I think some of the previous reviews have been rather unfair.
We stayed at Luccombe Manor for a week in July 2012 and found it a very pleasant and welcoming hotel.
It isn’t the last word in sophistication, but if sophistication is what you are after you probably aren’t going to holiday in the Isle of Wight…
But it was clean, the staff were extremely welcoming and the food was well cooked if not particularly exciting – think pub grub rather than gourmet experience. The views over the gardens to the sea are beautiful, and it is a convenient short walk into Shanklin itself.
Staff were uniformly friendly, especially James, the waiter, and Dave behind the bar who was interested and full of useful information. Nothing was too much trouble for either of them.
Some of the staff are very young, and one or two a bit scruffy/over made-up – nothing a quiet word wouldn’t sort out, and nice kids all of them. A new dress code would be a bit less dated – tired white shirts/black trousers that have obviously been part of school uniform weren’t very ‘special’ looking. Maybe it’s time to invest in something a bit more trendy – polo-shirts with the hotel logo maybe, smart French serving aprons. Minimal cost, maximum impact.
The views of the sea from the hotel are across lovely gardens and are pretty special: there is a nice looking outside pool which appeared to be well tended, although the weather was so dodgy during the week we stayed we were unable to use it, or the garden.
We didn’t use the inside pool so I can’t comment on that
Points to look out for:
The stairs are an issue. I didn’t see any mention of the fact there is no hotel lift on the website and it certainly wasn’t mentioned when I booked, but given that there are more than 40-something steps to the second floor rooms, up two flights – one of which is very steep and narrow – this needs to be highlighted.
I have a damaged knee and I would assume the average age of guests here is on the high side: I struggled and I am sure other people will too.
When making my booking I asked about the cancellation policy and was told “we’ll include all the details with your confirmation”. When this arrived it turned out to be the immediate forfeiture of the 25% deposit no matter how far in advance of the holiday the cancellation was made, and 100% of the cost of the holiday if cancelled within seven days of the start. This seems Draconian and quite out of line with usual practice – and had we HAD to cancel for any reason would have left us badly out of pocket. But by the time you find out this is the policy you have of course booked and it is too late.
We were lucky enough to be given a table for two in the conservatory throughout our stay and enjoyed the lovely views it offered: but the main dining room has only borrowed light, and the bar area no natural light at all, and I think I would have found it rather depressing to eat in the dark for a week.
The food is freshly cooked and nicely prepared if not over-exciting. Breakfasts are good. There was a change of head chef during our visit and talk of the menu going “up market”. Given that the kitchen staff are obviously competent this would seem to be something easily achieved. The nightly choice of perhaps six main courses did change by a couple each night, but by the end of a week’s stay was starting to look a bit samey.
The advertised free wifi only works in the small quiet room downstairs which is a bit annoying if, like us, you have taken ipads and expect to be able to use them in your room. This is also something easily sorted out and something most travellers expect these days.
Our room (12) was clean and the bed was comfortable but the two tub chairs were impossibly hard to sit on, and the foam pillows were dismally uncomfortable. I asked if any feather ones were available and when they weren’t I bought a couple as I just couldn’t sleep on those provided.
I didn’t find the hotel at all scruffy, but I think they are missing a trick not playing up to the building’s past as the summer home of the Bishop of Portsmouth.
I’d like to have seen a write-up about the history of the hotel in the menu, and perhaps a portrait of the old boy (old, or newly commissioned) somewhere prominent downstairs. The glass display cabinet in the hall – currently home to half a dozen dusty glasses – could also be put to good use playing up the “heritage” angle. (Yes – I am in PR!)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the outskirts of the quaint Shanklin Old Village and within 4 acres of stunning landscaped cliff-top gardens, Luccombe Hall Country House Hotel offers the best position, best views and best range of facilities of any hotel on the Isle of Wight. With direct access to the sandy beach below, its great for a summer escape, or snuggle up in winter in the Bishops Snug with its roaring log fire.With a great range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities you can be as active or relaxed as you please. Facilities include indoor and hot tub, sauna, outdoor pool, games room with table tennis, pool tables, squash court, childrens play area, family board games, outdoor play area with trampoline, slides, swings, mini putting and giant chess and draughts.Bedrooms options include Standard Rooms, Sea-Facing Rooms, Superior Sea-Facing Rooms and Executive Rooms with Private Balcony.Delicious meals are served in the Grand View Restaurant including a mouthwatering 3 course dinner and freshly prepared full english breakfast. Snacks are available from the Grand View Tea Garden overlooking the sea (during winter snacks available from the hotel bar and lounges) ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Luccombe Hall Shanklin
- Hotel Luccombe Hall
- Hall Hotel Luccombe
- Luccombe Hall Hotel Shanklin, Isle Of Wight