Hythe is a popular sea side resort and the Parade is full of hotels. The Imperial is the large splendid white building on the edge of the town and looks like everyone’s dream of a holiday hotel.
It is in the process of being refurbished and this shows, with a few letters missing from the sign at the back of the hotel.
Entry is at the back of the hotel, up a flight of stairs lined by a dusty red carpet leading into the splendid old fashioned reception area with lots of dark wood, a bar and small lounge with easy chairs. The loos in the ladies room had painted flowers on the bowl – a nice Victorian touch.
Reception was quick and efficient, but at 2.30, my room wasn’t ready and I had to wait 30 minutes until I could get into it.
There is only one small lift which was very slow to arrive and is also used by the cleaning staff. It may be quicker to use the splendid spiral stairs. My suitcase was brought to my room for me but was very slow to arrive and I was beginning to think they had forgotten it.
I had a large room on the fourth floor overlooking the back of the hotel, with a view of tree lined slopes and the church set above the town. Superficially it looked very nice and was spotlessly clean, but didn’t bear close inspection as the carpet was threadbare in places and the furniture had seen better days. It has yet to be refurbished.
There were two single beds pushed together. The mattress was firm but comfortable, unlike the pillows which were hard and unforgiving.
There was a large bathroom off with an over the bath shower. This completely defeated me and there were no instructions. I rang reception for help and one of the domestic staff appeared and couldn’t work it either. In the end maintenance appeared. It was easy – once you knew how. You turned the taps on to get the right temperature and then pulled up the hose to the shower to direct the water from the tap into the shower…. The only problem was the cold water didn’t run up into the shower, there wasn’t much water from the shower and it ran very hot, even though I turned the hot tap right down. There were no hand rails on the bath which could make it difficult for less mobile guests. Towels were reasonable and there was the usual range of soap and shampoo in dispensers.
There was a flat screen TV and a hospitality tray with plenty of tea and coffee.
There is a spa attached to the hotel, but I didn’t investigate this.
Breakfast is normally at 7.30 on a Saturday but Titan Travel who had booked the hotel for me had arranged for the restaurant to be opened specially at 6.30 for three guests who were being picked up at 7.15 for the Dover ferry. Normally it is a help yourself hot breakfast but ours was specially cooked to order using good quality local sausages and bacon. There was a good choice of fruit, yogurts, cereals as well as toast, croissant and pastries. Definitely 5*
I paid £111 for bed and breakfast which I felt was expensive for the standard of the room. Breakfast was excellent.