More about Watergate Bay Hotel
Poor value for money and disappointing service.
The location of the Watergate Bay hotel is undoubtedly its best feature, the beach is great and the hotel couldn't be closer to it. The car park and buildings immediately in front do detract a little from the view, but if you're prepared to overlook these then the location's stunning, a picturesque and typically Cornish bay, bustling with beach activity.
ARRIVAL AND CHECK IN
The hotel's 2 tiny car parks are not adequete for the number of cars, on arrival it was impossible to park outside in order to unload bags, we resorted to blocking someone in temporarily. A set down point would be useful, to give a better impression to arriving guests. The public areas have been refurbished in a modern style, including the reception area, the staff were young and relatively friendly.
The hotel does provide twin rooms and we were allocated a twin room first time (its amazing how many times other hotels overlook this type of request). But the room was very small, old fashioned in decor and funishings, a little tatty and in desperate need of renovation. It was clean, it was adequete but it was under no circumstances a hotel room worth the £120 per night price tag.
These 'economy' rooms are one of the hotel's downfalls. Reading other reviews makes it clear that this is all about managing expectations. The hotel's website with its artfully shot modern and fashionable images of contemporary rooms and the accompanying descriptions are clearly designed to appeal to a certain clientele. The website creates expectations that these economy rooms cannot match up to. To change this they need to leave guests in no doubt and call them "un-modernised", they also need to start charging a more reasonable price.
Breakfast on the 2 busy mornings we stayed was a hap hazzard and trying start to the day. The choice was just about adequete, but the egg station was manned by a dfferent individual every day, not necessarily a chef. Having got to the front of the queue, one day we waited 20 minutes watching him cook an omelette. By the time we returned to our table, ready to tuck in - it had been cleared away. We had to sit elsewhere and then ask the staff individually for everything from a knife and fork, to some tea, then some cups for the tea, some milk etc. In short the service was slow and the staff anticipated nothing. This opportunity for the hotel to demonstrate their high standards of service ended up proving exactly the opposite.
The hotel is geared up for children and those without should beware, you'll be outnumbered by families, we were and this was well before school holidays. Mostly well behaved, of course, there were just some parents willing to let their little ones run riot, not the hotel's fault but again, it detracts from the ambience they're trying to achieve. Couples without children should think very carefully about how they feel about this before choosing to stay here.
HOUSEKEEPING AND SERVICE
After a day out, returning to the room, it had been serviced but there were no teabags in the room and the cups were unwashed. We went to reception to ask for more tea and they made us wait whilst they found some. A quick apology and "Certainly, we'll send some up" would have completely changed my mind about the service, but again there wasn't anyone with the experience or initiative to do this.
One of the final straws was when we returned the next day to find that even the toilet roll hadn't been replenished, this was the first time I've ever stayed at a hotel and had to go to reception to ask for basics like that.
It's hard to see how anyone can enjoy a stay at a hotel so blatantly failing to get even simple things right and perhaps this was a one-off lapse. Even so it shouldn't be beyond the management to offer a brief lighthearted apology in recognition of the mistake.
Undoubtedly popular, because of its location, this hotel needs to rethink its older rooms and improve service at busy times if it wants to live up to the trendy image they seem keen to portray. If only they put a tiny bit of the effort they used designing and building that website into running the hotel, it has the potential to become one of the best places to stay in Cornwall. At the moment though, those economy rooms are providing poor value and the service is consistently disappointing.
Just spent five nights at watergate hotel with our two teenage boys from New Zealand, great hotel, clean, great service and staff, and great facilites .beauty of hotel is that ieverything is there so you can totally relax, and other than walk 5minutes to the beach meals activities all on site. kept our boys totally amused and we even extended our stay as they so enjoyed it. staff at hotel were so obliging and great spirits , they became like your mates, would totally recommend this hotel for a get away relaxing all inclusive package.
The McManaway Family Te Puke New Zealand
Save the jet lag and airfare
Having been travelling to the WBH for 30+ years (since I was a kid) the experience on offer now is the best it has ever been. We've travelled all over the US, Canada and Europe but you can save your airmiles if you're looking for a better location than this.
