There's something lovely about a boutique hotel: usually stylish and small but with the reduced occupancy comes a great attention to detail and guest satisfaction that is often lost when it comes to the major chains.
The opposite can also be true in that boutique hotels can sometimes be a bit amateur - one step up from seaside guesthouse or BnB; a bed in a small room with walls painted with a brighter shade of paint rather than the usual calming neutral.
The Artist Residence in Penzance definitely falls into the former.
David and I were in Penzance following a trip down from London Paddington on the Night Riviera sleeper service from Great Western Railways. I purchased the return tickets as a seaside getaway for David's birthday but as the hubby is a bit of a train buff the train was supposed to be the star of the show. It still was in some regards but with the unseasonably perfect summer we're having in the UK right now, Penzance really did just steal a win from the train, (but as we're Midlanders and rarely see the sea, and your mileage may vary).
The Artist Residence was a perfect base of operations: right in the centre of the Penzance near the high street and just a hop, skip and a jump away from the sea, Jubilee Pool and for us, most importantly, the railway and bus stations as we really did use this trip to explore a lot of the area including Land's End, St. Michael's Mount, and the beautiful beaches and countryside in between.
I'd already splurged on the train so picked a fairly inexpensive double room. However, when we did check in we discovered the room was actually quite large and gorgeously appointed. Most importantly, after sleeping in a bunk-bed train berth the night before, the double bed actually was very large and was incredibly comfortable.
The room has all the trimmings you'd expect, tea and Nespresso, great bath and shower products and a well-stocked Smeg minibar.
The bathroom was fairly small (and after I was on a train all evening I was craving a bath, and unfortunately out of luck with my choice of room class) but the shower and bathroom products were actually incredible.
Our rate didn't include breakfast (I told you I was doing it on the cheap!) but after a very much needed lie-in and following being awoken by the sound of seagulls, we decided to trundle downstairs to their restaurant, The Barn.
Breakfast was well-priced and there was a good selection (our usual picks of Eggs Benedict and Eggs Royale were on the menu) and service was speedy and friendly and there was plenty of room available.
Being a boutique hotel, the establishment also makes its money by being a bar and restaurant too. Despite being just a few floors up from the hen parties, baby showers and get-togethers we were never disturbed by any noise.
When the Admiral Benbow directly across the street had a funk gig on Saturday evening, even that didn't disturb us as the hotel had thoughtfully installed double windows that blocked out a lot of street noise.
All the rooms are different, so this next bit might not be a thing for you, but we did a lot of walking in Penzance and had tired little feet. The only negative of the room that if I was forced to pick a nit and declare it would be the choice of carpeting in the room was stylish but a bit uncomfortable on bare feet.
The carpeting had clearly been chosen for heavy wear with its rough print and hessian-like fabric but it wasn't soft on the skin when walking around the room or nipping to the bathroom in the night.
The hotel is quite responsive to TripAdvisor reviews (a recent one saying the rooms were too warm has led to all rooms having stylish Dyson fans added to the amenities) so I'm sure that if I told them about my delicate tootsies and the rough carpet, they'd provide me a pair of slippers!
The hotel has a great story in that the owner left university to help his mother run a guest house when she fell ill. He suddenly developed the hospitality bug and stuck around. When wanting to refurbish some rooms he turned to local artists and gave them free room and board in exchange for them freshening up the walls and ceilings in each guest room with their own distinctive styles, hence The Artist Residence.
The Artist Residence is now a chain with hotels in Pimlico, Brighton, Bristol, Oxfordshire and Penzance. You can find out more about the different hotels, including rates and special offers by visiting https://www.artistresidence.co.uk/.