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My partner had booked the week off for my birthday and we decided to put some money by and go our first family holiday. We were originally booked up to go to another hotel in Blackpool but this was cancelled 4 weeks prior to departure. Our only other option was to try a different coach company whom came recommended by my parents - Blackpool promotions.
Blackpool Promotions specialise in offering coach trips to Blackpool. At the time of booking, we had no hotel choice as there was only one suitable room available within all of their hotels. My parents stayed at this hotel 2 weeks prior to our visit and thankfully all was well with it. We stayed at this hotel Monday - Friday (27th of Feb - 2nd March). This time of year is considered to be 'out of season'.
The Royal Seabank
219 - 221 Central Promenade Blackpool FY1 5DL
01253 622717 www.royalseabankhotel.co.uk
The Royal Seabank is the most popular hotel that Blackpool Promotions offer. It can be booked through this company (based in Glasgow) but they also offer their own tariff. This hotel has 89 bedrooms en suite bedrooms including single, double/twin, family and bedrooms with 4 poster beds. The exterior of the hotel is white washed walls and it looks nicer than many of the hotels in this area.
The Royal Seabank is located on the promenade and is a ideally located within walking distance of the attractions (beach, Tower. Pier, Pleasure Beach etc). The hotel doesn't have any on site carparking though they can recommend the Municipal carpark located just 200 yards away. The nearest bus stops are outside the hotel (heading to Stargate) and across from the Manchester Pub (heading into town). A single will cost £1.40 which gets you from the hotel to the Tower. Tram stops are across from the hotel.
We personally found the hotel to be in a perfect location as we were able to walk into the town fairly quickly. There is a huge Home Bargains store around the corner and a few cash machines (charge will be applied). The surrounding hotels appeared to be all closed.
We arrived at the hotel around 2.30pm. The reception area is quite spacious and tastefully decorated. There are plenty of seating options. Check in was a nightmare despite there being 3 staff members behind the desk. Cases were left lying and there was no one to help organise the elderly guests and their luggage. Check in is from arrival (when arriving as part of a coach tour). Rooms should be vacated by 10am and cases can be left in the lounge. Check out was as simply as popping the key into the slot.
Hotel Layout and Ambience
The hotel is tastefully decorated in warm red and cream shades throughout. I wouldn't recommend this hotel for disabled guests as there is no ramp inside and lots of stairs. There are various seating areas dotted around the hotel if you simply wish to relax and read a book or magazine. The staircases are quite narrow but the corridors were generally clean and tidy.
There are 2 lifts in the hotel (either end of the building). The white lift was extremely small (2 people max and that's without suitcases!) and quite smelly to be honest - I preferred the stairs and got some exercise in the process! The rooms are set over 4 floors and although well sign posted - the hotel in general is a maze full of corners and stairs! There are a few toilets dotted around in random corridors and the ladies toilets were quite stinky as we walked past. The hotel also has a few amusement machines, a machine offering cans of sweets and Pringles as well.
Generally the hotel (downstairs)
is quite modern and relaxed. It is clean and looks to have been renovated recently. It is quite welcoming but the corridors could do with a lick of paint. The hotel is mainly carpeted and thankfully it looks well kept. The cafe is located on the ground floor, the lounge is within the maze and up two sets of stairs and the restaurant is downstairs.
I can only comment on our own room. We had room 301 which was located on the 3rd floor. Having stayed in Blackpool hotels before, I expected a pokey little box room. Our family room was very surprising! We didn't have to take turns at moving about and it was perfect for our little family for 4 nights.
Our room was a sea view, family room. The large window (minus those awful net curtains) looked across the promenade and we could also see the Central Pier if we looked hard enough. We had a double bed and a single bed. The double bed was quite small in comparison to the one we have at home. It was lovely and cosy though a bit too soft and therefore we ended up with sore backs! My son was comfortable in his bed though. There were extra pillows in the wardrobe and also fleecy covers but we were actually too warm at night so had no need for these extra covers.
