Norbreck Castle Hotel
100 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Fun - for 5 minutes...
"Where do I start? From the depressing sight of the reception which greeted us as we came through the battered revolving door or the fact that they were still using a card indexing system and no computers in sight (bad sign, thought I). The carpets were badly stained and repaired for the most part, with duct tape. There were panes of glass missing and/or broken from the windows in the corridors in the Balmoral wing and there was no way I was getting in the lift, as there were buttons missing or broken inside it and on most of the floors. There were broken glasses left outside our room for the 2 night duration of our stay and our room had a hole in the wall and large rip in the bed linen, in full view of whoever made the bed. The room smelt bad and the catch on the window was broken. A loud clonking sound emitted from our radiator all through the night also.
The entertainment was 'interesting'. Kids started at 10 pm one night; the cinema never opened, despite repeated requests from reception, neither did one of the restuarants.
Food was ok - very bland and a cafeteria style layout. I hope the guests like close company, as you were huddled together like sardines, despite the fact there were plenty of spare tables on their own. No table linen either.
The leisure facilities were excellent - very proffesional and clean. We spent most of our time at the hotel in these. The staff were friendly and helpful, despite the appaling conditions. If this is what the guests saw, goodness knows what the staff areas were like!
We had a laugh running it down for about 5 minutes, then it ceased to be funny as we realised we had to stay there for two nights. Not an ideal start to our honeymoon, but we were glad to leave for the Lakes on the second day.
To sum it up - Like Butlins in one building, but crap."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of October 2003
"Just stayed one night at the Norbreck, couldn't stand the thought of a second so we booked out. This is one of the worst hotels we have ever had the misfortune to stay in. The rooms we were shown were run down, poorly furnished and smelled aweful. The bathroom was smelly and dirty, who has stayed a a so called 3* hotel and only had two hand towels in the bathroom, we requested bath towels at 3.30p.m. and by 9.00a.m. next day we still had no towels. The dining room was like a works canteen and that is not being detramental to works canteens even they have a table cloth. i have seen better facilities offered in a works canteen than at the Norbreck. The food was of a very poor quality and barely warm. Being a retired contract catering manager i have seen all sorts and this rates amongst the worst. The annoying thing is we payed Â£100 pound per night for this shambles. The lounge and bar areas were filthy, the carpets were thick with dirt around the tables, not very condusive to leisurely evening drink, the price of the beer increased by 70p from the time my husband bought a pint in the afternoon and when we came back to the hotel at 10.00p.m. we presumed this was to cover the so called entertainment, on the night we stayed this was a group followed by a childrens entertainer at 10.15p.m., childrens entertainment should be early on in the evening. The hotel staff say this is not a 3* hotel, so why do all the internet sites that sell this hotel say it is. this was an all round dirty, paupers castle, by the way we paid extra for a sea view, yes we did get a sea view but also a view of a derilict petrol station. A NIGHT NOT TO BE REMEMBERED OR REPEATED"
- Travel date: Fri 26th of September 2003
A gothic horror
"The exterior facade of the Norbreck Castle presents a picture of neglect and decay, all the more depressing when viewed from the rear of the building. It is a spectacle more reminiscent of an urban prison than that of a mediaeval castle. The "fantastic" seaviews claimed in the hotel brochure for those fortunate to be accommodated at the front of the building are marred by the remnants and debris of what was once a petrol station on the forecourt. Though some renovation work has already been undertaken, much remains to be done. It is not long after entering the lobby that this becomes evident - peeling paintwork, crumbling plaster, holes in the wall, stained threadbare carpet - the list goes on. The gentlemen's toilets adjacent to Reception are worthy of mention- not noted for their fragrance nor somewhere you would wish to linger, for above one's head when standing at the urinals is a spacious void where once rested a ceiling tile. I was perhaps more fortunate in occupying an upper room in the Balmoral wing on the far side of the building. The bathroom had recently been refurbished with modern showwer and WC fittings. Nevertheless whenever I turned on the cold tap, out came warm water. My colleague, located on the floor below, suffered similar problems and one evening when needing a bath could not obtain any hot water for more than an hour. For those who enjoy live (and lively) entertainment the Norbreck could be the place for you. Having said that, families with young children, those with sensitive hearing and anyone wishing to retire at a sensible hour should prepare to be deafened. The noise emanating from the lounge in the main building can be heard the length and breadth of the complex and continues late into the evening, especially weekends. And now to the dining room. If you enjoy cosying up to strangers in a convivial atmosphere of noise and clatter you will not be disappointed. I chose to arrive early for breakfast and dinner each day when there was an abundance of unoccupied tables.However, I was invariably seated alongside other diners in a long row, presumably for the convenience of the waiting staff. Meals are assisted self-service with guests required to join what can be longish queues to collect their main courses. It is very much a "canteen culture" and though I had no complaints regarding the menu itself, the atmosphere in the dining hall detracted from my enjoyment. Service was slap-happy with a notable lack of care on the part of certain staff. On one occasion a waiter brushed past me (there being so little space between tables) and accidentally dropped a dirty breakfast plate which landed face down on the carpet next to my chair.
