SBT’s Editor, Jenny Ardagh reviews The View Hotel in Eastbourne, as a business meeting venue and for those much-needed short coastal breaks…
The Sussex coast is indeed something to be marvelled at, and a great talking point for visiting guests. The View Hotel – as the name suggests – has spectacular views over Eastbourne’s seafront, lined with stony beach with the waves of the English Channel crashing against them, and greenery set back upon the coastal road. Unfortunately for me, on the day I reviewed the hotel, this asset was somewhat lost to the horrendous English weather, but I appreciated what a fantastic sight it could be from my large south-facing windows, set with a balcony (which I didn’t venture onto in the wind and rain).
So, I checked in after parking with ease directly opposite the hotel entrance itself, paying my £1 for a parking permit, and made my way up to my room. It would also be very easy to make your way from the train station in the centre of town – which has very easy connections to Lewes, Brighton, London or Gatwick.
The door opened to a very fresh feeling, clean, spacious and modern room set with 2 sofas, a television, good storage space and wardrobe. The décor was well-presented and aesthetically pleasing. My first test was the bed. I was a little disappointed at how hard the mattress was, and also that it was in fact two singles pushed together and not one very large double, which I was hoping it would be from the look of it! However, this wasn’t much of a problem, and the room as a whole made up for it, feeling much more like a 4-star bedroom than the 3 stars that the hotel holds.
The bathroom was light, spacious and again very well laid out. Some hotels make it fairly difficult to work your way from facility to facility in the bathroom, but there was ample space here. There was even the choice for reception to provide any amenities, which the guest had forgotten: toothbrushes and razors were all available upon request. This certainly made me feel well looked-after and reassured.
The room was, at first very cold, but this was soon remedied by the in-room temperature controls, acting as a heater and air conditioning.
At around 7pm, I made my way down to dinner with my guest, which was on the Mezzanine floor. The floors were easily navigable and accessible with three lifts always available. The whole hotel was fairly quiet for the duration of my stay, but it didn’t feel too empty at all: just calm and organised.
We were seated at our table in the restaurant, next to the window – this would be a lovely place to sit for a late lunch or early dinner, with the view of the seafront. My friend and I decided to go for a glass of white wine each: one Pinot Grigio and one dry South African wine, vanilla and fruit infused. They were both lovely and chilled, and we were served very quickly too. We were given the December menu, which was fairly limited but choice-filled enough for us to spend a good ten minutes deciding, ogling each dish as we read. I had the calamari for starter, and my friend had the soup of the day: tomato and mushroom. Moving onto main course, respectively we had breaded chicken stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese, with buttered potatoes, and a sirloin steak with chips and mushrooms. And, finally, even though we were quite full, we got through our salted caramel cheesecake and white and dark chocolate torte.
I had a very large plateful of food (almost too big) – the waiter even commented on how many chips I had, and wished me good luck! I couldn’t complain, as the food-lover I am. The staff, in particular our waiter on the night, were delightful: smiley, well-mannered, attentive and helpful. The overall atmosphere too was pleasant, although a little quiet for private conversation.
I took the time to explore the hotel, and got to know its facilities. The View prides itself on its meeting and events facilities, which included the Central Hall, Pier Suite 1, 2 and 3, three Seminar rooms and the Horizon Suite (the Mezzanine) next to the restaurant itself. Packages are fairly flexible, but they have two main options: the Day Delegate Meeting Package and the 24hr Meeting Package. These include things such as meeting room use, dinner and/or lunch, Wi-Fi access, air conditioning, flip charts, projectors etc.
In conclusion, the hotel was lovely inside, with a luxury feel to its interior design, and a business-like atmosphere, whilst not feeling overly corporate. It was a strong 3-star even pushing on 4 for the quality of the room, so as a meeting venue, and quick-stop accommodation, it would more than suit most people’s needs. It is ideal in terms of location (perhaps more so in the summer than winter though) and, with a few improvements to the mattress for a slightly more comfortable night, I believe it would accommodate guests well for any type of stay.
The View Hotel, Eastbourne
Address: Grand Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4DN
Telephone: 01323 433900