After reading a lot of the reviews I had some concern about staying at this hotel, and unfortunately I was proven right.
First thing to say was that the staff are very pleasant and I do think they want to do their best, so no criticism for effort.
On arrival we found that our tour operator had made a mistake, booking us into a twin room. I went to reception and they very efficiently change the room for us, into a double. The hotel is massive and quite difficult to navigate around, being split into two, and you find rooms in strange places, ours was in a side passage next to a staircase which restricted entry to it to single file. To get to the room we had to pass through a stairwell which had a strange and sometimes sickening smell of what in my opinion was fish.
The room itself was basic, no phone for instance, but having been just re-furbished in my opinion was nicely decorated. The window overlooked a flat roof with windows opposite, I have had better views! Considering it had just been refurbished the light switch to the bathroom was loose, there where insufficient coat hanger, four to be precise, the lock to the bathroom had not been replaced leaving what was a hole you could look through, the shower head lacked adjustment, it always pointed down and the shower pole was loose. Added to this, the fan in the room decided that it would make a noise like a generator. Did anybody check this room for problems?
Evening meals tended to be a joke, but nobody seemed to be amused!
First the positives:
1/. We where part of a larger party so the hotel laid on a fixed menu. The choice given in my opinion was good.
2/. The overall quality of the food was good, but there were problems, which I will highlight later.
Now the negatives:
1/. The staff appeared to have no idea of service, in my opinion they had just joined for the Summer most of them appearing to be students. They ignored us when we had been waiting for quite a time, when asked for additional water they said they would bring it, but we ended up having to get some from an adjacent table and finally but not least, serving soup without spoons!!!
2/. The food listed on the menu was not always the same as we received. On two nights I ordered Pâté which was supposed to be served with warm toast, which is normal, not here it was served with a thick slice of wholemeal roll, both nights. If you are going to serve it with bread say that on the menu, don't say one thing and do the other!
3/. The food tended to be repeated, the only thing changing being the description.
4/. It does not take 20 minutes to prepare Pâté and a bowl of soup.
5/. This is a minor problem. On the first night they served mint chocolates with the coffee, this was the only night they did it!! But it does sum up with what was wrong with the evening meals in general, consistency in service, quality and presentation.
On the other hand the breakfast in my opinion was not bad at all. The only slight criticism here was that a lump of cheese and a plate of ham does not constitute a cold table, or even anywhere near. Other than that everything was better, even the coffee, with a very special mention regarding the staff. Everybody serving breakfast made you feel welcome, the service was prompt and not obtrusive and overall a good experience, they should all be moved to serve evening meals and given a pay rise.
The one final problem was on the last day when checking out. We amongst others waited for a lift for 10 minutes only for it not to arrive, so we carried our luggage down two floors. When we got to the bottom we found a sign saying lift under maintenance, why didn't anybody with some common sense and put signs on each floor informing people that the lift was out of use.
The stay at the hotel did not spoil our holiday, but it was not a pleasant experience. The company we travelled with uses other hotels from this group, and we have told them that we will not be going on any tours with them that uses this group's hotels.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The four-star Old Ship Hotel is a historic Georgian hotel with 154 bedrooms, 49 of which overlook Brighton's famous beach, that also has chargeable onsite parking for up to 50 cars. Just a 5-minute walk from Brighton Pier, The Lanes and the city's bars and restaurants, previous guests have included an array of royalty, aristocracy, artists and musicians, such as Charles II & Paganini. Enjoy classic British dishes in the Steak-on-Sea Restaurant, or private dining in the 400-year-old cellars, and drinks on the Al Fresco Bar Terrace on the promenade, before heading out for top-class entertainment in the theatres and clubs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Old Ship Hotel Brighton
- Barcelo Brighton