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“Oh Dear.”
Review of Sefton Hotel

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Sefton Hotel
Ranked #11 of 15 Hotels in Douglas
Reviewed August 15, 2010

We arrived off the afternoon ferry at about 3 pm and just about found a space in the tiny carpark. Every time we took the car out we knew that there was a possiblity that we wouldn't get a space on our return. Our room was not ready for us so we had to wait in reception for about 20 minutes. We went up to our room in a very rickety lift which only held about three and a half people (it said 6 on the wall). Usually it was full with the staff and their cleaning equipment (not that the hotel showed many signs of being cleaned to the standard of a 4 star). Our room was a twin room with double aspect windows. The carpet was stained and unvacuumed. The view from the first window was a blank wall. The view from the second window was a roof with a blank wall behind it. The room was therefore very dark even during the day. If you don't pay the extra for a sea view or an atrium view don't assume that you will get a view. The pillows on the beds were like cast iron being filled with many dead skin cells. We tried to book for dinner in the Sir Norman, but found that it was fully booked for the week due to a performance in the theatre next door. The other restaurant was far too expensive for us, leaving us to search for a suitable restaurant in Douglas - not very easy. If you decide to book a room at the Sefton I suggest that if you wish to eat in the restaurant you book your table at the same time. One afternoon we returned to our room at 1.45 to drop off our shopping and found the room hadn't been cleaned which we felt was not acceptable. Bearing in mind the fact that we were bumping into the cleaning staff all day, and there seemed to be a great many of them - in many cases just chatting to each other - we feel that the housekeeping needs an overhaul.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SidcupChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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587 - 593 of 660 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2010

We were really disappointed with the service at the Sefton and being English, made only passing comments, when really being a little less accommodating and complained, which may have a better result, as happened on the final night’s stay.

My family booked two rooms, a sea view twin for the adult./ teenage children (416) , and a junior suite 470 - for my wife and I. On arrival at 3.30pm,, we were informed that 'they had been very busy' and one of the rooms was unavailable. However there was no offer to take possession of the 'available room', at first. I had been parking the car, in the small car park - (only take a small car if you want to park every night). On finding my family waiting in reception, we waited a further 30 minutes for the rooms to be ready. No offer of refreshment - a shame as that would have been a nice touch, and on reflection until our final night, that is what is missing, the nice touch.

Room 470 is the one shown on the web site - and I must congratulated the photographer for making the bedroom appear twice its actual size and making the sitting room look appealing, which it isn't. The bed is a double (a first - I have stayed around the world, and never found a suite with a double bed. The rooms (two of) were obviously two small singles at one time, as the balconies (2 off) each had a single chair) bizarre!

The room was very hot; I was told that it is one of the few rooms with an air conditioner panel, but apparently - no air conditioning. A feature of the hotel is the atrium; however this room, stuck on the end with two small balconies, gets a poor view. The atrium has a hidden feature of being a solar trap - hence the room being like a sauna. The room lighting is poor, and even with the atrium it is very gloomy, the lounge has a small two seater and the TV is 3 foot away - like most of the hotel things are put there to tick a box rather than to add to the comfort of the guest. The fridge is low and small, and milk is the 4 UHT motorway cafe single cartons, milk in a bottle being long dead and gone. The carpet in the room is dirty, (or to be kind showing traffic) as is the lower ground and to 3rd floor stair wells.

I remarked to the reception manager that the room was overly hot, and the air conditioning was faulty. He informed me there was only air conditioning panels in three rooms, but no air conditioning and he replied he would look into it and ensure we had a fan, later when I mentioned we had two fans, already that he would check the adjustment of the atrium venting. My view he did nothing. So it was try to sleep with two fans running or the heat. We tried both – neither worked.

Breakfast is nothing to ring home about, apart from the room and seating. There is a small buffet of hot and cold food and in fact I have stayed in better guest houses that cater better. There is the usual suspects, with undercooked sausages and one side (cooked) black pudding added in. Anything else is charged at £9.95 - so no porridge, kippers (shame on a Manx Hotel) are priced off the menu.
The breakfast staff, are plentiful and attentive, but have the annoying habit of wanting to remove dishes the very micro second you have finished with them. They miss fire once or twice, but a polite “I have not finished helps”.

