Having been a regular, albeit one night a year for the past eight years I feel compelled to have to say that this was the worse time I have spent at the Victoria.
I shall start by saying that the staff are very friendly and professional, especially the long serving staff such as Cliff and the gentleman/comedian who runs the late night bar (apologies for not remembering your name). They are a credit to the hotel. Having said that, there seems to be a corporate element entering the 'Brend Group' which is all to common when a company gets larger and the accountants get involved.
Firstly the day time service was shocking! Not enough staff to meet the demand, we waited approximately 30-40mins, not once but twice, and we were not the only group to wait as several people were complaining. It's ridiculous as the waiting staff are not on high wages, employ more, take more money!!! We would have squeezed in another round of drinks but didn't have time, and again I'm sure we wouldn't have been the only ones to spend more.
The next thing that I found disgusting in more ways than one were the sandwiches. The menu states 'Freshly cut bread', it was precut Hovis at best and for £7.75 for a beef sandwich with coleslaw which looked like it had been left out for hours and stale crisps I felt ripped off, I even complained to the front desk (no waiting staff to complain too).
Tradditionaly our group has a couple of drinks before we go in for our evening meal, and on past occassions we have always had nibbles provided, this now seems to be redundant unless you drink in the bar area. Why this is I'm unsure as our drinks are not any cheaper in the lobby than the bar, is it again a staff and cost cutting measure??? Then the evening meal, well what can I say...very ordinary in comparrison to our previous visits, bland and uninsipiring. The service in the restaurant is very good though.
To summise I believe the hotel is cutting costs and corners, service is definately down (promptness, not politeness) and the quality is very noticeably less. House wine at £24 a bottle is ridiculous as it probably costs less than £4 a bottle and it's just ok tasting. The sandwiches are so over priced and the bread is not freshly cut, it is again a way to push guests into the town to get a better sandwich at a better price. If you want to save a couple of quid ditch the stupid bit of parsley of the cooked breakfast and put it towards another member of waiting staff during the day to cut some fresh bread and take orders! In all seriousness the breakfast is the one area that doesn't seem to have been comprimised.
It's a family run hotel, run it like your family were staying there and paying the bill, would they think it value for money...?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in 5 acres of manicured gardens, the Victoria welcomes guests with a unique blend of hospitality, comfort and style. Perfectly located on Sidmouth's beautiful seafront esplanade, for many years the Victoria has been owned and managed by the Brend family - Devon and Cornwall's leading family hoteliers. Much loving care and attention has been lavished upon this fine establishment and it's no wonder that it enjoys a reputation as one of England's finest hotels. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Victoria Hotel Sidmouth, Devon