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“Oh dear - a faded gem...”

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The White House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Herm
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 August 2009

This hotel is the only one in the Channel Islands recommended in Alastair Sawday's excellent books, so we had high expectations for our 2 night stay. The price is quite steep and they are trying to preserve something of an upper-class hotel of yesteryear by insisting on gentlemen wearing either a tie or a jacket for dinner. There are a few penny-pinching signs though, such as the complimentary tea and coffee available in the lounge providing Tetley teabags and a thermos of hot water - not a bad thing in itself, but you'd expect a little higher quality in a hotel of this price.
The decor of the main part of the hotel is pretty much spot on with leather sofas and chairs, open coal fires and a lovely snug bar, but the rooms are in dire need of stripping out and refitting. The bathroom in our room was very old fashioned and just worn and dated. The furniture in the room is very 70s and again, just needs to be replaced. The bed was small and not terribly comfortable with old, cheap, polyester pillows and duvet.
We had booked for half board as there's really only one other place to eat on the island (the pub) and the dinner was generally at a good standard, but the service was pretty poor.
Breakfast was a complete joke. Service was incredibly slow and the (mostly eastern european) waitresses spoke broken english and were more interested in clearing empty tables than taking an order. Given that each table is yours for your entire stay and they are not 'turned' it's not really acceptable to ignore waiting guests to clear a table no one else is going to use.
The largest problem came when we ordered poached eggs with a cooked breakfast. They were obviously cooked earlier and then chilled and re-heated (not a problem in itself) however they could only have been put back into hot water for 15 seconds as the egg white was luke warm at best and the yolks were absolutely stone cold. When we complained as both of us got the same, the second breakfast brought out was exactly the same - oh dear! This time we complained to the head waiter (who was english) who offered no apology, just said "Oh no, not again!" and took them away a second time. Rather than bringing out the third attempt and apologizing himself, he sent out one of the non-english speaking girls with (admittedly freshly cooked eggs) who just plonked them down in front of us as though there was no problem.
Overall, Herm is a delightful island and there's not really any competition for the White House, but it's obvious that standards amongst the staff have fallen off a cliff! This has the potential to be an absolutely unique and magical place to stay, but we got the feeling that it's now catering to a family market as there were more children than adults there during our stay.
If you're willing to accept that part of the price of staying at the White House is the cost of just staying on Herm, then you can maybe justify the cost. The rooms are really borderline 1-2 star quality and the restaurant around 2-3 star, which would lead you to believe it's over-priced, but knock off £100 just for the right to stay on the island and it seems a little more reasonable.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank scratch113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 - 283 of 297 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2009

We recently stayed here for 2 nights and it was a wonderful experience. When we arrived at Guernsey airport there was a taxi waiting for us to take us to the ferry terminal where the crew took our luggage and we then next saw it in our room. All staff were very friendly and attentive. The hotel is so unique - so peaceful with wonderful views. Our room (room 7) was very spacious with view across the sea from the front, and to the swimming pool over the balcony at the side. Unfortunately the weather was poor so we weren't able to use the balcony properly.
We visited the island church for the Sunday morning service and this was delightful. We were able to walk around the whole island (about 4 miles) and the views were breathtaking. The beaches are goergeous - if only the weather had been.
We had a very peaceful couple fo days and would love to return.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank LAT10258
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2009

A trip to the White House Hotel is like going to stay with a favourite Aunt. From the moment you step foot off the boat you receive treatment that is seldom found these days in the hospitality industry. The staff are always helpful, cheerful and nothing ever seems to much for them. When it comes to the food you will be hard pushed to find a better quality meal in the channel Islands. From the fresh smoked haddock that's served at breakfast to the delicious cream teas served by the pool in the afternoon and finally the sumptuous 5 course dinner that hot only tastes wonderful but looks like a mini work of art. I have just completed my third stay in as many years and I always feel a slight sadness when I leave. Just as a foot note, this review is not written by a particularly old person but by a 40 year old night club owner who longs to get away from the city and spend a few tranquil days being pampered. I personally couldn't think of a better place to be.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank Essexbcn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2009

