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“Overpriced and uncomfortable”

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The White Cliffs Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 July 2014

This hotel is in a great location but for the price I expected much more. Our room (and small double bed) was very small and the window did not open which in July meant we had a stuffy night. The walls and floors of the annexe building are so thin we heard our neighbours' TVs, conversations and footsteps constantly. The hotel prides itself on its restaurant but we were surprised to have to pay for a cooked breakfast and were disappointed by the standard of food. Overall I couldn't recommend this hotel and wouldn't stay there again.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank L R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walletts, Manager at The White Cliffs Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 July 2014

Thanks for your review, we're not sure why you couldn't open your windows as all rooms have large opening sash windows. We've been around all rooms this morning and checked to see if any are that are sticking. The hotel is over 400 years old and in hot humid weather the timber-framed buildings can swell. We have sound-proofed all rooms as far as is possible, there is no concrete and steel between rooms as you may get in a modern hotel, but this place is an historic building and has it's limitations.
Our food offering is not 'fine dining' and we're happy with that, though we've been featured in The Good Food Guide for consecutive six years. We use the best possible locally sourced ingredients treated simply, such as Dover Sole with rock samphire, dressed Deal crab, beer-battered cod and chips, Kentish Rump Steak and home-made ice creams . We have a loyal following of happy customers who love what we do and most of the time we hit the mark in our buzzing restaurant. With regards to breakfast, we've said it before and we'll say it again. We do not charge everyone for a Full English Breakfast as many people choose to eat from our all you can eat Breakfast buffet. Why include a charge for a breakfast that you don't particularly want? We do things a little differently here... Many chain hotels do not include breakfast at all. Please take a moment to have a look at our website and read about our hotel and what is included in the price you pay for your room before you come and stay then you won't be 'surprised' by the quirky/kooky nature of the place.

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165 - 171 of 324 reviews

Reviewed 9 July 2014

My husband and I visited Dover to meet our daughter's future in laws. The area around the hotel is gorgeous with a lovely walk down to St Margaret's Bay. Dover Castle is amazing. Sandwich was my favourite town, so quaint and picturesque and Broadstairs is good for seaside (but no dogs allowed on the beach May to Sept).
We stayed with our dog, Leo, in room 12, The Lighthouse. This is an ideal room for those travelling with a dog or dogs as it opens straight onto the garden. The room is separate from the main building and also from the annexe and so is very quiet. There is a tiled lobby leading to the bathroom which is ideal for cleaning up your dog before he enters the bedroom itself. The room is large and even with a king size bed there is plenty of space for dog beds.
The bed is very comfortable and the towels and bedding good quality. Wifi in room 12 was very strong, download speed was 11.22Mbps and upload speed 0.73Mbps. On the downside there were a few grease spots on the cushions and the shower was a bit temperamental, although there was always lots of hot water. The lighting with low energy bulbs could have been better. I don't think I could have read a book with this level of lighting but with a backlit kindle it was fine.
We enjoyed the breakfast buffet and had the full English on the last morning, which was of very good quality. If you want to take your dog with you while you eat, a table will be set for you outside the restaurant. The floor in the hotel is wood and flagstones, no carpet to worry about, We ate dinner once in the hotel which was excellent.
We found the staff excellent and friendly and the whole ambience relaxed and easy going. We were booked in for 3 nights but extended to 4 as we were enjoying our stay so much. We will definitely stay at The White Cliffs again.

Room Tip: Room 12 without a doubt if you have a dog with you.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ridlyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

We stayed at the hotel because we were attending the Deal Music Festival (which was excellent).
We asked for a quiet room and got one - and very comfortable it was too. One of the comfiest beds I've had the pleasure of using. The staff we found to be approachable and extremely willing to help. We were pleased to note that the hotel is pet-friendly and, as a result, we met a lovely Border Collie. All in all a lot to admire and enjoy.

Room Tip: Family suite (sleeps 6) excellent value.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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2  Thank tunbridgewellsred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

