The hotel seems to have been caught up in a 1960s time freeze! From the very uniforms worn by reception staff, the style & decor of the bedrooms, the food to blankets (not duvets) on beds & no WI-FI!
At Reception the staff were friendly, welcoming & informative. The area near Reception was more in keeping with the 19th century age of the building as were the lounges which were comfortable when not crowded. One lounge had a large TV for public viewing. Admire the lovely carving on the bannister at the foot of the stairs. A small lift is available too.
The bedroom was large and although not spotlessly clean was acceptable and cleaned well each day. It was dated and in dire need of updating. The furniture was flat pack self assembly which I would not expect to find in a 3* hotel. The bed was lumpy & it did not do my back any favours! No duvets just traditional style 1950-60s blankets. The TV only had 5 channels and no Freeview, & there was no free or charged WI-FI so your IPad, laptop, or phone is redundant! Again not to be expected of a 3* hotel. There were coffee/ tea making facilities in the room which were replaced daily. The hot water was excellent though in the 3 nights we stayed none of the toiletries were replaced: no shampoo, body lotion, etc. Cheap lino covered the bathroom floor and extended up the side of the bath & in our room the wall tiles along one wall in the bathroom was a mis-match.
The dining room was a disaster and don't expect a dining experience. There were serried ranks of closely packed tables just like a holiday camp. There was no ambience & the noise did not allow for any relaxed or intimate feeling. You sat cheek & jowl with the neighbouring table & you had the same table for your entire stay. Our waitress was extremely efficient and delivered service fast.
The food left much to be desired & it was very average. The menu was certainly not adventurous and stuck very much in the 1960s holiday camp style being mass produced & kept hot until served. It was typically English with roasts, potato croquettes, soups, etc. There was never any asking to purchase wine or an a la carte menu being offered! You chose from the menu on your table which provided for 3 starters, 4 mains, 4 desserts & coffee / tea. We took our coffee back to the lounge for a more relaxed atmosphere! At breakfast only the juices were self-service other than that you chose from the menu: porridge / cornflakes etc; full English, kipper, etc; tea coffee, toast. Butter & jams were already on the table. Being mass produced and having to keep the food hot meant that the fried eggs & sausages were usually overcooked!
In the Ballroom were very average, again holiday camp style shows, starting with bingo! Dancing was possible. Bar prices were good & even better was the free 4 drinks per person on the Saturday night which were named brands.
There were extensive gardens which would be fine to explore in the summer, these included a sunken rose garden. Do keep an eye out for the rare red squirrel which play near the car park, luckily we saw one! The hotel does have a swimming pool though it was not open in February.
There is limited car parking and you have the option to secure a place for £5-00 per night, advisable in the summer as there are only around 35 parking places. If you do, then decline spots 20-23 as they are under trees & your car will be covered in bird mess by the morning!
The hotel accommodates Sheerings Coach Holidays so many of its customers tend to be of an older generation, with many from the Midlands & Northern UK.
For the special winter price it provided an overnight stay for us to explore the Isle of Wight but in no way would I say it was 3* It needs to shake off it 1960s holiday camp image and get itself back into the 21st century. If you want a dining experience, a relaxing ambience or any form of intimacy then give it a miss!
Unless you want your car covered in bird mess don't park in bays 20-23
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review. We are a large, very busy hotel situated in our own grounds catering for 200 guests with 104 bedrooms, we accommodate 4 coaches plus self drive breaks. The Hotel was orginally an old mansion so over the years we have tried to keep some of the old character of a lovely building.
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We are aware that some of the bedrooms need to be upgraded which are gradually being completed in our refurbishment programme. We do offer very good value for the price that you pay, the self drive breaks includes the car ferry, 3 nights dinner, room and breakfast, entertainment every night and free drinks vouchers !!! Sorry to read that it wasnt for you !!!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.