No attempt was made to clean up the resulting congealed residue of baked beans stuck to the carpet even after I had drawn this to the attention of the next passing waiter. The reception area is comfortably furnished but can become crowded with the rapid turnover of coach parties which seem to comprise a large proportion of passing trade. A supply of complimentary daily newspapers ("The Independent") is provided for guests to help themselves. In summary I believe that many guests will be disappointed by what they find at the Norbreck today.
Their expectations may have been raised by hotel publicity material, both printed and online, especially that appealing shot of the illuminated "castle" by night, which suggests something more akin perhaps to a 3 or 4-star establishment. In fact the Norbreck has a "HOAST bronze" rating ( as opposed to the higher silver and gold ratings). According to Blackpool Borough Council this denotes a certain standard of cleanliness and comfort. The hotel is subject to an annual inspection. I shall leave you to make up your own mind about the Norbreck and do not seek to impose my views on any intending guests, but I for one shall be seeking alternative accommodation when next I return to Blackpool."
- Travel date: Sun 21st of September 2003
Super Value And Old World Charm
"Firstly may I say that I booked this hotel on Lastminute and it was very cheap and then I read the reviews and was horrified that I could be taking my husband and two toddlers to a dump to celebrate our anniversary. My husband said not to worry and that we would go and make up our own mind but I was all for cancelling and booking into the Hilton but I finally agreed with him. On arrival at the hotel it looked a bit like a communist block but on venturing in I thought that right away it didn't deserve the slating it had got in the reviews and the reception area was adequate. We all went for a look round and I couldn't believe how little we had paid for so many facilities ie childrens playareas, large leisure suite with spa bath, steam room, saune, massage and beauty etc etc which was as good as any that I have ever stayed in and especially for the money paid. Just in case you are wondering,we are seasoned travellers, mainly stay in Hiltons, Holiday Inns, the odd Travel Inn and have stayed in the Waldorf in New York before the kids arrived and believe me if this hotel had been dodgy I would have been out of the door like a shot. However, I must say that the room we stayed in was the standard of a travel lodge which was well cleaned and more than adequete. The beds were comfortable, there was lots of hot water and the kids slept in bunk beds which they loved. As for the corridors, they did have a slight smell but not of stinking mops but industrial cleaner which I recognised the smell of as my brother owns a business. As for breakfast, well you could eat as much as you wanted and no-one took your order as it was self service but didn't much go for the lancashire sausages! The rest of the food was hot and plenty of it and as good as any Hilton we have stayed in. One thing you must understand, this hotel has in my opinion been a very grand old place with many old world features which I found to be quite endearing but it is rough round the edges in places ie doors needing touched up, skirtings, some carpeted areas and the overall look from outside with the half knocked down building and empty outdoor pool but take my word for it once this hotel has had a little tlc you will not be paying Â£76 b/b for two nights that I can guarantee. We used the trams and a twenty four hour pass cost about Â£4, and the stop was right across from the hotel. There was evening entertainment in the hotel which looked good but couldn't stay as kids wanted there bed. Also reception staff were very pleasant and even wished me a safe journey home - don't get that in the big chains - overall a real bargain not to be missed."
