“ Address: Eastcliff Promenade / Shanklin / Isle of Wight / PO37 6ED „
Our holiday this summer was spent, like a lot of people in the UK. We decided on somewhere we could be quickly that was different enough to boring old Surrey to feel like a real get away. Seaside was the main thing we wanted, with proper sand! We decided on the Isle of Wight, as it was only a few hours away by train and boat we could be on the beach by lunchtime. My other half also said, because we crossed water it felt like we were going abroad. Bless!
Finding out about it & Booking
It was about 3 weeks before we wanted to go that we started looking around for accommodation. We only had two criteria really, near the beach and cheap! At high season we discovered that a lot of the guest houses and B&Bs were charging hotel prices. Also a lot were booked up. I guess we could have risked getting there and finding somewhere to kip on arrival, however with only a few days away from work we wanted all the time possible for relaxing. A scour of the internet showed that lastminute.com seemed to have the best and cheapest hotels and guesthouses on offer. We opted for the Mayfair Hotel in Shanklin, which was their most reasonable. Go through topcashback and get some money back too!
For 3 nights we paid £174, working out at £58 per night. This was charged per room. Although B&Bs may seem the cheapest option the fact they charge per person per night, most worked out more expensive. Bizarrely, although I typed into lastminute.com that there were just 2 adults, it actually came up with an ensuite family room which was cheaper than a double or twin. We went ahead and booked that, won't complain at an extra bit of room! The £58 per night was room only, but there are plenty of little places in Shanklin for a brekkie so we didn't miss the fact there was no breakfast on offer at the hotel. Also our room was at the back of the hotel, it was extra for sea views.
The hotel was very easy to find, we arrived by train and the station is about a ten minute walk away, straight down the road from station to sea so even someone as prone to getting lost as me managed to find it with no hassle! The Mayfair Hotel is located on Eastcliffe Promenade, and overlooks Shanklin's very pretty coastline. Walk into town is around 10 minutes and to the beach about 2 minutes.. downhill. Nice on the way, a bit of a workout on the way back! I really can not fault the location of this place.
Walking up to the hotel, the picture on the website definitely showed it in it's best light, up close it looked a little more ramshackle. On entering we were hit with the overwhelming smell of curry spices, which lingered in the corridors and reception. The woman behind the counter in reception looked almost put out to see us. I told her I had a booking and gave her my name and she just looked a bit puzzled. I took out my confirmation email that I'd printed off just in case, which she wandered off with. She came back a few seconds later and said, two adults and a child, yes? I told her there was no child just two adults and she scurried off again. She then gave us a key to our room and pointed us through the hallway. On entering our room, I'd twigged that she'd in fact given us a double and not a family room as I had booked. Seeing as that was what we wanted in the first place I didn't make a fuss, but the pricing on lastminute.com I think needs to be addressed to stop such confusion. I can't say much for the customer service we received from this first encounter with the hotel staff.
There's one word I'd use to describe our room and that's basic. This place is definitely no frills. The ensuite had obviously been an afterthought, or put on at a later date, as we could tell from the position of the light, which was not in the centre of the room, but would have been before the shower room was added. The wash basin was in the opposite corner to the toilet, as again it was probably there before the ensuite. This meant a lot of wandering backwards and forwards getting ready in the morning.
A double bed, one chair, a wardrobe and side unit plus two small bedside tables made up the rest of the room. We had a good amount of light considering the window overlooked the back of the next building. The room was very clean, I can't fault that but you could tell it was built in a hurry and some of the fittings and fixtures were very bodged.
The look of a room doesn't bother me so much. I refuse to pay a fortune on a hotel as I want to be out all the time. As long as I can get a good nights sleep and a wash in the morning, that's what I want from a room. Luckily this room had a really super comfy bed and the shower was clean, with hot water all the time and was perfect pressure. Not power shower type that nearly knock you over but not a trickle either.
A kettle, tea and coffee and that disgusting long life milk is provided. We also had a generous allocation of towels and all sizes.
The hotel has a very old fashioned style bar area, with a large TV, plenty of seating and a full which is occasionally staffed. One man seemed to be entirely responsible for this area, but I don't think he got many customers and spent most of the time sitting watching the TV when we passed through. My other half decided to go for a drink while I was getting ready one night and informed me that it took the bar man three attempts to get a pint which tasted right and don't think the lines had been cleaned for a long time. He was very apologetic, and sat down with him and had a chat about the holiday with him afterwards. He was the only other member of staff we saw after the woman at the reception on the first day, he said he was new but seemed to have a better grasp on customer service than the reception staff.
Also in this area was a pool table, dance floor (but when this is used I don't know as no entertainment was on the whole of our stay) and dart board. The little balcony with seating outside the bar where you could sit and enjoy your drinks had gorgeous sea views.
There is a small but clean outside pool located round the side of the hotel, but you could see the sea from here too, a shame it was just a tad too chilly to try it out when we visited.
We didn't eat at the hotel, I guess we judged it by the bodge job of the rooms. There was a menu in our room and the speciality was Indian food (which explained the smell) and I'm not sure sure they did anything else. On the last morning just before we were going to leave, however, we were speaking to another couple staying there who told us the food was the best of any hotel they'd stayed in. I guess you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.
For the price we paid for the time of year, I guess we couldn't complain. It wasn't luxury by any means but the location was great, the bed was comfy and the shower worked. What more do you need?