We booked this hotel last minute and so we didn't have a great deal of choice. However, we will more than likely not be booking this hotel again. We always like to leave a fair and rounded review, so please find this below.
- The hotel is in a good location, directly opposite the recently-renovated Sandown Pier and just off the high street. This meant that we were close to the local amenities without the noise. There is plenty of parking just down the road from the hotel and, as we arrived out of season (it ended on 31st October), this was free to use and there was always a space available.
- The staff here are very friendly and were more than happy to help with any problems or queries.
- The hotel has 2 bars - the Beatrice Bar which is open to guests and the Jubilee Bar which is open to both the guests and the public. The Beatrice Bar is situated just next to the reception and the Jubilee bar can be accessed through a little corridor just off the reception, or by using the front door when walking in from the street.
- On the 2 nights that we stayed, the entertainment consisted of a singer singing along to a backing track, which gave the Jubilee bar a great, intimate atmosphere. The female singer that was singing on the Thursday evening was excellent but the male singer on the Friday evening less so. Either way, both made for a good evening.
- Service to the room was provided daily, with the maid supplying fresh towels when necessary and making the bed.
- Plenty of variety at the bar, including most common spirits, beers, lagers and ciders that are all sold at very good prices
- Bed linen and towels were clean and crisp, and the beds are comfy. Some people may find the pillows to be quite firm, but these were fine for us. For anyone wishing to know, each person is supplied with 2 pillows.
- The hotel operated on a strict heating schedule, with the heating being turned on at various times during the day to keep the hotel warm. Whilst the room was initially cool on arrival, the hotel soon warmed up and feeling cold was never an issue, even with just t-shirts on.
- Cleanliness was a big concern. Whilst I'm aware that looking after a large and old building does not come cheap, there are certain aspects that this hotel does fall short on. To name just a few:
o The grouting between the tiles in the shower was black with mould,
o There were several large cobwebs above the shower and across the ceiling of the room.
o On arrival (and even after the maid had visited on the 2nd day), the back of a previous guest's earring could be found on the bathroom floor
o There were several damp patches, causing the wallpapers to peel
o Most of the hotel had a damp, musty smell due to poor ventilation, especially in the corridors in the centre of the building. For anyone with asthma, a long stay at this hotel may be a health hazard.
- The hotel's decor is quite grand and we liked this because it matches the atmosphere and the name of the hotel. However, there were a few areas that could be updated - there's a difference between looking old for effect and actually being old and dated. However, this is our own tastes and others will feel differently on this.
- Some bottles from the Jubilee Bar refrigerators were served with a strange, dark red sludge on the bottom of them, something we didn't realise until we saw our hands! Not too sure what it was, but the fridges could certainly do with a clean!
- Be warned, if you're afraid of spiders, you might find yourself laying awake at night. On average, we found one in our room every day - one medium-sized house spider crawling towards my bed and a large daddy long-legs spider waiting for us in the bathroom. The building is old and has many holes around pipes, so there's not much management can do about this one unfortunately!
- Whilst the hotel does have a small pool, it's right next to the public bar and the outside smoking area with windows meaning that everyone can see you. We didn't use the pool because of this, so can't comment any further.
- The room we were given was incredibly small, and very sparsely furnished. There was a small walk-in wardrobe and a very small bathroom. To give an idea of the size of the room - if we opened either the wardrobe or the bathroom door, it was impossible to move around the room unless we climbed over the beds!
Overall, we mostly enjoyed ourselves around the hotel, but couldn't wait to get out of the room every morning and left it as late as possible before going to bed. Whilst I'm sure we could have asked for another room, first impressions are everything and if a hotel is happy to give you a sub-par hotel room as your first impression, it's probably not worth the effort to move rooms.
The manager of the hotel does seem to reply to any negative reviews on this site in a very defensive manner, which we feel let's the hotel down. However, we hope we've left a well-rounded and fair review that is based solely on our experience that others will find helpful when making their decision on where to stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Pier Hotel, originally built by the Victorians for Princess Beatrice as her summer residence, is ideally positioned on the seafront offering views of one of the finest beaches on the Island and the Pier with its family amenities. Facilities include an indoor swimming pool and spa-pool, regular entertainment, choice of two bars and a light, spacious dining room overlooking the seafront. We pride ourselves on our friendly staff and offer value for money. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Pier Sandown
- Royal Pier Hotel Sandown, Isle Of Wight