This hotel is perfectly placed for a stay before a Channel crossing, which is why we went there. We had contemplated doing so a few weeks before, but found the staff who dealt with us on the telephone rather unhelpful, so gave it a miss. Indeed, they were little better second time around, but we thought we'd nonetheless give it a try.
We booked an "executive" room with dinner and breakfast, though it was unclear from both the website and the staff we spoke to beforehand exactly what this covered. It turned out that we had £25 each towards the evening meal, drinks (even coffee) being excluded. This would certainly buy you two decent courses, but perhaps not three. In the end we failed to spend our allowance but paid extra for drinks and coffee. I can't say we found this wholly satisfactory.
The room (in the main building, there are more in annexes) was spacious enough, but was one of those that seem designed by someone who's never actually stayed in a hotel: not enough seating, all-or-nothing bedside lighting, confusing remote controls, a second bed right up against a window (and radiator) so that the curtains were hard to close. Not finding any soap in the bathroom, we asked at reception and were told that they didn't provide soap, only little bottles of shower gel (of which there were none in the room). Those were duly provided, but the promised Wi-Fi did not work, and nor did one of the wall lights. Reports of these were met with a rueful shrug.
The evening meal was pretty good - the best aspect of our stay - especially the local lamb. The reception/bar area and the restaurant ought somehow to be bigger - it all feels rather cramped, an impression not helped by the number of tables in the restaurant, much too close together. Hence the breakfast buffet is squeezed in near the restaurant entrance and becomes very congested. The DB&B rate included continental breakfast, but anything cooked was extra: we didn't bother. This added to the sense that the management was not inclined to be generous towards its clientele. Perhaps they get plenty of tourist business and so aren't too bothered about repeat custom - it's not a bad place, but I'd think twice about going back.
I would only add that the (quite numerous) staff were polite but uniformly dopey - from check-in to departure, I don't think any of them really knew who we were or on what basis we had booked.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walletts, Manager at The White Cliffs Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Thank you ever so much for your helpful and extensive review.
We've checked through our website and our dinner, bed and breakfast package is listed on our tariff page and special breaks page with accompanying detail of what is included in the rate including dinner allowance and breakfast. We include an all you can eat Continental buffet breakfast with Dorset cereals, croissants, yoghurts, ham, charcuterie, cheese, fresh fruit, juices, toast, tea and coffee. We have chosen not to include a Full English breakfast in the rate as many of our guests come to us from the Continent and do not want a fry-up so why should we increase the room rate for all? A cooked breakfast is available from as little £2.50. All this information is also included in our automated email confirmation.
We'll take a look at how we can make this information clearer to avoid confusion.
Our rooms are all a little different, being a 15th Century building dictates the 'design' of the rooms. If we could start from scratch with a blank canvas then like many modern hotels we could design bedrooms as they do with beds, curtains and radiators in perfectly positioned places. But that would be too easy... and a bit dull.
We love quirky and individual, if you don't then this is not the place for you...
We supply fabulous REN Skincare products in all of our bedrooms, including neroli and grapefruit body wash, oat and bay shampoo, pro-vitamin conditioner, neroli and grapefruit body cream & neroli and grapefruit soap. We'll make sure all the front desk team know that now.
We also have a newly installed state of the art WIFI system in the hotel that works in all bedrooms and public areas too. if any guests are having problems if asked we can always help.
We love the fact that you found our team polite and have had a giggle at the 'uniformly dopey' description. This hotel can be a really peaceful and relaxing place to be in a little Kentish village, sometimes it can rub off on us and we can come across that way.
But rest assured that we also genuinely care about the happiness and comfort of our lovely guests and will continue to work towards ensuring you all leave a little happier than when you checked in...

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Reviewed 29 April 2014

One night stay before sailing to France. Ran out of food on the evening before sailing, staff arrived late in the morning then no power in the kitchen so no cooked breakfast or coffee. Shame because all the reviews were very positive. I understand the unexpected electric failure but just a little disappointed about the evening meal and lack of staff at 7am. May give it another chance as it is a perfect location. HS

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Helen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walletts, Manager at The White Cliffs Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

I have spoken with the team and established what went wrong with this stay to ensure we don't make the same mistakes again.

We managed to restore power to the kitchen after just a few minutes interruption due to a fault and the rest of our guests were able to enjoy coffee and breakfast at 7.15am when we ordinarily open for breakfast.

Just a small point, in this review it is mentioned that we ran out of food.

Odd... We may have been low on fish as it is delivered from the day boats of Deal six days a week except Sundays and Bank Holidays. If you are staying on the Monday of a Bank Holiday weekend and do not make a reservation for dinner or in this case leave it until the last minute of service at 9pm to choose to eat then yes, expect not to have the full choice of fresh fish. However, we always have a pretty good choice of other dishes to choose from and in nearly 40 years of running a successful and busy hotel/restaurant operation we have never 'run out of food'.

Also, I note from our computer records that our Duty Manager Dan logged on to the computer system at 7.02am and that the invoice was paid by credit card at 7.04am and the room was checked out on our computer system 4 minutes later at 7.08am.

Just so you all know for next time, there is always at least one member of staff on site 24 hours a day and before 7am the night manager can be called by pressing the bell by the front door or calling from the room phone and we serve breakfast from 7.15am until 9.30am on weekdays and until 10am at the weekend.

Once again may I add that we love to receive honest feedback, it really does help us improve for next time.

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Reviewed 26 April 2014

had a 2 night special, and will return if offer is repeated. nothing at all to complain about.
evening meal was enjoyable and relaxed, breakfast lovely and fresh and apetising, buffet was plentiful, with beautiful tasty ham & cheese. no need to add the cooked meal, but we did pay the extra £2.50 on the last day, to set us up for the journey home, and it was lovely too.
rooms were very clean, with extra touches like mineral water each day.
all staff very polite and friendly. noone made us feel bad about using a voucher, which can happen in some hotels.
restaurant was popular, so make sure you book, but they also serve delicious takeaway local fish and chips, would be especially good on a warm summer evening.

plenty of local walks including down the cliff to St Margaret's Bay. Dover castle is a quiet, easy, 10 minute drive, well worth a visit, it's also only 10 minutes to the harbour. hgreat for a day trip to France.

we used the pool and spa at the sister hotel a couple of minutes drive away, very enjoyable although pool water a little cool. it has a jet stream to swim against if you so wish.

I've put excellent for each category, simply because I found no faults e.g. TV stopped working, but put right immediately. also had 2 good nights' sleep.

Room Tip: we liked our ground floor room in the annexe (Orchid) cute and very olde Kent atmosphere.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Diane P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

A peaceful location with all the comforts required. Restaurant reasonable, bar okay and bedroom comfortable. I stayed for three nights whilst at a conference nearby. It would have got five stars if my room provisions were replaced as required (shampoo and tea/coffee). The three breakfasts were good, one dinner was excellent. The bar had a good stock of bottled real ales.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank JonathanCook44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The White Cliffs Hotel

Address: High Street, St Margaret's at Cliffe, Dover CT15 6AT, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Dover > St Margaret's at Cliffe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in St Margaret's at Cliffe
Price Range: £107 - £129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The White Cliffs Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The White Cliffs Hotel is set in the heart of the picturesque village of St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe under a mile from the beautiful beach at St. Margaret's Bay in celebrated White Cliffs Country. This is the closest hotel in England to the coast of France at Calais 21 miles away and is just seven minutes drive from the port and Cruise Terminal at Dover. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The White Cliffs Hotel Dover, Kent

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