Camelot Castle

Last weekend I went on a big family weekend away to Camelot Castle in Tintagel on the Cornwall coastline. The actual weekend away was lovely mainly due to the nice weather and the scenery.  The hotel on the other hand was laughable.  Camelot Castle is a big, imposing building that is over looking the Altantic, almost a blot on the landscape but it was built in 1899 before planning permission laws was in force.  Unfortunately most of the hotel feels like it hasn’t been decorated since the 70s and all the nice Victorian features that are left are falling into ruin.  The cloakroom/toilet by the bar area was a mixture of pink tiles (some of which were falling off the walls) and a beautiful original Victorian mosaic tiled floor. The bar area was straight out of the 70s and most of the communal areas were thread bare.  The bedrooms didn’t fair much better either. We had a deluxe refurbished room but for the price we paid for it, it sure didn’t feel like deluxe.  There was non of the extras that normally is provided in a hotel like a box of tissues, shower gel, a floor mat for the shower, an alarm, welcome pack, biscuits, beds made everyday. My in-laws had cheaper rooms at £40 a night each and they were hideous with 50s style wallpaper and 1940s furniture. The furniture could be nice if it wasn’t in such bad shape.

The owners had decided that to spruce up the place by hanging lots of art work by one of the owners. Now if it was good art then I wouldn’t have minded but it wasn’t.  Basically most of it my nieces could have painted. Also there was abundance of photos around the place of the two owners – John Mappin (heir to the Mappin & Webb jewellery empire) and Ted Stourton (the artist). Also, lots of poems and newspaper articles about the owners were all over the lounge areas. One evening I did some research about the place and found out that the owners are members of the Scientology. No wonder there was photos of Tom Cruise and John Travolta about the place. Maybe also explains why the place has been in a refurbishment program since 2001 without much success – all their money must go to the Scientology. I wouldn’t recommend this hotel to anyone but I will say that the staff were really nice and helpful and if the rooms were a bit cheaper instead of £130 a night for a fairly decent room then I wouldn’t be complaining so much.

Some of the art work…





21 Responses to “Camelot Castle”

  1. 1 brigette gosling June 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    i have to say i wish i had read your review before we went 1st june.
    only one night, but what a disappointment, we even changed rooms
    but no better,
    wallpaper hanging off, carpets frayed, no little coffee table
    terrace funiture from b&q, no shower gel etc, tv not even freeview looked like tv i had 20 years ago – no remote
    curtains didnt meet decor out of the dark ages, bedspread from
    a nursing home(no sorry, ive seen better there),no steak on the menu, pictures appalling and just stuck up anywhere, spacepod
    showerroom you cant even move in, should like to see my 23 stone
    husband try to get in it, hour wait for evening meal, music to slit your wrists by, no magic of king arthur any where except
    lounge round table which had reviews of artist on it who got upset when i took the crap off to get a photo, absolutely awful
    place, and i wonder where the lovely rooms and menu are that
    are advertised on the website, as i spoke to other holidaymakers there who had booked deluxe rooms and they were just as appalled as me. do trading standards or hotel inspectors visit, do they have any star ratings, if so – who was blind and possibly deaf?
    do you know who to complain to?
    look forward to your reply

  2. 2 pocket June 4, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I also stayed there,I cant believe the amount they charged and how disgusting the rooms were!!
    Im a little person and I could not move to get changed in the bathroom!The beds where hard and so old they looked 2nd hand.
    They artist whom I also met was very rude and the hotel was used more for his own exibition of work than anything else.
    Artwork in which it looked like a child had done.
    There website is very misleading!!
    The place was a joke I do believe if a hotel inspector did come through they would shut that place down in a second…

  3. 3 Michelle Best June 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Brigette – thanks for the comment. I’m not really sure who to complain to as the hotel isn’t part of the English Tourism or AA award schemes. Maybe you could write on TripAdvisor as that is a popular place to voice your opinion.

    Pocket – thanks for your comment too. I completely agree that the website is very misleading or I should say it has been designed in a very clever way. At least it gives us something to talk about.

