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“Great family hotel”
Review of Priory Bay Hotel

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Priory Bay Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Seaview
A TripAdvisor Member
“Great family hotel”
Reviewed 19 October 2004

We stayed at the Priory Bay for 4 days in March to celebrate my mother's 90th Birthday. We were a large party of 4 generations, all of whom had a great time. The hotel was perfect for our special event and the staff couldn't have been more accommodating. We made use of the sporting facilities, ie, tennis and golf, and enjoyed a stroll on the beach. We had exclusive use of the beautiful dining room for our main celebration dinner and decorated it as we wished. If you are looking for an ultra-smart, minimilist, modern venue don't come to Priory Bay, but if it's comfort, relaxation, great food and pleasant surroundings you require you can't beat it. We shall definitely be returning.

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418 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
London UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2004

This is a bizarre hotel in many respects - it has one of the best locations on the island, the grounds are spectacular and the beach beautiful. The main hotel building has potential like so much of the hotel but the owners seem to have developed a split personality about what they want the hotel to be. They have aimed at the top end with the restaurant but in most other respects at the other end of the quality spectrum. The very aged pool is badly maintained (good thick layer of green algae lurking at the bottom), the path to the beach is covered in mud and appears to also be a stream/drainage ditch, the self catering cottages wouldn't look out of place on a sink estate - they haven't painted the window frames in ten years, the shower didn't work, light bulbs were missing. In the mornings there were plenty of full ash trays, wine glasses and plates left over from the night before still lurking on tables around the hotel.

This hotel needs professional management, significant investment and better trained staff to justify even its 3 star status.

I suspect the owners don't care too much - they seem to have attracted that uniquely English group of eccentric families who return year in year out, who like things they way they are - the more decrepit the better providing nothing ever changes. (they can be spotted in winter time sporting 70's C&A skiwear at otherwise top end European ski resorts like Zermatt etc.)

5 Thank Compoed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 9 May 2004

Well, in some respects it is a superb hotel, the buildings are wonderful and the grounds superb, but... the staff, whilst friendly are very hit and miss.

The food tastes good, but one gets sick of absolutely everything being round, I have a feeling that the chef, whilst having good taste buds, has little visual artistic flair...

The bill was hopelessly wrong, but to be fair they sorted it out after I pointed it out to them.

My worst part of the stay though was due to the fact that we started our stay on saturday and the weekend was fine, it's family friendly but the children seemed quiet enough. We did however make the mistake of wanting to stay until Tuesday. Once the families had departed on Sunday, a corporate group appeared and took over every public room in the hotel, braying on mobiles and waving laptops. If (big if) we decide to go again, I'd certainly check whether they are going to be a hotel or a conference centre during the visit...

To have got their current AA rating, I think they must have recognised the inspector and upped their game because I'd have been lothe to give them even one star based on my stay.

4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 7 April 2004

A very bizarre hotel. This 3 star only hotel has done well to feature in top hotel guides and rightly so. Room 20 is one of the best rooms we have ever stayed in, sizeable and full of character, bearing in mind we have stayed at and worked with many top character hotels. The restaurant decor and food is excellent. The grounds and other areas need sprucing up though and yes too many noisy children. Our 4 children were left at home!However, this hotel will forever stay 3 star until it grasps the concept of client service. Also it takes a lot for me to complain.The staff are very friendly but do not ask for coffee or breakfast. 1. Afternoon tea never appeared after 45 minutes waiting. 2.
After dinner coffee never appeared.3. Coffee and breakfast never appeared after 30 minutes waiting. Having asked for the coffee a second time, still no coffee after 10 minutes. No hotel is perfect but if there is a genuine complaint, you would expect it to be rectified with no fuss. The breakfast issue finally made me speak to the Deputy Manager, a very nice chap who states he used to work at Hanbury Manor, a favorite of ours incidentally. I tried to help him by stating that the young staff do not seem to be sure of what they are doing. Instead of getting our breakfast, I was then continually quizzed for my side of the story. Cue FAWLTY TOWERS for one of the most farcical scenes in the restaurant. The Deputy Manager, a younger looking Basil ironically enough with similar mannerisms, went backwards and forwards from our table to the kitchin trying to get both sides of the story. You could hear him talking to the waitress through the doors. Finally, he concluded that we had only been waiting since 9.30 instead of 9.10 because he believed the waitress and not us even though there were other guests present who could vouch for us. Strangely he would not consult them as we had requested, may be because they were laughing so much! In fairness to the young Basil, a good breakfast finally arrived and he did his best to ask if everything was now okay. I stated that minor faults are one thing, but not believing your guest is ridiculous and yet he mumbled sarcastically. Guess what? We cut short our stay.
Hey but who cares? They didn't. We spent our last night at the Royal Hotel, Ventnor. a very charming victorian 4 star hotel with excellent old fashioned service. We came away feeling that with regard to the Priory Bay Hotel, we had got lost in the Twilight Zone.But then we got home to a very apologetic message on our phone from the Deputy Manager asking us to call. Could it be that he remembered my wife is in the Corporate Hospitality business supplying many top hotels with large bookings? Surely not!!

11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2004

Stayed in July 2001 - it can only have improved since then. It is a lovely property but staff in bar and dining room seemed to have had no training. Breakfast service was lamentable. No-one seemed to know how to make a martini cocktail; one bar tender made it with martini bianco; another produced a large tumbler full of ice cubes and half-half vodka and vermouth.

When I wrote to the owner to complain I never received a reply.

  • Stayed July 2001
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank UtterlyArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2003

We stayed at the Priory Bay in July last year for a weekend for our wedding anniversary. First of all, it's a great hotel, a lovely old building and just a short walk downhill to the beach. Our room was enormous although it did have low beams which weren't quite high enough for my husband who is 6 foot 3 inches tall. There are 2 good restaurants - the main one is open all year and has excellent food. As it was summer, we were able to eat out on the terrace. The other restaurant is an open air terrace near the beach which does great fish, BBQ food etc, but I think that's only open in the summer.On the downside, the hotel has a number of self catering cottages, which were all extremely busy with large families. Consequently, the small pool area was a screaming mass of young kids. Also, the breakfasts were relly poor - at well into 3 figures for b&b per night, we expected more that tepid longlife orange juice and plastic thin sliced wholemeal or white bread for toast. All the self catering families seemed to come in for breakfast so the dining room was also a battle with small children everywhere.Having said that, we did enjoy the weekend, and the plus sides outweighed the downsides.

24 Thank fleet-resident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Priory Bay Hotel

Property: Priory Bay Hotel
Address: Priory Croft Priory Road, Seaview PO34 5BU, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Isle of Wight > Seaview
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Seaview
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Priory Bay Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Priory Bay is the Isle of Wight's leading country house hotel. Set within a 60-acre estate, it's period buildings have spectacular views out to sea, with gardens and woodland running down to the bay. It inspires our chefs to use the finest seasonal ingredients, whether foraged, farmed or fished we are passionate about local produce. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Priory Bay Seaview
Hotel Priory Bay
Priory Bay Hotel Isle Of Wight/Seaview

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