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“Disappointed.”
Review of The Old Ship Hotel

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The Old Ship Hotel
Ranked #18 of 43 Hotels in Brighton
Reviewed 17 April 2014

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.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Graham E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2014

Dear Reviewer

Thank you for your review and as its quite extensive with the comments I wanted to assure you that each of your points will be reviewed and where possible immediate action will be taken.

Kindest regards

Paul Wright
General Manager

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Reviewed 14 April 2014

Stayed here (3 adults) as I was running the Brighton Marathon and at £650 for a three night stay B and B ( 2 superior rooms) it wasn't cheap. Scaffolding around the hotel parallel to our windows meant little or no privacy during the day with workman constantly walking past the windows. The big TV on the wall was impressive however the fact that it didn't work wasn't ideal and although we were told it would be fixed in a couple of days it wasn't. Breakfast was nice although having to stand around waiting to be ticked off from a register before entering was a bit trivial. Too many tables were also left for far too long with dirty plates etc meaning although it was easy to grab a table it wasn't easy to get a clean one,.Reception and Bar were fine with good friendly staff but maybe being woken up at 11pm the night before the marathon by staff wishing to do maintenance work in the bathroom was my biggest moan. This is a really impressive building and the layout inside the hotel is lovely maybe we were unlucky and chose the wrong weekend to stay.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank 186338Bucko44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2014

Dear Reviewer

Thank you for your review and I am sorry for the shortfalls you encountered.

Please be assured that all feedback is fully reviewed.

Kindest regards

Paul Wright
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Overall this was a lovely place to stay and only two gripes, which is a shame as it was a mere 'smidgeon' away from perfect. Clean and tidy and all though we went when the Brighton Marathon was on and it was clearly very busy it did not seem 'cramped'. All though there appeared to be ample bar staff they were on two occasions slow in serving seeming to think that washing glasses was more important than serving. Only other gripe, although the room was very tidy and the cleaning staff did an excellent job, there was what appeared to be a 'botched ' repair job to a damp patch by the window. Brighton is a 24/7 fun place for youngsters so can get noisy into the wee small hours, and I was grateful for the ear plugs so thoughtfully provided ( well it was a sea view room so you can expect a bit of noise. I feel a bit 'guilty' in bringing up my 'Gripes' as if not for them I would have happily given the Hotel 100% satisfaction. Will be back and recommend, but please management, it can really make you feel special if bar staff attend quickly with a big smile, have a word and buy me a pint on my next visit and you will be voted as excellent by me !

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Denis K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Dear Reviewer

Many thanks for your review and I hope you did well in the marathon

Paul

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

After a disappointing stay in Brighton last October I was wary of my second trip. I need not have been; this was a great hotel. Very comfortable rooms with sea views and good armchairs provided (this does not happen in a lot of hotels!). The ground floor public spaces were particularly fabulous; there was plenty of different places to sit whether in a group or singly. A great range of breakfast fare and a pleasant restaurant area to eat in. So much contributed to our excellent stay. Although the lift suggested '6 persons' I would recommend '4 only', especially if you've got luggage with you!
The most important aspect of staying in this hotel is, I can safely say "I'll be back!"

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Paul H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2014

Dear Reviewer

Thank you for your great review and we look forward to welcoming you back again.

Kindest regards

Paul Wright
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Had a lovely break here with family. Fantastic location, the hotel has been updated well, and has the most comfortable beds I've ever slept on! Service was good, and whole feel was very welcoming. Perfect place to stay in Brighton.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank ajbucket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2014

Dear Reviewer

Thank you for your great review and we look forward to welcoming you back again.

Kindest regards

Paul Wright
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

We stayed for just one night on a bed & breakfast basis through Lastminute.com. No complaints at all, our room was good, the staff were all very professional, courteous and helpful. Breakfast was good, the food was hot and plentiful and there was a choice of fruit, cereals & pastries as well as the 'full English' option. We have stayed here a few times over the years and I would say that since Puma Hotels have taken over it is on the up - which is no less than this lovely historic building deserves!

Room Tip: Rooms at the side of the hotel can be very noisy at night, especially on weekends when the whole of...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank wommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2014

Dear Wommy

Thank you for your review.

Refurbishment works have commenced including new windows to the building which will reduce the external noise.

We hope to welcome you back again in the future.

Kindest regards

Paul Wright
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

We stayed here as my wife was running the Brighton marathon, and it's a great location in this regard. However, if I just list the issues you'll get the picture. Bear in mind we had a seafront facing room, which are supposed to be the best.
- Paying for wi-fi is historic and quite a cheek given that 4G is faster than most hotels wi-fi, and in some cases 3G. This was taking advantage of being in a poor area.
- We could borrow scissors, but not take them to the room. We had a hygiene issue so this didn't help.
- Given a reported £2M renovation where was the in room safe, phone to desk for room service, fridge etc. The decoration was that of a below average DIY person - all paint in matt with big rough brush strokes, tiles with kicks and steps, poor grouting, poor condition bathroom furniture.
- There was a film of dust across the room.
- The hair drier lead going through a hole in the back of the drawer to the wall plug is a health & safety issue, and also unusable.
- before laying the carpet why were the boards not re-screwed as every single one squeaks?
- radiator could not be turned off. Only hot or very hot available.
- A very tired looking hotel. I appreciate the age, but all this can be fixed.
- 4 stars? 2 at best.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Jonathan_Perry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at The Old Ship Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2014

Dear Mr Perry

Thank you for your email.

The refurbishment has taken placed and so far 36 bedrooms have been completed fully though in room safes are not part of the specification. However these bedrooms are sold separately and I can see that you had not booked a refurbished room.

WiFi is free of charge within this hotel which is not common within Brighton. Higher speed access is available at a nominal charge. For Safety reasons we cannot allow scissors to be taken away from the front desk and I am sorry for this reason.

The hairdryer is fed through the cabinet to avoid guests from accidentally taking it and the floorboards will be resolved as we work through the refurbishment programme.

Kindest regards
Paul Wright
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Old Ship Hotel

Address: King's Road, Brighton BN1 1NR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Brighton and Hove > Brighton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Brighton
#9 Luxury Hotel in Brighton
Price Range: £55 - £164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Old Ship Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 154
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

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