Where do I start........The first thing I want to clarify is that I am a very honest person and my account of my stay is based on my personal experience. I have stayed in many Hotels and I am not usually a critic but how this hotel has had so many 'reasonable' reviews is unbelievable and I felt impelled to highlight some major shortfalls. One member of staff did tell me that the reviews are from members of the family trying to boost the ratings as well as repeat business from people in their twilight years who are used to a more 'nursing home' feel. I have chosen to categorise each point below in no particular order and IF you decide to stay here then you can decide if my 'account' had any truth in it.
PARKING - Basically, forget it. The access, the amount of spaces and general layout of the carpark is terrible. The owner of the hotel stands outside like a traffic warden dictating where to park in a vain attempt to control the last one in, first one out policy which was a joke to watch. Also, If you park in the wrong place then it means several cars would need to be moved to let you out and I had to move twice during my stay and it's just annoying and very poorly thought out..
Disabled Access - There is a stannah stair lift to the main entrance but with that, the steps are steep and treacherous for older people. There is a lift inside but is clearly old and I wouldn't trust it and didn't use it.
Rooms - I was shown 4 rooms and spoke with other residence during my stay. It is very easy to spot damaged furniture, peeling wall paper, water damage, temporary repairs and repairs done to a low standard. There are also cameras everywhere and the bar area can only be described as something your uncle would build in his front room in the 1970's. The best way to describe it is that the hotel is tired and very tired at that. If your of older years and either don't care or don't notice then fair enough. The hotel reminded me very much of a nursing home. Some of the rooms are tiny and the walls are not very thick. You can easily hear next doors television as well as other guests talking.
Food - the food was good but the downside was there was shouting coming from the kitchen on more than one occasion and from what I heard, it was the owner shouting at his 'partner'. I was disgusted at this and you can imagine what the other guests thought. How rude!!!!!!
Staff - The staff are generally fine. I did get the impression they were unhappy with the working conditions and there was one particular man who had a foreign accent on reception who was rude, condescending and abrupt on more than one occasion so I don't think it was a one off. I heard him shouting at staff also. One resident told me that this same man had shouted at guests the week before.
View and location. The views are good as it's on the cliff top but the location is 'noisy' especially at night with drunk younger people walking past until the early hours.
In summary, this hotel is like a 1970's nursing home. It's old. outdated, lots of shouting, odd smells and the rooms look like something from a Miss Marple episode. Don't let the recently painted exterior of the hotel give you a false sense of security as inside is definitely not the same as the outside.
If you have average or high expectations, want to be able to park your car easily or just want no shouting then book at your peril. You have been warned.
I hope now that I have shared my experience, maybe others will do the same.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The dating-from-the-Victorian-era hotel overlooking Bournemouth Bay is under-8-minute walk from the nearest beach and from Bournemouth International Centre conference and entertainment venue. The colourful, low-key rooms offer TVs and free Wi-Fi, plus complimentary tea and coffee. Most rooms feature bay view. Parking is free. A cosy bar and a sea-view lounge, plus a garden are all included. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Agoda, Hotels.com and Odigeo so you can book your Hotel Riviera reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.