The Victoria has seen better days. If you want a special romantic weekend or you’re in Cork for a smart event, the Victoria won’t be you’re first choice. That said I loved the Victoria. Yes the hotel is becoming shabby. It also has bags of character. That goes for the staff as much as the building and staying there was fun.
We went with four couples to mooch around Cork and the coast for a few days. The reception staff were really pleasant and we found them more than willing to help where they could. The bedding and towels were clean. We didn’t try the food because we never eat hotel food. The breakfast was passable. There are no tea / coffee making facilities in the rooms and the bathrooms have soap but no shower / shampoo gels. The noise from the street can be a big problem and you may not always be able move rooms at short notice if you find the one you have is noisy. My advice is ask for a room facing the back and well away from the kitchen. We had 325 – it was fine.
So why did I love it so much? It just made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. The hotel is certainly understaffed but the staff that were there were really friendly - bar one (but there’s always one). Most of all the staff seemed free to express the quirkiness and humanity of the place. You just don’t get that from staff with cosmetic smiles in the corporate chains – all colour co-ordination and designer scatter cushions - but no soul.
This hotel needs some serious money spending and one day soon it will have to have it. The location is great so I guess there’s an opportunity for some faceless chain to revamp, re-badge and anonymise it. In the meantime if you’re bored with plastic smiles and corporate deference, give the Victoria a try before they swallow it. I’ll certainly be going back.