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“Time stood still”

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Best Western Royal Victoria Hotel
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Hastings
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Time stood still”
Reviewed 6 January 2013

Lovely façade. Double DeLux was spacious. Good Sea view. Other than that I would not go again. I had a snack on my arrival and the greasy cafe' down the road where I live serves better food. The teapot was dirty too. The curtain in my room were partially ripped off and pretty dirty. The TV probably dates 1980 and reception was so bad and noisy. BBC 1 and 2. That's it. I had to ask for some shampoo i.e. no complimentary toiletries if they can avoid it. The Christmas menu was still displayed everywhere on January 6th. There does not seem to be any house management overall control. Shame because the building has a remarkable history and very good potential.

Room Tip: if you want to visit Hastings I would advice to stay in the old town instead. But that also forces y...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Simona C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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801 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (238)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

We loved our 'suite' of rooms. The bedroom was upstairs from the sitting area and all was clean, spacious, pleasant, warm and comfortable. Our large window was about 12 ft high and offered a wonderful sea and sky view. We had two disappointments. We were looking forward to dining in, then falling into our comfy bed. But the single vegetarian option was very poor and lacking in protein, so we found a lovely local Armenian restaurant instead with lots of interesting vegetarian options. Our second disappointment was the 'pop musak' which rang out throughout the hotel, totally out of keeping with the beautiful Victorian arches and columns, high ceilings and well- chosen decor which graced the building. Please please BWRV, reconsider your music policy. One further small complaint, but one my husband felt strongly about was that we couldn't open a window/ the window, which was sealed shut (presumably double glazed). However to end on a more positive note, this was the chance for £80.00 to stay in a really splendid sea-front hotel, of extraordinary dimensions. The staff were pleasant and presumably at enormous expense, rooms and hallways are kept cosy throughout. It seemed rather empty, but we didn't mind that. A bit of mid-winter, post- Christmas British seaside melancholy is ok with us.

Room Tip: Pay a little extra for a room with a sea view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bartramn2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2012

Whether you enjoy your stay here really depends on an equation between the price you pay and your sense of humour. Off-season, it's cheaper than a Travelodge and for that you may get an extremely spacious room, although one which probably hasn't been redesigned since the 1960s, and in which some things may not work as well as more modern properties.

I had "suite" 310 which has the benefit of being all one one level (some on the 4th floor have spiral stairs to the sleeping area which has a comparatively low ceiling) but the bed was 'double' rather than 'superking' size and the bedside table wedged against the wardrobe door so you couldn't open it. You also can't turn the main lights on or off from the bed, and in a 'suite' the television is next door in the sitting room which had all the charm of a dentists' waiting area with very upright small sofa and armchair, one coffee table and one desk.

Both rooms did have a full-on view of the sea, through dirty and heavily netted windows, which didn't completely close and so the curtains billowed all night in the stiff cold breeze like a horror movie. Rooms don't have central heating, so you must balance the settings on the convection heaters with the incoming chill from the sea ...

The carpet is beige and floral, the sofas red brocade, the walls pale yellow with patches of 'elastoplast' pink, the bedspread ochre and the curtains black with a chinoiserie pattern of birds. The bath had some 'gold' taps and some chrome ones, and vinyl flooring rather than tiles. The bathroom was lit by one dim ceiling bulb, the other rooms by wall sconces with fluorescent bulbs and no shades.

Service was affable but unhelpful. It poured heavily with rain as we went out to dinner, and I asked to borrow an umbrella. Without uncurling herself from a position hunched over an electric radiator, the receptionist offered "no, someone took ours and broke it. It wouldn't do you any good, anyway, it's too windy and would probably blow inside out".

Sheets were clean, pillows fibre-filled and lumpen, mattresses soft and a bit squeaky, blankets old and pilled and worse than the one we put in our dog's basket. But the night passed and in a largely empty dining room we were entertained to breakfast.

I say 'entertained' because if you accept that the shambling, forgetful, constantly apologetic Spanish waiter is called 'Juan' rather than 'Manuel', it would be easy to see where the writers of Fawlty Towers did their research. "Could I have some tomato sauce?" "Is here, on the buffet ..." "No, I already looked there". "Si si, is here ... no, well someone must have taken it" ...

The "full house" English breakfast (£13.50) was transport cafe standard. The bacon might have been grilled but almost everything else, including mushrooms and a withered tasteless sausage, seemed cooked in the same deep fat fryer. Juices are cheap and watery, grapefruit is tinned. Thin packet sliced bread (white and brown-coloured, not wholemeal) was used for toast, all the butter, jam, sugar and so on comes in sachets from the local cash and carry, clearly no-one cares about sourcing decent ingredients, or quality in presentation.

The crockery is mis-matched and stained, the tablecloths weren't clean, the first milk they brought us broke up and floated in the coffee, and the waiter's waistcoat had so many stains and grease spots it looked like they'd cleaned the floor with it.

Promptly at 10.00 all staff retreated to their own breakfast table in a side room of the restaurant and no further service was offered.

This is a property that died on its backside many years ago, and clearly nothing can save it short of a complete and expensive rebuild which the owners can't afford and the neighbourhood business wouldn't justify. It's a sad fact that so many well-situated seaside hotels are in this state.

The (few) good points: wi-fi is free and seemed to work in the rooms where we used it. The bath filled quickly, which was just as well as there was in one of our rooms no wall bracket to use for the shower.