    • 4 Nice Guy July 5, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      Hey, I’m not surprised at all with your opinions about that hotel. I worked there for a while and hated it. Hotel’s owners are freaks. I wouldn’t recommend that hotel to a foe. cheers

      • 5 someone April 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm

        Hi. I also worked there. The staff have fakesmiles as we have to do that and arent allowed to do anything. But the working conditions are horrific and probably elegal. We have to read scientology books and dont get a copy of our contract. We know how bad the rooms are and I am sorry for anyone who paid for a getaway. Also you wioll probably get spammed with their e-mails if you have stayed. cheers

  4. 6 Amr October 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I took my partner to stay at Camelot Castle over the New Year, which is about 10 months ago. The price was outrageous and in fact, we should have left once we saw the room.
    The food was delicious though and the fireworks spectacular.
    To be paying £ 750 for 3 nights with half board in such a grumpy room was unacceptable.
    I totally agree with the other comments, it is a shabby place and I do not care whether it is the private playground for John Mappin, the heir, or any other people or indeed the scientologists.
    There needs to be an urgent control about the Camelot Castle’s standards as a hotel.
    We were not pressured in any way, either to buy artwork nor to join the scientologists but it felt a bit strange with the owners being moddy towards the guests.
    All in all an experience we would not repeat but if the hotel were refurbished, its location is such, that we would stay again.
    Do not be fooled by refurbished rooms. We worked out that there were only 2 refurbished rooms and when we stayed they were given to some Middle Eastern businessmen who felt right out of place with the celebrations going on.

  5. 7 Scared November 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Oh My God. Wish we had found this website before we left. Have just arived back today, couldn’t get away fast enough. Frankly I think everybody else in this blog, has been too kind and too easy on Mr Mappin who is nothing short of a complete fruitloop.
    We were unlucky enough to endure an hour of his company whereupon he explained to us everything he was ‘involved in’ only using the word scientology in the last ten minutes. We thought it was funny before he mentioned it, but just plain frightening afterwards. Especially when we challenged his views and he got rather annoyed, only to interupt out dinner half an hour later to apologise.
    It is clear that this venue is some sort of breeding/training ground for his ‘religion’.
    We will not be returning until he has been safey removed.
    The accomodation was in fact horrendous, although speaking with some other guests, understood that they were willing to accept the ‘lack of’ standards as they brought pets with them. We can accept this, although do not feel that the £120 extra charge to stay in a room that was still below par was acceptable.
    Had this been a chain hotel, we would have been upgraded for free, or at least discounted. Instead, we had to argue with the receptionist, whose English was not the best, before we could get an upgrade and then, on our departure attempted to charge us a further £44.
    We would love to know if there was someone to complain to regarding this hotel.
    We will not be returning and will also be posting this on every website we can find.

  6. 8 mark November 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    we spent a night there recently –

    i feel mappin and the so called artist – ted – are very dangerous –
    they are part of a dangerous organisation –

    ted is simply frightening –

    the light box is a form of hypnosis to get you to buy his crap paintings –

    please do not go to this awful place –

    • 9 Mike Lynch December 27, 2009 at 9:29 pm

      You can tell the hotel is going to be crap. You can tell as soon as you walk in there is a serious lack of investment. The light box is a load of shit. It is just a bit of mdf with a light that you can dim. You could knock one with a bit of scrap wood from your shed for less then £1.99. The painting’s, i use that term loosly, are shit….whats with the butterfly’s stuck on the crap paintings. There’s something going on here, just can’t work it out. If the pictures of Mr Mappin and his Z list “hollywood” mates are suppose to impress us think again John. It’s ok for a cup of tea but stay at the local B&B’s.

  7. 10 Sally January 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    The cross trained staff all wearing ill-fitting uniforms solidify the hotel’s reputation as a recruiting centre for scientology. Not even in a self rated 3 star hotel would you find the chamber staff waiting on you in the restaurant or mixing cocktails behind the bar in the evening (!)
    They did push the ‘light box’ quite forcefully, even the barman…. having read trip advisor reviews ( a day too late I might add), we joked around to other ‘guests’ at the bar that it’s just a box with lights in it to illuminate paintings above it…. and whilst down there you are pressured into buying paintings or joining scientology…..
    Not surprisingly we were left alone after that… maybe it might have been because we didn’t look rich enough.

