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“Disappointing food”
Review of Walpole Bay Hotel

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Walpole Bay Hotel
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Margate
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We booked a family get together for Sunday lunch and chose the Walpole Bay for old times' sake. It is an extraordinary hotel - could potentially be truly marvellous as it is in a lovely location and is a beautiful building. The ground floor reception, lounge and bar really could do with sprucing up, though. They are too dark and, in my opinion, oppressive with too much bric-a-brac on every single surface and inch of wall-space The wallpaper has been there for at least 25 years.

The service was very friendly, welcoming and efficient - albeit the barman was rather run off his feet.

However, in this day and age of restaurants, pubs and hotels seriously 'upping their game' on food quality we were astonished and disappointed that the food on offer for a Sunday lunch was so poor. There is one sitting and all pre-booked so one would have thought that the chef would be able to estimate how much food he would need and how to have it freshly cooked and delicious. I have catered a roast lunch for 100 and still managed to get crispy potatoes and pink meat.

We were all given a pre-plated meal of several slices of very grey meat. There was no possibility of requesting whether you wanted your meat well done or served pink. Pink was obviously out of the question and the uniform, wafer thin slices (admittedly tender) led us to believe that it was all pre-sliced and reheated or might even have come ready cooked from a supplier rather than cooked fresh in the kitchens. It is really unacceptable in this day and age. We were at a hotel for a Sunday lunch - NOT in a works canteen. Two rather soggy roast potatoes per plate and a single jug of bisto to go with all the roasts on offer - pork, lamb, beef and chicken - is pretty poor. Even the most modest of pubs can do better than this for a Sunday roast special.

With the exception of a stodgy apple crumble served drowned in custard an OK but not memorable fruit salad all the puddings were from a freezer wholesaler. The cheeseboard was generously included in the price - but again not really worth bothering with: a square lump of block cheddar, a wedge of tasteless spongey brie and an OK piece of Stilton. We would all rather have had better food than a somewhat superflous fourth course. We would all have been willing to pay £25 per head rather than £19.

I so wish it had been better. It would be a lovely place to go back to if only........... if only........ I didn't want to do a negative review but really they need to think seriously about the quality of what they are offering. The main course could almost have been described as insulting to the clientele.

Shame. Great shame.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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20  Thank Judy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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341 - 347 of 539 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2013

We ended there by chance and it was the best thing that could have happened! The hotel is amazing and full of history, having a beer on the veranda on a warm night was really nice. The rooms are beautiful and it is very clean. The owner, Jane, is great! We were treated great by everyone working there and we are definitely going back.
If you want a chain hotel this is not for you, but if you want something different, and fun stay here!
Plus the beach is 1 min away. Thank you Jane for a great 1st aniversary!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sofia m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

The Walpole Bay Hotel in Margate loves the fact that everything is old. The lift is the oldest you are likely to see in current use! The hotel mis right on the seafront in Cliftonville, a suburb of Margate. the sea views are great.

The hotel's owners have created a museum of artifacts displayed all around the rooms and corridors. The restaurant and corridors also display original artwork by the various artists who visit the hotel, including internationally acclaimed artists like Tracey Emin, Paul James and Gordon King. This collection in itself is unique.

The rooms are fine. Our was traditionally decorated with period furniture. The bathroom was good and everything was clean. Free wifi seems to be throughout the building.

We enjoyed eating at the hotel, both breakfast and dinner. The staff were attentive and polite.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MeltonJerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

If you like don’t mind cheap and tatty furniture, a carpet to avoid with your bare feet, lumpy pillows, a smell of air freshener permeating your room, a toilet that doesn’t flush properly, a stained old ironing board and thin bed linen then this is the place for you. The sea view is amazing however and the breakfast is good. A pigeon walked into my room whilst I was asleep but left when I woke up and shouted at it. I accept that my room may have been awaiting a makeover but this does not compensate for a less than satisfactory experience.

Room Tip: Make sure you have a room with a sea view. Shut the verandah door if you don't like birds.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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13  Thank NMH60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Back again and, thankfully, the eccentric ambience remains despite the best efforts of Alex P to stereotype the place. Our rooms (211, 212) had been redecorated and fitted out. Tasteful but, pleasingly, not the formulaic 'Homes & Gardens' style that so many 'boutique' hotels suffer from. A comfortable night and the usual generous and tasty breakfast. All's well at WBH, it seems. The dining room's next for a makeover, I'm told. Quite why, I can't fathom.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank xk140fhc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2013

The owner herself told me she is running a Marmite Hotel, meaning you will either love it or not, with no middle ground. So let me explain what we found. Stepping into the Walpole Bay Hotel in Margate is taking a small step back in time. The hotel exudes the elegance of the 1920s and 1930s. You will be hard pressed to find an area of wall anywhere not covered in memorabilia from the early part of last century and you soon realize this is part of it's charm and what sets it apart from the modern plastic hotel chains. Here is a hotel whose roots are based in the era when the gentry lived unashamed lives of quiet luxury.
If you are under the age of 30 it is unlikely you will understand any of this, but should you be over the age of 35 and fancy a quiet break right on the coast, with perhaps a little romance thrown in then then the Walpole Bay is unlikely to disappoint and far more likely to put a smile back in your life.

Room Tip: We had a 4 poster suite with balconies as it was our wedding anniversary. Take a look at one of t...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank TerribleTerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

stayed here at the weekend (5,6,7th July 2013) on a last minute spur of the moment weekend away with my boyfriend. having booked friday afternoon we arrived friday night to friendly welcome from the staff we were given a room (308) at the top of the hotel with an amazing view out on to the clear blue sea below. we travelled to our room in what can only be described as the most amazing lift ever and its a shame that more of these are not still in existence as we would have quite happily spent all weekend in it. the staff were amazingly friendly and only too happy to help with anything. It was a shame on arrival to discover that this is a dog friendly hotel and we would have been able to take our beloved pet along for only an extra £5 a night and she would have been allowed everywhere in the hotel except the restaurant which would have been no hardship as there is plenty of outside dining seats and the staff were only to happy to help another guest who had bought his dog along but would definately consider going again with the dog

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank tiggerfan3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Walpole Bay Hotel

Address: Fifth Avenue | Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2JJ, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Isle of Thanet > Margate
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Margate
#1 Family Hotel in Margate
Price Range: $105 - $134 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Walpole Bay Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment you enter the Walpole Bay Hotel and Museum, you step back in time to the ambiance of a bygone era. This historic Margate hotel was built for discerning guests in 1914, extended in 1927 and is now being lovingly restored to her former glory by the Bishop family. The Walpole is a family run hotel that strives to achieve a friendly home from home atmosphere combined with a warmth and timeless elegance. From the relaxing flower decked terrace with sea views, to the Edwardian style restaurant, you will rediscover a passion for the finer things in life. And to make your visit complete enjoy a ride in our 1927 Otis trellis gated lift, that services every floor. So if you are looking for hotels in Margate, you will not find a more welcoming, warm, charming experience anywhere else, so come and enjoy your time in Margate, Kent and reserve your room at the Walpole Bay Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Walpole Bay Cliftonville
Hotel Walpole Bay
Walpole Bay Hotel Margate, Kent

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