* Prices may differ from that shown
Before I begin I would like to say that I have never written a bad review about any hotel before but by the end of the 4 nights we spent at the grand Burstin I was no longer able to look on the bright side. Arrival We arrived at the hotel at around 4pm, as we were on a coach holiday the receptionist came out and handed us our keys as we got off of the coach which did not allow you time to ask questions about the hotel which wasn't ideal but forgivable due to the amount of people. The First thing the receptionist told us was 'the hotel is at full capacity so there will be no room changes possible' which gave the impression of if there is anything wrong with your room don't come and tell us because we wont do anything. There were three lifts in the foyer two servicing floor 1-5 and 1 for floors 6 and 7, we were on the 5th floor but there were around 50 people waiting for the lifts so we took the stairs, this was not the best first impression of the hotel as the falls were dirty and the carpets were tatty and worn, and dirty in many areas. The Room We got to the room and it wasn't as bad as we were now expecting ,there was a decent sized double bed, two side tables a small table with two chairs, a a desk and a wardrobe. There were Tea and coffee making facilities with plenty of UHT Milk cartons which replaced every day so we never ran out which is unusual for me, but there was no de-caff coffee, hot chocolate, brown sugar or sweetener which might annoy some people. There was a TV in the room which worked fine and a hairdryer which was nice. Bad Points about the room : The carpets were faded so badly they looked a different colour under the desk and behind things and they were very dirty and grimy. We found an empty sanitary towel wrapper in the bed side cabinet drawer showing that the room had not been thoroughly cleaned. The ceiling had what looked like coffee staines on it (god knows how) and there were also coffee stains on the valance sheet (although I only noticed them on the second day so we might have spilled it on there but it was still there on the last day) The Bathroom The Bathroom was very basic but reasonably clean and did have two big bath towels and two smaller ones and some complimentary shower gel and body lotion, although this was not replaced at all during the stay and was no where near enough for a 4 night stay. There was also no bath mat in the bathroom making the floor very slippery, we ended up using one of the smaller towels as a bath mat. Food - Dinner After settling in we went for food which was served from half 5 in the evening to 8pm. We went to walk into the restaurant/ canteen and were stopped by a girl who said we needed our key card to get into the restaurant, I fumbled around in my bag until I found the key to be told that the 'key card' was a piece of paper that the receptionist had given us on arrival so I had to go back to the room and get it. I didn't mind this as it was my mistake but the girl who was watching the door of the canteen was so uninterested and quite rude she didn't offer us any greeting and didn't even try to smile when we came to the door (even the second time). She just took the piece of paper off of us, gave it back and said 'sit anywhere' ( all of this while leaning against the door frame , I felt like my presence had offended her or something). The staff inside the canteen were not much better and no body explained where anything was or poke to us at all. There were two girls standing near our table wile we were eating and at one point one of them was checking her lip gloss in the mirror while the other one was playing with her mobile which was very indiscreetly 'hidden' in the drawer. The food was not very good quality at all with beef or white fish as your options on the first and second night, there was also a selection of veg which was good and a salad bar which had a decent variety. There was no vegetarian option unless you wanted a plate of veg and gravy. There was also a selection of deserts which were ok, fruit salad (looked awful) mouse and cheesecake (which was nice) the one night there was apricot meringue which was really nice. The food was well cooked but lacked any imagination at all and it was like being back in primary school. The only drink available in the evening was water. By the third night of the food being the same we gave up and went out for food. Food - Breakfast The breakfast was a bit better in my opinion (although my partner thought it was horrible) there was a selection of bacon, sausages, boiled eggs, fried eggs, scramble egg, fried toast, beans and tomatoes as well as cereals and yogurt. Drinks were tea, coffee and juice, but the juice was watered down massively which was unpleasant to drink. Bars and Entertainment Their were 2 bars at the hotel both were reasonably priced and had a good selection of drinks and the one also served snacks during the day (sandwiches, jacket potatoes etc). The one bar was a quiet bar with no music just lots of chairs and tables and sofas (which were mostly held together by electrical tape) and an arcade section with IT box and slot machines (18+) and a TV usually showing football. The other bar was were the entertainment was on, each night had early bingo followed by a band then another round of bingo and then a cabaret show. We did not go to the bingo so I can't comment on that but it seemed popular and I guess bingo is bingo if that's what you like. The band was an organ based band and really not my cup of tea so we didn't listen to them for long. The cabaret does a set show every evening of the week including a rock and roll show , a variety show and a Motown show. We watched them a few nights we were there and they were always very good, the songs they sang were quite old which obviously suited the clientele. Maintenance On the second night I sat on the bed and the leg snapped and it collapsed. I went down to reception to tell them and there was a young girl serving someone and a young boy. I told the young boy what had happened and he asked the girl if there were any rooms available and she just said 'no nothing' he said what can we do and she said ' nothing we can't do anything' he then asked if he should go and have a look and she said yes. I was horrified by her attitude and I guess if I had originally went to her we would have been sleeping on the floor. The boy came up and had a look and then went to get some tools he then came back with another girl and screwed the leg back on 'temporarily' they said the maintenance team would look at it at 8am tomorrow but nobody turned up all week. Overall I was very disappointed with the hotel in general, the standards of the decor and cleanliness and the food were all very poor and most importantly the service was extremely poor I would be able to forgive a lot if the staff were friendly but most of them (with a few exceptions) treated us like we were a hassle and that they didn't want to be there at all resulting in an overall unpleasantness experience. This review is also on ciao and trip adviser
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. **Location** 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. **Rooms** 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. **Facilities** 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". **Food** 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** 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. **Overall** 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.
