Newest Review: ... English. Although, I would stress that their English is definitely way better than my French! No problems though, the better half, being fl... more
Canterbury Hotel (Canterbury)
Member Name: huddro
Canterbury Hotel (Canterbury)
Date: 08/05/01, updated on 09/05/01 (282 review reads)
Advantages: Friendly, Clean , Close to town
How about we go away for May Bank holiday my better half suggested far too early the other Sunday morning, and as she was offering to get up and make the tea who was I to refuse!!
A quick trawl of the Internet and we found what looked like a picturesque little hotel in the heart of Kent. So Saturday came, we packed the car up, and off we went. It has to be the shortest stay in a hotel ever! One look at the room had us running for the exit and that is how we found ourselves driving round Canterbury on a Saturday afternoon of the first Bank Holiday in May.
As you have probably guessed finding a room was proving to be a total nightmare until we chanced upon the Falstaff Hotel, located a couple of minutes walk from the West Gate of the city wall. Alas, they too were full but the reception staff sat down and proceeded to ring round hotels until they found us a vacancy. For customer service full marks to this hotel and we shall stay there next time, booking in advance obviously.
The place they booked us into was the Canterbury Hotel, located about ten minutes walk from the town centre on the New Dover road. The building itself is an imposing three storey Georgian House, with ample car parking in the grounds.
On entering we were greeted, by not only a very friendly receptionist, but also the hotel manager and welcomed profusely. The lobby was most impressive, a highly polished wooden floor, beautiful fireplace and some very comfortable easy chairs.
The strangest thing about the hotel is the fact that it is run by a French company and it is definitely easier to speak French to the staff than communicate in English. Although, I would stress that their English is definitely way better than my French! No problems though, the better half, being fluent in six languages at the last count, took care of everything, so one very relaxed Huddro.
A free upgrade to a superior room, a complimentary newspaper of choice on
Sunday morning, and we were checked in and heading up to the room. Being on a relaxing weekend we decided against the stairs up to the third floor and took the lift. I mention this only because I am sure this has to be the smallest lift in the world! 2 people with bags have to be exceedingly good friends to share this lift even though the sign inside says for 6 people!
The room itself was probably one of the best I have stayed in. An impressive hall leading to a generous sized bedroom with high ceiling, chandelier and a very large window letting the sun flood in. The room was furnished with 2 very comfortable armchairs, a king size bed, and the usual dressing table and a cavernous wardrobe. Tea and coffee making facilities in the room were more than sufficient and room service was available for any other requests! (Keep it clean). Hairdryer, direct dial telephone, and TV with cable channels were also available in the room, not that we watched too much TV.
The bathroom was again bigger than the average hotel provides, but the amazing feature was a bath so deep you could have snorkelled.
There are 23 bedrooms at this hotel and I understand that only 5 are the “Superior” rooms so you may wish to book early to reserve one of these. For the exceptionally romantic among you there is a four-poster available in one room. The cost per night is £100 per room and includes breakfast, which brings me nicely onto the restaurant.
The restaurant is located on the ground floor to the rear of the hotel with only about 15 tables. The high ceiling and imposing centre chandelier give a spacious feel but as the sun sets the discreet lighting gave the restaurant a warm and cosy atmosphere.
One side of the restaurant opens into the bar area with a beautiful roaring fire making it the ideal place to warm up after a walk on a cold day.
The food is very reasonably priced with a 2-course meal at £18.50 per head and
3-course and coffee at £21.50. A comprehensive wine list covers a range of wines to suit all tastes and pockets. The chef here, Michel Supparo, is a master of his profession and the food alone would be worth the drive from London to Canterbury.
I won’t give away the whole menu but to tempt you I can recommend the asparagus in salmon with dill dressing, the duck foie gras, and the tiger prawns in garlic as a good choice from the starters. The knuckle of lamb cooked with basil, the monkfish lasagne, the scallops, and the rib eye beef were our choice of main courses. For those of you with a sweet tooth leave room for dessert, the fruits of the forest mousse melted on the tongue, the home made nougat ice cream was divine. The piece de resistance was the crepes stuffed with chocolate mousse.
To accompany this feast, and honestly we didn’t eat it all in one sitting, we chose a Croze Hermitage the first night, very reasonable at £19.90 and a Chateu Neuf Du Pape the second at £27.50. A complimentary glass of sweet white was served with the foie gras, a nice touch.
The service was attentive but discreet and we enjoyed a laugh with the waiter and hotel manager in his guise of sommelier. The restaurant was very relaxed with some people choosing to wear a suit and tie and others in jeans and tee shirts, so whatever you are most relaxed in is perfectly acceptable.
Breakfast included in your room rate was served in the same restaurant and gives a choice of fruit juice and cereal or fresh fruit. The traditional full English breakfast, kippers, or continental pastries. On a Sunday breakfast is served until 10.30 during the week until 9.30.
A midday check out allows you to slowly wake up after breakfast or to perhaps sleep off the excess of a full cooked English breakfast in top of too much brandy from the night before.
I would thoroughly recommend this hotel for its friendly staff, its relaxed atmosphere, co
mfortable rooms, and outstanding food. The location is also perfect for anyone wishing to explore Canterbury a short walk takes you to the centre of town and the Cathedral. We had a superb weekend and came home very relaxed ready for another week in the office, must check my lottery numbers!
Both of these can be found with photos on the AA web site www.theaa.co.uk/hotels
Falstaff Hotel 8 – 10 St Dunstan’s Street Canterbury 01227 462138
Canterbury Hotel 71 New Dover Road Canterbury 01227 450551