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“Never again.........!”

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Harbour Lights Hotel
Ranked #5 of 5 Alderney B&B and Inns
Reviewed 20 August 2011

First - Alderney is a unique gem and well worth a 5/7 day visit although you'll do a lot of walking! If you want to get away from it all and experience a wonderful small island with a fascinating history, then check out Alderney.

Second - Aurigny is a fabulous small airline, very friendly and helpful. The Trislander flight from Guernsey to Alderney is a brilliant experience on it's own!

Third - the Harbour Lights. Well. we did all the right things and read the reviews so we expected a fairly basic but comfortable and welcoming hotel. We didn't get it. Maybe it was because it was the week after Alderney week (which is the busiest week on the island) and everyone was taking a breather, although the part-time student staff certainly seemed on the ball. In particular, young Ben and a lass from Estonia were very helpful.

We spent 6 nights at the hotel. The room had not been properly cleaned on arrival. There was a full toilet bin in the bathroom and blood on the hotel guide and a light switch - VERY unpleasant! The general level of cleanliness and room service was not good - towels were taken and not replaced, cleaning equipment was left in the room after cleaning and the carpets were not cleaned regularly. In the hotel generally the carpets and ground floor tiles did not appear to have been cleaned at all during our stay. Our king-sized bed was rock-hard and uncomfortable and to cap it all the safe didn't work!

Much has been made of the food quality. We found it poor. The full English was over-cooked so we stuck with scrambled eggs which were fine. We had to send the 'chunky' burgers back since they were like rubber and cooked to within an inch of their lives, although the Cajun chicken that replaced it was fine. Others have mentioned the lack of fruit at breakfast, and this would have been an excellent addition. The bistro service was generally good although we waited half an hour for eggs one morning, which seemed a trifle slow since the hotel was only half full! If you want to eat well on the island try the Mai Thai - it's a belter!

We hardly saw Steve, the owner. He bustled about a lot but whether he singled us out to avoid we'll never know. Anyway, we had to cut short our stay so we finally caught up with him to let him know we had to change our plans and received a curt 'Oh, you've found the bar then'! Strange since we'd been in the bar and ate in the bistro most nights. You need to get to know your customers Steve!

On the plus side, the hotel has a well-stocked off licence and a pretty good bar. It is reasonably located and the island isn't that big so you can get to anywhere pretty quickly, plus you can hire bikes at the hotel. The part-time staff were helpful, friendly and chatty.

Would we return to Alderney - definitely! Would we stay at the Harbour Lights again - definitely not!! Sorry, but it's simply not good enough!!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Julia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steven S, Owner at Harbour Lights Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2011

If as a guest you consider something is not right please tell us about it and we will quickly and happily resolve it. The "rock hard" mattress was a £600 Dunlopillo Latex mattress, one of the best mattresses on the market today and known for its enduring comfort, anti allergen and support properties - we have never had a similar complaint! All our safes do work but we are on hand to help guests program in their personal code to activate the safe. Breakfast normally consists of crozon (in season), cereal, full English (or derivative with eggs as you like them) with free flow orange juice, tea, coffee and toast. If you have special requirements for breakfast or any other meal just tell us in advance and we will try to oblige. Our Bistro, Restaurant and terraces which serves plenty of fresh crabs, bobsters, shellfish, fish, steaks etc are one of the most popular places on the island to eat local cuisine - judge for yourself! A food rating of poor seems harsh from guests who say they chose to eat in the hotel most nights!

