We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lovely Island, Reasonable Staff, Atrocious Management”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
The White House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Herm
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 September 2013

What should have been a lovely weekend was spoilt by some really poor customer service, which was a shame really as I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dinner there.

The first incident was dinner. When we arrived to check in I was informed that we were staying full board however, when my family and I came down for dinner we were that that there was a dress code and that jeans were not allowed. Whilst I have no issue with there being a dress code, I do take objection about the fact that at no time prior to coming own for dinner that evening, did anyone bother to tell us that there was one. I have even checked the letter originally sent by the hotel confirming the original booking and, nothing.

You would have thought that, being the only hotel on a remote island, they would have thought to advise people in advance so that they could have the opportunity to pack something before getting on the boat... Apparently not and unfortunately for us we had innocently packed for an outdoor holiday.

The lady greeting us in the restaurant was as nice as she could be under the circumstances (it was not her fault) and put us in a corner for the first night, but advised that there was nothing she could do for the remainder of our stay, so we had to cancel dinner the following night and go b&b only. It was not a great start to what was supposed to have been a relaxing weekend and could have been completely avoided had somebody thought to inform us in advance of the dress code for dinner.

To cap it off, when we left the hotel to return home, they then called my wife to advise that I had not paid the bill on check out and that the invoice was outstanding. This was simply not true and when I rang up later that evening I advised that I had the invoice and receipt to prove it. Somewhat reluctantly the lady I spoke to took my word and said that she would check their records.

Did they get back to me to tell me all was resolved? Of course not, and, quite frankly, its probably quite silly of me to have expected such a common courtesy having just been accused of running off without paying the bill.

To add insult to injury, when I followed up by email to ask what was going on attaching the proof of payment they still could not be bothered to reply and let me know all was resolved. When I called them again (glutton for punishment I know) a couple of days later I was told by the receptionist that they had received my email; my complaint had been passed to management; and it appeared that my invoice had been mixed up with that of another guest. I was told I would get a response, but still, some 14 days later, nothing.

Not good and I certainly wouldn't recommend - I suppose though, being the only hotel on the island, they feel they don't have to worry about keeping their guests happy, where else are they going to go?

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
5  Thank Rupert453
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 30 September 2013

Dear Rupert453,

I was very sorry to learn of your disappointment when visiting the White House Hotel recently. I have thoroughly investigated the circumstances relating to your booking, and wish to offer our sincerest apologies for two failures.

Firstly, your reservation was made online, and you received an automated confirmation letter. This should have been followed up by a further letter produced by the team which does state that there is a dress code in the restaurant. This letter was not sent, and so our failsafe failed.

Secondly, There was some confusion on check out with your account, which you had paid. Our head receptionist had telephoned and spoken to your wife, and subsequently found an error in our accounting. In fairness, she had felt that she had left the situation being that all was fine, unless she called back. Our second major failing occurred when you E mailed the Hotel to voice your concerns over both issues, and the Hotel team did not reply. This is wholly inexcusable.

The team on Herm Island are not complacent with the level of customer service offered. I am sorry that this isolated incident occurred, but have sought to ensure that such an issue does not happen again.

Best regards



Jonathan Watson
Director of Hospitality
Herm Island Ltd.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (298)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

159 - 165 of 298 reviews

Reviewed 21 September 2013

I have stayed 3 times at the White House Hotel and always been very well looked after. Each room has been spacious with views of the sea. The beds were very comfortable. I stayed in the cottages and enjoyed the walk and views on the way to the hotel. The food was excellent as was the service. There was a vegetarian option and an extra vegetarian menu. If I asked for something extra I always got it. The staff were very helpful, courteous and respectful.
Swimming in the pool and sitting in the garden was a delight. The island is beautiful and the gardens very well kept. It was great to be able to walk round the island and on the lovely beaches and return to the hotel for afternoon tea served by the pool followed by pre- dinner drinks watching the sunset. Bliss! I couldn't ask for a better holiday and I will certainly return.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with sea view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Joy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Geoffrey G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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.

Report response as inappropriate
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Herm
3.9 mi away
The Old Government House Hotel & Spa
4.1 mi away
The Duke of Richmond Hotel
The Duke of Richmond Hotel
#3 of 19 in St Peter Port
879 reviews
5.0 mi away
Stocks Hotel
Stocks Hotel
#1 of 2 in Sark
704 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.1 mi away
Best Western Hotel De Havelet
Best Western Hotel De Havelet
#1 of 19 in St Peter Port
830 reviews
5.6 mi away
La Barbarie Hotel
La Barbarie Hotel
#1 of 9 in St Martins
616 reviews
5.3 mi away
Hotel Bella Luce
Hotel Bella Luce
#2 of 9 in St Martins
567 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The White House Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, Travel Republic (UK) and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your The White House Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The White House Hotel Herm, Channel Islands

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing