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“Fabulous location overlooking Lyme Bay. Staff need to be more attentive.”

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Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Lyme Regis
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 27 April 2010

From the website, I was expecting quite a funky trendy hotel, but when we arrived, some parts of it seemed to be stuck in a time warp. We wondered whether it was a hotel for the "old at heart" from the 80s?

Parking is a NIGHTMARE. Their car park isn't big enough for all their rooms, let alone their deliveries and our very first encounter with a staff member (although we didn't realise he was staff at the time) was being shouted at by "you can't park there" when we thought we had been considerate by leaving a gap for another car to squeezeout past us. But oh no. We were supposed to block them in and Reception would move our car if they wanted to move. We thought we would go and check in and THEN sort out the car issue as it was easier to unload where we were. Why not a "hello, are you just arriving? May I suggest you park your car here? If you leave your keys with us, we'll be very happy to move it later for you."

First impressions were not good. They were redeemed by the availability of Lapsang Souchong tea with our cream tea (and the scones were huge!) but why the officious notice in our room asking us not to eat our own food and drink in our room? Bizarre.

Dinner was a fixed price of £38 per head for 3 courses + amuse bouche and coffee and A petit four (only one per person). Plenty of choice but rather 'nouvelle' in size of portions. However, what really let them down was that the service was DIRE the first evening we were there. Everything was OK until after our main course had been cleared and we were basically ignored. Desserts were brought out to us when we hadn't even been given a menu to look at. Crumbs had not been cleared from our table (and we had to ask them earlier to clear the wine glasses as we weren't drinking any wine) and when we finally got someone's attention to ask them to clean the table, something got lost in translation as they proceeded to clear the whole top cloth and STILL we were left with crumbs..... We then chose our desserts and waited for an age for them to come and when they did, our coffees were not with them (and we had asked for them to come together). So we waited again, no-one came to apologise for this delay. When we very pointedly waved at a young waitress, she just ignored us and went into the kitchen. The whole meal left us feeling very frustrated and we had another night to go. We spoke to the Maitre D' on our way out and he did apologise and we said we expected to see an improvement the following evening and he should ensure the young waitress had more training.

The hotel is in a fabulous spot and some elements of our stay were great. The beds were very comfortable, and the standard of the food was very good. Bathroon was tiny and they don't provide bottled water due to 'environmental reasons'. Why not provide a carafe of tap water though? However, their lack of service with a smile really let them down. Even in the garden, you have to go inside to the Bar, or Reception to order anything you may wish to eat or drink outside. If the weather isn't great, there are not many options of places to sit inside unless in your room. Wi-fi seemed to be non-existent except for one spot on the first floor landing. Why Hoover around at 8 am when your guests are just coming down for breakfast?

I gather that the hotel has been in the same family ownership for 25 years and I think it shows. On the one hand, they are trying to be very smart, almost stuffy, with the service, but I don't think they have the right balance.

First impressions count, and with our experience in the car park as we arrived, we shan't be returning here in a hurry.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JEC10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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712 - 718 of 784 reviews

Reviewed 9 March 2010

Overpriced at £180 per night. 10/10 for location near centre of Lyme Regis with hilltop view of the Cobb within walking distance. Staff friendly and helpful
5/10 restaurant. With the exception of breakfast, dinner on two nights was poor. Wouldn't get to Qtr final of Masterchef. Recommend eating out.
6/10 bedroom. Too small. Too hot with a heating pipe running through it that couldn't be turned off. We had to sleep with window open. Beds too hard.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank wordforword
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2010

My wife and I stayed here for four nights miweek in October 2009. A long-established hotel that has undergone refurbishment: all the public rooms and bedrooms that we saw were very smart and fresh. On the ground floor a large dining room looking out onto the grounds, a conservatory dining room for lunchtimes and teas, a bar, and a comfortable country-house style lounge (think leather chesterfields). The hotel is L-shaped with one wing looking west towards Golden Cap and the other east towards The Cobb. It is literally a few minutes stroll to the high street or through gardens to the harbour. We didn't use our car at all during our stay, instead making use of the frequent buses to explore the coast in either direction. On one of the hotel landings there is a pc with a free internet access, which we found useful to keep an eye on the weather forecast and to investigate bus times. When we were there, the guests were mainly couples in their 50s and 60s, which suited us fine; at the weekends probably younger professional couples.

We had room no 6: one of the Poulett rooms on the 1st floor, at the far left-hand end of the hotel (if you stand with your back to the sea) and so we had views towards Golden Cap from our two sash windows. A smallish room, with small smart bathroom, a huge comfortable double bed, plus a small table and two upright chairs, as well as the usual dressing table. The wardrobe was tiny and although this was just about adequate, my only gripe about the room would be that it really needed some hooks behind the door on which to hang coats as it was impossible to fit these into the wardrobe. If a "Gould" room had been available, I would have preferred one of these as they have bay windows in which you can sit and admire the view towards The Cobb. Very friendly staff and those on reception were extremely friendly and helpful when I was making our booking and discussing what room we could have: if only all hotels were like that!

