Having stayed at this hotel on three or four occasions in the past and enjoyed the visits on the whole my wife and I decided to spend a night there to see how the place has changed now that it has become a Village hotel. Some recent reviews have been very mixed and a few of the more negative comments seemed rather unfair in the light of our previous experiences.
We arrived at about 12.30 to make the most of the day and went to reception
to check in but were told that this was not possible before 3.00. We didn't expect the room to be ready, but you can usually sort out the paperwork and leave your luggage. Not the case here apparently. Result - queue to check in at 3.00.
Anyway, the first impressons of the revamped hotel were favourable. The new, enlarged bar/restaurant has a lot more space and variety of seating than the previous 19 Bar and there are plenty of outside tables overlooking the golf course. The sunny weather undoubtedly shows off the grounds and setting to best effect. The addition of the Starbucks cafe in the entrance area also provides a further relaxation possibilty.
The place was certainly buzzing on the afternoon we arrived. There was a large party for a wedding, but this didn't cause any inconvenience or delays in service and there was a pleasant and festive atmosphere throughout the place. However, my wife tells me that the ladies toilets remained uncleaned, strewn with debris and in an unsavoury state for the rest of the day.
When we eventually reached our More room we thought the layout and decor were fine and there was a pleasant view from the window which, unusually, opened fully. This turned out to be a Godsend because there was no air-conditioning (despite the controls on the wall and at least one hotel website claiming air- conditioning in all rooms). During the night the room was unbearably hot and I suspect that many a Libyan dissident held by Gadaffi has sweated less than I did overnight. The "lighting" in the room was laughably poor and would have caused no discomfort for an emerging Chilean miner. The room claims to have an iPod dock but despite getting typed instructions from reception (there was no information about anything in the room) my lack of a degree in technology resulted in failure to operate this device.
We decided to eat early in the Italian restaurant. Apparently there was no choice of menu before six o'clock on Sundays but instead they had a 4 course set menu for £12.95. We decided to opt for this rather than wait. This turned out to be a good move. The food was excellent and so was the service.
Unfortunately breakfast was not such a pleasant experience. On our last visit 2 years ago we had to queue for 45 minutes to be seated and although the wait was not as long this time it's not a great start to the day to be standing by the entrance doors with a gale blowing through (the weather had taken a severe turn for the worse). Once we made it into the breakfast room we then had the ordeal of trying to find someone to bring the coffee. This resulted in my wife and I having to eat separately as one or other of us tried to get some service. Once the order had been placed the waitress in question decided to chat to another guest for ages and seemed to forget about us. I had to go over and interrupt her to point out that we had finished eating and would like our drinks please.
All in all a poor experience and not a great end to an otherwise largely pleasant stay.
The indoor pool is as good as ever and the outside pool with surrounding areas for sunbathing is great on a nice day.
Despite the niggles there is no doubt that this hotel has a lot going for it. If the weather is right and you can get a good deal I would reccommend staying here, but don't expect 5* luxury. We only paid £69 for our bed and breakfast package. For this kind of money you could have a bog-standard B&B with hot and cold cooking smells in all rooms and no facilities.
Just one final note, I hope any low-life who found my wife's engagement ring and didn't hand it in receives suitable karmic recompense.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Village Hotel Blackpool is set in 236 acres of Fylde coast countryside, the hotel is the perfect base for a relaxing leisure break with the splendour of the Trough of Bowland and the Lake District only an hours drive. There's all the fun of the Pleasure Beach, piers and Golden Mile just minutes away offering something for everyone. Village Hotel Blackpool has 174 bright and modern bedrooms, a choice of stylish dining or a traditional pub, Starbucks Coffee Shop, a relaxing Spa, state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Club, 3 Squash Courts, 3 Tennis Courts, Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pools, Championship Golf Course, Meeting and Conference Centre, Live Party Nights, Wedding Licence, free wi-fi throughout the hotel and free parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Village Herons Reach Hotel Blackpool
- Herons Reach Blackpool
- Herons Reach Hotel Blackpool
- Blackpool De Hotel Vere