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Discover more about Budock Vean

We caught up with Budock Vean Managing Director Martin Barlow to find out more about the hotel and their exciting Winter events.

You are the owner of Budock Vean as well as the Managing Director. What does your role entail? 
It’s an interesting business to work in… This year was my 20th work anniversary! I wear a few different hats. I am the General Manager so oversee all the operations in the hotel. I’m also the Managing Director which brings a different perspective, and sometimes I have to think like a shareholder as I am the owner of the business. I love what I do, it’s an interesting business to work in. I love managing and working with people to provide our guests with great experiences.


What does Budock Vean have to offer people who are considering a staycation?
It is a very special location. We are set in 65 acres off the beaten track at the Helford River. As our guests come down the long drive they are entering a space away from the madness where they are looked after. We also have lots of activities on site and attractions that you can walk to including Trebah Gardens, Glendurgan and of course beautiful coast walks around the Helford.

Layered on top of this we have lots of Covid safe measures reminding our guests to socially distance, sanitiser (over 130 points across the hotel) etc. We also provide each guest with a Covid-19 Care Package containing a mask, sanitiser and gloves when they arrive.


What effect has Covid-19 had on your business?
We’ve had to make some tough decisions and change the way we deliver our services but, touch wood, so far it’s been ok and we haven’t had to make any redundancies. We have lots of long serving staff and I see that we have a long term future, so we want to keep our brilliant team together.


The land and the building look like they have quite the history. Can you tell us more about that?
Well there have been people on the site right back to 600 AD. There are lots of Christian burials around the Helford due to its location as safe landing spot, and the area has become a religious site. We have a burial site marked in the grounds.

Then in time Budock Vean grew to be the significant manor in the area. In 1934 the house was turned into a hotel and it has been privately owned as a hotel ever since.

The hotel is a mixture of styles due to this varied history, we have some contemporary buildings in the grounds, but the main house is about 200 years old as the previous manors burnt down.

The hotel has been family owned since the 1930’s. How important is this to you as the MD?
It’s extremely important to have that family feel. My mother and father were originally involved in the hotel and my Grandparents were also hoteliers in Cornwall so it’s in the blood!

This family approach ensures that the staff feel part of the business. Some of our team have been with us over 40 years and loyalty and longevity are important values to us.

We also have a solid reputation for training new team members, that might be supporting people through formal apprenticeships and getting them set up for their future careers in our sector. Or training and developing our teams through IIP. This also comes through to the customer and we have lots of returning visitors who like this approach. Customers are recognised by staff, and friendships between guests have formed as they return each year.


We are really excited about your Live at BV sessions, why have you decided to programme this?
These sessions are new for us but we have a long history of supporting the arts in various ways. We’ve had musicians playing live at the hotel for as long as I can remember, we’re regular supporters of Miracle, we’ve hosted live outdoor events on the lawns and support makers whenever we can for example.

The winter arts sessions are an extension to that work. The idea is that these events will appeal to people looking for short breaks or special getaways.

I love going to the theatre and we saw David Mynne’s one man show recently at the Minack Theatre and I thought how great it would be to bring some shows like this to the hotel.

Live at BV seemed like a good way to combine the two, and it’s been great to connect with the artists. We are excited to bring Ed Rowe, David Mynne and the Simon Latarche Trio to Budock Vean. It’s a really nice mix and we hope it will lift the spirits! You get a fantastic dinner too.


When you aren’t at Budock Vean where is your favourite place to go in Cornwall?
I was born in Cornwall and obviously I love it here. The Helford is a very special place, I am a gig rower so I am very pleased we can train again. I love the big seas on the North Coast but I love that undiscovered feeling that you get around the Helford and the Lizard.


What do you love most about living and working in Cornwall?
The great quality of life that we have here in Cornwall. I love going to the city but being by the sea is very important to me. People seem to have a bit more time for each other in Cornwall, and it’s a great thing to be part of a community.

Live at BV

  • Friday 4th December – Kernow King
  • Wednesday 9th December –  David Mynne A Christmas Carol
  • Friday 11th December – Kernow King
  • Thursday 17th December –  David Mynne A Christmas Carol
  • Your ticket includes a welcome drink, 4 star 4-course dinner, live entertainment, overnight accommodation, breakfast and use of the pool, hot tub, golf and grounds.  £102 per person (for standard room, upgrades to Superior and Signature rooms available).
  • Find out more here.

Budock Vean

On a quiet bend of the tranquil Helford River nestles the award-winning 4 star Budock Vean Hotel. Set in 65 acres of glorious gardens, woodlands and its own golf course – The Budock Vean is a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. With a restaurant renowned for amazing food, relaxing treatments in the Natural Health Spa, luxury self catering holiday homes, tennis courts, kayaking and boat trips along the river, you can be as active or as relaxed as you wish.

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Bethany is often happiest watching one of Cornwall’s brilliant theatre companies. She also loves festivals, coastal walks, and exploring Cornish history and heritage.