Stayed here in mid-September and there's definitely some discussion points about this place!
The hotel was lovely. The room was spacious and clean, and had all we needed for a 2 night stay. The view from the window was of a side street, not the sea front but given the size of the hotel, it would be impossible to have every room facing the sea. This wasn't a big deal breaker for us.
Minor downfall (not that it affected us) is that the rooms had no menus, instructions or notices, just a plastic stand with QR codes on them for menus. This is fine for the younger generation, but for the target audience/main demographic of the area (being elder/retired that gravitate to the seaside for holidays), the chances of them 1) having a smart phone or 2) understanding what to do with this, is very limited. Totally accept Covid-19 probably lead to their decision to switch to this, but a simple laminated sheet would have sufficed as it could be wiped clean between guests. Similar thoughts about the phone; nothing to suggest how to call reception or the restaurant if you wanted to use room service. Also elder generation would probably need guidance on using the room heater and/or TV; all of these items would normally be covered in a room's "welcome book".
There is a heated pool on site, small in size, not overly deep and a little dated and run down, but ultimately served its purpose.
Reception staff were lovely and couldn't have done enough when it came to replacement towels or additional questions. On day one, a gentleman, who we think was the "day Manager", was very chirpy and friendly upon our arrival, however the following day, he was not carrying the same vibe; the "evening Manager" barely acknowledged our existence, even when catching his eye and smiling at him. Bar staff and restaurant staff were nice enough (with the exception of one waiter in the restaurant that could have been injected with a little more enthusiasm). On day two, there were barely any staff around and had to go to reception several time to track down staff to get a drink at the bar, and the attending staff (aforementioned "day Manager") did not seem impressed that we'd disrupted him; I even commented, asking if they were light on man power, and attempted to raise a smile from him, but he was totally deadpan and not engaging to conversation!
A little disappointing and mediocre. Food arrived VERY quickly to table so left wondering if it really had been cooked fresh. One evening I had a salad which, when delivered to table, was little more than a child's portion. Partner had their pie of the day with mash and peas and the mash was clearly instant rather than proper mashed potatoes; surprising considering they boasted using locally sourced produce, leaving you of the impression that food would be fresh. Second evening I opted for a sandwich and the side salad was larger than the main dish I had the day before! On both evenings, we had Eaton Mess and they almost looked like different dishes one night to the next; little consistency here. Also, attention to detail wouldn't go amiss, for example, there was more to my side salad than just leaves but the main meal was pretty much just that. The side salad had olives, but they still had the stones in them so made eating them unpleasant keep having to pull pips out of my mouth at the dinner table.
Food definitely felt over priced. Ordered still water and a Fosters topped with lemonade and both drinks arrived wrong (although were both drinks we would consume so had them anyway). Second evening, we were actually offered FREE tap water which the night before wasn't. Again lack of consistency. Even more surprisingly was that on both nights, when the bill arrived at the table, they had automatically applied a 10% discretionary service charge! Correct me if I'm wrong but surely the visitor only tips if they feel it's warranted, not because it's obligatory; is that not the definition of "discretionary". I would not have tipped for what we received. Also pay attention when ordering your drinks; it was not until after we ordered our coffees that we realised we could have a small or large, but we weren't asked, instead just charged for a large. We also asked for a flat white coffee and was charged for a latte.
Breakfast receives a mixed review from us for various reasons; day one of our stay, no one explained that our room included what was effectively a buffet style breakfast with hot food upon request and the menu wasn't overly clear. It was only when we spotted other guests visiting a buffet style area that we realised. Upon the second morning, the waiter explained we had access to the buffet and so I chose to have porridge and planned to have some fruit, however "buffet" was very much an over exaggeration of what was available. Menu said there would be pastries, toast, fruits, yoghurt, jams and spreads, and cereals and all that was available was cereal. There wasn't even any milk for the cereal. On the hot food front, partner had a full English both days but on each day they were made up of different quantities/qualities of produce. He asked for no grilled tomato but got it anyway, and he asked for white bread and butter which, on the first day, was received partly toasted, almost like they started to toast it then remembered he wanted just bread, and on the second day, he received brown toast. In our case, these were food preferences, but this wouldn't bode well if you had allergies.
Menu is rather limited, particularly when it comes to dinner, but promotes a message of "ask us if you don't find something that takes your fancy or talk to us about your dietary requirements/allergies". On the second night, when I asked for my tuna and cucumber sandwich (which was on the menu), the waiter questioned me on it, as if with a "if it's not on the menu, you can't have it" attitude. And when it arrived, there was no cucumber. Everything about they way this restaurant operates just oozes an vibe of "it comes as it is and no varients, or how we want to give it to you".
Also worth noting, there is a separate section to the dining area for functions/reservations and this attracted much more attention from the staff; the main dining area was left to one staff member to attend, had few guests and we were all seated to one side near the windows which felt like a tactic to appear full and busy to the passers-by in an attempt to attract them in.
Great location. Opposite the sea front, about 5-10mins from the pier by foot and around 15-20mins from the high street by foot. Typical seaside amenities nearby, such as fish and chip shops, ice-cream parlours, gift shops, amusements etc. Nice walk along the sea front covering some distance between different "places of interest". Sight seeing bus also at the pier to take you around local attractions.
Parking a little complex. Could risk parking in a side road, if you could find a non-permitted, non-double lined area with a space, or could park on sea front for £2 a day if a guest of the facilities (subject to space availability). I imagine in the height of Summer season and school holidays, this would be very difficult.
All in all, its not something I would be rushing to return to, but it was adequate enough and served the purpose of our stay. As a couple who tend to holiday abroad, maybe we are niave to UK staycation behaviours but I do feel some of the practices used were a little sharp. Would warn that upon arrival, the hotel will take your card information to pre-authorise a £50 fee to cover any room charges, damage etc upon departure. We were told this would remain pending, however the balance was deducted from my account in advance of departure. This might have been a banking issue rather than the hotel, but is worth being prepared for, and I currently awaiting return of this money. less