Very good cooked breakfasts, although with a little too much vinegar in the poached egg water. The four dinners we had in the hotel were excellent: lots of local produce especially fish, with canapés, amues-bouches and petits fours and a very good wine list. Our main regret was that we felt we couldn't really do justice to four such dinners in a row.

A thoroughly enjoyable stay in a very nice hotel with excellent meals. Would we return? Yes!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Passer-domesticus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2010

The day before we set off for the Alexandra Hotel I read the review which knocked the hotel and praised the Hix restaurant and so spent the whole journey worrying what I would find. Yes there were some builders on site but the food was excellent, particularly in the Conservatory. The hotel staff were generally attentive and polite. We tried the Hix and that was overpriced with indifferent service. My motto in future - take the average of all reviews!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tomsBeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2010

I recently stayed for a night at the Alexandra Hotel with my partner and we really could not fault it. Amazingly comfortable. Delicious food. Lovely and quiet and a beautiful setting.

The room was very clean with amazing views of the sea and gardens! Lots of space in the room. We got a Poulet one if I remember rightly

Our stay was inclusive of dinner and breakfast. I could not fault the food. My partner is a vegetarian and the selection avaialble for all tastes was extensive. All four couses for dinner were delicious and a brief walk around the seafront afterwards was the perfect end a wonderful evening. Breakfast was delecious to with so much to choose from. It was clear that all ingredients used by the chef are sourced as locally as possible and amazingly fresh.

I was rather nervous after some of the reviews I has seen on this site but can safely say that most negative reviews are likely to be the result of grumpy types who never have a good word to say about anything or were just incredibly unlucky.

The only thing I would say is that is was a little on the expensive side. But once you are there any concerns you have about the cost go out the window as it is such a lovely hotel.

We will definitely be going again! Need to save up first!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SamT24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2010

I stayed here for one night with my partner as part of a little exploration of Dorset. We found the hotel on the internet and it looked great so we gave it a go. On arrival we were lucky to be able to park in the courtyard. Parking is an issue but the staff help with the cars and pack them in. The hotel staff were fantastic, clearly being very proud of the hotel, which immediate gives the impression of being extremely well done up and of great quality.

Our room was great, everything we would want and very comfortable.

Inside there is a great looking restaurant, though we did not eat there, and a large conservatory with a lovely view to lawn and sea, unfortunately we fell foul of the wet summer, but on a sunny day it would be superb.

Getting into town was easy, bit of a hill so you may need to watch that. There are many different restaurants, our two favourites were a small spanish tapas place on the main street and then for breakfast near the water milll there is a open plan breakfast place that does freshly cooked food all eaten on communal benches. Really really great.

We loved out brief stay, but the hotel made it, it is a super base and as I have said you feel you are staying somewhere special. we will go back as we need to go when the sunshines !!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Zenman1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2009

This hotel is faithful to the Fawlty Towers style of management and guest relations and its location and a few rolls of new wallpaper cannot overcome the other inadequacies. For the price charged we expected a lot more and, for example, there are no "chocs on the pillow" or any other nice touches - and even a morning newspaper had to be paid for. If it had not been for the hotel's 28-day cancellation policy, we would have checked-out on the first day.

The hotel's staff really excel at two things only. Making toast; and making excuses. There are no nice welcoming extras and here is an abbreviated list of the items we wish we had taken with us to make our stay more comfortable:
1. Earplugs (vacuuming of the guest areas during breakfast, and early morning workmen outside our bedroom window);
2. skimmed milk (for cereal) and decaffeinated coffee (for espresso machine):
3. Kick step to ease difficulty in getting into the 23" high bathtub (no safety handles built in but an ugly rubber sucker type is available);
4. Toiletries for the minute bathroom (so small that the door has a cut out to enable it to open past the toilet seat - the only toiletries provided are motel-style shampoo and body wash fixed above the bathtub);
5. Facecloths;
6. Wooden blocks of various sizes to level furniture (the slopes on bedroom floor and furniture mean that a glass of water placed on the glass-topped bedside table will slide onto the floor (there are no coasters of course) ands in the morning we found our legs hanging over the bottom of the bed):
7. Bagels for breakfast (only available if you pay for a second full breakfast); and
8. A window squeegee so that we could admire the view (the bathroom extractor fan was broken, thus adding to the condensation problem).

Fortunately, Lyme Regis is home to Mark Hix's renowned fish restaurant (10 mins walk) and nearby Axminster (15 mins by taxi) hosts Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's excellent "Canteen", so there is no need to eat the overpriced food in the hotel. If, like us, you give up on the hotel's breakfast offering, there are lots of things to choose from at the nearby Tesco Express (2 mins walk).

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank onlinemysteryguest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant

Address: Pound Street, Lyme Regis DT7 3HZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Lyme Regis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Lyme Regis
Price Range: £115 - £180 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Georgian Dower house built in 1735 with large garden, panoramic views across Lyme Bay's Jurassic UNESCO World Heritage site coastline and the famous Cobb harbour. Pathway to beach through gardens. Treatment room and Gym. Sea view restaurant with attentive service. Delicious food using seasonal local produce. Total Seaside Chic. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Alexandra Hotel Lyme Regis
Alexandra Lyme Regis
Alexandra Hotel And Restaurant Lyme Regis, Dorset

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