What’s Karma St Martin’s like?
Not many people know the UK is home to a sub-tropical island paradise but the Isles of Scilly – off the coast of Cornwall – must be seen to be believed. Each of the five inhabited islands have their own appeal but Karma St Martin’s is the reason many visitors return time and again. Why? Location, location, location.
This stunning 4* hotel – open eight months of the year – is one of the most recognisable landmarks on St Martin’s. It is the first thing you’ll see when approaching the island by boat. Take in the views across the Tean Sound, paddle in the crystal-clear water or stroll along the powdery white sand beach, just moments from the front door. It genuinely glitters – and no, I’m not making that up!
How dog-friendly is Karma St Martin’s?
Very. The hotel is so dog-friendly, in fact, that it has won several awards for it. The team at Karma St Martin’s are real animal lovers and your four-legged friend can accompany you everywhere – even the restaurant.
From the moment you arrive, your pet will be treated like “top dog”. Ernie was welcomed with a treat, bowls and blankets and we were handed a VIP (Very Important Pet) form to fill out, telling staff all about him. A dogsitting service was available and we were also invited to order meals for Ernie from Karma’s Kanine Kitchen.
The dishes started from £3 and included Souffle’s Super Smoothie (yoghurt, mashed banana and peanut butter) and Pavlov’s Ice (vanilla ice cream with a dog biscuit). Ernie was a big fan of A Royal Dog’s Dinner (above) – a brown rice dish with steak, veg and low-sodium gravy.
During our stay, we took advantage of the Creature Comforts service offered by the Isles of Scilly Vet Support Group. For a small donation, they will provide everything you need for your break, from dog beds to crates and toys. Whether you arrive by plane or boat, it really is excellent – and saves a lot of space in your suitcase! We collected our bag of goodies from the waiting room at St Mary’s harbour and dropped it back off when we left. Simple.
Tell me more about Karma St Martin’s
There are 27 beautifully-appointed rooms and three suites. Try to bag one with a gorgeous sea view – if the sun is shining, you’ll think you’re in the Caribbean! We were lucky enough to stay in the luxurious Honeymoon Suite, which was almost bigger than my first flat. It had a private balcony and a spacious lounge/diner in soothing tones of pink and grey with lots of cosy corners to cuddle up in.
The sleeping quarters were stunning with a huge bed, soft robes and decadent toiletries, plus a large window so you can enjoy those stunning views. Honestly, you’ll never tire of the ever-changing landscape. Whether there are bright blue skies or a storm’s a-brewing, there’s always something new to see. We could even watch the local ferry approaching.
The suite was located at the end of a corridor so felt quite separate from the rest of the hotel. It was also above the reading room so there was very little noise to disturb us. The fabulous in-house Karma Spa was just steps away, too.
What’s the food like at Karma St Martin’s?
Fantastic. Because of its location, a lot of food on the Isles of Scilly is either grown locally or homemade. As a result, most dishes are seasonal. A number of residents have honesty boxes outside their homes where they sell fresh produce, such as eggs and veg. We even saw a few enterprising people selling handmade perfume and crafts.
During our stay at Karma St Martin’s, we enjoyed a lovely meal in the hotel’s Cloudesley Shovell restaurant. We feasted on freshly-caught crab, Cornish steak and Scilly ice cream. The hotel also does a mean afternoon tea and can even provide pasty picnics for the beach. In case you’re wondering, the restaurant is named after an 18th Century admiral who died when his ship ran aground off the Isles of Scilly.
Are there resident dogs at Karma St Martin’s?
No, but you’ll meet plenty of others when you’re out and about. There may well be other canine guests to greet, too. If your pooch is anything like Ernie, they will certainly enjoy looking out of the window, just in case (see below).
Where are the best dog walks near Karma St Martin’s?
St Martin’s itself is great and will show you the pleasures of a far simpler lifestyle. The island is just two miles long so you can easily walk from end-to-end or between the three imaginatively-named villages – Lower Town, Middle Town and Higher Town. You’ll find a handful of restaurants, tea rooms, shops and pubs in each.
Very few residents have cars so the roads are nice and safe. In fact, it’s not unusual to walk for hours without seeing another soul. Hike out to the famous red-and-white daymark, which is visible from the Cornish mainland. It is a particularly nice walk with a mix of beaches, grassland and rugged cliffs to traverse.
Unlike some of the other islands, the beaches on St Martin’s are dog-friendly all year round. The ferry also stops right outside the hotel, making island-hopping a breeze.
What Ernie loved about Karma St Martin’s
The tasty homemade meals from Karma’s Kanine Kitchen, off-lead walks all over St Martin’s, the super beaches
What I loved about Karma St Martin’s
The sheer beauty of the island, the massages at Karma spa, the food, the staff… everything!
How to book Karma St Martin’s
Prices for a Deluxe Room start from £150 per night on a B&B basis. Ocean View Rooms will set you back £190 a night. The season at Karma St Martin’s generally runs from March to October. For more information or to book, visit the Karma St Martin’s website or call 03333 232353.