Is it a hotel? Is it a village? Is it a tree? Well, yes. Kind of.
At Luxury Lodges’ Clowance – just one of many Luxury Lodges options available – you get all of those things and – as they say – much, much more.
When you get to your… shall we call it a room even though it’s much more than that? Anyway, when you get there, around the lake and up a fantasy wooden staircase, the kind kids draw and get clever dads to do the honours, there’s The Treehouse that may or may not have been built by Hansel or Gretel only without any of that rinky-dinky chintszy nonsense.
Right there on the terrace is an expensive copper tub – a detail that gives away that this isn’t your common-or-crap tree house – and through a little window by the side of the door, you can see some champagne chilling. And some jams and jellies. And a chunky loaf ready for a-slicin’.
Until now, we must be honest, first impressions have been a little on the wobbly side, in that you check in at a reception desk in the leisure centre/pool bit which makes it all feel a bit municipal. Not that the leisure centre/pool bit isn’t nice because it is, especially as it was only given a full make-over last year. A big pool in a building where the ceiling goes way up to there so you don’t feel boxed in like you often do in covered pools and loungers all round looking out of big way-up-to-there windows full of trees and green. But it still feels like checking in at a pool. Even the ladies are nice pool-lady-style nice rather than hotel smart.
Back at The Treehouse and you’re almost forced out of doors by the fact you have your own little wooden terraces so you can sit out wherever the sun happens to be, shuffling your chairs round to follow it and take in those 100 or so acres of green until you end up – as you will – in the copper tub.
But when you do want to go in, you have a huge, fully-appointed kitchen (much better than the one you probably have at home), joined onto the sitting room for cooking while drinking and chatting and (let’s be realistic) watching TV. Then there are the two bedrooms (so you can pack in four, minimum) with high vaulted ceilings done out in modern-meets-country style looking out onto green and green and then, beyond that, some more green (though there are devilishly handsome Cornish coasts five miles both to the north and south, so you’ll have to toss a coin). It’s also not a million miles to the Tate in St. Ives and the Eden Project, if you wanted to use your Luxury Lodge as a base.
And if you didn’t go for the tree house we would recommend the recently refurbed coach houses, historical buildings but with a very non-historical hot-tub in the courtyard flanked by those ancient – well, 18th century – stone facades. Or The Gatehouse, which sleeps six and again has its own private hot tub, which can be fun with five other people!
And that’s one of the fun things about this place: the accomms aren’t standard. You can choose the Glass Lodge or the St. Austell Lodge, maybe event the spectacular St Ives Lodges, that feel like glamping if glamping ever gets really amazing. Choose your price-point, take your pick.
As far as activities go, there’s tons of stuff to do (even when you’ve got through the classics in that DVD box right there!) Tennis courts, boating on the lake, walks around the nearly-100 acres, sauna, gym, badminton… After dinner at the restaurant (which we found a little un-atmospheric but we’re absolute light-Nazis…) we even humiliated ourselves at pool.
But, like we say, you don’t have to plump for Cornwall if that’s not on your bucket list. With properties in the Lake District and Wales, the world – well, that bit of it – is your freshly-caught oyster.