This started out as a romantic valentines evening booked by my partner.
We have stayed in this hotel 3 times before and sad to say that each time it has gotten worse. We really will be learning our lesson this time and will not be going back.
Our first night there was brilliant, perfect in every way, we did not book a "valentines suite" for the first time but our room (7) was decorated with rose petals and roses on the bed with chocolates and it was just magical.
Our 2nd time (Room 2) was my birthday and it was not bad, not as good as the previous due to some little niggles but we enjoyed it none the less.
Our 3rd was not good (room 2 again) as our bath tub was broken and we could not run a bath as the water would drain away.
And now I get to our recent 4th and final time (room 3), it was valentines again, due to bookings we only had the "valentines suite" option left, it was more expensive but due to our first visit we thought worth the money for the extras this time around.
We got to our room after being greeted by a French member of staff. Previous experience has lead us to believe that the staff here are French students who stay and work in the hotel whilst they study and they rotate round quite frequently as we never seem to see the same staff each time we visit, it would be nice to remember someone as a point of familiarity but more on this later.
We got shown to our room and I was hoping that we did not get room 2 like last time due to the problems but I was pleasantly surprised to have room 3. The room was really nice the floor is varnished wood the bed is antique French and the bathroom highly modern with the Japanese toilet/bidet and the amazing deep Jacuzzi bath.
Décor in this room seemed a little odd, it looked like the room was not arranged properly and there was this mysterious door which I found was the connecting door to room 4, there were no locks on this door but you could only open it from the other side so not worried about people sneaking into our room late at night. From looking at previous pictures the bed was rotated 90 degrees as the view of the TV was aimed to be on the back wall not the side wall where the bed was placed this time.
We were asked what time we wanted breakfast and we said 10am and this was fine. I asked how the swimming pool was, if it was hot, as we had a lot of rain recently this would have reduced the temperature so asked if the heating for it was on. The guy said he did not understand as he was French and did not speak English but seemed to get what I was saying and that the pool was hot.
We had 2 bottles of champagne, a box of heart shaped chocolates and a half dozen roses, was this worth the extra £40? No, but it was a nice touch considering the rest of the room was pretty lacking in any theme or décor.
I was happy at this point and then the problems began. I turned on the TV to have some background but was greeted by constant hissing from the TV and no TV channels only radio. I inspected the TV to find that the aerial lead was missing from the back of the digibox but quickly found it down the back of the fridge. Still the hissing remained, so I too k out the SCART cable to find a few pins broken, no worries I am a IT Tech and know how to repair this so I bent the pins back and the hissing subsided. On with the radio for some music whilst we got changed to go to the swimming pool.
My partner then commented that we had no dressing gowns so I went in search of a member of staff, 5 minutes later I found one, explained the problem and 10 minutes later he came back with some dressing gowns for us, in that time we had noticed we were also missing our Japanese slipper/wood shoes. I said to him about this also and he went away to get some, we never saw him again. Another member of staff came down to change our key as we had apparently been given the master key which would have opened all the doors in the hotel (not safe) he gave us the new key and I asked again about the slippers. 20 minutes went by and now I am getting annoyed, went in search of some staff but was not able to find anyone. Gave up in the end and my partner and I decided to play hopscotch on the flat stones up the outside stairs to the swimming pool.
We had trouble getting into the building that leads to the pool, the doors were stuck but I managed to get inside out to the pool and pull back the cover, we looked for the lights but could not find the switch, there was enough light coming from the changing room building to see and seeing the steam rise off the water I then forgot about the previous issues and quickly got out of my dressing gown into the pool. I was a little disappointed as the water was not the usual temperature it had been previous times but it was warm enough to relax on my back until I started to get leaves in my face and entwined around my toes, I noticed that the pool had not been cleaned in a while and the filter was completely clogged with leaf debris. The water jets that give the pool hot water were barely putting out anything but we put this aside as this was valentines night we wanted to enjoy ourselves.
When we got back we ate the chocolates whilst in the bath, this at least worked, the jets were powerful and the water was hot. This was the best part of the night but things would be change come the morning.
We awoke and got showered and changed ready for breakfast, we were about to leave our room when we heard another couple shouting and screaming not happy about something, we could not make out what was being said but we got the jist that they wanted money off and the French female member of staff agreed to a discount, not sure what went wrong for them but we would find out shortly.
Normally the breakfast room is laid out really well, there would be yoghurt and croissants, cereal and toast, a coffee machine with pods, tea etc. but this time nothing. The room was over crammed with furniture, two large tables that took up far too much room and everything was missing. No one had cleaned up from the previous people, another couple sat over in the corner seemed to be waiting for their breakfast so we sat down. A member of staff came in looked around then left. I was going to have some cereal, but there was no milk, only a half used pint carton of UHT and no bowls or spoons for me to use. There were no mugs, I had to go down to our room to bring up some mugs for my partner to use, the coffee were all small travel sachets and an almost empty pot of brewed coffee that was pretty cold by now.
Another couple joined us and we got talking about the events of the day. After 20 minutes the first couple got their breakfast, didn’t look great to be honest but they ate it all the same, too hungry to care I suspect. They left and we were with the 2nd couple, another 15 minutes passed and nothing, the 2nd couple got fed up and left and we were alone in the room when a male member of staff entered carrying our breakfast, I asked about the other things in the room and got a half grunt response of “sorry” and he left. Then I noticed what we had been given, a small 4x6 plate of utter rubbish. Beans were cold and dry, they looked like they had been scrubbed off the bottom of the pan, and the single rasher of bacon again was cold and hard as rock and the solitary small thin sausage was swimming in grease. I lost it at this point and when a staff member arrived I explained that this was unacceptable, he feebly apologised and asked if we wanted another, my partner was hungry but I had lost my appetite by this point so only she wanted food. Another 10 minutes passed and he came back with another plate, which was not much better than the first, the beans were drowning in sauce this time, and were burnt, the sauce had gone brown with the burnt scrapings, the bacon was just as bad, the sausages were at least edible this time but no egg like the 1st couple had with theirs. We complained again and suddenly in bursts this older lady who I assume is the owner, she seemed really out of breath and her first words to us were “So, hit me with it…” I was thinking who the hell are you??? But by this point I had given up and I later found out that she was called to deal with the noisy couple who complained earlier and not us and just said we are ok. We then got our things and left.
Normally I would recommend this hotel from previous visits, it has it’s quirks but we have enjoyed ourselves before. This time was the turning point. We will not be going back.
Since the staff change so frequently the standards have dropped considerably, they do not seem to care nor understand, neither do they have the proper training on how to run a hotel.
This hotel is a serious hit and miss. Visits are never reliable.
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- Also Known As:
- Le Chateau Japonais Hotel Hastings