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“Probably the best hotel in Douglas - improves on every visit”
Review of Sefton Hotel

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Sefton Hotel
Ranked #11 of 22 Hotels in Douglas
Liverpool
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Probably the best hotel in Douglas - improves on every visit”
Reviewed August 27, 2010

I have been visiting the Sefton at least once a year since 1995 - long before any of the extensions and other improvements took place.

All I can say is that the hotel gets better every time! The hotel combines the best of both worlds - traditional and contemporary. A splendid period facade houses and interior that has been enhanced and extended over the years.

Arriving at the hotel at 12:00 - three hours before check in time (15:00) on August 23 - there was a room ready for me, though I hadn't expected there to be - just took a chance and asked.

In recent years I have always had an atrium room. This time it was 274 up at the Fountain / Waterfall end. Despite some comments on Trip Advisor about noise from this water feature - I don't find the sound intrusive and I can easily sleep with the balcony door open and only the curtain drawn. The water feature is off between 22:30 and 07:00. It's nice to wake its sound in the morning.

The room was, as always, spotless and well turned out.

I had one lunch in Sir Normans - an excellent steak baguette - very generous filling and overall size.

Dinner was taken in the Gallery Restaurant which now has two AA rosettes. Service was attentive and pleasant. The food superb!

I tried the Yorkshire Red Deer the first evening and the grilled Dover Sole the remaining two evenings which was excellently filleted at the table.

Coffee after dinner on two evenings was served with a selection of chocolates with a couple of strawberries. There wasn't any explanation as to why these were not provided on the other evening. But it didn't really matter one had already eaten enogh anyway! There appeared to be quite a lot of people using the Gallery Restaurant, both residents and locals.

Since the refitting of the Gallery Restaurant just over a year or so ago it is now much more cosier and less clinical than the original 2000 design.

Breakfast at the Sefton is superb and always has been. [When booking it is always best value to book B&B rather than room only don't miss this meal unless you need to catch the early sailing!]

Usually a selection of fruit (including fresh figs), cereal, juices, croissant etc. The hot breakfast food is also excellent - the Sefton probably provides the best fried bread I have encountered anywhere!

Earlier this year I had the misfortune to try another Douglas Hotel when the Sefton was full it just helped reinforce my opinion that the Sefton is probably the best hotel in Douglas. I don't really want to have to try somewhere else again!

  • Stayed August 2010
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John_Luxton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Donaghadee
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2010

We recently stayed at the Sefton Hotel and were a bit disappointed that we did not get one of the rooms that were advertised on their website. Although the room (294) was nice it could have been nicer. It was big and roomy and the bed massive. The bathroom was lovely but the shower was a bit disappointing, it was so tiny that when you showered the water went over the floor. There was only a nylon shower curtain on it and not a proper shower enclosurer. We stayed for 4 nights and on 2 of the nights only 2 cups and 1 saucer was left for our tea. Little things like this mean a lot and they were a bit mean with free toiletries, only one small shampoo and one shower gel so make sure to bring your own. The Atrium was beautiful and our room overlooked this with our own balcony but we found it a bit lacking in privacy as we were looking into other holidaymaker's rooms when on the balcony. It was a lovely hotel and the dining room staff were brilliant, very friendly and breakfast was delicious. Except for a few things we had a lovely stay in a superb location.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Harryfran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 17, 2010

I had an enjoyable time in this hotel, but i had a balcony which i thought was great when i arrived except for the extremely noisy Waterfeature at 7.30am in the morn, it's a lovely waterfeature buy maybe the could turn it on at 9am and echo of voices late at night walking through Atrium garden even though windows closed, room also very warm as theres no natural air, Atrium garden has glass roof

Something strange also happening in the Norman Wisdom Bar/Resturant as they refused to serve us a meal as the had 27 from outside booked in, Bit of a shame when a resturant cant cope with more than 27 people when they had'nt even arrived when we were there, only 4 in the bar.

Siobhan in the resturant very heplful and nice but some of staff not so freindly......

Otherwise the hotel Rooms are spotless and spacious, everthing you could want in them, and great location for Villa Marina or shopping, traveling around the beautiful island

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DonDon1054
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sidcup
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SidcupChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport
Level Contributor
190 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Diskdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tinkertoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolney, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hissboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sefton Hotel

Property: 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
#6 Business Hotel in Douglas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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