Plymouth offers a huge range of accommodation – from holiday apartments and hotels with stunning sea views through to retirement homes and cheap shared houses for first year university students.
The city is awash with reasonably priced bed and breakfast accommodation, particularly in and around Athenaeum Street which is a five minute walk from both the city centre and seafront.
The B&Bs vary enormously in terms of comfort and quality so check out their web sites for customer comments and rely on word of mouth recommendations if possible.
The best are friendly, often family run establishments which are spotlessly clean and which offer sumptuous made–to-order cooked breakfasts which your own grandma would be hard-pushed to match.
Others are decidedly ropey with tatty décor and (frustratingly) staff who struggle to converse in the most basic English. We stayed in one where it was impossible to communicate the desire for mustard with our fry-up as the waitress had never heard of the word!
When it comes to the different types of accommodation, the one thing you won’t find in Plymouth is a top of the range five-star hotel. But there are plenty of decent enough quality hotels offering spa centres, wedding packages, conference facilities and easy access to the city centre, Hoe and Barbican.
The most attractive hotel in town (in our opinion) is the Duke of Cornwall with its impressive façade, turret, tower and elaborate interior.
Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman described it "as one of the nation's finest examples of Victorian architecture".
The Quality Hotel in Cliff Road, at the western end of Plymouth Hoe, and the Holiday Inn in Armada Way, both boast magnificent panoramic views of The Sound.
Tragically the historic Grand Hotel, in the centre of the Hoe, was destroyed by fire in 2003. The majestic building, which played host to many eminent guests including the great 19th century statesman William Gladstone, has been turned into luxury apartments. Fortunately its impressive façade has been preserved and of course the sea views are as glorious as ever they were.
Some of Plymouth’s mid-range hotels lack character and any air of romance so if those are the criteria at the top of your wish list, head east to the outskirts of the city where you’ll find delightful Boringdon Hall. This Elizabethan manor house combines modern facilities with a rich history and oodles of traditional charm. With its four-poster bedrooms, open air gazebo and picture postcard setting, this is the ideal spot for brides-to-be with hearts set on a fairytale wedding.
There are plenty of self catering holiday flats to be found in the city – from luxurious apartments overlooking Sutton Harbour marina to more basic holiday lets which may not have a sea view but which are still within easy reach of all the city’s main attractions.
There’s a massive range of different types of student accommodation as you’d expect in a city whose university has 30,000 students at any one time including 3,000 from overseas. The university has an excellent Student Accommodation Office which gives students a huge amount of support in finding the right place to suit their particular needs.
They keep a database of city landlords whose properties have been inspected and approved and they can help first time students hook up with each other to rent a shared house at a very reasonable price. They host “Find a Home” events for first time students in August and even provide a meet and greet coach service from Heathrow for international students.
Holidaymakers hunting for a rural setting within easy reach of the city will find plenty of camp sites and caravan parks in the neighbouring countryside - Cornwall to the west, Dartmoor to the north and the South Hams to the east. Dream holiday homes are peppered across Dartmoor whose southern edge is just a 20 minute drive from the city centre. Take your pick of old stone cottages, converted barns, spacious farm houses and luxury homes with hot tubs, wi fi and private pools.