The spa pool is a large paddling pool. Sadly there are signs of power jets which to allow swimming are installed, but no sign of a switch - the Jacuzzi was luke warm, locker rooms, sauna and steam room, were the smallest I have ever seen. No shampoo, or swimming trunk bags. I did venture to look in at the gym -- state of the art, but not for me.

Having not had the morning paper delivered, another was offered, a nice touch, but when, I ventured to tell the lady on reception, that I have spent the night on the floor, as the room was so warm my wife and I have woken each other up tossing and turning. No reaction.

So I determined to write this account and flag never staying at the Sefton again and sadly reporting that there is no 5 star hotels on the IOM, but not quite.

On the final night, having been out for meals, and come back the night before for dessert and coffee (the Italian job next door getting a poor vote on service), my wife noticed the good food and portion size around us in the Norman Wisdom bar. She and the children (I was catching up on sleep) went for a meal.

The restaurant manager Marcus, enquired if all was all right. My wife remarked that she wished the hotel was as good as the food they had just eaten, and gave him a summary of the stay. He listened and went away. Some minutes later he returned to 'see if he could make amends’ His gift was for my wife and I to have the Winston Suite for the night as a gesture of good will. He personally showed us around. He explained that 18 months earlier the hotel had bought out the pub next door, and the result were the 10 suites. Key points on the Winston, a huge sitting room, dinnette, and HD TV with Sky HD. large bed and naturally cool. Great view out onto the promenade.

The suites are excellent if you want to spend £250 a night. A small note - but a large bath room no bidet, a dinnette with no utensils, and no coasters. books on Churchill (no bookcase) - is a shame, They should ask each guest if they can sit for 5 minutes and give (and react to feedback) - yes I know we all are different - but customer service counts. We filled in the form for 470 - but none was in the suite - no writing paper either - its the small things that make luxury.

In summary - avoid room 470 like the plague. Book a double twin sea view at £130 - haggle on the price - see if you can upgrade to a suite at a good cost. Visit the Norman Wisdom bar and eat there the food is excellent, and say hi to Marcus - who's kind words and gift, gave my wife and I a good nights sleep in their hotel, shame no one considered us before then, are but with didn’t complain, but did say on three occasions we were not happy.

Finally I am happy to report - there is a good 4 star hotel on the IOM - with just a little work, and attention to detail it could be 5.

And if I follow my own advice- one day I feel sure we will return.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Diskdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2010

My wife and I spent 2 nights at the Sefton for a short 'tourist' break. The hotel is only a short walk from the Ferry Terminal (10 Mins) and from the moment we arrived we found the staff most helpfull. On arrival we were upgraded to one of the 'Atrium' rooms which was just luxury and, spotlessly clean. The bathroom was massive and included a separate shower, again everything was spotless. We used the Swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and steamroom several times, it was just heaven.
The first night we ate in the town, Alessandro's Italian, only a short walk from the hotel (it had been recommended by one of the staff, would definately recommend anyone to eat there the food was top class and very reasonable. We took the steam train to Port Erin (the station is the other side of town so allow for about 20 mins walk) the train journey was delightful and took about an hour, spent a couple of pleasant hours in Port Erin before getting the train back to Douglas. Ate in the Hotel restaurant on the last night and the food was excellent and service once again very good, the waiting staff are a happy bunch and always glad to assist. We had breakfast included and the food available at the buffet was brilliant, the dinning room overlooks the bay, basically I ate so much I couldnt eat again until tea time !! All in all I couldnt recommend the Hotel more, I am really at a loss to find anything negative to say about it. Douglas is a very nice (albeit expensive) place and there is plenty to see and do, the bus service is frequent and goes all over the island (stops right outside the hotel). Well done Sefton, we will be back again make no mistake.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tinkertoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2010

