I have been visiting Freshwater Bay for 50 years and I love the place. When I was a child the Albion Hotel was too posh and expensive for us to stay in but we visited for Sunday lunch or afternoon tea and always loved it's location and it's style. 8 or 9 years ago after a controversial planning application it was re-modeled, extended and had a magnificent indoor swimming pool added. I came to stay when it was just re-opened in 2003 and found magnificent rooms, a brilliant pool, stunning views and appalling service. Nothing has improved. I came for 3 nights in early August with my husband and found the price of £520 extremely high and was shocked to find the hotel two thirds empty in the middle of the summer holidays. Freshwater Bay is delightful and virtually unchanged but the service and mean spiritiedness of the Albion Hotel is shocking. I will give a few examples. Firstly a "full English breakfast" consisting of one sausage, one rasher of bacon, one egg and a tomato for a couple paying £173 per night is extremely poor. Bad coffee, cheap marmalades, a pathetic choice of fruits, juices and cereals and one flavor of yoghurt is really. Or acceptable in this day and age. Secondly I refer to the information for guests in my room. It informs me that we have been supplied with a teabag each per day. If we want to make a second cup of tea we can purchase a teabag from reception. We can order a newspaper but we can't have it delivered to our room and if we have a child with us who needs a nursery tea we can only have this between 6 and 6.15pm and only if we order it before 2.30pm. Under no circumstances can we have this during dinner service times. Now come on Albion Hotel. In 2012 none of this constitutes decent customer service. On the positive side the pool is still magnificent and the rooms airy clean and spacious. I appreciate bathrooms with separate bath and shower but our shower in room 302 was in desperate need of replacement and gave only a trickle of water. When we arrived on Monday afternoon it took ages at reception to get anyone to come and help us check in. When we left on Thursday morning I handed in our key to a woman I hadn't seen before. She didn't ask me if we had enjoyed our stay or whether we had been pleased with the hotel. She simply wasn't interested.
I love Freshwater Bay and I have always loved the Albion Hotel, but the fabric of the building is falling apart and no-one seems to care about the building or it's loyal customers. It won't survive very much longer unless some love is injected into the business and I do hope that happens before it is too late.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Albion Hotel has 40 bedrooms most with sea view balcony or patio. The hotel is situated right on the beach in Freshwater Bay, just a stones throw from the sea. We have double or twin rooms at the hotel - twin rooms offering two double beds. All of our rooms have en-suite bathrooms with a bath and shower. You can book room only, bed and breakfast or bed, breakfast and dinner. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Albion Hotel Freshwater, Isle Of Wight