- Travel date: Wed 17th of September 2003
LOVED IT GOING AGAIN
"NORBRECK CASTLE HOTEL dont worry about the moaners, some people are never satisified.my wife and i enjoyed five days at norbreck good food good entertainment.and the lights were brilliant.WILL BE GOING AGAIN SOONMRS&MR R DUGGAN"
- Travel date: Mon 15th of September 2003
A Titanic - Large & Sinking Fast
"Friend & I stayed with 3 kids for two days in August 2003, having booked & paid before reading Trip Advisor. Basically a Titanic hotel - large and sinking. Rooms were tatty, bathroom areas particulary poor and desperately in need of refurbishment. Restaurant divided into two areas, the smaller fine with sea views, table linen and a bright, airy feel. The larger area a cavernous, poorly ventilated hall, canteen style with no linen and appalling acoustics for the poor, huddled masses. Only took dinner one night and it was dreadful - a carvery with soggy, over-cooked veg & glutinous gravy. The staff appeared to be only interested in laying out breakfast, not serving diners.On the up side? Generally helpful staff, superb childrens play area, good breakfast (coffee & bacon particulary). Rooms clean, beds good (if a little small). Bars prices.Won't be staying again until planned refurbishment is completed."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of August 2003
"i thought this hotel was quite good. the food was very nice. the staff were helpful and friendly. the rooms were nice but they have room for improvment. Dont get me wrong they had been cleaned very well but the bed covers and carpets could be a bit more upbeat and modern. I got on easpecially well with all the chambermaids and laundry staff . Who in my eyes are great! and to top off my stay there was a gorgrous lad who worked in the cafe and esam a laundry porter was very good looking. im only 16 but this hotel deserves more respect that it gets."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of August 2003
Smashing for the family
"We spent 4 nights here, in a family room ( double bed and bunks with plenty of room to spare.) A huge hotel which looks horrid from the outside......but the staff were lovely, the facilities were great including use of lovely pool and huge children's play areas. The Boston Stakeout provided a quiet area with superb play ship and excellent food. Our boys loved the informal atmosphere and we enjoyed the typical Blackpool entertainment in the evening , which included stuff for the children too. Breakfast was a huge hot and cold buffet which set us up for the day. It was Â£3.90 each way into Blackpool on the tram which was a bit pricey but the beach over the road from the Norbreack was beautiful and empty.We booked directly with the hotel which was a lot cheaper. Would not stay here if it was just me and "him" as it was just slightly jaded round the edges. We will return with our children next year!"
- Travel date: Sun 17th of August 2003
On the way up!
"This hotel has just been taken over about 2 months ago by Brittania Hotels. Stayed there 4 days with coach trip. Coach trips are usually treated as second class citizens. Not us! Clean & pleasant rooms. Extremely helpful & friendly staff. Excellent hotel facilities. First class food. Alright, there is still room for improvement. Some areas are still tatty, especially if viewed from outside. Painters were on duty, whilst we were there. Alot has been done already and is ongoing. Autumn 2004 before all is put right. Meanwhile, if you get a chance, I strongly recommend you try this hotel for yourself. Highly recommended by my family and I. It won't stay cheap for long, believe me. I very nearly gave this hotel 5, that's how good I thought it was, and I've stayed in alot of hotels around the country. Get your backside there ! Then, you can review it for yourself. I'll certainly be going back soon. I'd be a mug not to !"
- Travel date: Tue 12th of August 2003
"The rooms were great, the facillities were good and the ale was the best iv'e tasted. The staff were helpful and bubbly. I would advise to go. Copper Face jacks were brill andf it was an exellent place to chill"
- Travel date: Sun 10th of August 2003
"Visited this hotel for Christmas 2015,my husband and me really enjoyed it so much we are going again for Christmas this year.OK I will honestly say that the hotel is in need of refurbishment, the first impressions from the outside is not good but pleasantly surprised on the inside,considering that hundreds of people walk through year after year,it must be like painting the 4th bridge you never get to the finish when it comes to cleaning.food is good with something to suite all tastes,buffet style breakfast and dinner, (tip)take own t bags.entertainment was fabulous,tribute acts on every night,swimming pool etc,if I read and took notice of the bad reviews we wouldn't have gone,bad reviewers should pay treble next time and go elsewhere.staff were great,polite,and friendly. "
- Travel date: Sun 11th of December 2016
Awful Customer service
"Had issues with the payment tried to call the hotel service and after 18 calls only abled to receive the help and the explanation as to why they took double payment from the bank account. Where rude and would drop the phone when asked to talk to the manager. Also when finally were able to explain the issue were put on hold to which then they ignored 3 times and had to explain the whole situation again and now waiting for the money to be placed back into the bank account."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of November 2016