I will start with the positives..
1) Location – walking distance to everything!
2) Breakfast – Was really nice and the 2 ladies that ran breakfast were so very kind and sweet. They were working their tails off. I think they also clean the rooms. I almost felt a need to rescue them.
3) Cost – was priced very reasonably £40 for a single including breakfast.
Now onto the big picture:
I booked a group of 8 – we were not a hen party. We were not loud drunks who seemed to be in the masses in Blackpool. We were 8 women mostly in our 30’s and all with armed services/military affiliation. We’re pretty straight laced and some are not even drinkers.
Upon check-in, I discovered that my room was a broom closet. It’s a running joke that I always do the planning and pick the hotel when my friends and I go on a trip… and I always end up with the worst room. I really despise inconsistent room sizes. But, I could deal with it being small, but the fact that it smelled musty and there was NO air movement/ventilation or airflow was a disappointment. I walked down to ask Pat if there were any other single rooms. She answered me with “This isn’t London, love. This is Blackpool.” I’m well aware that I hadn’t booked the Mayfair, so I wasn’t expecting a suite with a TV in the bathtub. I’m sure she wanted to manage expectations but I didn’t appreciate the condescending tone, which I received a few times. It was so warm and with the small window open, I never got any kind of a breeze and literally had to sleep in my underwear on top of the duvet and was miserable. The room was clean but the carpets could do with a shampoo. I kept my socks on (even despite the warmth!)
What I do expect at a hotel is privacy and for all of my group to be treated like adults. What we experienced was like staying at your Aunt & Uncle’s house – complete with judgment and curfew. I felt like the owners were a bit too involved in their guests’ business. On our first morning at breakfast, Pat asked very loudly “How are the drunks doing this morning?” Yes, we were out the night before (this is Blackpool!), but once again, see above. Some of us had a few drinks, some did not. Regardless, it didn’t seem like small-talk, but more like pointing out that we had a late night out and in front of other patrons. I couldn’t imagine being questioned like that at the Hilton. One of the ladies in our group had a guest come back to her room (he did not spend the night & did not have a “free’ breakfast). She will be posting her own review because she was insulted and treated *terribly* as (Pat’s husband) who had clearly been watching her over the CCTV appeared in the middle of the night and gave her a “talking to.” I’ve honestly never in my life heard of something so intrusive and so offensive. If reception were 24 hours, perhaps she could have paid/registered her “guest,” but it’s not. That wasn't even the issue. They had a major problem with her personal choice, which again, is none of their business. We saw a lot of sights in Blackpool – loud, obnoxious, packs of intoxicated groups who were standing in the streets chanting, urinating, puking, etc. This was not our group but we felt that we were treated this way and to be honest, I’d rather walk across the street and stay with them than to feel the way that we did in this “tight ship.” I had an email from Pat waiting for me when I returned home explaining some of the hotel policies and we agreed to disagree but this whole experience has really turned me off to small family-run hotels. I value my privacy and those of my friends and while I understand that the owners are trying to provide a market for a certain clientele…. in a town of debauchery, you can’t pull the morality card when you own a 2Star hotel with wallpaper dating back to the 1970s!
P.S. The fancy/updated photos listed above are not the standard rooms. They are all double/triple the normal price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Long established, family run, town centre, award winning hotel close to Blackpool Tower, Promenade and beach, Winter Gardens, theatres and new shopping centre. Our chef prepares good nutritious breakfasts and evening meals from as much fresh and local produce as possible. The hotel is kept beautifully clean throughout. Our licensed bar stocks a large variety of drinks and there is a pool table, dart board and quiz machine. Come and join the large number of guests who return annually. ... more less