    Mentally and/or emotionally vulnerable people are encouraged to look elsewhere for accommodation – see, which highlights how dangerous this cult is and that they use hotels for training and recruiting centres. We know now why the intense media interest in Katie Holmes physical deterioration!!

    This hotel is not even a 3 star – no guest compendium, no business centre, no bar fridge or amenities in the room, not even a bath mat (we ended up using one of the towels), no central heating (having to make do with ONE portable heater in the middle of winter), no room service etc etc etc

    The three good thingsabout the hotel is its location, the pet friendly atmosphere and the food. Veryhelpful staff are attentive, but given the scientology slant, instead have a darker side to the over friendly team.

  8. 11 andrew March 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Just spent two nights at Camelot Castle with the uncaged monkey in the basement. We were booked in for three nights but left early because of the sinister and frankly dangerous goings on at the hotel. We are pretty worldly-wise, but I am very very concerned for the well-being of young and elderly visitors. We are a hard working couple who simply wanted a short relaxing break – not a freak show. Can anyone tell me how I can get my money back and provide further information as to what can be done to close these guys down. I had heard all about the dangers of scientology, but until I experienced it for myself first hand without prior warning, I had no idea of the horror. Their artists in residence programme is supposed to be to help young artists starting out – I am horrified to think that someone young and impressionable may be visiting this place.

  9. 12 Arty March 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I have just booked to stay there this weekend!!! I naiively presumed it was a lovely romantic place to stay given the reviews and website details…now I’m a bit worried… they offered us a cheap deal to stay in a classic moor view room, which is a single room with a double bed in it for £177 for three nights for two of us (not inlcuding breakfast). I thouht we had got a good deal, but after reading these reviews I’m seriousley thinking of cancelling…and my credit card too as I have given them details with the reservation…

    My boyfriend and I were thinking we could just stay out of the way of the owners and be out all day surfing, visiting galleries and walking along the coast. Do you think this is advisable???
    I’m anticipating a ‘Rocky Horror Show’ due to the feedback I have read so far…

    • 13 Michelle Best March 31, 2010 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Arty – I think if you go with an open mind and avoid the owners then you will have a fabulous time. Even though the hotel isn’t the best we still had a wonderful time in Cornwall. Tintagel has some great pubs and restaurants so you don’t need to spend a lot of time in the hotel. I just hope the weather is good for you and enjoy the scenery. Happy holiday.

  10. 14 Anna June 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Oh, Michelle, your post and all these comments have reminded me of my experience in that Cornish version of Fawlty Towers. But i was extremely surprised to see a lot of excited comments about the hotel on Trip Advisor :-O I just wonder who on earth leaves all these “magic experience”, “we were treated like V.I.P”, “professional service”, “masterpieces of art”. ;-D I was left under the impression that i had visited a completely different place :-O

  11. 15 Ruth Ross July 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

    We have just returned from a 2 week tour of Cornwall. We stayed in the Camelot Hotel for 3 nights and celebrated our wedding anniversary there. The hotel is very shabby and we stayed in one of the refurbished rooms! The room had a four poster bed and the view from the room was fantastic overlooking Tintagel Island but apart from that I was very disappointed. The bedding was awful, sheets did not fit, the blanket looked as though it belonged to a dog, the bedspread looked as though it had been purchased from a pound shop. Food in the restaurant was adequate but the menu was boring and changed very little and I suspect that the food was not home cooked as some of the sauces were not very tasty, in fact the vegetarian pasta looked suspiciously like Dolmio pasta sauce which I would not even dream of serving up in my home. The artwork was awful. The lightbox we had to try and not laugh out loud at and then Ted the artist tried to sell us the paintings. It was an experience but one I will not be repeating.

  12. 16 Tiny Tim October 6, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Hi everyone, sorry you had to experiance the joys of the Camelot Castle Hotel, we have to live with the freaks at the end of the road! They are now trying to recruit the village of Tintagel into Scientology by sending letters and DVD’s about Scientology every couple of weeks to the whole village!
    For more info pleaase visit our blog!

