Writer Codelia Mantsebo heads to Truro in Cornwall and discovers the Alverton Hotel — a tranquil Victorian-Gothic gem filled with utter indulgence
The Alverton hotel has lived through many guises since the 1830s. Once a bank, then a covenant for nuns, this romantic ‘secret-in-the-city’ tastefully juxtaposes the building’s historical heritage with a contemporary design that feels luxurious but homely.
The 18th-century Grade II listed hotel has preserved its historical charm with many of its original features mostly intact, while its verdant grounds, stylish interiors and modern luxuries provide the charm of an urban chic getaway.
Most of Cornwall’s best hotels are by the sea, but the Alverton is cocooned away from the city and the crowd-strewn beaches. Literally hidden from view by shrubs, bushes and ancient trees, you could drive past the hotel and not even know it’s there.
But that’s the beauty of this little piece of tranquillity – it offers urban dwellers with a much needed serene escape. And with an idyllic backdrop of manicured gardens, you won’t even miss the coastal views.
Hidden at the end of an alluring drive, this period property awaits — enclosed by ivy-clad walls, arched mullioned windows and curved archways from an earlier medieval structure.
With such a strong sense of history, 51 bespoke rooms (including nine suites) and an impressive 11 acres of garden right in the heart of the city, the Alverton offers city living with country comforts.
Each room pays homage to the hotel’s illustrious past, with arched doorways and windows, original flagstone flooring and exposed brickwork — complemented by bespoke furnishings, contemporary ensuite bathrooms, and a wealth of mod cons.
15 of the hotel’s rooms are located in The Courtyard, a new complex completed in June 2016, boasting a touch of glamour.
Upon arrival, I, along with my guest, were welcomed by the friendly staff at reception. Despite an ongoing wedding at the venue that day, we had a seamless, speedy check-in, and within minutes, were escorted to our room — the Bishop Suite, located in the hotel’s main building.
The Bishop Suite is one of the hotel’s nine exclusive suites — an indulgent spacious suite overlooking the front of the hotel.
The stars of the room, easily, are the front-facing double roll-top baths taking centre stage in the huge bathroom (complete with The White Company goodies and bath salts), although the high ceilings with decadent chandeliers, original fireplace, and striking marble vanity unit are strong contenders.
Bespoke furniture, a lavish four-poster bed, and a large walk-in monsoon shower make this room a delightful haven of comfort and indulgence.
Elegant natural tones, subtle golden hues, and rich reds add warmth and comfort to the room, while large windows let in plenty of natural, soft daylight. The windows offer a glimpse of the surrounding gardens. I could easily get lost watching the world go by from the comfort of my bed.
The Food & Drink
Hearty mains and delicious nibbles and snacks are available all day in the bar and lounge. The hotel’s AA Rosette restaurant offers fresh seasonal dishes from Head Chef Simon George, serving British classics. The menu includes lots of seafood — the catch of the day was always a winner.
In the mornings, breakfast is served in the restaurant, where uninterrupted views of the beautiful gardens start the day.
Minus the food, perhaps my favourite thing about the restaurant was the relaxed atmosphere. Based on the luxuriousness of our room, one could easily assume and expect a grand dining experience, but instead, an intimate dining experience enhanced by soft lighting welcomed us.
The relaxed pleasant atmosphere from our room right down to the restaurant made me realise that you really are at The Alverton, to relax and indulge.
What to Do
Despite its just-off-the-beaten-track location, The Alverton is within walking distance of the Cornish capital and close to the coast’s unspoilt beaches.
Stroll for 10 minutes to reach the town centre, and spend time exploring the local shops, restaurants and galleries. Built between 1880 and 1910 to a Gothic Revival design, Truro’s cathedral is a must-see.
As Cornwall’s only capital, Truro is at the hub of the rail and road system. Because of its location in Truro, the Alverton offers an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the county. St Ives, Falmouth, Charlestown & Mevagissey, the Roseland Peninsula, are all easily accessible.
The Wordrobe Verdict
The Alverton offers its visitors country glamour in the centre of a city. The historic and indulgent aesthetics of this 18th-century enclave provides city-escapers with an idyllic setting for a peaceful retreat.
Make it happen
Where: Tregolls Rd, Truro TR1 1ZQ
Cost: Rates start from £109 for a Double Room; while the Junior Suites are from £169 in low season. In high season, rates start from £149 for a Double Room, and £209 for Junior Suite. To make a reservation, please click here.
Words by Codelia Mantsebo, writer.