I notice that some other reviewers are young and I did consider re-titling this review, but, when I stayed at the Red Lea all the other guests were golden oldies. It brought back memories of seaside holidays in the 50's when this was a most up-market hotel in a most favoured location. In some respects it hasn't changed much, except for the provision of the en-suite bathrooms; the decor, while fresh and clean, is distinctly old-fashioned; the lift, as mentioned, a little, creaking box that I found a bit frightening, having been stuck in something similar 50 years ago. I travelled with a friend; we paid a little extra for a bay-windowed sea facing room. This was well worth it because the 2 easy chairs in the bay window allowed us to relax by an open window and enjoy the extensive view all the way across the south bay and gardens, drinking tea or coffee made in our room. The beds were comfortable, with high quality white bedding and towels. The room and bathroom were spotlessly clean; however, I do find scrambling in and out of a bath difficult and would have appreciated a grab rail as well.
We booked half board; all the meals were very good, tasty generally well cooked. Sometimes the '50's theme crept in with over cooked vegetables, but the soups were home-made and the meat and fish excellent. Desserts such as knickerbocker glory and trifle were also nostalgic. Everything you could want was available at breakfast,( including a perfectly cooked boiled egg.) The service was efficient and unobtrusive.
The great strength of this hotel is its staff; mostly young with a mixture of locals and East Europeans, all of them well trained but friendly and always willing to go beyond the call of duty. Any requests were promtly answered and never was there any fuss. One night we were booked for the theatre and dinner was served qulckly but without any hurry and a taxi arranged for us.
Another plus is the location a stone's throw from the lift to the beach and Spa complex. Parking is on the street with a free permit. I could imagine this is difficult in high season.
Scarborough is rather a sad place to those who remember the old days but the Red Lea does its best to keep up standards. For what we got we thought it excellent value for money; a good 3 course dinner is £16 for non residents, a beef sandwich with salad garnish £3.25, prices undreamt of in the Midlands.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Red Lea Hotel is situated on Scarborough's favoured South Cliff, close to the Cliff Lift, the Spa Centre and the beach. The attractions of the town centre, historic castle and bustling harbour are only a short stroll away. With our superb location, beautiful sea views, indoor swimming pool, comfortable bedrooms, great food and friendly service we think we've got everything you need for a great break by the sea. ... more less
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