9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Not for Guardian readers
"At first we were pleasantly surprised by the Cristina. A pleasant welcome at reception, and the promised top floor room with sea view for an Expedia rate of only Â£70/night for 2 B&B was good enough value, and the bedroom, bathroom and balcony exceeded our expectations, good bedroom furniture in a maple-ish veneer, clean carpets and a big bed.
Being on the "top" of the hotel meant being able to use the convenient secondary car park and corridor entrance, avoiding humping luggage through what is undeniably a rabbit warren of a building. There's also a wicked smell of damp when you move from one section to another.
However, no-one mentioned at the time of enquiry/booking (and I phoned the hotel directly before confirming the reservation via Expedia to take advantage of its flight+hotel discount) that neither the restaurant nor the swimming pool would be operational during our late-April week, and no alternatives or consolation were offered by the staff. The restaurant was closed because hotel occupancy was low, and the pool for planned (and much needed) repairs.
Eating breakfast in the bar rather than the restaurant was actually a bonus because it's a much more pleasant room, fronting the flowery terrace. The pleasant-but-shufflingly-amateur Polish waiting staff also seemed better able to cope with the lesser demands of fewer clients, although anything out of the ordinary (tea with two bags in the pot, fresh hot toast, ketchup) did seem to tax their collective abilities.
The housekeeping staff were also very hardworking European ladies and charmingly helpful, but reception was unable to source feather pillows at 6 in the evening because "housekeeping is closed".
Reception, apart from on arrival, was a total let-down since its staff seemed unable to provide information on the simplest thing - an indoor swimming pool, a fish-and-chip shop recommendation, cinema times, internet access - even a request for a postcard defeated them. They were also vicious in applying an unheard-of 10am checkout deadline with extensions offered only against extra charges.
Apart from some perfunctory schmoozing at breakfast, management was not much in evidence, and the hotel seemed to be run mainly by teenagers.
The clientele was a bit creepy - perhaps in season it's livelier - but the Viyella shirted and sensibly skirted Daily Mail-rustling elderly English couples exchanging platitudes in hushed tones at breakfast seemed to belong if not in an Agatha Christie novel, then certainly to a different age.
Mildly homophobic, too, so gay couples take note that this hotel and/or Jersey itself may not be your most comfortable destination despite its recent compliance with European equality legistation."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of May 2007
Great place to stay!
"This is a really nice and comfortable hotel situated in a quiet, hilly area not far from the esplanade, about 1Â½ miles from the centre of St Helier. The staff were all very pleasant, courteous and helpful and there is a good atmosphere. Our room (no. 02) had a lovely sea view and a huge bed and was very clean and comfortable. We felt it was worth the extra Â£20/night compared with a standard room. One irritating aspect was that, due to its having a suspended ceiling, there was a constant creaking noise when the wind was strong and one of the small windows was open. This disturbed our sleep significantly one night but was alleviated by closing the window the next night.
Breakfasts are excellent and there is a wide choice of cold buffet items in addition to the standard English cooked breakfast. It was amusing to note that on 4 out of 5 mornings the waiter and kitchen efficiency was such that the hot breakfast was delivered before we had finished our cereals. It was taken away and kept hot, so no problem.
We had drinks in the comfortable and spacious lounge bar only once and were shocked to be charged Â£8.80 for a can of Guinness and a glass of unremarkable Pinot Grigio. Frankly this is exorbitant.
We had dinner at the hotel on the first night and found the food delicious and imaginative and its presentation very professional and attractive. However, the portions were rather small and the prices rather high, so we ate out thereafter. Pedro's and Le Village Deli in St Aubin and Le Bistro Soleil in Beaumont St Peter were all excellent and better value than the hotel restaurant. The Navigator Restaurant in Bouley Bay, where we had lunch one day, was superb and we were very impressed when, pointing out that they had forgotten to charge for desserts, were told we could have them free as we had been so honest!
Parking space at the hotel is ample but turning left into the access road, if coming up the hill, is difficult and dangerous. Similarly turning right out of the access road is dangerous and we had a few near-misses in our hire car. Luckily there are 2 ways of walking down into town without having to use the busy road which has no pavement.
Overall the Cristina is a very good hotel and we would return there if ever in Jersey. I doubt that we would eat or drink there, however!"
- Travel date: Thu 10th of May 2007
Great view, great service
"We have just returned from a week at the Hotel Cristina to celeberate our Silver Wedding Anniversary and we thoroughly endorse the other favourible reviews on this site. We were warmly welcomed by geniunely interested/caring reception staff, they immediately checked if our room was available - which it was and immediately made us feel at home. The service, the staff, good sized rooms and the view is what makes this hotel.
It is definitely worth paying extra for a sea-facing room as the views are fabulous and also the balcony is a sun-trap. We had some difficulty with entrance to car park (geographical problem only). We resolved this by driving further up hill and turning round at a t-junction. Also if walking to beach - make sure you use hotel footpath as walking on road down hill dangerous! Everybody from the cleaners to restaurant staff do a great job.
We had a lovely week and would thoroughly recommend to couples and groups, probably not so good for families."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of May 2007
Lived up to expectations!
"We originally overlooked this hotel as the pictures in the brochure (particularly of the outside of the hotel) looked pretty ropey. However, having read the reviews on Tripadvisor, we decided to take a chance and book it. So glad we did! We couldn't really fault the hotel or its staff at all. Everything is very clean and the staff are very friendly, welcoming and helpful. The hotel is in a fantastic location, although I do agree with the previous comments about the entrance from the main road - VERY dodgy and I'm surprised there hasn't been many more accidents there. The hotel is about 2 miles from St Helier and 2 miles from St Aubin and a taxi was Â£5 - Â£6 so we used these to go out in the evening. It took us exactly 30 mins to walk to St Helier, but the walk is lovely as it is all along the promenade.
