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The White House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Herm
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 September 2013

My wife and I have just returned from yet another wonderful, restful stay on this amazing island. Each year there are changes, most of them behind the scenes or very subtle, but what does not change is the atmosphere - as soon as you step off the boat from Guernsey.

Walking speed slows down to a saunter; the absence of clocks assists greatly. Somehow the small island is able to cope with the regular arrival of visitors from over the water, seemingly melting away into the very varied sub tropical scenery.

Meals in the Hotel Restaurant start and end a day perfectly, with a very varied menu and excellent wine list. The quality of food is now very high as are the imaginative combinations set out on ones plate or slate.

The Hotel itself and its cottages are maintained to a very high standard of cleanliness by an excellent team of Housekeepers. This same high standard of service is equally provided by restaurant and bar staff, who continually exhibit a cheerful but professional manner.

Friends ask what do you do all day on such a small island. The answer is very simple - not a lot - resting on the beaches and in the garden or strolling around the miles of paths and lanes. There is always much to watch out at sea during the day.

If you cannot enjoy a holiday on Herm, you cannot enjoy a holiday anywhere.

Room Tip: Book early and ask for a view of the sea.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Geoffrey G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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161 - 167 of 298 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2013

My husband and I visited Herm for the first time in the late 1970's with our son. We had an excellent time and made some good friends (we still keep in touch with one).
We returned for a number of years, and then had a break.
We came back in 2006 for our Ruby Wedding, the magic was still there, and we have been ever since bar 1year. We love the peace and quiet, the hotel is superb, and what a great chef!
The staff are so helpful, friendly and efficient.
We have photos a plenty so can look and remember. We are already looking forward to a visit in 2014.

There is no fitness centre to comment on, apart from the island itself and the hotel pool.
Thank you to everyone for a splendid time!

Room Tip: The Mermaid Cottages are excellent we think, but it is hard to give away secrets!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Janet G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2013

I have been a regular visitor to Herm for many years and rate it as one of my 3 top destinations for rest and recuperation - and as a Guernsey resident it is right on my doorstep and a lot closer than No 2 in Sri Lanka and 3 in Iceland!

And why did heaven get even better? - because for the first time this year I was able to bring my new (and first) dog with me. To have this companoion to share the island with was wonderful - and even more wonderful was how helpful and friendly every single member of staff was. As i could not get her to settle alone when I went out of my room, the management went out of their way to provide alternative dining options so I could enjoy some really excellent food (which was always the correct order so I think the reviwer below was unlucky).

If you are thinking of bringing a dog there are some wonderful walks but there are restrictions about keeping dogs on leads, and they cannot go on the popular beaches in the summer - all very reasonable to prevent our friends disturbing other guests or island residents/animals. The hotel will provide info on this. Also there are only very limited rooms where dogs are allowed (that are accessible without going through the main hotel areas). They may not be available so book early.

Yes Herm has a few characteristics such as no TV but if you are desperate you can bring a laptop as there is free wifi, and yes as other reviewers have said it can be a bit noisey when the late boat leaves, but what about the amazing peace for the rest of the time? And the beauty of the Islad at sunrise, or the sea lapping the harbour wall at high tide? In fact you really only notice the occassional noise because of the quiet.

Thank yo to all the staff (from senior management to the more junior folk) for a wonerful time. and for being so friendly to my girl Flo. See you next year!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank JudyGuernsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2013

I booked a Sunset Sailaway break for my fathers 80th Birthday present, this was really good value and a huge success. Herm Island is wonderful, and the Hotel is a lovely relaxing place to stay. We spent a day on Shell beach with borrowed (from the hotel) fishing nets exploring the rock pools and swam in the aqua water. The hotel has a pool which my daughter enjoyed, however she was the only child staying and I got the impression the hotel is more catered towards the older generation...
I would definitely return.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Clare D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermIsland, Director of Hospitality at The White House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2013

Dear Clare D,

Very many thanks for your review of the White House Hotel.

We are delighted that your break was so excellent for you all, and that your father enjoyed his 80th birthday on Herm Island.

Herm is ideal for children, and we certainly have a lot of families that stay during the school holidays. We do find that, outside school holidays, the age of our guests increase, as we often find that visitors during those times have children that have grown up. Its a great time for pre-school children also!

We very much look forward to welcoming you all back to the White House in the future.