Grand Burstin Hotel My hubby had started smoking again so we decided to take the Euro tunnel over to France and drive through to Belgium, but as this is a long journey for us as we live in Shropshire we like to stay over somewhere and make a little break of it. Originally we were only looking for one night, which I had booked online after reading a little info. I didn't do my normal checks as I was getting a bit stressed, so I just booked here after reading the short description and price, which we got for £47.00 for the one night. The night before we were due to go hubby said lets make it a longer break and stop for 2 nights, so I got on the phone and booked the extra night and this time for some reason they charged me £49.00. If I had been my normal self (not the stressed out maniac I was at the time) then I would have normally checked out reviews first, it's a shame that I didn't as I missed information that would have definitely made us change our minds and not go here; reviews titled 'This place has got to be the worst hotel in the uk' another one being 'hotel from hell' would have got me searching for another choice. I did read these reviews after our visit and I agreed with a lot they said, I will go on to explain our visit and let you make your own mind up. ~~The Hotel~~ The hotel is very large and has 12 floors and over 1300 rooms, but it advertises 481 en-suite rooms available, some of these rooms are smoking rooms even since the government ban. It is part of the Britannia Hotel group which was started in 1976 when they purchased a hotel in Manchester; in November 2004 the group purchased four hotels from the Grand Leisure group, the Grand Burstin being one of these hotels bringing the hotels owned to 28 now. The Britannia Hotel group has a total of 35 hotels at its last acquisition in August 2009 of a hotel in Blackpool. I really do hope that the other hotels are in better shape than this one is. There is a small over packed gym and a swimming pool which you can use at a small extra charge; it costs £2.50 per adult and £1.00 per child; we did not use these facilities, but I did take a quick look. The gym had a fair amount of equipment but it all looked very close together and very cramped in my opinion. Some internet sites say the pool was 12 meters and other say 10 meters, it just looked small and oblong to me. ~~Our Visit~~ The lobby area was very large with the reception desk on the right as you come in; our first impression was not a favourable one, as it did look very hi di hi, like something out of a bad sitcom. Whilst waiting to book in, a couple in front of me were asking for a refund saying they did not like the place and did not want to stay here (we should have run off there and then). I looked at my hubby and we decided to stay anyway, as we were both very tired. The staff here were polite and efficient, but I wouldn't say they were friendly. Even though we had booked for two nights the receptionist said as we had booked them separately then we would have to pay for the first night now and come back down in the morning to book in for our second night. This worked out in our favour for the second night as there was a £5.00 voucher in the bedroom to take off your next booking, so the next morning I went to reception filled out the voucher and paid only £44.00 instead of the £49.00. We had booked a smoking room, but the receptionist informed us that they had none left and we took a no smoking room instead, this upset hubby especially as he read a sing in the lobby saying that all rooms were smoking. I challenged this on his behalf and was informed that all floors above the 5th floor were smoking and there are 12 floors in this hotel. We took the lift to the third floor where we were staying; the lift sounds very cranky and didn't install confidence as it creaked up to our floor. On a couple of occasions over our 2 days it stopped short (an accident waiting to happen), fortunately for me my hubby noticed so I did not trip. The bedroom was 'L' shaped, with the wardrobe (a single with shelves inside) and dressing table on the right as you walked in. They have put a mirror over the dressing table, but no accessible plug socket near to it for using a hair dryer. There was a half moon unit in pine next to the dressing table with the portable TV on it, the unit had two shelves you could use for storage, I put our toiletries on it as the shelf in the bathroom was very tiny. There was an iron mark on the carpet and the walls were a caramac colour with a white dado rail and cream flock wall paper. There was no welcome book telling you about the facilities, but there was some headed paper and a pen, which I used to the full making notes for my review. There was a small window that only opened a little way and our view was not very nice, it looked like a derelict building which had squatters in (sorry if they are not squatting but that's how it looked to me). The bed was hard and very lumpy, you could feel the springs digging into your back; we did try sleeping on the top of the quilt but that didn't help either. I did not like that there was a stain on the quilt, but we didn't make a fuss about it. There was a spare pillow in the wardrobe and I rang to get another one for my hubby as the pillows on the bed were flat and lifeless, it took the staff about 1 hr to get one up to us. The bathroom was really small and had no shower, only a bath, toilet and sink. You needed to be very flexible to use the loo and get to the toilet roll; the toilet was right between a wall and the bath, with no space at the sides of it. The toilet roll was round the side of the wall, so you had to bend your right arm back to get to