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70 - 76 of 90 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2011

we were aware it was alderney week but not told this would mean people running around the holtel at 2am. told room would have a private terrace not the case just windows overlooking an ugly courtyard which proved to be a walkthrough for other guests

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank kimbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steven S, Owner at Harbour Lights Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2011

I would like to make it quite clear that none of our suites have a private terrace though the view from the bedroom can be of a private terrace, the hotel terrace or the sea. Our website details the view from each suite. I think on this occassion the guest misread our website to my cost!
In terms of noise, Alderney is a quite place except for Alderney Week when the population of the island more than doubles and there are events going on all day and into the evening. On the first and last Saturday of Alderney Week there is a Quarry party which plays music from midnight until about 7.00am. The quickest way from town to the Quarry party goes past the Harbour Lights Hotel so there can be some noise as groups of young people are passing after the pubs close at 1.00am. The Quarry party is open to all ages and is great fun as it is all in the open air, you can dance, chat, sit round a huge fire or have a drink (you need to take your own cans or plastic bottles). The atmosphere is fantastic and you don't have to be with anyone as its easy to make new friends and on a clear night watching the stars is simply brilliant. So if you want an uninterupted nights sleep either don't come to Alderney on the two Saturdays of Alderney Week or better still come and join the party (but please be quiet when returning to the hotel)!

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Reviewed 1 August 2011

We have just returned from a 5 night stay at the Harbour Lights although we found the bedroom to be very small it was ok the large bathroom made up for it.We ate twice at the hotel on an evening and the food was excellent. I would have liked a little more choice at breakfast maybe some fresh fruit and yogurts as I do not like a big cooked breakfast but the rest of my group said how good the cooked breakfast was especially the scrambled egg.All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

The other places where we ate were Gloria's which was excellent and the First and Last Restaurant but beware the restaurants on Alderney don't always say what nights they are open if possible book a table as sometimes they can be very busy.also take your own wine if allowed as it is much cheaper to by it at the off license than in the restaurants it is possible to do this at Gloria's.

Another place we ate at was the Yacht Club their cream scones are to die for well done to the ladies of the Yacht Club!

Also mugs of tea at the camp site!

The boat trip around the island is very good and you get to see much more of the forts around the island from the boat.

All in all an excellent holiday with excellent weather but I am not sure what you would do on Alderney if it rained for a week.

Room Tip: Ask for sea view
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank happytravel_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2011

We had a wonderful time at the Harbour Lights. Our room was spacious and very comfortable, the staff were very friendly and overall it was an extremely relaxing weekend. The food was excellent and surpassed our expectations and the position of the room meant that we could use the intercom to monitor our baby sleeping whilst having a meal. So it was a little like being at home but more like 2 date nights in a row - which is unheard of with a baby!
Throughly recommend that you try this hotel and restaraunt and do not miss the view from the top terrace - stunning and instantly relaxing.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank RichJoandJacob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2011

A beautiful sunny day, lunch on the top terrace, views to die for ... plus attentive staff and clean facilities. Would happily recommend to friends and family and plan to return summer 2011.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Treasure1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2011

This was my first visit to Alderney with Poole Town Anglers and the stay at Harbour Lights Hotel could not have been better. It is an excellent comfortable hotel and the staff are exceptional in the warm welcome received and in being most helpful. The room was very clean with television, coffee/tea making facility and all that one would require.A very comfortable bed which is most important after a days fishing. The standard of the food is superb in every way. The Harbour Lights Hotel is of the highest standard and one which I would highly recommend to anyone.

Room Tip: Sea views are a must which most have
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank chriscolledge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2011

Had a wonderful weekend everything perfect. Steve and Nancy made us feel very welcome and the food is top notch

  • Stayed: March 2011
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1  Thank Blondie1558
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harbour Lights Hotel

Address: Newtown, GY9 3YR
Region: United Kingdom > Channel Islands > Alderney
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Alderney
Price Range: £50 - £55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Harbour Lights Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rebuilt May 2009, it has a mix of single, double and twin rooms as well as family suites and can accommodate up to 33. Many rooms have sea views and all have an en-suite bathroom. There is a breathtaking view of the breakwater and lighthouse whilst surrounded by tropical plants & palms. The bar, bistro and restaurant are very popular and prices very low. 3 Minutes walk from stunning Braye beach. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Harbour Lights Hotel Alderney, Channel Islands

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