We always try and make an effort to get to Herm & The White House twice a year in June and September to re-charge the batteries. Sitting watching the sun go down over Guernsey poolside with a glass of something wonderful from the extensive cellars is priceless.
Once the last ferry has departed for St Peter Port the Island is almost your own, you get the feeling that you've separated yourself from the fast track world of Wi-Fi and 24hour news. We actually feel ourselves slow down and relax.
Bring a pair a sensible shoes for exploring and there is a small convenience store in The Mermaid tavern should you need anything.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank RockettSx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2009

Leading a busy city life in London and flying over various time zones sometimes 2 or 3 in a month to conduct my business, Arriving on the Island of HERM was a breath of freshair. We were met by staff as we got of the boat and our luggage was whipped away and delivered strainght to our room, the luggage was there before me! No cars , No Poulition,No Hustle and bustle just warm friendly staff taken care of our every need, The food menu in the restaurant was varied with an exceptional wine list to accommpany any of the excelent dishes, The only problem I had with this idyllic island and beautiful beaches was my stay was too SHORT. Can't wait till next year

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Highflyer125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2009

I do not usually write reviews on this website, however, I do use it extensively for my job in the sales of luxury cruises. I was therefore shocked to see that this fantastic hotel had a negative review!

I have been lucky enough to travel widely and experience exceptional service and standards of many hotels and shipping lines, but I have to say that this is my favourite hotel & destination by far! The experience of 'stepping off the world' and visiting Herm is a unique experience. With no telephones in the rooms, TV’s to distract you from the beautiful scenery and peaceful surroundings and the attentive but unobtrusive service provided by the staff, this is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime!

My partner and I stay at The White House Hotel 3-4 times a year and have celebrated special occasions and organised corporate events here for the past 8 years, all of which have been memorable and incredibly efficiently organised and executed. We also invited 20 of our closest friends last year to celebrate my partner's 40th birthday and every single one commented on what a beautiful and different event it was and have since made repeat bookings. In this party were 3 children and I must say that they were made to feel like individual and special guests, with high tea, a sparkling swimming pool and instant access to numerous beaches, they enjoyed activities that a real childhood should include, e.g. rock pooling, building sandcastles, swimming, etc.

The rooms are comfortable, spacious and immaculately clean and the views out over the pool and harbour are spectacular. Dinner at the hotel is an occasion in itself and most guests dress smartly to create an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. The food is amazing, with a varied menu of culinary delights to choose from alongside set alternatives if you prefer, such as lobster, steak, etc. To accompany these mouth-watering courses, is an extensive wine list to suit every budget. The public areas are period and feature open fires, photos of the history of the island and numerous comfy sofas for you to enjoy a good book accompanied by complimentary tea & coffee.

During the day, enjoy walks around the island, a visit to the breath-taking beaches (which, without exaggeration can be compared to the Caribbean and Bermuda), join a garden tour, take a boat trip to Guernsey or Sark or simply relax by the pool and enjoy a lunch of fresh seafood, crisp salads or international cuisine followed by a snooze or a good book in the lounge.

Once you have visited Herm, you will want to return. For high standards, exceptional service, sumptuous food, fine wines and relaxation, look no further than a 45 min flight and a 20 min ferry ride from your doorstep!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled on business
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2  Thank gjharding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2009

We were extreemly disappointed with this hotel.
The staff were entirely unhelpful. The hotel was generally not clean, glasses were not clean and the decor very tired.
The rooms were small, smelled badly of "must" , like an old caravan, with tired fittings and bathroom. The noise tranmission between rooms was high.
Compared to the cheaper hotel we stayed in on Guernsey for the remainder of the trip which was fantastic in all respects this hotel was mediocre.
Even at £50/night you'd be short changed but at £170 it is apalling.
We assumed it was being run down for sale but to our surprise it had recently changed hands.
As it is the only hotel on Herm it effectively prevents a stay there which for such a beautiful place is a shame.
As a family bucket and spade venue slightly above Pontins it may have appeal.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank BoltonFamily93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SJONES_HERM, General Manager at The White House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2009

Dear BoltonFamily93,

Thank you for your recent comments on Trip Advisor.

I am sorry to hear you were not entirely happy with your stay. I would like opportunity to respond to your comments, and would appreciate it if you could contact me on sion@herm-island.com, stating your booking name and date of reservation.

Regards

General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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Also Known As:
The White House Hotel Herm, Channel Islands

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