The hotel has been much improved in the past two years and if you stay in the newly built rooms then you may pay 4* prices but you do get a 4* experience - anyone reading negative reviews of this hotel, if you look at the detail, you'll find most writers stayed in the 'old' accommodation. Take your choice and be warned.
The beach is terrific and as one previous writer pointed out, you really don't need to touch your car during the week especially if you get good weather.
The Beach Hut is great for daytime food at the beach. The Hotel food is also very much improved over previous years. Fifteen was ok - they only offer two fixed menu's (A or B), it was painfully expensive and to be honest the food was not really to my taste. To much cheese and not enough choice. Sorry Jamie, I must be a culinary philistine I guess but I'll take the WBH menu any day.
It's All A Front
Everything seems okay until you get there. Nowhere to park, no help with luggage, receptionist just wants your money. Downstairs looks okay, guess its been refurbed recently but the rooms are terrible, dirty, ancient, small. Had to wait 10 minutes to get served at the bar, staff to busy arguing with another customer, apparently they wouldnt serve bar snacks?! Never again.
Don t be fooled by the smiling receptionist?
On booking this weekend break, for me and my son (17), I telephoned to check our room would not be 'at the back' as 13 years as a single Mum has taught me to 'fight' to be treated in an equivalent manner to a 'proper' family ie with a DAD.
Guess what our first room allocation was a 'disgrace' at £157 for one night overlooking an extremely busy car park. My son, was disgusted and mericifully we were upgraded to the 'posh new wing' with an upgrade supplement!
No tissues in the room, deposits on swimming towels, the breakfast cereal choice, and cold meat buffet were non existent, with absolutely no help to park in an extremely busy area all proved we will return to our other fav. hotel in that area The Headland, where the customer counts instead of the profit margin.
Avoid this place like the plaque, is my sad verdict.
Better than expected!
Having read the reviews on Trip Advisor we almost cancelled our trip - v. glad we didn't! We had an 'economy sea view room' (all that was available in peak season) and it was perfectly fine - clean, comfortable, stunning views and enough room for 2 adults, a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old - exactly as Mark Grebby, the hotel director had described. Food was excellent - the kids dinner also deserves special mention for being both healthy and appealing to kids! The boys loved the outdoor and indoor pools, the children's entertainment (which also allows you to have dinner in peace and quiet) and the huge beach right on their doorstep.
A number of Trip Advisor reviews have made a lot of the hotel not being good value for money - we went in peak season and while not cheap, I would challenge anyone to find a hotel with a better location (right on the beach) in the UK which IS great value for money. I just don't think one exists - if you find one let me know!
All in all, a wonderful holiday - we are already booking for next year.
Really Awful rooms
Do not be fooled by the wonderful P.R. that this hotel has been the subject of.
Listen to this;
Arrival, welcome, reception area, great.
Bar overlooking beach, promising. Staff, friendly and effecient.
Staircase, sweeping and hopes still high.
Beyond, truely grim.
The smell hits you as you go through the fire door on to the first landing. Its not good.
Still optimistic, though a little concerned as we opened the door of the room that was to be ours for our long awaited luxury break in Cornwall. Yes the price of the room would get you something amazing in Rome or Nice, but we wanted the fab hotel experience in Cornwall and were happy to pay for it, and convinced our guests too.
The rooms that we had been given in this hotel were;
unrefurbished for what looked to be about thirty years, with design and decor reminiscent of that period.
Peeling wallpaper, discoloured lino, dirty carpet, pubic hairs in bed, and depressingly again in bath, near campbeds and truly scary old hospital style sink in guests bedroom.
Window, unable to open due to pipe, on to collection of hotel hardware-with accompanying loud thrumming.
old bucket mascerading as bin in bathroom, old rack to hang washing on over old bath
Never mind, the dining room looks good, and breakfast in a hotel like this will no doubt be fab.
Enter dining room, (closed at nine thirty am, no leisurly lie in needed any way in terrible fetid bedroom).
Great noise of toddlers and atmosphere of playgroup hits you.
Floor awash with debris.
All food offered absolute budget quality. Fruit salad thinly disguised as fresh by the hasty addition of fresh fruit to cheap broken tinned fruit which makes up the bulk.
Jam, a vat of solid red.
Bread like thin plastic barely toasted and sticking to the toaster like shelf liner.
Coffee, just drinkable.
