“ Address: 55 St. Chads Road / Blackpool / Lancashire / FY1 6BP / England „
I was browsing the internet for a B&B in Blackpool for an overnight stay, when I came across The Rochelle Hotel. What caught my attention to begin with were lots of 4 and 5 star raving reviews and so I entered our stay requirements to get a quote.
When the quote came back at £25 a night, for a double en-suite room, with breakfast for myself and my daughter I was quite shocked. I'd been expecting to pay around double that price. I was excited, reckoning I could actually make it a 2 night stay, but dubious as to how great a B&B would be at that price? The photo's on the website looked great, and reviews from a couple of websites were very complimentary and encouraging. I threw caution to the wind and booked a 2 night stay for myself and my daughter during the last week in June.
The Rochelle Hotel is a 9 bedroomed guest house on St Chads Road. This is a small road, of almost entirely similar guest houses. It appeared to me to be a well kept area, the street was pleasant with most B&B's looking well maintained from the outside with lots of flowers and hanging baskets. There is very little traffic, but the pavement was bumper to bumper with parked cars, so a quick e-mail to confirm parking arrangements may be a good idea for car owners. It is situated just off the Promenade between Central and South Pier. A quick guide of distance to attractions by foot would be:
Promenade and beach 5 minutes
Pleasure beach/south pier/sandcastle waterpark 15 minutes
Tower 20 minutes
Town Centre 10 minutes
Check in is at 2pm, however I had emailed in advance to ask if it was ok to check in at 1pm (or leave bags until later and similar on checkout) and had received an instant reply saying this would not be a problem.
On arrival I knocked at the door, then walked right in and was greeted by Dawn, the landlady and her husband Daz who where both incredibly friendly towards me and very welcoming to my daughter and put her at ease immediately. We were given a room key, and a front door key giving us 24 hour access to come and go as we pleased.
First impressions of the B&B were that the hallway was quite dark and slightly old fashioned, with chunky unattractive fire doors, but incredibly clean and homely.
Our Room was on the first floor, and it's important to point out here that all guest accommodation is upstairs and there is no lift. Worth baring in mind if you or one of your party struggle with stairs. Dawn showed us in, and I think I visibly sighed with relief as the room was definitely adequate. Once she left I immediately went round it investigating, and I am quite tough having worked in the hotel housekeeping industry!
We had a double bed which was made up in plain neutral bedlinen and had a huge welcome cushion across the pillows. Surrounding the bed were fitted wardrobes which held coat hangers and two extra pillows. The walls were papered in a kind of anaglypter wall paper and painted white, with a dado round the middle and the floor was covered with a thick green carpet. Yes it was somewhat old fashioned again, and basic, but it was immaculately clean, from the bed linen to the carpet and the mirrors on the wall everything was gleaming...not even a speck of dust on the dado.
It wasn't a very big room, apart from walk around the bed there was very little you could actually do in the room. However I was ok with this, as I didn't plan on spending all that much time in there. The window looked out onto the concrete side of the next building, but was dressed in white voile so you couldn't see. A bit dissapointing though if you like looking out of windows at the world going by. The curtains I noticed weren't up right with a couple of hooks off the rail, which I had to mend so that I could shut them.
On our bed were 2 sets of bath and hand towels and one small soap each. Also in the room we had a kettle and 2 cups and a very well stocked beverage tray with different tea's, coffee, horlicks, milk and sugars. This was on a small shelf unit and also held a small bedside lamp and, most appreciatively, an electric fan. A TV with freeview box and DVD were fixed to the wall. My daughter was dissapointed to find them not tuned in, and while I am sure one of our hosts would have been happy to assist if I asked, we ended up so busy it slipped my mind.
The en-suite bathroom was again very small, but perfectly adequate and clean, with a toilet (and plenty of loo paper with the nice folded edge hotel loo paper should always have!), sink and shower and what looked to be a newly tiled floor. Infact the whole of the bathroom looked quite new and the only fault I could find in here was one of the glasses on the basin was a tad dirty at the bottom and I had to give it a good rinse.
Apart from the small niggles above, the only other negative that stood out for me were the ugly A4 paper signs in plastic wallets pinned to the doors telling me of the rules on smoking (it is not allowed) and guests in your room (if you have any, they must leave at 8pm)
Sleeping in the room was not a problem for either me or my daughter, and after a busy day we hit the very comfortable bed and slept soundly. The room was quite warm, as was the weather, so the fan came in very useful. There were no disturbances through the night at all, although one night we were the only guests booked in. Looking at rebooking at a later date, the hotel is a lot fuller at weekends, during school holidays and during the peak illumination period.
An evening meal is available according to the website, however we didn't partake in this. We did thoroughly enjoy a full cooked English breakfast each morning though, that was delicious. As well as the cooked breakfast, guests can help themselves to cereal and orange juice and are given either tea or coffee and toast. Breakfast is served between 8am and 9.30pm but I got the impression that Dawn and Daz are very flexible on this with their guests.
Following on with the theme of the rest of the B&B the dining room is small, quite old fashioned but immaculately clean.
There is a bar/lounge area...and you guessed it, a bit old fashioned but very clean and comfy. I did have a couple of drinks with the owners, and at just £1.50 for a Vodka and coke it seemed very reasonable.
Apart from the bar, and a small patio at the front of the hotel there is no other guest areas in the hotel. Iron and Ironing boards are available on request, in fact I'd imagine the hosts would be more than willing to help with anything you need.
Check out is before 10 am, however when I emailed before arriving to ask about early check in, I also asked if it would be possible to leave our luggage until around 5.30pm to give us an extra day in Blackpool. As with everything else this was no problem and when I did call back to collect our luggage, Dawn phoned us a taxi, made us a cold drink while we waited, and my daughter and the little boy said a fond farewell with a big hug, and a promise we will return soon.
The hotel isn't perfect, it doesn't have any 'wow' factor at all, and is a bit old fashioned. However it does exactly what it states. You get a comfy bed, and delicious breakfast in an immaculately clean B&B. I was really worried about going and staying in such a budget price guest house, but feel we got more than out moneys worth here.
The hosts, Dawn and Daz where very friendly and welcoming, something that is so important in a guest house host, as in effect you are staying in their house and the last thing you want is to feel uncomfertable. I felt immediately put at ease by both of them, and my daughter absolutly adored their little son. They were happy to give advice and invaluable information on local attractions and public transport, and nothing seemed too much trouble for them.
If luxury is a must when you stay in a hotel, then obviously this isn't the place for you. It IS very basic, but it's clean and I felt very safe. If your on a tight budget and willing to compromise, or just want a clean and cheap base to put your head down, then I can recommend The Rochelle.
A family run hotel within minutes to the central beach.