We had originally decided on a superior room, but then found out that these don't have balconies so we opted for a standard room and the view was amazing. The bar/restaurant is lovely with bar snacks available and the patio area is just beautiful with great views. In fact, we decided to go back to the hotel mid-morning for coffee simply cos we couldn't find anywhere as nice!
The beds are huge, but have blankets rather than duvet which was a bit offputting, but was actually fine. There is no air con in the rooms which I can see as being a bit of a problem in the height of the summer, but the balcony door slides open and you can get a lovely breeze from that. The bathroom was particularly clean with no sign of a mouldy shower curtain or tiles and the shower worked well.
Breakfast was good and the service was second to none. full english was cooked to perfection with no sign of grease at all. The views from the breakfast room, again, were spectacular and made a good start to the morning.
All in all we would highly recommend the Hotel Cristina and if we ever go back to Jersey we won't hesitate in staying there again.
They do hold weddings there and on the Saturday night the music from the wedding was pretty loud until midnight so if you really want a quiet time it might be worth finding out about this before you book. Otherwise no complaints at all."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of May 2007
In for a real treat
"We stayed at the Cristina once again this year. Each year we return we are not disappointed. From our arrival (from a very soggy Coventry airport!!) we were greeted at Reception in the most welcoming manner possible, nothing was left out in the manner of helpful information. Genuine interest in us was shown and was maintained throughout our stay. The room as always was lovely and clean (the only complaint is the loo paper, which is not of the best quality - rather rough!) The views as always are spectacular and to wake up there on a sunny morning is idyllic. We used room service which was efficient and was served by very pleasant staff, and the quality of the food was excellent. It is always a great pleasure to stay at the Cristina and we are repeat customers, it would be hard to find better on the Island I am sure and the quality of the surroundings and the facilities probably do warrant a higher star rating (but that would probably result in a price rise!!!). The staff were, without exception, lovely - in particular young Etienne on Reception, Maria on the housekeeping team and Damian in the bar, all showed a genuine liking for their customers, and that makes a holiday as much as the place that you stay. Can't recommend it highly enough."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of September 2006
Deserves an upgrade to 4-star !!!
"From first arrival at the hotel (which we had chosen due to positive feedback on this site, and by their free car-hire offer) impressions were very good.
All parts of the hotel - from the gardens and public areas right through to the bedrooms themselves - were spotlessly clean, tidy, well maintained, and with new and modern decor and furniture. Whilst still homely and personal, this hotel did not fall into the trap of tiredness as so many UK hotels can do so.
Staff were friendly and very efficient, for example the Reception being manned by competent staff 24hrs.
Service at breakfast was excellent (the vast majority of staff, as on the rest of Jersey, are good English-speaking Polish) and the choice and quality of the breakfast was high. We did not eat at the hotel in the evening and so can not comment on dinner.
The bedrooms were larger than average, fresh, good sized bathroom, with very comfortable beds. The balcony was a good size. We were on the third floor, at the far end of the hotel furthest from reception/restaurant, and indeed to follow up the previous review this did give the best views, privacy and silence. I had simply asked at the time of booking for a quiet room with a good view, and so suggest other readers do this too to get the same.
It is true that the turn off the main road into the hotel is difficult, basically a 360degree turn that requires some reversing, but this is due to the geography (being built on a cliff/hillside) and so you can not fault the hotel for this. However, would strongly recommend having a hire car at this hotel (speaking as a fit 31yo !!) as it is on a hill, some way back from the beach, and half way between both St. Helier or St. Aubin. You will need some sort of transport to travel anywhere. Car parking at the hotel is free, easy and with lots of space.
In summary, I can not praise the hotel enough and do not understand why it is only a 3star, it easily matches 4star hotels I have visited. Very highly recommended."
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of September 2006
"If you're booking a sea view/balcony request one AWAY from the dining room end of the hotel. The view from our room was obscured so we didn't see much, nor feel entirely comfortable using the balcony. Other than this lovely hotel, great staff, good food. We'd stay again (in right room!)."
- Travel date: Mon 21st of August 2006
Better than the brochure pictures!
"What a lovely hotel, with outstanding views of the bays of St.Helier and St.Aubin. If you can't walk far, you will definitely need a car, but being higher up on the hill the panorama was lovely. Rooms were very clean and the staff friendly. Food in the restaurant certainly not cheap and a bit too creamy for our liking, but fine for a few evenings if staying for a week.
We were there during the heatwave and suffered due to lack of air conditioning, ended up buying a fan for the bedroom!
Overall, a very nice hotel for a week's break."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of July 2006
"It was our first trip to Jersey and we landed in Hotel Cristina. It was a 6 days experience of the BEST!!! This hotel was simply great and there are a few reasons for that:
1- The staff is overall friendly and helpful. they were so sweet and try to help wherever they could...always smiling, always in a cheering mood. Not only at the reception, also in the restaurant! This was excellent service.....better than in many 5 star hotels----
2- the room: great deal for this big and very comfortable room. We stayed on the second floor and had an incredible beautiful view from the small balcony...it could not be any better! And it was soooo silent....I still miss the St. Aubin bay view!!!
3- the location - could not be better...its exactly 1 mile to walk to St. Helier (or 10 mins by bus)...we had a car and followed the instruction better to leave the car in the parking lot at the hotel.....what a good idea. But also to drive to fabulous St. Aubin it couldnt be any better! Airport is in the reach of 15 mins drive.....
This hotel was really outstanding and in my opinion worth every Cent! I would highly recommend it!"
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of July 2006