The hotel is popular with coach tours and there were four Alfa Travel holidays booked that week.
It is a very elegant building on the seafront which was built in 1880, at the height of the Victorian seaside holiday boom. At that time it had 75 bedrooms at the cost of 3s6d per night with an additional charge of 10p for breakfast. Now it has 125 rooms. At the end of October, it was advertising rooms from £41 ppn …
Virtually opposite the pier, it is an excellent position.
It is a stylish building with a revolving door, reception area with lounge and bar off. There are two dining rooms. The smaller overlooks the sea front. The larger and the one used by coach parties, is at the back. Rooms are on five floors and there are two lifts. Otherwise there are two grand staircases.
I had a single room at the front of the hotel and was lulled to sleep by the sound of waves breaking on the beach and woken by sunrise over the pier. It was a comfortable room with small dressing table with tea tray and a bedside table with phone and radio. There was a hair drier and small flat screen TV. This was wall mounted at right angles to the bed – not the best position if you wanted to watch TV from the bed. There was a small coffee table and chair next to the window. The room was clean and checked everyday. It could possibly have done with a coat of paint on the woodwork.
The breakfast menu was simple with a basic choice of cereals, fruit juice, tinned grapefruit or prunes, yogurt or porridge along with variations on the full English.
The evening menu always included a meat and fish dish, along with the chef’s special and and a vegetarian or vegan offering. The main course did tend to be uninspiring – more school dinner than haute cuisine. This was also reflected in the choice of deserts with bread and butter pudding… Starters tended to be the most interesting. Portion sizes were reasonable and food was always hot when served.
Waiting staff worked really hard and were under pressure to get bodies through as quickly as possible. They always managed to keep a smile on their face.
There was evening entertainment in the bar, which was enjoyed by other people on the trip, although I didn’t join this.
So overall summary – a good basic, no frills hotel in a super location. It is probably one of the better of the Leisureplex hotels. It offers good value for money.