  13. 17 Jessica Sideways November 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Scientologists know all about renovations, which is why they have NEVER finished their damn Super Power Building and yet, have all sorts of Idle Org projects going on across the world.

    I think it would be a good thing if this hotel were bought by new (responsible) management, gutted and completely redone so that it can be something where people would be proud to stay.

  14. 18 Cameron March 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Thank all very much as a art gallery owner I have just been invited to this place, to view and enjoy the owners art work.
    Even with the offer of free afternoon tea, dinner or overnight stay.
    PS Never heard of the artist and don’t want any of his work now I’ve viewed it.

  15. 19 neil July 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Just returned from Camelot Castle Hotel, stayed 2 nights and with a breakfast and evening meal forked out £350 for the pleasure. The website certainly paints a picture of a 5 star hotel, pity it rated just 1 star. A walk around the grounds is an eye-opener as the place is crumbling, broken plant urns with just soil in them, tiny tv in room with a space pod bathroom, no control over heating, no facilities, ie room service, laundry, help with luggage, etc. Its dog friendly, and the reason why we booked, but somebody left their pooch piss in the foyer somewhere, and the whole area stank for the 2 days we stayed.Evening meal was good with great waitering, but watch for the 12.5% compulsory service charge. Breakfast was worst in a while , tinned mushrooms, one rasher of bacon and an unusual sausage, tiny hash brown, and dont ask for scrambled egg…as for the artwork…absolute shyte, this guy is no more artist than I am and he was trying to flog them off at @£390 a pop! had an overwhelming desire to buy a scraper from the local hardware shop and scrape off all the stupid butterflies glued to the canvasses. would I stay again…never, and they didnt even try to recruit me into their cult, God they would have had it if they tried!

  16. 20 Mandy Miller July 4, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Well, well why am i not surprise My Fiance and myself have just come back from a weekend there, the positive’s first, brilliant sea views, gorgeous sunsets, nice evening meal,the village itself is very friendly, some lovely walks, the negatives, definitely not was not the place advertised on the internet site….false advertising to say the least, something should be done about this not even 2 star in my book, some of the walks around the castle very dangerous, not a barrier to stop you going over the edge to a very nasty death!The hotel is very shabby!! the foyer stunk of dog pee, the carpets, shabby and patched together with different carpets, the paintings were absolutely terrible, hideous and made no sense whats soever, they are everywhere, the artist obviously has his head right up his ass, my 7 year old son, could have done better, some paintings, with just nothing going on, the butterflies was the best, looked like a slug had got hold of the glue pot, LOL, obviously he had the help of the local school to get them done and put on the walls,our bedroom was a joke, the shower cubicle was something you would get in a aeroplane, made of plastic, no space for 2 people to use at the same time, no where to change your clothing, or have a bit of privacy in the room, no, fridge, no room service, no towels, no soap, our room carpet had a bit patch of dog pee, which had faded the carpet, no air conditioning, i had to force open the window to get rid of the awful musty smell, room definitely not refurbished, the breakfast was awful, i could have cooked a better meal, the chamber maid was a bit frightening, and asked us on our departure, are we evacuating!!! which my fiance replied YES!!!nothing about King Arthur and his Knights, the legend, Merlin….NOTHING, only the round table, and not enough chairs around the table???LOL, obviously involved with Scientology, poems, etc….all over the lounge area, free to take one!!!!with the photos in the hall, that does not impress us at all, maybe because we looked poor, they did not try and sell us paintings!!!! there was a Bentley parked outside the front entrance for 2 days that did not move, the same one on the website…….who are they trying to impress, the castle itself was in need of painting, and upgrading, the drain pipes outside, the paint peeling of it, the flower boxes, falling apart, with weeds growing in them, the gas flu on top of the roof, was just sticking up spoiling the castle, what a shame, its a lovely location, but not what is on the website at all…..please be careful

  1. 1 Mappin Jewellery store on Regent Street (London) - John & Irina Mappin - Why We Protest | Activism Forum Trackback on September 21, 2009 at 11:08 am

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