The Cliffs Hotel, owned by the Choice Hotel Group, is an older Victorian-style hotel located on Queen’s Promenade approximately one mile from the town centre.
It couldn’t be in a better location for those visiting Blackpool. It’s roughly a 15-minute walk from the hotels front door to the city centre. Of course, if you can’t be bothered doing that you needn’t worry as there’s a tram stop right outside.
My booking was made directly with the hotel reservations unit and was completely fuss-free; in fact, it was one of the easiest bookings I’ve made. Reservations staff were exceptionally helpful with everything that was thrown at them.
The hotel has around 25 private parking bays located directly outside the front door. Be aware however that these fill up quickly and you may have to use on-street parking instead. There is one dedicated disabled bay, but it, like all others, is on a first-come-first-served basis and spaces cannot be reserved. Hotel porters, however, will park your car for you if you give them a call in advance telling them you are disabled. They’ll even take your bags from the car to the room. It’s nice to see that there is still some good old-fashioned service left in this industry.
On arrival, check-in was hassle-free. We were early and decided to avail ourselves of lunch in the Promenade Cafe Bar until we could obtain the room keys. We were on the second floor. The corner room was more than adequate for a midweek stay. The hotel has a lift system which accesses all floors. The hotel is also disabled friendly, with good open-plan areas, wide doors, and plenty of room for wheelchairs to manoeuvre. The front of house staff were extremely friendly, offering us maps of the area, organising tram passes and suggesting ideas when to see things at quieter times.
On arrival on the second floor, it reflected the same spotlessly tidy condition that the ground floor did. It’s obvious that hygiene and cleanliness is a big thing for the management of this hotel. Do remember though that this is neither a new-build nor a boutique hotel and makes no pretence at being so. It’s an older style original Victorian hotel and whilst having been updated and refreshed regularly over the years it’s still an old building, and there are limits as to what can be done to it.
We were allocated room 205, a corner room overlooking the illuminations and Queens Promenade. The room was great, and is classed as a junior suite and contained all the relevant information guests need, meal times, room service availability, laundry facilities – and a nice touch was the free Wi-Fi for guests.
The bathroom was an adequate size and spotlessly clean. The over-bath shower was fine, although unlike most hotel showers the head had been cleaned and all the jets worked. There were no complaints about the supply or pressure supplied at the showerhead. Complimentary shower gel and hand soap are provided in dispensers and all towels are provided, although the bath size is certainly not the largest I’ve come across. There is not a huge area of shelving and work surface space in the bathroom for even the lowest maintenance females. (Note to my dear wife).
Now to the bed. Please be aware of the very subjective nature of someone’s impression of a mattress is exactly that, their personal opinion. What will be ideal and suit one guest will undoubtedly be the next guests’ nemesis. For me, I like a firm mattress, and this was just too soft but certainly not worth a complaint, given I was only using it for three nights. Oddly, it appeared the head of the bed was not level and that you were lying in a ‘feet up’ position. I suspect the problem may be down to the level of the floor in this older Victorian lady.
Our visit included evening meals and breakfast in the room charge, and this is taken in the ground floor restaurant area. Again the staff were all very attentive and pleasant. The maître-d ran the operation like a Sergeant Major, slickly, professionally and with an eye for detail, ushering those who were lost in the correct direction, or had simply forgotten where their allocated table was! Once you received your table on your first meal, this is where you will then take all the remaining meals.
The breakfast buffet service was well above average for most hotels. Beverage and toast orders are taken at the table, guest are then free to help themselves to the fruit selection, oranges, prunes, grapefruit, melon, to name but a few, a choice of cereals, muesli and yoghurt, before once again helping yourself in the self-service hot food area. This had the usual bacon, eggs (fried and scrambled), sausages, beans, tomatoes, hash browns and fried bread. Please note there are gluten-free options available. Poached or boiled eggs along with kippers are ordered via the waiting staff and are brought directly to the table.
The hotel offers evening meals and the menu we viewed on our first evening certainly tempted the taste buds. Once again starters are a self-service option, and were, I suspect, also aimed at diners who didn’t want a full meal, or even children as they included, macaroni cheese, mushrooms in a cream sauce with rice, spring rolls, chilli, meatballs, garlic bread, sweet and sour chicken – well you get the idea. These starter dishes could easily double up as main meals for some. The main course was served to the table, and, was of a very high standard. Quite how a kitchen brigade can manage to serve up food of this quality when you have 400 covers defeats me – but well done to them as the quality was amazing with not an overcooked plate of food to be seen.
There are plenty of comfy seats on the ground floor beside the reception in a separate café bar area for guests who want to use them. Reception is open 24hrs and can arrange papers, taxis, tickets for attractions and a lot more – just ask, they are exceptionally helpful and approachable.
This hotel also features a gym, swimming pool, spa with treatments, children’s entertainment with qualified staff, an evening cabaret in the ballroom for the adults, children’s disco, and in fact, a lot of the older guests seem to simply stay at the hotel without venturing out at night. The Cliffs attract a mix of ages from those with young children to the retired, and manages to provide facilities to keep everyone happy – a rare feat indeed these days!
Would I return – without a doubt, and I would heartily recommend The Cliffs to anyone looking to stay in Blackpool for a comfortable experience with some of the best mass customer hotel dining I’ve come across.
One word of advice, the Blackpool Illuminations are on between August 31 and November 4 annually, and unless you’ve pre-booked, accommodation is almost impossible to find in the larger hotels.
For further information, call the hotel reservation team on 08448 115585 or see the Choice Hotel Group’s website here.