Best wishes


Jonathan Watson
Director of Hospitality
Herm Island.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013

One can't argue that the hotel is set in a great location with the added bonus of a front lawn that has views over the sea to Guernsey so you can actually watch your boat arriving from across the water. We stayed in room 16 which was ideal for us, a family of 4 (2 young girls under 10). Clean and with a generous amount of storage space for the size room. It is described as having a sea view - well, in estate agent speak they are correct but, the only way you can see the sea is if you stand to one side of the single window and crane your neck across the outside garden. The girls had a separate bunk bed room from the adults which was great from everyone's point of view. The lack of a TV in the room was not a problem and during our two night stay was not mentioned once, even by our tv addict younger child.
The hotel pool was great, measuring about 25 ft long and roughly kidney shaped and no deeper than 5ft. If you have younger children (below teenage) the facility is great. For adults the pool is a lovely way to cool down too. There is free tea and coffee for residents throughout the day from the in-house Monks Bar next to the pool area. There is also free tennis with a selection of racquets Inc junior racquets. The court is tarmacked and is in a perfectly acceptable condition for those who want to take it a little more seriously!
So far so good. However, whilst the hotel grounds are lovely and the staff are helpful and smiley, we found the service from the kitchen to be chaotic.
Considering the spiel is that residents from Guernsey make a point of coming to the island for the food we were very disappointed by the fare we were presented with.
Apart from breakfast time (which is largely self service) we were served with the wrong food at every meal. First night our children were served with he wrong pasta dish but the girls had started eating before we realised so we did not mention it. My wife was served at this same meal with a vegetarian dish which had it's base vegetable delivered essentially uncooked. The food has a feeling of being dated and doesn't have a healthy feel at all (lovely fresh courgettes in batter? No thanks). We are not saying the food tastes bad but the price one is paying is not reflected in the quality of the product. I do not get excited by seeing chips with the vast majority of dishes. On the second night when i asked to have the steak dish with mash potatoes instead of chips, i still got chips. At lunch next day my wife was served with a prawns and chorizo dish instead of the vegetarian dish she had asked for. The food chaos even extended to the neighbouring Mermaid Tavern which served us mussels instead of fish cakes but that is another story.
In the end we found it quite humourous but, for people who enjoy their food, we found the whole food experience very underwhelming. Yes, we ate with our children in the Ship Inn Restaurant but much fanfare is made of the fact that the food is still produced by the same kitchen that serves the smarter conservatory restaurant.
On arrival we had some difficulty in getting the message across that we actually wanted to eat with our children and nit seoaratlyand in an informal environment. It was only after we kept asking questions that we were offered the chance to eat with them in the Ship Inn Restaurant!
a final word of caution when booking on line if you have kids is the price originally quoted does not include the children and although you are redirected to a separate page it is not evident how much extra it will cost you. We eventually booked on the phone directly with the hotel and were shocked by the difference in the price. when we queried this we were told the website makes this clear. We beg to differ.
It may sound we are moaning minis considering the rave reviews the hotel has had but we DID enjoy our stay. Herm and the hotel is lovely and relaxed and we would love to return BUT the thought of going to dinner with a sinking heart each night is not one to draw us back in a hurry. May be we should camp next time?!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Siouville4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermIsland, Director of Hospitality at The White House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2013

Dear Siouville4,

Many thanks for your review of the White House Hotel.

We're delighted to hear that you have enjoyed your recent stay on the Island, albeit with some issues relating to the dining in the Hotel.

I was sorry to learn that each dining experience in the Conservatory and the Ship Inn brought differing concerns. I am not clear as to your reference of chips with each meal, as the Conservatory does not serve chips with any dishes unless specifically asked for. I suspect that the steak dish was that served in the Ship Inn, and am disappointed to learn that your request for an alternative accompaniment was ignored.

The rate for children's charges in the Hotel are an issue that we are currently looking into formulating in a slightly different manner, as they are not as clear as they could be. The online booking portal does guide the user to rate percentages, but at this moment in time, calling the Hotel is the best option. We are currently working with developers to change our online booking portals, which will go live before Christmas, and certainly ahead of next season.

I'm sorry that your visit was affected by some shortcomings in food service, this is not a reflection of the standard that we aspire to, or indeed, deliver on most occasions. We would certainly be delighted to see you return to Herm, and would welcome you to contact me personally, where i would be happy to handle your reservation. I am confident that we can restore your faith in dining at the White House Hotel.

Best wishes


Jonathan Watson
Director of Hospitality
Herm Island.

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Reviewed 3 September 2013

We are regular visitors to Herm and decided to splash out on a meal at the Conservatory Restaurant in order to celebrate our daughter's GCSE results. Unfortunately, the evening was spoiled by overall poor service.

I hasten to add that the service at the table was very good but like a previous reviewer, as there was a large boatload of visitors in the Ship Inn next door we waited nearly an hour for our main course. The food was good quality bit struggled to live up to top prices. The regional French wine was excellent and very reasonably priced.

