We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Mixed experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of The Clifton

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
The Clifton
Ranked #2 of 54 Hotels in Shanklin
Certificate of Excellence
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Mixed experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

I travelled to the Isle of Wight with my Mum and Wife. We were all very much looking forward to staying at The Clifton, based on all the very good reviews it had been getting. Upon arrival the hotel looked very nice, and the location would be very hard to beat, overlooking the clifftop above Shanklin front out over the channel.

Graham checked us in, a very friendly chap who definitely went out of his way to help you and get you anything you needed, always ready with a smile and a joke. He showed us to our rooms; my Mum was staying in a single occupancy room, which was a small room kinda tucked away at the back of the hotel. Mum was rather disappointed with her room, as it didn't really reflect what was shown on the website for the single room. Rather than the modern looking bedstead and decor, room 4 looked rather tired and dated, with fairly rickety furniture. It was definitely taken into account that it was a single room, and a pretty fair rate at less than £50 a night for such a good location, but it's just worth mentioning that it didn't really stand up to the expectations the website gives. The bathroom was also rather tiny, but it was clean, and the room was well appointed and the bed comfortable enough.

My room with my Wife however was a bit of a stark contrast. We had a sea view balcony room (Room 8), which was very big and comfortable, with fabulous views over the clifftops again, all the way down to Sandown and Culver Down etc. The furniture was a much higher standard in our room, and the bed was very comfy indeed. The bathroom was nice enough, with a large shower cubicle, the water pressure leaves a lot to be desired though, I've seen better water flow from a dried up river!

Of the reviews that have been less than superb I have noticed mention of the owner David not being particularly friendly. I have to say that sadly to begin with we seemed to be experiencing this side. David even made mention in one response that his wife calls it his 'grumpy days', well we must have experienced one of those. I can appreciate that it was the end of the season, and I know that the hotel is closing for the off-season this year, so perhaps this was on his mind and didn't really want to be there. However we are still paying guests (a not insignificant sum of money either I might add) and would expect a friendly service.

First night we ate at the hotel, it was good food and not badly priced at all, we had Graham serving us for this along with another waitress; the next evening we chose to eat out, and returned quite early at around 7:45pm and decided to get a drink in the bar before heading to our rooms. We walked round to the bar to find David shutting up shop, we asked if we could get a drink before he closed up and seemingly quite reluctantly he agreed. My Mum asked if she could get a coffee and a baileys, only to be told that "I've switched all the coffee machines off now". We decided that we would just head back to our rooms, as it was quite clear that coffee wasn't on offer and other drinks were being reluctantly served, before 8pm on a Saturday night. I found this really quite disappointing, after all we are staying in a hotel, and to be quite honest how hard is it to put a pot of coffee on? Either way it left us feeling a little like our custom wasn't particularly welcome, another blow to the good reputation David and The Clifton seemed to be oozing according to TripAdvisor.

The following morning we saw Graham at breakfast and mentioned a few of our disappointments, he seemed concerned and said he was sorry we felt that we weren't very welcome. Now I'm not sure if this was fed back to David, but his demeanour towards us changed after this, and became far more like what we were expecting from the majority of the reviews. As a result I can only conclude that perhaps we were just on the unfortunate receiving end of a rather extended 'grumpy day', those which everybody get from time to time for sure, but when you're running a quality establishment as The Clifton is, with the room prices as they are, you would expect the proprietor to be a little more amiable.

One last thing to mention is the free wifi. From the moment we checked in it wasn't working, an error message coming up saying that the service wasn't connected to the internet and to contact the customer services. I mentioned this on several occasions and it wasn't fixed for our entire stay of three nights. This wasn't a major problem, but again I was disappointed that it clearly wasn't a priority to get it dealt with, and provide a service that is advertised to the paying customer.

