Having lived in Canterbury for 20+ years I had often walked past the hotel ( 5 mins from my parents house) but had never needed to stay in it. A few weeks ago, I had a few days in Canterbury so decided to try it out.
The plus’s - a great location for anyone visiting Canterbury – it’s a 10-15 minute walk into town and. also near (though maybe not with luggage) Canterbury West Station and a bus ride away from Canterbury East Station. There’s a bus stop nearby which will take you into town (handy if you’re getting a National Express Coach) as well as into Faversham – nice for a half day trip. Further down the road there’s the bus stop to the University and Whitstable. The hotel also has a car park which seems to be a decent size.
The bar area is nice enough and there’s a reasonable selection of bar meals available.
Now onto the areas for improvement. It’s not often I write negative comments but unfortunately here I have to. I will in the hotel’s defence however mention that it is a family run hotel and so at busy times things aren't going to run as smoothly as they would in other places.
Firstly – the room – I know this might just be down to my lack of experience with UK hotels but never before have I stayed in a single room that actually has a single bed. As I said this may be down to my lack of knowledge so if it is the norm then apologies. It was also rather scruffy and out dated and a major refurbishment is needed to bring it more up to date. The bath/overhead shower combination could be a problem for anyone with mobility problems as it is very high-sided – I know my parents would have a problem climbing in / out.
There was nobody to help with luggage either on arrival or departure. As it is an old building there obviously aren't any lifts and this is where a Porter would be very useful. The stairs up are not really suited for dragging up luggage (and I was only on the first floor). I did raise this with management who did tell me that there was always a member of staff available to help. This may be true but surely a guest shouldn’t have to ask and should be an automatic part of the welcome. I wouldn’t recommend it for those with mobility problems.
Breakfast – again it was adequate though it would have been nice to have seen vegetarian choices for the cooked breakfast (and I don’t mean baked beans/tomatoes etc but veggie sausages for example would have been welcome).
Staff – this is where I think the hotel does need to invest some serious money in staff training. It would be useful if staff spoke a language other than English as I did notice some clients having problems understanding the waitress at breakfast they also need to focus more on customer service and less on chatting up the guys at the bar in the evening.
I know this may sound harsh but having travelled extensively I was very disappointed that what could be a fabulous hotel was let down by the points mentioned.
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- Also Known As:
- Victoria Hotel Canterbury