What really spoiled it for me was that we had asked both when booking and when arriving for a child portion for our 11 year old. This was met with a derisory comment on booking that the restaurant didn't serve chicken nuggets (it was never my intention to pay top whack for chicken nuggets!) and ignored when the bill came despite admission that the meat portion was smaller. I had to argue the toss about this with the receptionist and refused twice to see the manager. Eventually the situation was discussed with the head of front of house and only resolved at my insistence.

Even when leaving, the exit was not lit and it was difficult to negotiate the steps to and from the front door.

Overall, made to feel a bit 2nd class and not very welcome.

Would not repeat the experience in a hurry.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermIsland, Director of Hospitality at The White House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2013

Dear Tim F,

Thank you for your review of dining at the White House Hotel.

I was sorry to learn of your experience whilst dining at the Hotel, particularly as it proved to spoil the evenings celebrations of your daughters GSCE results. Congratulations to her on her achievements.

It was good to hear that the service in the restaurant was good, and that the food was good quality. Once again, we apologise for any undue wait between courses, we will investigate the cause, as this has consistently not occurred during the season.

As a regular visitor to the Island, I am confident that you are aware that this is an exception to our normal level of customer service. I am sorry that we let you down on this special occasion, but would welcome you to contact me personally when making a future reservation on the Island in order that I can ensure your needs are well catered for.

Best regards


Jonathan Watson
Director of Hospitality
Herm Island.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2013

We've stayed many times at The White House and had an enjoyable time. We did this time too but seemed to encounter quite a few niggles.
For the first 24 hours of our stay (we were on the top floor of Mermaid Cottage) we had to edge past a Henry vacuum cleaner and a pile of dirty bed linen that was left at the bottom of the stairs. The pool ran out of beach/pool towels on the first day we were there. We also heard other people asking for towels. What towels that were offered appeared to be ones left behind by previous guests. When the room was cleaned on the first occasion, the dirty mugs (two...even though we were a family of four) were taken away and not replaced.
I would agree with a previous commentator who said the staff were hit and miss. When I went to Reception to pick up our ordered Guernsey Press I was told it hadn't arrived. I could quite clearly see the papers behind the receptionist and said I could. Without turning to look round at that she replied they were the day before's papers. Accepting defeat, I sloped off, checked on the Internet what the front cover of the Press looked like, saw it was the same as the one behind the receptionist and returned for Round Two. This time she shrugged her shoulders, said she didn't think the Press had come in and semi-apologised before handing one to me.
I know it's a really small thing to bring up but it's the little things that could be such quick wins for the hotel.
We also heard staff making snide remarks to each other as they passed about how they couldn't do two things at once and such like. It just gave the impression that the staff were a bit of a hodge modge of enthusiasm this year...something we had never really noticed in previous years.
So, in conclusion. We still love you White House but please could you try harder...you're getting a bit worn around the edges. Thank you!

Room Tip: Opt for rooms in Foxglove Cottage or the main hotel itself as those in Mermaid Cottage suffer from t...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Giverny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermIsland, Director of Hospitality at The White House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2013

Dear Giverny,

Very many thanks for your review of the White House Hotel.

We're delighted that you enjoyed your most recent visit, but must apologise for the oversights that you encountered during your stay. Housekeeping are usually very careful in clearing walkways whilst they are servicing rooms, but we are sorry that this occasion that this was not done. Pool towels too should be available at all times.

The team this year have been very good on the whole, but we fully understand your comments regarding inconsistency. We do work very hard to ensure that this does not occur, and will discuss this widely among the team.

Very many thanks for your constructive comments, we appreciate very much being able to understand anything that we can do to improve our customer service.

Best wishes


Jonathan Watson
Director of Hospitality
Herm Island.

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Additional Information about The White House Hotel

Address: GY1 3HR
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Channel Islands > Guernsey > Herm
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Herm
Price Range: £85 - £130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The White House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As the gentle chugging of a tractor heralds the arrival of your luggage, you know The White House Hotel is special. After all, how many hotels can boast a Britain in Bloom Gold Award-winning island as their garden, a harbour-side setting and such spectacular sea views? Tradition is cherished at this unique hotel to which many families have been coming for three generations. You'll find a variety of delightful bedrooms, where you won't find televisions, clocks or telephones, as somehow they don't seem appropriate on Herm. You will find world class cuisine in the 2 rosette Conservatory Restaurant, and exceptional service from our friendly team. The Four Star White House Hotel was the first business in the Channel Islands to achieve WorldHost Customer service status in 2012. All of the Hotel bedrooms and bathrooms have been upgraded over the past couple of years ... more   less 
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The White House Hotel Herm, Channel Islands

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