All in all however this did little to detract from a really lovely trip once again to the Island, and Graham's service and friendliness more than made up for any other shortcomings. I don't think we will be staying at The Clifton again, instead will seek some self catering accommodation for our next trip, that way all we have to worry about is the level of service we give ourselves.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SFGiantsNation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Owner at The Clifton, responded to this review, 26 November 2013
Greetings. Thank you for your well thought out review, all reviews can only help us as we strive to improve in all areas. Unfortunately Graham failed to inform me of your disappointment, so I was unaware that you were unhappy. I do think that I should mention that a commercial Espresso coffee machine does take around 30 minutes to heat up to full pressure. We have also noted your other points, the heating engineers are working as I write installing a new boiler and pressurised system to improve the hot water pressure throughout the hotel, and we are also changing the company that is responsible for our Wi-Fi so that the coverage is not only more reliable but also a lot stronger. Finally your mother's room is the last one to be refurbished since we took over The Clifton just 2 years ago, and is scheduled for a complete refit in January. Hopefully you will be better impressed should you choose to give us another chance in the future. Kind Regards. David.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

430 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    306
    98
    16
    3
    7
See reviews for
52
293
14
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wokingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

I had spotted The Clifton on a previous visit to the Isle of Wight, whilst walking the coastal footpath. Bearing-in-mind the excellent sea views and location, I decided it would be a very nice hotel to try out on a future visit. I stayed at The Clifton for a couple of nights very recently and this turned out to be a very good decision. The owners are very helpful and friendly and really know what customer service is all about. The hotel is clearly very well cared for. I had been upgraded to a room at the front of the hotel, with great views of the sea. The hotel is located above the cliffs and Shanklin Old Village is only a short walk away. The town centre and shops are also easy walking distance, as is the Cliff Lift, to take you down to the sea front.
I decided to try out the restaurant on my first night and enjoyed the meal so much, I eat their on my second and final night as well. From the very attractive dinning area, there are again great views of the sea and Shanklin Bay. Situated in a very quiet area, The Clifton deserves to do well and I have no hesitation in recommending it to others. I certainly intend to return there next year.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the sea are well worth it, with great views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Front Office Manager at The Clifton, responded to this review, 26 November 2013
Hi Tim. Thankyou very much for taking the time to write such a glowing review, Carys is over the moon that you enjoyed her cooking so much. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2014. Kind Regards, David.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

We came upon this hotel after having left another hotel in Shanklin which was terrible. We walked in off the street and were warmly greeted by the owner. He showed us a lovely room with pretty decor, a lovely 6ft bed and crisp white bedlinen. It was spotless. We booked into the hotel for dinner that night and had a delicious meal cooked by the co-owner. After the meal we sat and chatted with other guests in the cosy bar. After a super night's sleep, we had a lovely breakfast. I can thoroughly recommend this hotel. Book it!

Room Tip: they're all good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 86karend86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Owner at The Clifton, responded to this review, 3 November 2013
Hello Karen, glad we were able to help de-stress you after your ordeal. And even happier that you enjoyed The Clifton, thank you very much for the review. We look forward to welcoming you both back when you are on our Island again. David.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2013

Excellent location with lovely sea views from the restaurant. Easy access to attractive countryside and places of interest.
Availability of good evening meals were an added advantage.
Well run by very helpful and friendly proprietors.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeremy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Owner at The Clifton, responded to this review, 26 October 2013
Hello Jeremy, thank you for making time to write a review, I am sure that Carys will be more than happy that you enjoyed her cooking. Hope we welcome you back to The Clifton in the future. Regards David.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
409 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2013

Stayed here for two nights at the start of September in a twin room on the first floor with a lovely view and right on the cliff top. Lots of parking. Very helpful staff who were very attentive though out our stay. Very comfortable beds with very clean sheets and towels. Tea/coffee in the room, which we had asked for. Large shower cubicle I the bathroom. Full English Breakfast was an excellent choice, with cereal, fruit and toast. Easy walk into town. Steep steps to the beach.
I would say that this Hotel is VERY GOOD and the only thing I could comment on was the clear grouting around the shower tray had started to come loose and was starting to show some mould which could be easily cleaned, but I do notice the small things. Did eat in the Hotel on the first night and choose a special of off the board we thoroughly enjoyed.
Will definitely stay at this hotel again when visiting the Isle Of Wight.