it or twist yourself slightly and use your left hand to reach it, alternatively be prepared pull some off then use the loo. There was 2 plastic glasses, an all in one, shampoo, bath and shower gel and soap for you to use. The side panel on the bath was painted chipboard and was very warped and the extractor fan did not work. The bath had a bath mat in so there was no need to ask for one, the water pressure was very good on the hot tap, but for some reason not very good on the cold tap and the hot water did get very hot. The handle on the toilet was extremely dirty and had grime all around it, looking like it had never been cleaned. Back in the bedroom they had a pencil print of a naked woman on the wall, they had a small kettle on the dressing table with a couple of cups and saucers (no teapot) and tea and coffee. There were water marks on the ceiling tiles. The soundproofing in the rooms was not brilliant as you could hear the TV's in the other rooms and people returning to their rooms. Heating wise there was a convector heater in the bedroom and a heated towel rail in the bathroom. Our first night we popped downstairs to have a look around and that's when I noticed it had lots of seating areas, bars, restaurants and a ballroom. It looked like a holiday camp all put into one floor of the hotel. We did buy a drink on one of the nights and sit on one of the sofas in the bar area, the sofa was very low down but fairly comfortable although I did have to get help to get off it. A double Jack Daniels with lemonade and a single Bacardi and Coke cost us £7.00, hubby went back up and got me a bottle of water for our room and that cost only 60p which was very cheap for hotel prices. We took a look at the restaurants to see what they had on offer, but we were not tempted. They have two restaurants and a burger/snack bar. The burger type one was in the main lounge bar area it was a little section at the one end of the bar, (I think it was in the Maritime Lounge), from what I could see you could have simple bar meals, like burger and chips, fish and chips etc. The Harbour restaurant is where we ate our breakfast and they offered a buffet style self service evening meal, for I think around £10.00 per head, the menu didn't impress us, with its choice of Roast pork, curry or Cumberland sausage as the main courses (it is a 3 course meal, but to be honest I didn't bother looking after seeing the options on the main menu). We went to look around a bit more and found the Victoria restaurant which costs £12.99 for a 3 course meal, for the extra couple of pounds you get a nicer looking restaurant with high ceilings and crystal chandeliers and a tea light candle on the table. We enquired about the menu and was told it was the same as the Harbour restaurant with a couple of little extra's, which on our first night was chicken in mediterean sauce or haddock in white wine sauce; this still didn't appeal so we carried on exploring the hotel. I did discover some beautiful period features, as I noted a lovely old fireplace just leaning against a blank wall, and a beautiful wooden stair case in an area of the hotel that looked Victorian and appeared to be under renovation. When we looked outside later we could see the workmen and a rubbish Shute. We also found a ballroom, which must be where they hold the entertainment which they advertise; I also noted that they did a bingo session as well. As nothing was really inspiring us to stay here and eat for the evening we decided to go into town, it is advertised that it is a 10 minute walk up a very steep hill, hubby knew I wouldn't make the hill so we booked a taxi using the free phone in the lobby, the taxi cost us around £3.00. The next morning we got up early as we didn't sleep very well with the lumpy bed and went downstairs to the Harbour restaurant for breakfast. My first impression of the restaurant was of an out of date school canteen, it looked very cheap and tacky; there was no-one on the door to check our 'meal ticket' (this was given to us when we booked in). There were a few members of staff hovering around but they were just there to clean tables and were not that friendly or helpful. We grabbed a couple of glasses of grapefruit juice and put them at our table. The buffet breakfast was completely self service; you even had to make your own toast, teas and coffee. So what delights did they have for us; a choice of orange or grapefruit juice on both days, cereals were rice krispies, wheetabix or cornflakes. Fruit was tinned prunes or tinned fruit salad on the first day and the next day it was prunes or grapefruit segments both tinned. The toast you made yourself on a rolling grill, the cooked breakfast really did look extremely unappetising and I love a good cooked English breakfast. The bacon looked like it had been boiled and it was all stuck together, the sausage was those cheap cereal based ones you can get from the supermarket, fried bread looked hard (I don't eat this anyway), the fried eggs were broken and in bits all over the tray, you were also offered baked beans, tinned tomatoes and scrambled egg. In all the years I have stayed in hotels I have never left a breakfast, but I did here on both mornings, it was awful the worst breakfast I have ever had. I was gob smacked when it came to getting our tea and coffee, we had to go to a table and pour it out from flasks, and there was a white pot for hot water, a blue pot for tea and a red pot for the coffee. We weren't the only ones that were disgruntled as I sat there listening to other families around us complaining to each other. We had already booked our evening meal on the second night at a lovely local pub, but even if we hadn't