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I'm not Burstin to return!
The Grand Burstin Hotel (Folkestone)
Member Name: jo@145
The Grand Burstin Hotel (Folkestone)
Advantages: Close to Dover
Never judge a book by its cover and the same could be said about a hotel, don't go by outside appearances!
For our Ruby Wedding celebrations we had decided to go on a cruise from Dover to the North Cape of Norway and as we needed to be in Dover quite early we decided to find a hotel near by and travel down on the previous day. Finding a hotel with parking seemed difficult and then suddenly we found one nearby in Folkestone, great prices offer included dinner too, so we booked quickly as only a few rooms left.
Can you hear all the pitfalls? The website made the hotel sound good, and so after guidance by our faithful TomTom we arrived about 4.00pm on a beautiful sunny Saturday in May. This hotel is on the front of Folkestone and was built to resemble a ship. What could be nicer?
Where can I start? We couldn't get parked, in fact we didn't see an entrance to the car park as it was hidden by parked cars, we drove around the one way system and finally spotted it, but the car park was packed and although we later discovered there was an underground car park, it looked littered with rubbish as well as cars. Third time round we stopped in an area that was coaches only, another bad sign in my book as hotels that cater for coaches aren't always the best I'm afraid. Still we took the case out of the car and trundled in.
Reception and Check in.
We joined the queue, we had hit a busy time and had to wait in a rather dismal area, eventually we reached the desk. "Yes" said the young man, what happened to pleasantries like "Good Afternoon, can I help you?" We said we had reserved a room, he found our name, swiped our credit card and gave us a key, yes a real KEY! Vague instructions that there was a lift to the second floor and the restaurant was through to the right. I asked about parking on the road, and he said he didn't know about restrictions but there was a public car park near by for £2.50 a day.
There were at least 4 lifts to my knowledge, small, creaky and cramped. But we arrived on our floor and found our room.
Having stayed at a lovely hotel another evening on our journey south, I was rather disappointed when I saw our bedroom. It was a reasonable size with double bed, the cover on the bed looked sadly in need of a wash and iron though. There was a dressing table with several drawers, free standing wooden wardrobe which contained an iron and ironing board and a few odd hangers people had left behind! There was a tray with coffee and tea etc, and large mirror above the dressing table. A very small round table and 2 padded upright chairs near the window, from which we had a small sea view and view of the car park where we decided to leave our car, so we could see it! There was a bed settee like one we had in the 1960's which had been recovered in terra cotta material. The room looked as if it had recently been decorated in cream wallpaper above the dado rail and terracotta paper on the lower section and a beige Berber carpet.
They had tried to brighten the room with pretty floral curtains and two bright sea view pictures of warmer climes. Two small bedside tables and a switch above the beds for the lights. There was an electric heater on the wall which I doubt would take more than the chill off the room if it was cold. The television was old but had a good picture.
The bathroom was really very tired and old fashioned looking. I remember my Mum having an old black loo seat just like the one in the bathroom, there was no toilet roll holder and the bath and basin were very stained. The towels - one each, no hand towel, were just about passable, not very white but soft enough. The freebies amounted to a small soap and 2 small bottles of gel/shampoo plus 2 plastic disposables cups.
The bedroom door was very old looking with different locks added to it, and didn't keep noises in or out we noticed as we walked along the corridor to the lift.
We walked through the lounge on the way to the restaurant, there was a bar and large screen television, but this area was packed so we didn't linger.
Spindles health Club
We had noticed on the information about a pool and health club, but there was a charge for this and it appeared to be busy with people from the locality. There is a 12 metre indoor heated pool, sauna, solarium and fully equipped gymnasium, with state of the art equipment.
There was entertainment here each night, it was an Irish evening whilst we staying but we decided to rest and watch a film in our room.
With sea views, sounds lovely doesn't it! In reality although there were sea views for a few people the majority were packed in with views only of the people surrounding them. We were shown to our seats and told someone would bring us soup if we wanted it. Hey presto, within seconds bowls of steaming hot asparagus soup arrived. But no one said if there was any bread or rolls, in fact there weren't even any glasses for water. I discovered that if you wanted water you had to go to the bar and ask and they could only give tiny glasses of water. I also asked for wine, and was informed they had an offer 2 large glasses of wine was £7.60 or I could get a bottle of Pinot Grigio for £7.99, I decided on the bottle!
I thought things were looking up, but when we went to collect our main course they had run out of plates. In fact they had also run out of the fish and meat. When people asked the staff they replied "Someone will bring it", after about 5 minutes some plates arrived but still no food, the queue was growing by the minute! There were lots of complaints and if we had known of a good restaurant nearby we might have left at that point but with our bottle of wine warming by the minute we waited impatiently!
At last the salmon with prawns, Lasagne and Ham and Pineapple arrived. There were also vegetables and potatoes and rice. The food was cooked adequately and was hot, it was just a shame it was chaotic. There was an n assortment of desserts, mostly sponge based and fruit salad. The staff appeared to be run off their feet and the local ones weren't very helpful, whereas the staff with Eastern European accents were more pleasant.
We did discover later that there was another restaurant called the Victorian restaurant and we could have up graded to eat there.
Breakfast was nothing special I'm afraid, 2 choices of fruit juice, some cereals, porridge and prunes plus a large bowl of yogurt. There was white and brown bread to toast and a huge bowl of marmalade - may be a cheap way but not very hygienic. There was a selection of eggs, bacon, beans, tomatoes and fried bread. Jugs of tea and coffee to help yourself. I do prefer a continental breakfast so was disappointed in the selection of fruit and no pastries or rolls, but what we had was good quality and hot.
The queue was moving quicker and the young lady was very pleasant, I wondered if she would be as happy by 4.00pm that afternoon!
Well this was one of the good things it was only £60 for the two of us, so as my husband says I shouldn't complain as we had paid more than that for B&B in the other hotel.
There are 481 en-suite rooms, many with sea views. Some are classed as Superior rooms and family rooms are available too.
There were a lot of families staying and a coach trip, the hotel was very busy and some people appeared very happy with things, but I admit I'm getting a snob in my old age and like more of the luxuries of life. I could only recommend with a warning that it is cheap and basic. If you have to pay parking every night it adds to the cost too.
If you want to check out the web site here are the details
But remember it looks much better than it actually was!
Summary: Hotel in Folkestone
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