We stayed four nights at the end of July and had a very decent room, 2nd floor with sea view on a B&B basis for £130 per night. I'm sure we could have reached a better deal by negotiation or by packaging with the Steam Packet Company's mid-week break. Although parts of the hotel are a bit worn around the edges (the pictures on our bedroom walls had been totally bleached by the sun .. we weren't as it rained for two days!) it has a charm all its own. The bed was large and comfortable and the fridge in the room with fresh milk was a nice touch. Powerful shower in a proper cubicle (as well as a bath) were a distinct asset. WiFi access was brilliant: much faster than we usually get in the UK. An added bonus was the secure, gated underground parking - free, as is most parking on the Island, and the hotel provided us with an obligatory parking clock.
Breakfast was a treat as the very wide selection of food was always freshly prepared and never left to stand for long in the ubiquitous bain-maries (Bains- Marie??) although kippers at £9.50 extra was a bit steep.
It's a good base for touring the Island - which is not the tourist friendly place it once was. More of that in another post elsewhere. If we ever went back to the IoM (and it's not high on our list of priorities), we'd certainly go back to The Sefton and would recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank hissboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2010

Having stayed several times before, we decided to splash out this time and booked the Churchill Suite: huge, very comfortable and with a fine sea view. Since my wife needed to use a computer, the extra space in the well-furnished living room was very welcome, and room service could be enjoyed in comfort with plenty of room for the dining table and chairs. The kitchen area, with microwave and fridge and a good range of crockery and cutlery, helped make this a great place to be self-contained - or, of course, we could (and did) avail ourselves of the splendid restaurant, where quality remains as high as we remember it. Breakfasts are always excellent, and if you like Manx kippers - and I do - this is a good place for them.

The atrium, with its wonderful indoor tropical garden, helps to create the sense of an hotel that is truly unique and capable of transporting you back to a period of elegance and beauty.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank davidandpamela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2010

We picked the Sefton because of it's proximity to Douglas Town Centre (just a few minutes walk) and becuase of the Atrium rooms. The courtyard centre of the hotel is glassed over and filled with tree's and fountains. All rooms facing onto the courtyard have a balcony but, these do vary in size from "Juliet" style to almost a patio, Room 296 had the latter. The restaurant is very expensive although as a treat for our wedding anniversary we used it and it was excellent. The home made pistatio ice cream will be remembered for a long time. The hotel room was spacious but, a lot of the rooms overlooking the courtyard will only get their natural light from the patio doors. We had a small window as well. We were at the very back of the hotel and there was no external noise at all. We had a good sitting area on the balcony as well as a sofa in the room and a nice touch was a fridge where we were able to keep all sorts of stuff for lunches out etc as it was not a mini bar.

The food in the Sir Normans bar was very like a lot of bar food and offered a cheaper alternative to the hotel restaurant but, it got very busy at times and so booking would be recommended, especially if there is something on at the Gaiety Theatre which is next door. Horse drawn trams stop right outside the hotel and are a good way of travelling the mile to the opposite end of the prom where the electric railway to the north go from.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank DINKEtravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2010

I have been to the IOM approx 40 times over thirty years for one thing and another but never stayed at the Sefton but I have stayed in lots of other places I wish Id stayed here every time, great room, Great location in Douglas. Friendly helpfull staff. ( i wish the IOM car hire companies were half as helpfull !!! ) Breakfast was excellent. On my next trip I will def stay here Well recomended. Only a minor complaint there was minimal parking but didnt cause too much of a problem

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Moisty07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sefton Hotel

Address: Harris Promenade, Douglas IM1 2RW
Location: United Kingdom > Isle of Man > Douglas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Douglas
#5 Business Hotel in Douglas
Price Range: $97 - $198 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sefton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
he 4-star Sefton Hotel is located in Douglas on the beachfront. It boasts a unique indoor water garden and eateries. The rooms at the Sefton feature flat-screen TVs, free WiFi and some rooms have views of Douglas Bay and the water garden. There are also luxury 5-star suites, complete with hot tubs, iPod docking stations and their own kitchenette. Enjoy a light bite, main meal or dessert in the themed Sir Norman's Bar and enjoy its extensive selection of wines and local ales. A more fine dining experience can be had in the Harbour Lights at The Sefton. The Sefton Hotel also boasts a tranquil pool and a library where guests can relax with a drink or a book. The Atrium Water Garden provides a stunning backdrop to enjoy a drink. The ferry port is a 10-minute walk away. Parking is available onsite, nominal parking charges apply. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sefton Hotel Douglas
Sefton Hotel Isle Of Man/Douglas

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