there was no way after this breakfast that we would of considered eating here, but for the sake of this review I did pop in to have a quick look to see what it looked like. Remember both the restaurants served the same food, just the dearer one offered better surroundings a couple more choices and a tiny candle. I took a look in both and believe me there was no finesse or fine dining here, both restaurants had bad canteen type presentations of food, making it look totally yuk if I am to be honest. Starters - seafood cocktail/ barbecue chicken/ soup of the day. Mains - Chicken meal/ curried meat balls/ salad bar Vegetarian - vegetable loaf. Victoria restaurant extras - Honey roast gammon or fillet of fish Dessert - Fruit crumble or Peach fruit flan Victoria restaurant - pear in red wine. ~~Other Items~~ Cats and dogs are allowed to stay with you in the hotel; according to the internet they charge £10.00 per pet per night. There is a very large car park and underground parking available; it was very full on both the days we stayed. They advertise a sauna, solarium, luggage storage, games room, internet services etc which we didn't use. I did notice a group of young people crowding around a lap top in the foyer so I assume they must have been taking advantage of the wi fi service. They also advise that they have cable TV for the rooms, but we only got four channels on our television, it is also advertised on the internet that hairdryers are provided in the rooms, I didn't find one in our room. There are conference facilities and wedding bookings available, but personally I wouldn't even consider this place as a venue for either, especially the wedding. There were flyers all over the foyer and sitting areas on display advertising up and coming events and they surprisingly do get booked up a lot, I overheard the receptionist telling a man that they were booked up all through November for when he wanted to come back and they were fully booked the two nights we were there, so some people must like it. Disabilities - As mentioned they do have lifts; they ask you to notify them if you have mobility issues, I wish I had done this because I didn't expect a bath, I thought they would have showers as I have difficulty with baths getting in and out of them, so if you do decide to go here and you have mobility problems please remember to mention it. The main entrance is also on level ground, as are all the areas like the ballroom, restaurants and bars etc. ~~Directions~~ Coming from the motorway follow the M20 Southbound, come off at junction 13 and follow the signs for Folkestone Harbour and Pleasure Beach. You can't miss the Grand Burstin Hotel is an extremely large white building right on the harbour front. If you take the train to Folkestone Central Station you can either grab a cab or walk to the bottom of the road and turn right towards Cheriton Place and then left towards Road of Remembrance, the hotel is at the bottom of this road. Taxi will only cost you a couple of quid and will save you lugging your luggage about. ~~Opinion~~ I am pleased that during my research I read some of the negative reviews on this hotel; there was a moment that I thought maybe I have been spoilt by good hotels and good service that I was giving this hotel a raw deal. After reading those reviews I now realise that I was not over-reacting it is as bad as I thought it was and 59% out of 291 reviewers agree with me. Historically the building had some nice features, I did ask the receptionist if she knew anything about the history of the hotel and she said she didn't which was a tad disappointing, it would be nice if they staff had an interest in their place of work as tourists like me ask questions. If I was going to say anything to The Britannia Group about this hotel, it would be to come here as a customer and see for themselves. It is in need of redecoration and they need to fix the problems in the rooms and take some pride in their hotel, this will then cascade down and hopefully instil pride into their staff as well making a happy workforce. Just changing the way they deliver the food and the quality of the food would make an instant big improvement. When we spoke to some local people, they informed us that the Grand Burstin Hotel had quite a reputation which was not very favourable. We will not be using this hotel again and we certainly don't recommend it in its current condition, to us it was not worth the 2 stars it has been given. Before I leave you my husband has informed me that I was much too soft on this hotel, he would have had a lot more stronger words to say, like the state of this hotel was 'beep beep awful' he wouldn't even take the dogs here it was that bad. Thank you for reading Arnoldhenryrufus (Lyn x)
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? Parking! 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. The lift There were at least 4 lifts to my knowledge, small, creaky and cramped. But we arrived on our floor and found our room. The 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. Lounge 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. Ballroom 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. Harbour Restaurant 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. Checking Out. 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! Cost 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. Details There are 481 en-suite rooms, many with sea views. Some are classed as Superior rooms and family rooms are available too. Verdict 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 http://www.grandburstinhotel.co.uk/The_Grand_Burstin_Home.html But remember it looks much better than it actually was!