“ Address: La Rue a Don / Grouville / Jersey / JE3 9DA „
Last year at a time when things were particularly stressful my mum emailed me to say that a friend with was getting married and that them, me and hubby, and a couple and their son (him, the groom and myself grew up together) were going to be invited - and that the wedding was going to be in Jersey as that is where the bride's family are from.
It was great to have something to look forward to and some good news, so once we had the dates we searched the Internet for places to stay. The Beachcombers was one which stuck out as it was reasonably priced. I went onto Expedia on 11th December 2007 and booked our holiday during an advert break. Our family friends booked their at the same time, but we had got the last room Expedia had. Therefore the others booked direct with the hotel. They were flying from Gatwick, and us from Manchester.
We were supposed to arrive at the Beachcombers hotel on Tuesday evening. At around 6:15pm my mum saw a plane overhead circling Jersey and said to my dad "That'll be Mary" - my dad was not convinced. Of course it was us, and at 6:45pm having refuelled at Southampton airport we headed back to Manchester and spent a night at the Hilton hotel, courtesy of Flybe. It wasn't quite the start to the holiday that we'd imagined as we sat down to dinner in Manchester not in the Beachcombers with my parents and family friends as anticipated!
We arrived at Jersey airport at 10am. Stupidly I hadn't let our pre-paid shuttle bus know about our delay so there was no one there to meet us. We ended up getting a taxi to the hotel which cost £17 - apparently it can vary between £10 and £30. I will try and claim this back from the airline.
---Arrival and first impressions---
At reception I filled in a form with our details. I had phoned them when we were at Southampton to let them know of our delay. I had also left them a message for my mum which they never gave to her - they just told her we weren't coming (after my mum started to worry), which wasn't very helpful - but we did speak to her in the end when we found that they had their mobile phones with them.
The French receptionist who doubles up as barmaid (as they always seem to do at these places) showed us to our room - number 6. Our room was on the ground floor located in a corridor under the stairs (I kept walking past the entrance). My first impression of the hotel was that it was a bit youth-hostel-ish and the corridor smelt a bit musty.
I was very impressed with the size of our room as it was big. Although the bathroom was slightly small (but the double shower was a bonus), the living space was good - as well as a bed and huge wardrobes/chests of drawers etc, there was also a sofa.
* Comfy bed
*Plenty of storage space
*Despite only being a 2 star hotel there was still little shampoos and shower gels to use/take home
*Tea/coffee making facilities
*Only a 14inch TV, and only 4 channels (unfortunate as hubby did watch quite a bit of TV while we were there)
*Sheets rather than a duvet
*Toilet paper a bit thin (which was awkward with raging hayfever!)
*Bathroom could have done with a bit of work on it
*Could have done with a fridge to put our alcohol in!
On the first evening we had drinks in our room before going out. My parents and our family friends brought their plastic cups with them. This was because our room was much bigger than theirs (and because we had drinks with us). In fact our family friends initially weren't happy with their room as it smelt of cigarette smoke. The staff moved them into another room. My parents had a few niggles with their room, but the staff did sort them out quickly and efficiently.
Having unpacked hubby and I went for a walk to suss out the surrounding area (Grouville). Being called the 'Beachcombers hotel' we had expected that the beach would be right out of the door. In fact it is a bit of a walk to get there.....hubby and I took an extra long route (unintentionally) and it took us about 2 miles to get there - funny when you consider how near everything in Jersey is to the sea!
If you take the quick route it's probably more like half a mile. The local pub is the Pembroke which was stopped for a drink at. We also ate here on the Thursday night and again at lunchtime on our final day in Jersey - I might possibly review it later - it's nothing special, but a reasonable local.
Near to the pub is also a shop which sells the usual bits and bobs - unfortunately the freezers were not cold enough and I lost half of my Magnum on the pavement. There is also a hairdressers (where we went on the Saturday morning before the wedding we went to) and estate agents.