An irritation: we were offered "would you like wake-up call or a newspaper" on check-in, but no mention made that they would eventually charge us £2.60 for it.

Room Tip: Some TripAdvisor users mentioned scaffolding on the rear of the hotel. It's gone now. Our £45...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank JohnnyFox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Level Contributor
197 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2012

I visited here for a Saturday night as we had a dinner nearby on Sunday. I do love old seaside hotels, but they do tend to range from the old and run down to the superb.
From arrival, check-in was friendly and efficient - nice that rooms have already been allocated - this does make the process faster.

I was delighted with the room / suite - it was sea facing and had a seperate lounge. Given it was winter, I was delighted to find that the rooms were warm - often a problem with old hotels.

The bar is quite a let down - it should be a feature of the hotel as it overlooks the sea, but it has no atmosphere and feels run down.

Breakfast was good - excellent staff who have obviously worked together for years and nice food - not great to look at, more effort could be spent on this.

Whilst this is an old hotel and the deco may not be top-notch, it is clean, rooms are good and the service is fine.

Worth the money, no complaints, but nothing that special.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Hawkwind1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
Reviewed 7 December 2012

Being on ones own in a hotel can be a bit daunting, but the lovely friendly staff made me feel welcome. The rooms are large enough to stroll around in and its great to have a bath and not a shower in a cupboard. The whole atmosphere plus the sea views make staying here totally enjoyable. The price, including my light supper in the piano room, was very reasonable.

Room Tip: explain when you book what is important to you - view, tv reception etc.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank campion010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2012

I'm sitting here in room 308 on the bed as I type, so I can give you a really accurate review.

This is my second night here with my boyfriend as we decided to get away from London for a while and go to the south coast. We chose this hotel because it was cheap and right by the sea. We chose a room that did not have a sea view (didn't see the point, as the sea was a stone's throw away) and without breakfast (which is an extra £10 per day per person, and would have added a total of £60 to the bill for some bacon and eggs, ridiculous! I may as well have bought some bacon and cooked it with an iron!).

On entering the hotel, you may be surprised to see how grand it is (for the price, this is at first, remember), with a mirror that goes from ceiling to floor and prestigious furniture.

The staff seemed very friendly, but I guess this is the case with only a handful.

The corridors smelled slightly... stale. Like entering a care home. I suppose the staff must be so used to the smell that they don't really ever care to invest in some Febreeze.

We entered our room and we were quite underwhelmed. It looked like I had traveled back in time to the 70's, which is a bad thing since we're in our very early 20s. The carpet is awful and the walls look horrendous and bare (the salmon pink squares on the walls are nauseating), the curtains look like something bought from a bootsale and the bed... don't get me started. Horrific.

The bed is sort of comfortable if you're used to sleeping on the floor. The "duvet" is thin and the sheets are just... not very nice. If you want some "intimate" time with your partner, you can forget about it. The beds are really springy and the headboard is cheap, also the room isn't very soundproof as there are gaps around the door...

The television belongs in the 90s and the channel selection is appalling. The hair dryer was last safety-tested the year I was born! And the yellow pages is from 2008. I sat on the toilet and it was broken! I couldn't believe it. They put a broken toilet seat back on the toilet and didn't bother to fix it. Some of the windows open and some do not and when they do, it's by a massive 5 inches. I'm feeling so hot right now and it's winter.

We would have ordered room service had it been within a reasonable price. The hot chocolate is £2.60, which is not bad, but then they add on £2.50 as a room service charge as if it would kill them to get the lift to our room. £5.10 for a hot chocolate? Ridiculous.

The room freaked me out, in fact I'm still freaked out, I'm pretty sure it's haunted as every time I look right to the stairs going to the bathroom I see or hear something.

The location, although it is on the sea front, isn't great. It's about a mile from the best part of hastings (with the amusements and town) and it can get quite tiring after a while.

The only positive things I have to say about the hotel is that it IS right near the sea and the shower is quite nice.

That is all. Now excuse me while I try to get back to sleep.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RaineCloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
80 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2012

A friend block booked a number of rooms for guests to a party - and we had a spacious sea facing suite for 2 including full English breakfast - for only £65. You can't do better than that!
Admittedly the room was slightly dated - as was the bathroom - and the double bed was only 4'6" wide with sheets and blankets rather than a duvet - and the room was cold when we arrived - and the lighting wasn't brilliant - but overall we thought it was great value!

On the plus side, the 2 rooms were very spacious, there was a modern flat screen tv - and the views of the sea just across the road was great! We awake in the morning to a clear blue sky - we could have been in the sixth of France!

Breakfast was slightly underwhelming but perfectly adequate - in a dining room that was so sunny we had to draw the curtains!

Quite grand common parts

About the same price as a b&b - but we'd prefer to stay here any time!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lavinia02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Best Western Royal Victoria Hotel

Property: Best Western Royal Victoria Hotel
Address: Marina, Hastings TN38 0BD, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Hastings
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Hastings
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Royal Victoria Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated along the picturesque Hastings seafront, the Best Western Royal Victoria Hotel provides high standards of comfort and hospitality. Whether you are looking to explore the offerings of the East Sussex coastline or just want to stay at a quality hotel in Hastings, we are confident you will enjoy your stay with us. This elegant Victorian hotel has tastefully furnished bedrooms and suites, renowned Sea Terrace Restaurant & piano bar and conference & banqueting facilities with views across the English Channel and to Beachy Head. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Hastings
St. Leonards-On-Sea Best Western
Hastings Best Western

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