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“Fantastic little hotel”

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The White Cliffs Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 24, 2011

We stayed at this hotel as part of a weekend break to visit Dover Castle and surrounds. We wanted to stay in a village near to, but not actually in Dover, and this place is great if you are travelling by car (about 10 minutes drive out of Dover). I had read other reviews about road noise on the front side of the hotel so we asked for a room not facing the road, which the hotel arranged with no fuss. We stayed in room 14, which is part of an area that can be booked as a whole apartment with a kitchen and sitting room, or as individual rooms. We had access to the sitting area which was a lovely bonus - gave us the feeling of staying in a suite rather than just a room. The room itself was tastefully decorated and very clean, with an ensuite with bath (no shower) off the main room. Nice to soak in a bath for a bit of a change and the bathroom area had a lovely window that let lots of light in. It is possible to take a leisurely walk from the hotel down to the cliffs, to a lighthouse and/or to some beautiful gardens owned by a local trust. There are a couple of tea rooms on the route (although not all are open over the winter season) and there are a couple of pubs in the village and at the cliffs. We opted to have dinner in the Bay Restaurant in the hotel. The ambience was relaxed, cosy and candlelit, a total transformation of what is also a lovely bright room for breakfast. All the food we ordered was of a high standard and the service, both in the hotel and the restaurant was welcoming and attentive. There are spa facilities at a sister hotel not too far away, but we did not use those so can only say they are available. All in all, we really enjoyed our stay and would stay there again or try the sister hotel if we are back in the area.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank KLD09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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278 - 284 of 319 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2011

Excellent food and wine.
Fairly restricted menu for a longer stay, and the Continental breakfast choices are rather basic. Didn't try cooked breakfast, so cannot report on that.
Service is pleasant but rather amateurish.
Poor lighting and lack of comfortable seating in rooms and public areas, although the dining room is attractive.
Comfortable beds, good towels, but shower and hot water supply not the best.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank The-Kent-Bees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2011

Our second stay at this hotel, staying the night before a ferry trip to Calais and then the annual drive to Greece. (More European reviews to follow).
Last year we were perfectly happy with this hotel. It was quiet, a little expensive in the restaurant and a reasonable price for the room, thus as a complete package it was mid range enjoyable and more or less value for money. Not so this year.
The owners, (Sister hotel 'The Wallets' ) have decided to introduce an economy daily dish to the evening menu which attracts a sort of pub going crowd who are noisy, and it took ear plugs and many restless hours before getting to sleep. Not good when you have a huge journey ahead of you. The restaurant , like so many places these days, is trying to become a gourmet restaurant and failing on quality succeeding on price. I had a ribeye steak which I expect to have some fat/gristle but not to be one blob of gelatinous fat. I was asked how the food was and said the steak was not good and had left two thirds of it on the plate. I mentioned to reception in the morning how bad the night was, the receptionist apologised and said one of the staff tends to have his friends in the bar at night and thus it becomes noisy. She would mention it to the owner who happened at that very moment to be in the kitchen. She mentioned it, he popped his head out and smiled, then disappeared.
I was not after a freebie, but an apology and maybe an offer of a drink on the house next visit and a quieter room would have been advisable methinks.
I will certainly never use this place again, very expensive for what it is, it charges in relation to what it aspires to be and falls well short of the aspired mark.
Pleasant staff, but oh so amateurish, local people doing local work they have not been trained properly to do. Management/Owners who actually don't give a tinker's cuss just so long as they get the dosh.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Andreasofmayfair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walletts, Owner at The White Cliffs Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2011

We always take feedback firmly on the chin and do our utmost to rectify any problems at the time. On this occasion we missed the opportunity to do so. We then made every effort to ensure that we could go some way to make amends and a subsequent later review outlines his now more positive impression of The White Cliffs Hotel. Here follows an excerpt of our response:

Many thanks for your kind response, I do admit to my own failures and on this occasion did indeed miss the boat at the time to sort out the various problems with your stay.

I am talking with my whole team over the course of the next few days to really nail down the vital importance of customer service. The team on duty throughout your stay failed miserably in keeping you happy and they already know it. Since your visit we've already reviewed dinner service as a result of your feedback at the time.

