I booked a five night stay at the Fermain Valley based on my previous experience at the Braye Beach Hotel, the sister hotel in Alderney. Richard and his team run a fine hotel in Alderney, it exceeded my expectations in many ways. Regrettably, the same cannot be said about the Fermain Valley.
Having studied the hotel web site, I opted for a Gold standard room based on the pictures and description provided. The room I was nothing like the brochure, more of a gold minus room. The room was much more compact than illustrated, the balcony was only half the width of the room, half the size of most other Gold rooms and three was no sea view, not even distant glimpses.
The bathroom was very compact with no space for toilet bags and their contents and the small bath with a shower over it which necessitated a very high step over the bath would have been much better as a large walk in shower.
I advise caution when booking a Gold standard room, there are clearly some significant variations and I got a lot less than advertised.
There is a small safe but it is very awkward to access under the cloths on the hanging rail.
Ventilation was very poor with only a small fan light window unless you left the door open and suffered the consequence of sharing your room with a variety of insect life. Since the room gets full sun during the day it really needs air conditioning for a comfortable night’s sleep.
The room was kept clean and tidy which is more than can be said for the terrace areas which looked in need of a good clean and some maintenance.
With the exception of the reception staff, service was uninspiring and at times very casual, but the quality of food was very good in both Ocean and the Rock Garden. Strangely, the Ocean restaurant closed for two nights during the middle of August, but there are so many other good places to eat on Guernsey.
The hotel advertises a car pick up service for the airport and the town which us very convenient and avoids the challenges of parking in town. When this is not available, Island taxis offer a good service or there are frequent buses that stop on the main road near the Venue building and it is only £1 a journey.
The hotel is in a narrow valley and parking is limited near the main hotel buildings. There is additional parking up the hill by the Venue building but it is a good climb up the hill through the very well presented hotel grounds. I suggest you check where the room you are booking is located as some rooms are in the Venue building which is a few minutes’ walk through the grounds. This may not be a problem on a nice sunny day but I would find it a pain in the wet every time you wanted the bar or restaurant.
It is worth noting that the hotel is in direct line with the runway of Guernsey airport which means you do get aircraft noise as an alarm clock from around 7.00 a.m. The noise is worse when aircraft are approaching to land as they are a lot lower and this seemed to be the most frequent occurrence.
Overall this hotel is OK but it is nothing like the standard of the Braye Beach and there are other better hotels on Guernsey. It does not appear to have the leadership or the buzz that makes Braye Beach so special.