The room was pleasantly decorated - cream walls, a red carpet and orangey curtains and bed throws. The sheets were immaculately crisp and white. We had three small bedside cabinets for our nicknacks and two mismatched lamps as well as a large, overly bright light on the ceiling. The room was incredibly spacious despite being well equipped. We had a large wardrobe which was sufficient for storing our clothing and we also had hangers.
A desk was neatly located in the corner and features a kettle, 3 cups and lots of tea, milk and sugar extras which we didn't actually use. We also had a small table, 3 chairs and a full length mirror which was ideal. Each room features a 26inch television which is wall mounted. We did spend a lot of time in the room and were happy that the television had Freeview as our son could watch it whilst we got dressed etc. One problem we did have was there was only 2 plugs and they were right next to each other above the desk - not ideal when you want to charge your phone, watch the television and use the hair dryer at the same time! The room itself was very clean. A manual radiator could be adjusted to suit though we actually had the window open at night. There is no phone in the room.
The bathroom was a little disappointing. My parents had a family room which featured a bath and a walk in shower - we only had a shower. Personally given that this is a family room, a bath should be included. Our bathroom was tiny and whilst it looked clean - it was dull and the grouting could have been a bit cleaner. The shower was fairly easy to operate but the cubicle was tiny! The water didn't stay hot for long and jumped between hot and cold which was rather annoying. My son wasn't keen on the shower and the water jumped out if the doors weren't closed properly. He had one shower and insisted on being washed down every other day! The water wasn't particularly powerful either and the shower head didn't move at all.
Overall we were almost, fully pleased with our room. The curtains blocked out the light but the next door guests shower could be heard through the wall, the upstairs guests had an incredibly squeaky floor and the air conditioner in the bathroom was incredibly noisy once the light had been turned off. We were given a proper key for our room and the door could be easily locked from the inside. The bathroom door did not have a lock. It appears as if our room hasn't been refurbished to the same standard as my parents room and I hope that this may be done if we visit again in the near future.
I have mixed opinions on the service we received at the Royal Seabank. Some of the staff were there at different times of the day and always seemed upbeat despite working long or split shifts. The manager of the hotel wasn't the most pleasant. On one occasion, I waited 10 minutes at the (24hour reception) for the receptionist to return and sit down with his dinner at the desk and totally ignore me. He then asked if there was a problem. I was returning the hair dryer (£5 deposit for a cheap, Argos Value hair dryer - take your own trust me!) and he said he didn't know where my fiver was despite him taking it in the first place - I had to return in the morning. I do not find it professional for anyone to eat their dinner at the reception desk and this really annoyed me. The reception desk was rarely manned during our visit.
The other staff were very friendly throughout our stay. The maids changed our towels daily and our beds were sorted/changed and bins emptied. The hotel does seem to be quite short staffed in the cafe area as there was one gentleman serving food, drinks and often seeing to reception at the same time - I don't know how he kept up to be honest! The restaurant staff were lovely and always kept on their feet. We were often served by a lady called Katy who was well presented and very friendly. Even when our son started acting up, they didn't growl (unlike some of the elderly guests) and spoke to him to encourage him to eat etc.
I would like to add an extra bit in here about the customer service of the hotel. During the week that my parents stayed here, my Mum had went down to reception to inform the manager that the lady in the next room had found her partner 'asleep not to be woken again'. To say the manager was uninterested wouldn't be far wrong. Poor woman!
We had breakfast and dinner included as part of the price and were really impressed with the food. The restaurant was pleasantly decorated and very clean. The tables were set up and cleared quickly. Each morning, we received a tick sheet so we could mark off what we wanted for dinner that night. We had the same dinner table each night which suited us and they have two serving times - 5pm and 6.30pm. Having a young child, we opted for the 5pm slot.
Breakfast was great. We could help ourselves to various cereal (Frosties, All Bran, Special K) etc as well as various fruit juices. We were then asked if we wanted a cooked breakfast or something different. I opted for a cooked breakfast each morning which was just the right size and included sausage, bacon, egg, beans and either mushroom, hash brown or fried bread. I always had a big bowl of cereal and then my brekkie. My son doesn't like a cooked breakfast so opted for cereal then sausages with toast. We were given as much toast as we could manage and had an assortment of jams and butter as well as being offered tea and coffee.