Food quality only equalled in the bar when one of our guests ordered a pizza, and good old bulk value purchase gave us a cardboard base thinly spread in the centre with redish slurry.
If you order a drink, dont look in to the bar, where litter is crushed underfoot by staff, and the inner surfaces are swathed in truly filthy tea towels.
Also, the pool is minute and so heavily chlorinated that only the under twelves were braving it, the jacuzzi is decorated with great fat hairballs,
I have to say though, that the staff were really great, and so was the music they played.
Oh, but if you are going for the surfing, watch out, the beach was closed for the middle of both days that we were there due to strong currents. But then I suppose you must expect bad weather in August.
And, if you suffer from allergies, or have a sensitive sense of smell, or can't stand the sound of barking dogs, be careful. Dogs are allowed to stay in upstairs bedrooms.
Or you could believe the PR and go anyway.
The location is fantastic, as are the staff, however, the hotel management rely on this front to cover up the rest of the hotel. The entrance to the hotel is lovely, but the rest is not! We stayed in one of the older rooms, but appreciating it was high season, we couldn't be moved as they were fully booked. The room was only just basic, with peeling wallpaper, old decor and a smelly sink! For £190 per night, this is not what we are used to and were disappointed considering it was our honeymoon.
The breakfast was good, although the egg situation as others have mentioned, should be better. There was quite a good choice depending on the mood of the eater!!
Dinner was adequate, although I would have resented handing over cash for any meal! The best part by far was the desert! Some days the food portions were small and very poor quality and others they were good.
The living place was good, if over-priced. We live in London and we were shocked as to the prices at the bar! However, the food served in the living place was better than the brasserie.
The hotel seems well catered towards the family visitors, but less so towards anyone else. Whilst it was OK, I would consider going elsewhere, before considering staying here again.
The hotel seems well catered towards families, but less so towards anyone else.
Bit of a mix......
My wife, son and I spent 5 days at the Watergate Bay at the end of July, over a peak summer holiday weekend. There were some positives and negatives.
The down side. As other guests have mentioned, the non-refurbished rooms in the coach house are poor. We paid £235 b&b for a room that had peeling wallpaper, was not light, lots of massive spiders! We also had a night in a main hotel room (non-refurbished), which was about the same (but no spiders!). In terms of value for money, very very poor, possibly the worst value of all the hotels I have stayed in.
On the positive side, this was a good place for children, most of the staff were very good and very helpful all round, the breakfast and service was good. The beach hut was great for dinner - food, service and location, and the surf hire, whilst expensive, was very good. Main benfit is the location, which was superb.
Overall, the location is 5 star, the staff are 4 star (some training for the bar staff?), the Beach hut and beach facitlites are 4 star, the communal facilities are 3 star and the rooms are stag night bed and breakfast in Doncaster star (i.e. nil). I bet the owner has a new Aston Martin!
My 8 year old loved it, and we'll probably be back for the location, the dinner views from the beach hut, the kids stuff and the surfing. That's why they can charge the prices for the rooms!
Bring on the refurb
Our week at Watergate Bay in the middle of August was our second visit to the resort, after a very enjoyable stay last year. Once again the positives outweighed the negatives.
We stayed in one of the 'economy' rooms and it's good to see the management has a sense of humour because it was far from economical at over £250 per night db&b. There have been a lot of negative reviews about these rooms and ours did have some minor problemes such as a bit of peeling wallpaper and a rather dowdy bathroom. However it was more than redeemed by a breathtaking sea view. I might have felt differently if I'd had an economy room overlooking the service yard.
The refurbishment really can't come quickly enough because these rooms are damaging the reputation of an otherwise excellent hotel. They are not in keeping with the image created by the public areas or the hotel's hyperactive marketing operation, and so inevitably leave customers disappointed.
The bar and restaurant areas were fine and I'm pleased to say the quality of the catering in the Brasserie had improved on last year. The young staff were always helpful, if a little overstretched in the bar. The childrens' organisers were fantastic.
But more than anything Watergate Bay is about the beach and the surfing and on this front it's unbeatable. Provided I can be reassured that we won't get an unrefurbished room, I'll happily book again.
Across the bay
RUGGED COASTLINE AND DEEP BLUE SEA
pick up a penguin