In the other direction a mile away from the hotel is the village of Gorey where there is the famous Jersey potteries. There is rather a nice pub there called the Village Inn, and apparently some other really nice restaurants, along with a few shops and a castle.
Behind the hotel and a walk up the hill and you'll find the reservoir which is a nice place to visit, and if like me you like to quack at ducks, there are lots of ducks there...and you'll also see Jersey cows along the route.
There is a bus station near to the Beachcombers, but we got conflicting messages from the hotel staff and the bus timetables about which bus stop and which time the buses went! To get into St. Hellier (the capital of Jersey) costs £1.50, or £1 after 6pm. That is the standard cost of all bus fares. It takes between 15 and 30 minutes to get there depending on the route the bus takes and the time of day.
---The Pool area---
After our little walk on the first day hubby and I headed to the pool area. On realising that the weather was pretty good we changed into swimwear to get a much needed tan. My parents and family friends arrived at the pool shortly afterwards and we finally caught up!
Although the pool is small, the temperature was perfect, and it was fairly clean. There are plenty of sunloungers - but be careful as some of them are broken!
You can get drinks from the bar (and charge them to my parent's room!) and drink them round the pool. The hotel also provides towels for use by the pool.
There is also a tennis court and rackets can be picked up in the games room which is next to the pool area, and also has a pool table, a TV and selection of children's videos.
---Food in the hotel---
We didn't have dinner in the Beachcombers hotel due to our stay in Manchester. My parents said that it was fine. I don't think it was anything special though. Dinner costs £13.95 per person and like everywhere in Jersey involves seafood!
On the day of the wedding we had sandwiches at lunchtime in the bar which cost £3.95 and come with cheese and onion (a strange choice I think) crisps and some limp salad. Nothing to write home about!
Breakfast was included in our stay and is served between 8am and 9:30am and we generally went at 9am. There are the usual cereals, fruit, croissants, continental meats and cheese. You can order scrambled or poached eggs which come with toast, and this is the thing to do as you really don't want one of the rubber fried eggs which is with the rest of the cooked foods. On offer in the cooked selection (self-service) is grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, rubber eggs, sausages, hash browns and bakes beans. Toast and coffee/tea is brought to the tables.
Aside from the day when they ran out of toast and service was particularly poor, it was generally a good breakfast.
Some of the other guests going to our friend's wedding were also staying in the Beachcombers, and several complained that it was very noisy at night with traffic and also doors slamming. I'll admit that if you have the window open then the door can make a bit of noise if other people in the corridor are coming in and out. But we certainly didn't find noise to be a problem in our room, and we slept very well.
In general the staff were reasonably efficient, but there were a few language barriers as some could not speak English very well.
The rooms were cleaned well, although it depended on the day as to when they came round.
Up-to-date tariffs can be found on the website - www.beachcombershotel.co.uk/index.html - but at this time of year (peak) it is officially £45 per person per night B & B. So, it isn't cheap, but it is Jersey after all! We booked through Expedia and paid £730 for the 2 of us for our flights, insurance, park and ride at Manchester airport, a shuttle bus to and from the hotel in Jersey and 6 nights B & B at the Beachcombers. I can't seem to find out now how much specifically we paid for the hotel though!
La Rue a Don
Telephone: 01534 854 381
Fax: 01534 855 408
Telephone: 01534 875 236
The Beachcombers hotel is at the end of the day only a 2 star hotel, so we were not expecting the Ritz. The location is reasonable, although it is a bit deceiving and disappointing with the name not being right next to the beach.
The pool area was nice enough, nothing special though. In fact that's the hotel in general. There are certainly bits which could be worked on - for instance areas which need a splash of paint. But on the whole it's a decent enough place for a short stay.
Despite a rocky start to the holiday I think a good time was had by all - although hubby would prefer a holiday without the in-laws of course! My friend's wedding in Trinity on Saturday was lovely, and I am glad that we went out for the occasion. We didn't really do a lot of sightseeing whilst we were out there, but I would highly recommend visiting the war tunnels if you are in Jersey.