Folk often ask us about the history of the house and we can appreciate that because we had plenty of questions when we first came here. For years we have gathered scraps here and there and eventually formed a whole. Built in the 1850s (Kellys is silent concerning the house through the earlier part of the 19th century), Chymorvah was commissioned by Richard Rooke Michell, a mining entrepreneur who already had a large family and lived in a spacious, but crowded Georgian house nearer Marazion.
His eldest son and his eldest daughter were planning their weddings and so he built this huge pair of houses on the eastern cliffs and gave them one each. The two properties were perfectly `mirrored’ and only joined on the lower ground floor to enable the servants to move freely from one to the other. Their accommodation was on the top floors in both houses, but because there was only the main staircase for use by family and servants, they would have to be down before the family rose each morning, and only go up again when the coast was clear at night. And looking at that staircase with its portrait light high above it, you can almost hear the swish of madam’s gown as she descends for dinner. If you look carefully behind the dining-room door, you can see in the floor where the dumb waiter brought her meals up from the kitchens below.
Once down the private drive, there is designated parking for each guest. Chymorvah stands in an acre of garden and falls away to the grand views of St. Michael’s Mount and the bay that bears its name. When we first saw that panorama one August afternoon, we fell silent at its beauty.
We’re often asked about the room names which represent the nine hundreds of old Cornwall – the description `hundred’ meaning region not an amount. In Reception we have a map of these hundreds and have used the names around the hotel. A more modern connection would be that four of them were used at Hazelmary’s Penzance Grammar School for Girls as house names. Each one had a colour and affectionately the rooms have been decorated using using the appropriate colour as its theme.
But history is all very well when you’re a modern guest on a modern holiday so the rooms are properly provided with hospitality trays, TV and en suites. We have lots of choices for mealtimes and light snacks during the day – much of which comes from our own garden and is prepared on the Aga.
Chymorvah has few rules, but we would draw your attention to those `Terms and Conditions’ . In our situation and with our history they are especially important – thank you.