Our Story - from 2007 to today

Cornish Gems was founded by Julianne Shelton and Nadia Macer-Wright who met at university over 20 years ago. Studying business management, we vowed to join forces in the future and run a business together. After leaving university, Julianne pursued an international sales career and Nadia followed a career in merchant banking in London. In 2005 our desire to leave the City and set up a business together heightened and Julianne returned to her hometown of St. Ives, persuading Nadia to join her a year later.

With a love of Cornwall, a family history of hospitality and a career interest in property and luxury markets, our business idea flourished. We identified a gap in the market for a holiday letting agency that focused on 'luxury' and that could provide owners with a complete management service by taking care of their home and managing the guest check-ins, cleaning and maintenance.

about us

The Cornish Gems website went live in February 2007 providing the launchpad for what was to become an industry-shaping luxury travel brand. Each holiday home joining the portfolio was (and still is to this day) personally inspected for selection and over 14 years later, we are now highly regarded as the 'go-to' letting agency for luxury self-catering holidays in Cornwall. Our website has evolved during this time and now showcases over 200 high-end holiday homes, cottages, beach apartments and country houses that are tried, tested and trusted by over 30,000 visitors each year.

Today we employ over 100 staff, including 80 Gems-trained housekeepers to uphold our sparkling standards. We are both still involved in the day-to-day running of the business and collaboratively have achieved a number of high calibre awards including:

  • LUXLife Travel & Tourism Award - Leading Providers of Luxury Holiday Cottages - Cornwall 2021
  • LUXLife Hospitality Award - Most Relaxing Holiday Cottages - Cornwall 2021
  • Silver winner British Travel Award - Best UK Holiday Cottage Company 2020
  • Gold winner British Travel Award - Best Southern UK Holiday Cottage Company 2019
  • Finalist Venus Awards for Women in Business - Company of the Year Cornwall and Devon 2018
  • Bronze British Travel Award Best UK Self Catering/ Cottage Holiday Company 2016
  • Silver Award Investors in People 2012
  • Silver Award Best New Business Cornwall 2009

If you are looking for a romantic escape for two or a large group getaway, our team of over 100 staff, including 80 Gems-trained housekeepers, at our Cornwall-based office in Truro offer guests a first class experience from the point of enquiry and booking right through to check-out.