We are a couple in our 40's and went for 3 nights with National Holidays. We were not expecting anything special as usually the rule of thumb is great location/poor hotel or stuck in the middle of nowhere/excellent hotel!
The hotel is right on the seafront directly opposite the amusements and just round the corner from the shopping street. Very few shops though 2 small supermarkets provided snacks.
The first room we were given was very small with a shower/toilet in green and about as big as a broom cupboard. The sink was in the room. The decor was 80's chintzy and tired but reasonably clean. Tea/coffee provided but we had to go buy our own coffee as no decaff and cheap coffee we would not drink anyway but that's our problem. No hairdrier. Just small bars of soap and no shampoo/shower gel but clean towels and plenty of loo roll.
We opted to pay extra for a seaview and were offered another small room that reeked of smoking so we asked for another choice and ended up in a spaceous room with a decent view but twin beds. No shower but we were provided with one of those rubber plug on ones to use in the bath. The bathroom was large but seemed cleaner than the other 2 we'd looked at.
There is a tiny lift to save your legs.
Cleanliness was not top notch though the cleaners who shot in to change the beds were lovely friendly ladies. The net curtains were very grubby so we pushed them aside to enjoy the view as much as we could as the window was a bit dirty but it was October after all and possibly had been raining before we came.
My husband tried out the pool and said it was lovely.
The manager was a lovely guy who was friendly and approachable and a credit to the hotel. He seemed to work all hours!! He was barman/reception and bingo caller!!!
We love our grub so were looking forward to evening meal. There is a fixed menu for each night of the week with about 3 choices for each course. The food was ok, nice and hot, not big portions but enough. Nicely presented. Serving staff weren't too friendIy but were very busy - a smile would have been nice though. My main gripe was the fact we were treated like schoolkids having to sit where they had appointed us every day. Plus being made to share vegetables/milk jugs/butter and marmalade with people at your table when they could have just given a dish per couple - though the persons we sat with were lovely it felt awkward passing round the veg etc or guilty if you finished the milk. I also would have liked jam with my toast not marmalade every morning which I didn't partake of as I don't like it - tip just ask and there is jam in the back so dunno why they don't serve it. Breakfast was good though. Cereals followed by hot breakfast and toast and marmalade. It isn't a huge breakfast but adequate and a goof start to the day.
We had our first day free and took a stroll along the shore to the Sandown Zoo with big cats. We really enjoyed it as we love lions and tigers.
In the evenings there was entertainment and bingo laid on but we felt a bit young for it so it was pub or the Amusements as there is nothing else around really. Small TV in the room so stocked up on choccie and watched X-Factor!!
Second day was back on the coach for an Island tour. I had hoped to visit the Donkey Sanctuary but we went to the Pearl Centre which was boring and a waste of time and then the Needles. It was good to view the needles but a waste of time hanging around there because the shops there are rubbish. We and others just were twiddling our thumbs till we could get back on the coach. Luckily things picked up when we visited a couple of villages that had something to look at and cute shops to look around and we enjoyed a lovely slice of cake and a coffee in the sunshine. My advice to National Holidays is to cut out Needles and Pearl and take your people to the villages or one of the many zoos and animal sanctuarys. I would have happily paid entrance to go to Flamingoland or wherever.
All in all it was an enjoyable break and we were lucky to get sunshine in October. The Isle of Wight was interesting and very green. The hotel was just a bit dated and needs some refurbishing but for what we paid it was good value.
Note to the manager: room 27 - sorry but you should take some steps and look on the roof of the bathroom. Must be years of dust up there with skin cells and whatever - my husband freaked out that we were breathing that in never mind the idea of dust mites. We didn't complain but I think it needs either blocking off or sweeping out.
- 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