Our first stay at this hotel was in 1979,the ensuing years saw us spending short breaks every March,most Decembers & various other times,including our main Summer vacation there,it was like a second home to us,as was the Island itself.
In 1994 we even stayed there over Christmas,our first time away from home & family at this time of year which was a bit daunting,but the staff did a wonderful job of making everything work & it all seemed like on big family gathering.
We always had superb rooms,all,with one exception on a last minute visit,sea view rooms,we both just love the view of Douglas Bay at the beginning & end of the day,I loved to photograph the ferries coming in & out.
But things changed,our usual transport(The King Orry) which used to sail to & from Liverpool was replaced by a Seacat & the Ben My Chree which only sailed from Heysham,several bad experiences with Seacats saw us looking for elsewhere to go,my family being Irish,the ending of the troubled times(we hope) saw us heading over there to revisit my childhood holiday spots,catch up with family,etc.
But the Isle Of Man kept nagging at me & I had to get back,last year was a definate but silly prices put us off,this year more determined a good price saw us on our way.
Our break didn't start too well,(see my rather lengthy post on the forums),parking at the Sefton is tight,annoyingly often seeing spaces cones off on this visit,but we just got in,at reception they could find no sign of a booking in our name,at this point Ireland was calling me!After a short pause we were sorted & ended up with on of their rooms with a balcony looking out over their Atrium Water Garden,a very well appointed room,spotlessly clean & comfortable.
We thoroughly enjoyed our 4 night stay,rediscovering the Isle Of Man,the Sefton is a wonderful base,handy for everything in Douglas,although as said if you go out exploring in your car you could have trouble on your return getting parked again.The breakfast buffet has always been superb,although not quite as large as it used to be,the food is terrific,the food we sampled in the hotel alround was magnificent as was the service.
Now the bad bits,if you can call it that,it's a personal thing I guess,the place just isn't the same,years ago we knew all the staff,they recognised my voice when I rang,a group of them even sang Happy Birthday to me at reception some years ago,that was the happy relaxed atmosphere which filled the place years ago when Chris Robertshaw & his lovely Wife ran the place,no matter how many times I went there now I can't see that happening,the staff were all very efficient,couldn't say a bad word about any that we met BUT it all seems so business like now,very proffesional, Iknow it is unreasonable to expect somewhere to stay the same but for me the change was enormous,made me realise that one of the reasons for going there must have been for the people as much as anything else.
As for the room,if you don't like the sound of running water don't have a garden room,also it can be noisy,as well as functions & meetings down in the Atrium it also seems to be the main thoroughfare of the place & as such can be pretty noisy,the other problem is the heat,even in March our room was pretty warm,the guy on reception told us on departure that heat is a problem with these rooms,it doesn't surprise me,a shame really,we love to sit on a balcony with a drink & it's not something you can always do anytime of year in these Islands,an inside balcony seems a good idea for year round use.
So ended our first trip 'back home' for 7 years,we enjoyed it after a shaky start,the Sefton was beautiful as ever,will we do it again,my heart says a big yes but sometimes IME it's a mistake to go back,the past is gone,just remember the good times,a lot of thinking to do!
- Also Known As:
- Sefton Hotel Douglas
- Sefton Hotel Isle Of Man/Douglas
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxurious 4-star hotel in Douglas, close to the capital’s main shopping and business districts, The Sefton combines finely restored Victorian elegance, a modern extension centred round a beautiful indoor water-garden, and the new 5-star quality Sefton Suites. If you want luxury, convenience and tranquillity, The Sefton is the obvious choice. ... more less
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