Room Tip: Ask for a Sea View Room with a Balcony
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jacqui C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Owner at The Clifton, responded to this review, 20 October 2013
Well Binkie, what can I say? Thank you very much for such a lovely review which I can only agree with in all aspects - even the grouting which we fell behind with over our extremely busy summer. We have only this week taken delivery of a powerful steam cleaner which has certainly been sorting out any little problems we had. We look forward to welcoming you back to our wonderful Island. David
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2013

We had never been to the Isle of Wight before and had no idea what to expect, and were very pleased that we had chosen The Clifton. It's clean, the bed was comfortable and all the staff were nice and very helpful. We had not expected fast Wi-Fi and a rocking bar in an area like this and feel these sorts of things shouldn't be an issue in a small hotel in the Isle of Wight. The food was outstandingly good - better than a lot of higher-end restaurants in the bistro and the breakfast was just as good. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 126DandP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Owner at The Clifton, responded to this review, 11 October 2013
Hello D+P, thank you very much for such a lovely review, it is a great description of where The Clifton stands. Carys is over the moon that you enjoyed her food so much - she gets a lot of satisfaction from guestss' encouraging comments. David.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2013

Location very convenient, lovely view of sea from dining room. Although we were on a B&B basis we dined in on two evenings and the food and service was excellent. David and Carys, the owners were very welcoming and friendly.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank enaj2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Owner at The Clifton, responded to this review, 6 October 2013
Hello enaj. Glad to hear that our menu and quality of food tempted you to dine with us for two evenings - we like to think that it is quite special and good value for the standard of food and surroundings. Thank you for the review. David
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Shanklin
2.9 mi away
The Royal Hotel
The Royal Hotel
#1 of 9 in Ventnor
4.5 of 5 bubbles 781 reviews
0.3 mi away
Luccombe Hall Hotel
Luccombe Hall Hotel
#6 of 54 in Shanklin
4.0 of 5 bubbles 799 reviews
0.2 mi away
Luccombe Manor Country House Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.4 mi away
The Channel View Hotel
The Channel View Hotel
#4 of 54 in Shanklin
4.5 of 5 bubbles 370 reviews
2.3 mi away
The Wight
The Wight
#6 of 31 in Sandown
4.5 of 5 bubbles 700 reviews
7.0 mi away
Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Clifton? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Clifton

Property: The Clifton
Address: 1 Queens Road, Shanklin PO37 6AN, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Isle of Wight > Shanklin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Shanklin
#2 Luxury Hotel in Shanklin
#4 Romantic Hotel in Shanklin
#12 Family Hotel in Shanklin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Clifton 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Clifton’s privileged location on the cliff top offers an amazing sea view and makes it an ideal retreat for those in search of tranquility. The Conservatory Bistro offers a stunning view of the bay which can also be enjoyed from the lovely garden offering the perfect visual tonic to relax and revitalise, perhaps with a good book and an English Cream Tea, or refreshments from the licensed bar. Local is Best……with prime farming land all around us and a host of specialist growers and producers making the most of it, we usually have access to plenty of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as quality fish and meat. The garden opens out to Keats Green and the lovely walk between Shanklin and Sandown (part of the Isle of Wight Coastal Path) with fantastic views across Sandown Bay. This also leads to the famous Shanklin Chine with a pathway down to the sandy beaches. Within easy reach by foot are the picturesque Shanklin Old Village with its thatched roofs, and the beautiful Rylstone Gardens. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Priceline, Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your The Clifton reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Clifton Hotel Shanklin
Clifton Hotel Shanklin
The Clifton Shanklin, Isle Of Wight

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing