Artist Residence is exactly what you would expect from an 'arty' hotel and much more besides. The vibe is young and friendly and the decor is relaxed and stylish. Cornwall has a long association with art, the glamour of Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth's garden are just a stone's throw away. So Penzance probably gets overlooked as an arty destination, but it's latest boutique hotel and it's impact on the town, might surprise you.
The building itself is an old Georgian imposing thing, that gives a sense of regency and splendour of days gone by and one might expect something equally old-fashioned inside. However as soon as you walk in, it's clear there is only chic allowed. Colourful art adorns every wall in the bright and rooms, giving an eclectic, laid-back atmosphere.
Every room at Artist Residence Cornwall has been decorated by a different local artist, so there is a strong sense of character from one to the next without being tacky. We were staying in the Picture Loft, which is quite self explanatory. Lots of pictures on the walls and a lofty room, with exposed beams and light pouring in through every sash window.
Breakfast, served in the restaurant The Barn, was as hearty as it was delicious. All the usual suspects were on there, alongside some American-inspired morning meals. Perfect to start another active day exploring places within easy reach of the hotel, including Lands End, St Ives, the Minnack Theatre, Porthcurno beach and Sennen Cove. We stayed for three nights and each day we got back after a busy day of walking/bodyboarding/eating, it felt like we were coming home.
Small touches around the room really added to the sense of luxury and attention to detail, such as the glass stopper bottle full of body wash and the literary classics dotted around the loft. The lack of over-the-top branding - so often seen in hotels where the logo is brandished across every available surface - was pleasantly absent, helping to feel like we were at home.
The list of boutique-style hotels in Cornwall seems to be growing by the day, but Artist Residence offers a stylish alternative, that has the advantage of a relaxed atmosphere and that home-from-home feeling. The location of Penzance is not too touristy, so you feel like you're away from the beaten track but is perfectly situated to visit the best spots of West Cornwall. I can't wait for my next trip down south to stay with Artist Residence again, whether it is in Cornwall or at their Brighton or London locations.
We stayed at Artist Residence FOC in exchange for an honest review.