Wow, five-star prices on the Isle of Wight - must be REALLY fabulous (we thought). I hope this isn't going to sound like a nit-picking moan, because our experience wasn't bad, but when you are paying a lot of money for a hotel room, you already have a certain level of expectation, do you not?
We arrived at around 2.30pm, and were checked in for our three-night stay by a less-than-enthusiastic receptionist, who offered nothing in the way of welcome, information, or help with bags or parking. (Parking, by the way, is a good five minute walk away in the public car park on the common). The public areas are lovely, sympathetically furnished to show-off the beautiful Georgian architecture, with fresh flowers everywhere. We were shown to our room, but only to the door, and were left to our own devices.
The room itself (No. 1) was on the ground floor, comfortably, rather than luxuriously, furnished, spacious, with a king-sized bed, a nice big bathroom and a view over a small terrace, which we assumed that we had access to but didn't, because the door was locked and was for "emergency access only".
As always, the devil is in the detail, and little things let the accommodation down, e.g. there was no shelf over the basin in the bathroom so washbags ended up on the floor, the dressing table was equipped with only a small shaving mirror (useless) and there was no conveniently situated plug socket for hairdryers, etc. The bed linen was good quality but the quilt cover had a hole in it and the information pack was scruffy and out-of-date. Also, the room is overlooked by the pub across the road, and the only means of protecting your modesty is to close the curtains.
My biggest gripe with the room was the choice of artwork; a huge and horrible vaguely anatomical abstract canvas that dominated everything. Wholly inappropriate and very, very ugly.
After unpacking, we went back to reception to ask if we could get a sandwich for lunch (it was about 3pm) and were told, quite reluctantly, that they would "ask the kitchen". We decided that we would have a drink in the meantime, and found our way out into the garden, which was HEAVING with people; some eating, lots drinking, all having a very jolly time. After about 15 minutes, we were told that we could get something to eat, and were offered a choice of sandwiches, which, when they arrived, were OK, just not very exciting.
However (and this was the overriding impression throughout our stay), the emphasis seemed to be very much on the bar and restaurant crowd, rather than on the hotel guests. There isn't, for example, any priority seating - you have to take your chances. Also, it would have been nice to be able to find a quiet corner (with some sun loungers, perhaps?) to just kick-back. If such a place existed, we didn't find it, nor were we told about it.
The following morning, after a quiet and comfortable night, we went to the dining room (a very beautiful cape cod-esque space) for the eagerly anticipated breakfast (the menu in our room featured such delights as eggs benedict and pancakes), only to be told that "we haven't done eggs benedict for ages now". It's only a small detail, I know, but someone needs to update the information in the bedrooms.
Breakfast on the first morning was fine - in the absence of anything more interesting, we opted for the traditional English breakfast. However, on the second morning (Sunday), I had to send my breakfast back because of over-cooked eggs and under-cooked bacon - very disappointing. However, we had dinner in the restaurant with friends on following evening, and happily, everything was excellent; good menu and wine list, and delicious food.
Another observation is the quality of housekeeping. I notice that another reviewer mentioned the miserly supply of toiletries in the bathroom (you are provided with personal-sized L'Occitane products on day one, but these are not replaced). Also, our bed was not properly made (the quilt had been straighted, but the bottom sheet was as we had left it) and our bath was not properly cleaned each day. We were only offered the turn-down service on one day.
All in all, we were left with the impression of a very expensive and not-great-value-for-money hotel. The George aspires to be a high-quality, chic-boutique experience, but, in our opinion, is not much more than an upmarket pub-with-rooms affair. Sadly, our expectations were not met, and I would suggest that better value accommodation is to be found elsewhere on the Island.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The George Hotel is a 17th Century town house in the bustling village and Harbour of Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. A Traditional environment of warmth and atmosphere is found in each individually designed bedroom. Meticulous attention to detail perfects a marriage of comfort and relaxation, and caters for your every need. All rooms offer: full room service, bathrobes, hairdryers, direct dial telephone, satellite TV. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- George Hotel Yarmouth
- The George Hotel Isle Of Wight/Yarmouth