Monterey Hotel, St Helier, Jersey

We were on a long weekend (2 adults, 2 young kids) from a neighbouring island. Looking for a little somewhere to hide and relax for a few days. We might normally have considered somewhere more – what we would thought would be – ‘upmarket’ – but given the prices decided to take a ‘risk’ on this – a so-called 3* property. About the only thing was a must for us was an indoor pool and this does limit your choices somewhat.

It turned out to be a great decision. There’s no hiding that this is an old hotel that has gradually been upgraded over time, so it does show its age in places but you could say this about most places and the fact that they are obviously investing in it was not lost on us. The reception area is large and welcoming, recently decorated, the carpets throughout are new and thick and the restaurant/bar area is well done and a nice place to be. There is tons of free parking, there’s a large co-op about 3 minutes’ walk away, and walking in to St Helier is about 10 minutes.

Our room (a ‘family’ room) was of a good standard – just big enough to be sufficiently comfortable. We did actually have an issue – we’d be specifically booked a room with proper beds for our kids, but the staff had seen the ages of our children and decided one bed and a travel cot was more appropriate than the bunk beds in the room we’d chosen. You can’t fault them for this – they were trying to do what they thought was best. However, when we asked to switch, there was no fuss at all – just shown to the new room and given the choice. So we chose the new room and that was it. (And there was even a free teddy in it for our littlest one.) Full marks.

The breakfast was ample and good. We made a lot of use of the pool facilities – describing it as a luxury spa might be taking it a tad far but I’ve stayed in far higher rated hotels with much worse facilities. The pool is shallow at one end and really deep at the other so something for everyone. We mostly had it to ourselves which was a bonus.

About the only ‘complaints’ I can make, and they’re small ones, are in our room it was only a double bed – a king size would have been better and we did order room service (which was prompt and tasty) but the tray sat outside our room well in to following morning.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment – if you can call it that – with the whole experience is – why were there not more people staying there? There seemed to only be a few guests around – on most days the staff easily outnumbered the guests – the staff were all smiley, helpful and friendly – although it meant we largely had the run of the place which is always a bit of a bonus! When the ‘upmarket’ hotels cost as much for one night as it does for three nights here, then anyone who chooses those other places are missing out (or have more money than sense.) Maybe it was just a quiet weekend in Jersey.

So in a nutshell, this is a cracking hotel that offers genuine value for money – you get a lot more than you pay for, which is so rare nowadays. Unless you have ridiculously high standards, then give the Monterey a chance – it’s where we’ll be staying in the future.

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