I'm approaching this review with trepidation, as I really want to give this hotel a good review, but there are too many minor issues that need to be addressed.
The approach and reception are welcoming, if a little dated, and the reception from the staff was welcoming, helpful and friendly. Even at 6.50 pm, there were car parking spaces available, and even aafter we checked out, at 10.30 the following morning, they were happy for us to leave our car in the car park until 4.00 pm that afternoon. We asked if they could book a taxi, they did, and it arrived on time. Our first impressions of the room, a ground floor garden room, were positive. It was the standard en-suite layout, bathroom to the left of the door, wardrobe, coat rail and case stand to the right. Twin beds with bedside lights, a table lamp on the sideboard, a standard lamp in the corner, and a flat screen TV facing the bed. There was a comfortable, well upholstered easy chair, even a trouser press, not so common these days, and therin lies the rub, which I will come to later.
The most impressive feature, and one that would have been much appreciated had we been staying more than one night, were the double glazed sliding doors leading out to a balcony, with two garden chairs and a table, and steps leading down into the garden. Also it was apparent that the room had been cleaned, with clean, fresh linen, fluffy towels, a generous supply of the necessities for hot drinks, even a teapot! There was also a fridge with reasonably priced snacks and drinks, albeit a limited selection. However, breakfast, served from 7.30 until 10.00, was a buffet style, with hot bacon, eggs, sausages and beans, copious bread, with a toaster, cereals jams, marmalades, rolls, and fruit juice.
So far, so good, but there were noticeable failings. The hot water in the en-suite was only tepid, the fruit juice at breakfast thin and watery. The room really needed a deep clean, there were cobwebs in the light fittings, some of which, although electrically safe, were a little wobbly, and the mat on which the fridge stood was fixed down, which meant there was a build-up of detritus between it and the carpet underneath. In the bathroom, some of the grouting between the tiles was discoulored and black, and there were signs that attempts had been made to re-grout, but the tiles still had grout on them around the joints. The toilet roll holder was loose and shaky, and also in need of a good clean, although that did not affect the toilet roll, and the room also needed a thorough clean, particularly under the radiator, round the door, and round the window. In both the main room and the bathroom, redundant fittings, from blinds and shower curtains for example, had been left in place, and spoiled the overall impression.
This might sound like nit-picking, but the room has to offer something special compared to the big, chain run hotel on Lord Street, where double rooms can be had from £77.00 a night, but without breakfast. It does, insofar as breakfast is included, and the Garden Rooms have the balcony and access to the garden, but the higher standards of cleanliness, (not that this hotel is in any way unacceptably dirty, but it would benefit from a deep clean and refurb) and availability of hot water, favour the chain hotel. Would I stay again, probably yes, would I recommend it to family and friends, again, probably yes, but with provisos regarding the shortcomings we identified.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Balmoral Lodge Hotel is a very friendly hotel where you can relax in your room, the lounge, the restaurant or even the garden. We have 15 en suite-bedrooms with flat tv, wifi, tea and coffee facilities.Some bedrooms are on the ground-floor with access to the garden.We are 10 minutes walk from the city-centre and the promenade. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balmoral Hotel Southport