 22) because its interior walls were constructed from the chapel of a large ship that ran aground years ago on the rocks that protect the Cornish coastline near St. Ives.  You would be challenged to find any hotel in the world with better seaside views than what you will get from any vantage point of this property.  The most consistent scenic views at this hotel are from its harbour lounge.  In addition to a one-of-a-kind view, hotel guests get to enjoy an old Cornish granite fireplace in the hotel, which was used to warm the old Counthouse when the Wheal Providence mine was operational.

Many of the rooms at the Pedn-Olva also have balconies which give you an open-air view of the seaside scene in St. Ives.  On many days, you can see seals and dolphins at play in the sea which surrounds the hotel on three sides.  At low tide, the sea retreats so far back that the golden sands of the nearby Porthminster Beach and the St. Ives Harbour are exposed and, actually, connect with one another.  It reveals the Pedn-Olva’s true perimeter:  rocky outcrops of stone amidst a sea of golden sand.

If you want some beach time during your stay at the Pedn-Olva, the exquisite, golden sands of the Porthminster Beach are located at the base of the hotel, just a short walk down the stone staircase which has been carved out of the rocks that form the foundation of the hotel.

As a coastal village, St. Ives is a community whose residents made a living for centuries from either fishing, mining, or smuggling — or all three.  Nowadays, fishing is still a source of income for St. Ives, but tourism and the arts now fill the income void left by the departure of mining and smuggling from the local commercial scene.  For instance, the world famous Tate Gallery has a significant presence in St. Ives.  Artists also flock to St. Ives where the clarity of the air helps them get a true glimpse of their visual subject matter for their canvas creations.

View of the 10th fairway from the 13th tee at the WCGC, with St. Ives Bay in the distance.

Another appealing aspect of staying at the Pedn-Olva Hotel is the proximity of the oldest golf club in Cornwall, the West Cornwall Golf Club, located in the nearby village of Lelant.  The golf club is just a 10-minute drive from the hotel.  From the 10th and 11th fairways of the West Cornwall Golf Club, you can see the Pedn-Olva Hotel in the distance.  Pursuing a stay-and-play experience which features morning golf along the links of the West Cornwall Golf Club, an afternoon on Porthminster Beach, and a relaxing evening at the Pedn-Olva Hotel, along with a stroll around the cobblestone streets of St. Ives, is a perfect way to spend a day or two or more in western Cornwall.  Without a doubt, playing golf at West Cornwall and staying at the Pedn-Olva Hotel are two first-class experiences.

For those who have stayed at the Pedn-Olva Hotel on more than one occasion, they are comforted by the fact that the exterior of this magnificent hotel has changed very little over time.  If you think about it, the Pedn-Olva Hotel does have that ‘Home Sweet Home’ look to it.  Though, admittedly, the interior of this hotel has experienced a few ‘facelifts’ over the years which have been necessary in order to provide modern-day creature comforts for its guests, but it’s worth noting that such modernizations have been done without tarnishing the authentic nature of the Pedn-Olva experience which is a classic reflection of St. Ives’ nautical history and mining heritage.  At the Pedn-Olva, that’s the way it always has been, the way it is today, and the way it always will be in the future.

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Mike May is a freelance golf writer based in Wellington, Florida. Mike, an avid golfer, is also a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. He traces his roots as a golf writer to the 1983 British Open Championship at Royal Birkdale -- which he attended for all four days -- and then voluntarily wrote his own account of that major championship event. In addition to being a golf writer, Mike coaches girls high school basketball, officiates high school soccer, and works with a cause (PHIT America) that is focused on bringing daily P.E. back to all U.S. schools. Mike is a 1985 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a degree in broadcasting. Mike can be reached on email at: mmaymarketing@gmail.com