Our bar closing time has also been reviewed and online information has been altered to indicate that the restaurant and bar are at times quite lively. We have explored ways in which to better sound proof all rooms and will be installing this on the reception ceiling below room 3 in due course.

Also we are in the process of producing a new menu for Spring and have adjusted prices and preparation of certain dishes accordingly including the Ribeye. I have also spoken to our butcher who has supplied my restaurants for 20 years and we are looking closely at the quality of beef arriving at our door.

We will continue to focus on dealing with complaints at the very time they occur and rectify them if possible there and then.

Again, I thank you for highlighting our areas of weakness and hope that we can use your feedback constructively to ensure there are no repeat performances in future.

Gavin Oakley - Partner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2011

Excellent hotel from the outside and in the main reception area. Sadly rooms not to high standard in the Pines.. Try to avoid this type of accommodation as the windows are not double glazed or sound proof ! Very noisy traiffic outside and you hear this during the night. The price is very expensive for not having a night sleep ! I will go back again as the reception / Bay restaurant is of high standard. I also informed of the room being noisy the next day and was told I could come again and they would upgrade to the Loft Appart with no extra cost. Its a shame as I would recommend this hotel but try not to get the Pines appart...

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank 136domi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2010

We stayed in one of the cottages in the grounds of the White Cliffs hotel. It was small, but perfectly formed. Downstairs there was a small kitchenette and lounge area. Upstairs was a bathroom and two small bedrooms. Ours had a double bed while the children had bunk beds.
We chose not to eat in the restaurant as its a bit upmarket for too rowdy children but there are plenty of suitable pubs in St Margarets (we would recommend the Smugglers a few doors down.)
In the price you get to use the leisure facilities at Walletts Court about 1 mile away. Lovely pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym with beauty treatments available as well.
Only a couple of minor criticisms, there was no hanging space or bin in the main bedroom, also cooked breakfast costs a bit extra which we weren't told when we booked but overall very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Shemat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2010

Went there as part of a familiy group to celebrate a birthday - the hotel was infomed of that in advance, but had made no effort to make the visit in any way "special". Part of the group - a family of 4 - arrived later than anticipated, so went direct to the restaurant - only to find later, after eating late, that the hotel staff had managed to put the grandparents in the family room for 4, and expected the family of 4 to sleep in a room for 2 - or that the grandparents should be woken and moved at 11.30pm..

Food service in the restaurant was a shambles - two dishes were served to our table, then the staff decided that they ought to have gone to another table - so took them back to the kitchen for about a minute before delivering them to the next table. Overall, the first course took around an hour to arrive after the family arrived.

Not all the staff were so ineffectual, though - there were islands of competence. The room we had looked out onto a painted brick wall in one direction - which is to say, windows in that wall overlooked our bathroom. The shower was beautifully installed and suitable for anyone under 4ft 6 in to use.

One final thought. Don't imagine for a moment that it's actually near any white cliffs it's about a mile away from the sea.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Anaximander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2010

It was our last night in the UK and we were looking for a hotel near Dover. We stumbled upon this hotel in St Margaret. It looked so cute that we decided to stay here. The room was expensive, but we thought it would be worth it. Well, it wasn't. We could hear the people in the bar, it was like they were in our room. The food was overpriced, the quality was very poor. The free wifi did not work and despite promisses that it would be fixed, it was never fixed. Breakfast turned out to be only partly included. The decor and location made up for a lot but that was not enough.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank eddoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The White Cliffs Hotel

Address: High Street, St Margaret's at Cliffe, Dover CT15 6AT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Dover > St Margaret's at Cliffe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in St Margaret's at Cliffe
Price Range: $118 - $176 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The White Cliffs Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The White Cliffs Hotel is set in the heart of the picturesque village of St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe under a mile from the beautiful beach at St. Margaret's Bay in celebrated White Cliffs Country. This is the closest hotel in England to the coast of France at Calais 21 miles away and is just seven minutes drive from the port and Cruise Terminal at Dover. ... more   less 
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