There's only a handful of upmarket hotels in the Scillies, some of which strive to appeal to the mainland's chic set. They tend to lack heart, but this one most decidedly does not. The welcome begins at the airport, or the ferry, where Robert, his son James (the manager) or one of the staff meet all guests personally.
Castles often make dismal hotels, but this one, inside its walls in the shape of a 8-pointed star, has something of the charm and intimacy of a Cotswold cottage. As well as the cosy bar, first floor sitting room and ground floor, stone-walled dining room, there are eight charming bedrooms in the castle itself, all recently redecorated.
Each morning at breakfast, Robert and James enquire from their guests what they feel like doing, making suggestions, arranging boat trips and providing packed lunches and maps for walkers. Many regulars (and there are many) simply say they are "going with Tim", a hugely popular local boatman who takes guests on trips to the off-islands.
The spacious bedrooms in the annexe have also been overhauled. An exotic garden is growing up in the space between the two wings.
We could not fault the food, and there's an interesting personal wine list. This is an ideal place for a family adventure in the Isles of Scilly. It is also available for private functions and weddings.
Off-season rates are great value at this long-standing favourite.