Newest Review: ... towel wrapper in the bed side cabinet drawer showing that the room had not been thoroughly cleaned. The ceiling had what looked lik... more
Burstin with laughter
The Grand Burstin Hotel (Folkestone)
Member Name: areajohn
The Grand Burstin Hotel (Folkestone)
Advantages: Cheap to book and lots of rooms
Disadvantages: Basic, dated and coach parties
Grand Burstin Hotel - Folkstone Harbour.
I needed a quick last minute stay near to Dover and wanted it to be cheap, I trolled the usual websites like trip adviser etc and came across "Grand Burstin Hotel" at £25 (yes that's right £25) for a Saturday night INCLUDING breakfast. Well what was the worst that could happen, other than it being run by Norman Bates and fictitious mother.
The Grand Burstin sits and dominates the whole length of the harbour at Folkstone and looks like it was designed to look like a channel ferry, it is very imposing and you will not need a map - just head for the harbour and you won't miss it. There is free car parking to the rear sides and front of the property and I believe there are also some underground but I didn't venture that far. No tickets required, you just need to supply your registration when booking in. The car park looked fairly secure and is separated from the harbour by a low wall. I did park to the front of the building as I was unsure about CCTV coverage to the rear.
The Hotel sits in the centre of a one way system although if you miss the car park entrance you do not have far to travel to come around again.
There are 550 rooms in the hotel which is a monster amount to have and probably was part of the reason for the special £25 deal that I had come across. I was allocated the room on arrival and pot luck sprung to mind. The booking in was easy and the person behind the reception was pleasant although very busy. My room turned out to have a double and a pair of bunk beds in it and a good sized bathroom. If I had paid £65 for a couple for this room I would still have been very pleased with what I had been given.
The room was very clean and tidy although the only window looked out onto a high level courtyard (small) with the other side being about 8 ft away. Stragnly I was told I was on the 14th floor and had to get a lift that was located through the bar and took no time to get to the 14th floor. However I later found out that this was part of the new refurbished part of the building and the lift only went to 3 floors - the 14th was the 14th floor in name alone it was actually about the 8th floor.
This is all very confusing and actually irrelevant to the stay and the standard of the hotel.
I was told there was a swimming pool and gym but I did not use either so can't comment however I got to see the bar area for a relaxing drink and also the dining area for breakfast. (More of that under the food heading)
The Bar area was Old and dated and as the evening went on I could see that the average age of the guests increased hour by hour. Talking to a barman he explained that they have a lot of coach parties due to the amount of rooms and the availability of getting them all in. When explained I could see that this was indeed the case as groups were forming in the bar area.
The entrance can seem a bit dark and has large glass doors that again look dated. There is little in the décor that tells you this is a modern or well-run hotel in fact the decoration leads you to think "neglect".
Breakfast was the only meal that I indulged in - it would have been rude not to as it was included in the price. It was a buffet style and sausages, bacon, egg, fried bread, tomatoes were all available. There was plenty of bread for toast - self-service toasters. The dining area did seem a bit like a old style coach café with Formica tops and wipe clean surfaces.
The food itself would be best described as adequate although if you were hungry there was nothing to stop you topping up on food for the day. The orange juice was very sweet and I suspect very cheap, the coffee (as I don't drink tea) was also of a passable grade but not good enough for a second cup.
There was a second dining area that I believe you could go into if you paid a premium on your stay. I was not aware of this until I asked about the other dining room that I saw. I guess that's where the posh people went. However I was enjoying my singular stay set slightly apart from these coach loads of people that seemed to move around the hotel as though they were still on a coach.
Service as described above for the reception and other than that there was little interaction with members of staff. The breakfast was very much a drift in with the crowds and drift out when finished. I do not have any negative comments to make about the staff and I guess the numbers staying in the hotel would determine the amount of time you would see a member of staff.
I need to explain my comment of "Burstin with laughter", I took the lift after a relaxing time in the lounge/bar and 3 other people also got into the lift. Two ladies and a man, the ladies were about 80 years of age and the man was probably a bit younger, all the worst for alcoholic consumption.
All three were holding two drinks each and winking at each other while trying to hide that they were doing this from me. It was out of "Dads Army" and when I got to my room I could do nothing for 5 minutes but laugh, hence the "Great Burstin with laughter"
However - the place fitted the bill, it was quick and easy to book, it was last minute which helped for the size of room. It was complicated on which floor you were staying and how high up this was in reality and the food was passable. However to grade this establishment on the back of the price paid then it gets 5 stars from me. But I may not use it for a romantic weekend away.
Summary: For £25 I couldnt expect anything better - with breakfast of sorts
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