Before I write my review of this particular hotel, I would first like to give a few personal perspectives on Blackpool itself. (Apologies to those who already know and love Blackpool!)
The town of Blackpool has many faces:
It has a large, jolly (noisy), recently refurbished seafront with accommodations of varying quality, guests, styles, sizes, conditions and prices.
The seafront extends to the extreme south or north and thus many of the hotels in these more distant locations can be a very long way from the action - (that are the reasons most people visit Blackpool - for amusements, shops, night life etc) resulting in the need to drive, or catch a bus, tram or taxi everywhere - all a drain on the holiday budget - but good for peace and quiet.
The Imperial and the Hilton, for example, are a long way to the north and in a more quiet location, but even here, at least 50% of the guests will have to settle for a room at the back overlooking roof tops.
Behind the central seafront area, (near the excellent Tower and Hounds Hill shopping area), lies the backbone of accommodation for many visitors to Blackpool. The hundreds of small hotels, guest houses and B&B's, for the most part, are converted from original houses in terraced rows, all with different sized rooms - not necessarily originally intended to accommodate guests. Most of them are only a short stroll from the shops and public entertainments.
All of the above factors result in several drawbacks that have no easy solution for small hotel owners:
- not every room will have a nice view
- not every guest can have a front room
- not every room will be quiet
- not every room will be the same size
- not every room will have the same light quality
- most of the back or side rooms will overlook back lanes
- front facing rooms will risk some noise from passing fellow holiday makers
For Fawlty Towers fans, I am reminded of the complaint about the view from a guest's room, to which Basil explains that as the view was of Torquay, and being a hotel in Torquay, you couldn't really expect to see the Hanging Gardens of Babylon!
But I digress! I carefully researched the prices for hotels in the Blackpool area for the half term weekend - and discovered that the larger chain owned hotels were charging upwards of £100.00 per room per night. Even the Premier Inns and Travel Lodges were charging over £70.00 per night - this did not include breakfast and also charging extra for parking!
Location and Accommodation at the Alumhurst ...
I wanted central accommodation - where I could walk to the shops, amusements and theatres. I wanted to be able to park my car for free - and leave it there for the whole duration of my stay. The Alumhurst ticked all these boxes. Parking is limited, and allocated on a first book basis, however, Pat and Steve are very helpful in directing to nearby car parks with reasonable prices. Parking is always a problem in urban areas so not an unexpected issue.
Not being as slim as I was once - I was willing to pay extra for the benefit of having a King sized bed, and so opted for one of the premier rooms at the Alumhurst which I based solely on bed size. I was allocated Room 14, on the front, overlooking Charnley Road. This was a lovely spacious room, wonderful comfortable bed with nice crisp white bed linen which was changed regularly.
It was light and airy, nicely decorated, clean and well lit - with a great choice multi-channel TV/DVD player. Yes, it had periods of noise in the late evening, when people were walking past, but hey, this is central Blackpool, and they were isolated incidents. I prefer this to staying further out and needing transport everywhere!
Bathroom was small, but fully functional and modern. The walk in shower was easy to use, with plenty of constantly hot water as required.
My mother was also allocated a premier room with a king sized bed, at the back of the house, and although this was a smaller, darker room, she never heard any noise whatsoever and slept undisturbed for ten nights straight!
My sister was allocated a standard family room at the back and said it was perfectly nice - being very clean and well maintained with lovely comfortable beds and quality TV.
My daughter was allocated a standard double at the back and said that they had really liked the room and especially liked the comfortable bed and reported to having really great sleeps!
None of us were troubled by noises from other bedroom occupants, except during morning showers and people going down to breakfast - all normal activity.
Food at the Alumhurst ...
The food was really good. Breakfasts are fantastic! Any combination of any breakfast option was possible and there was plenty of it. Dinners were really good too - all freshly cooked by the chef. My only disappointment was that these weren't available every day.
Staff at the Alumhurst ...
We were looked after so well by the two young ladies employed to serve us at breakfast and dinner. Nothing was too much trouble and they worked really hard the whole time we were there, also ensuring our rooms were serviced each day. We were all really impressed with the attitude and hard work of these girls and would thank them for making our stay so great.
Owners of the Alumhurst ...
From the very first moment, I warmed to Pat. My very first visit to the Alumhurst - yet I was welcomed like an old friend. Nothing was too much trouble. Steve parked my car for me (one less thing to worry about!) and was a charming host to my husband David in the friendly down stairs bar. Pat was a big hit with my whole family and she spoke to me every day to ensure that all was well and to my satisfaction - and was kindness itself, especially with my elderly mother. Pat was also wonderful with my daughter and boyfriend and many laughs were exchanged. We stayed for ten days, and could have stayed longer.
Having read some (very few) negative reviews, I do understand that everyone has different expectations and that of course this review is my very own personal experience (and that of my family) but I feel sure that any issues could be cleared up directly with Pat at the time, to give her a chance to do something about it, if it is in her power to do so. There was a brief minor disturbance on one evening, as people came back late into the hotel and were chatting on their way to bed past my room, but this was a one off and quite outside the control of any hotel owner.
I would say that if you require solitude and silence, consider staying further out, away from Central altogether, but for me, the convenience of the location more than makes up for a little disturbance now and then.
I would also add that costs are rising for everyone, particularly small businesses. The price of staff wages, food and energy costs are bound to affect hotel prices too.
In conclusion, I had an excellent room, for which I was willing and able to pay a little more. My whole family were pleased with their respective rooms and we all had a really pleasant stay, with excellent food, looked after by efficient and caring staff and hosts - in a warm, clean, family run hotel, in a central location, within 5 minute walking distance of all that we wanted to do. I could not have asked for more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Long established, family run, town centre, award winning hotel close to Blackpool Tower, Promenade and beach, Winter Gardens, theatres and new shopping centre. Our chef prepares good nutritious breakfasts and evening meals from as much fresh and local produce as possible. The hotel is kept beautifully clean throughout. Our licensed bar stocks a large variety of drinks and there is a pool table, dart board and quiz machine. Come and join the large number of guests who return annually. ... more less
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