Dinner options were safe options but very tasty. There was always a choice of soup or fruit juice as a starter and the rolls were delicious. Each evening, we were offered 4 main course options which usually consisted of a meat, a fish, a salad and a vegetarian option. During the course of our stay, options included poached haddock, pork loins, braised steak and also ham and cheese salads. Vegetarians had a choice of lasagne, macaroni and vegetable bakes - not the most exciting menu. Desserts varied each evening though popular dishes included sponge with custard, fruit cocktail, ice
Pictures of Royal Seabank Hotel, Blackpool
cream and cheese with biscuits. My son had a choice of several childrens dishes including chicken teddies and burger but being a fussy eater, he opted for chicken nuggets.Generally the food was very tasty and always served warm. Each portion was a decent size to suit most hunger types and I always had just enough room left for dessert each evening. The food was of a high quality and presented well. I particularly enjoyed the macaroni cheese on the first night and also the braised steak on the last evening. The steak was served with vegetables and potatoes and was simply delicious. My favourite dessert was by far the syrup sponge and custard! We were served water with our meals though drinks could be purchased from the cafe or bar and taken in with us.
The hotel has its own cafe which is open 11am - 5pm daily. It is a cafe-bar and is named Cafe 1880. The cafe is extremely modern and can be accessed at ground level. It is very spacious and has a beautiful black and silver decor which makes it appear completely different from the rest of the hotel. The cafe features tables and chairs outside during warmer months.
I dined in the cafe one day when my son and fiance wanted a nap upstairs. The prices were about average and the menu including burgers, chilli con carne, soup etc from £1.90 - £5.95. I personally opted for a toastie which was delicious and served with a fresh salad. Drinks were averagely priced - £2.60 for a Budweiser, £2.25 for a hot chocolate with toppings and 99p for a can of Irn Bru. The cafe offers some fresh baked pastries for £1.50 - yummy!
Bar and Entertainment
The bar looks out onto the front and is on the first floor. It features a tiny dance floor and limited seating. The bar serves various beers, wine, spirits and snacks. We went into the bar the first night and had a drink and also for my birthday after our dinner. The bar is open 5pm - late. Personally I found the bar to be too cramped and it got busy very early. The drinks are averagely priced (see Bud and soft drink prices above). I don't normally drink alcohol but had two cocktails during our stay - a Shopoholic and a Dirty Weekend - both were very sweet and very strong and priced at only £3.50 for a large glass.
The hotel offers evening entertainment all year round and details can be found in reception. I'm not into cabaret and singers but they seemed to be very popular with the elderly visitors. I personally went for a game of bingo on the first night and paid £3.00 for a strip of cards. The prize money was good and up to £100 for a full house but sadly, I had no luck as usual!
The hotel is open all year round and the tariff reflects the season. As we booked as part of a coach tour, we had an all inclusive price which including coach, bed, breakfast and dinner. We paid £247 for our holiday which was a fab price to pay for 2 adults and 1 child. We definitely got our moneys worth from our holiday.
The tariff can be found on the hotels website. Rooms can be booked for single nights but also for 3/4 nights depending on the time of year. The average price is £99 - £179 per adult for 4 days and deals are available during the Summer and Illuminations.
Recommendation and Conclusion
The big question is, would we recommend this hotel? Given our experience then yes we would. Our holiday wasn't exactly plain sailing (no fault of the hotel) but the hotel was comfortable and welcoming as well as being clean and not too expensive. We wouldn't return to Blackpool out of season again though but would consider the Royal Seabank again. They are family friendly but I would say the hotel is more suited to the older generation (my (parents agreed).
I can recommend the Royal Seabank Hotel. I did have a few quibbles but generally the hotel is pleasant. I would go back for the food and the pastries alone and therefore can highly recommend this hotel. I spoke to quite a few other guests who visit the hotel several times a year - it is clearly very popular.