Saturday, 1 September 2012

Bar prices

Looking at our bar prices which we think are rather reasonable....

Friday, 31 August 2012


Monday, 27 August 2012

Rail services

Very interested (and a bit amused) to hear that a faster rail journey from Eastbourne to London (70 minutes) might be on the cards but I am convinced that this is just not possible with the present railway infrastructure whereby all trains are funnelled through the bottle neck of East Croydon. I have repeatedly added my support to the idea of a new railway line using the former Lewes to Uckfield line and then to London via Tunbridge Wells or East Croydon. Improvements including better signalling, double deck trains and 16 car trains are just not going to do it and we need some radical thinking not lame posturing.



Thursday, 9 August 2012

The true cost of Airbourne

In 2008, 48000 customers paying £5 each would raise £240 000 with losses of £360000 incurred. In 2012, 100000 residents plus 50000 visitors paying £1 each would raise £150000 and 30% of that is going to the RNLI leaving £105000.  We are told that this is sufficient to make the event ‘viable’

Is the problem with Airborne that no one is willing to tell us exactly how much it costs and exactly how much it brings in.  Only when we know that, can we make any informed judgement on whether the event is worthwhile or not.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

More tales of the hotel lift

Quite distressed to find out that our lift has decided to give up its day carrying passengers up and down between floors. We contacted the company (with whom we have a contract) immediately but there idea of urgent is a lot further down the list than ours. Eventually persuaded another lift company to come and have a look but not all good news. Indeed their prognosis suggests that our much loved lift is seriously unwell fact nearly as sick as I was when they told me how much it would cost to put it right!!!!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Wedding party

Busy day today at the da Vinci  hosting a wedding party for our friends Lindsay and Merv.  We are not really on the wedding venue listings but Lindsay and Merv are personal friends so, when they asked, we could hardly refuse. In the end, the celebration was quite a success with many reporting on the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We managed to anticipate requirements well.....additional staff, rooms rearranged, tables cleared, bar stocked and cake displayed plus a  wonderful display of balloons in bridal colours. Apologies only to our arriving guests who must have wondered what they were doing in the middle of all this celebration....regardless they enjoyed sampling the buffet and toasting the bride.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Hotel Inspector

The Channel 5 programme called the Hotel Inspector was essential viewing this evening as it featured one of our neighbouring hotels which has pretentions to become a four star hotel on the back of being 41 out of 41 on the Trip Advisor review site.

I have every sympathy for host Alex Polizzi as she tried to instil a sense of realism into the owner’s consciousness ……but this was never going to be an easy task. Regardless, the hotel is now number 39 (out of 41) on Trip Advisor ….and might shortly catch up with the other hotel in the group with is sitting at number 37!!!

PS My favourite quote from the programme is: Owner  "If you don't like the room for God's sake why did you take it ?".  Guest "We changed four times"

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Railway investment???

I note with considerable interest that the £9bn railway investment announced recently by the coalition doesn't offer much support to commuters living in the south other than the promise of even higher fares to pay for electrifying the line to Sheffield. A growing number of people are pushing strongly for the reinstatement of the Lewes to Uckfield line which would do much to take the pressure off rail services to London and congestion at Haywards Heath and East Croydon .

Lewes MP Norman Baker said "The reopening of the Lewes - Uckfield line is something I have campaigned for locally for over twenty years. It is vitally needed, not just to link the two towns again, but also as a key building block in providing an alternative to the heavily congested Brighton main line.".

Unfortunately, since he took on the job of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport he seems to have gone rather quiet .... other than suggesting “You will, I hope, appreciate, that a minister is not allowed to use his or her position to advantage their constituency”. So not even much chance of jam tomorrow then!!!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Eastbourne Town Team

I may unwittingly have upset some members of the Eastbourne Town Team when I took issue with their recent findings about what might make Eastbourne great. They wrote on their blog "Just back from a stint on the BIG IDEAS 'zeebo... and really impressive response so far. Amongst the most impassioned ideas to come up so far are: much more plants and flowers in the town centre,..."

Unfortunately, I believe we need a lot more than plants and flowers here is the list I sent to them:

Remove paid parking especially around shops
Pedestrianise central shopping area
Cycle ways from Beachy Head to Sovereign Harbour
Pursue John Lewis to open in Eastbourne
Encourage more good quality street entertainers
More street cafes…not pubs on pavements
More street markets ….not just Wednesday
More police to curb nuisance behaviour around pier
Improved rail services (to London, Brighton, Rye etc)
Sort out our heritage (bandstand, congress, …)
Insist that owners of listed buildings look after them
Build an iconic structure near the wish tower
Improve the quality of hotels and guesthouses
Less of those folk who pounce on you for charity
Discourage (penalty) shop landlords for empty shops
Free entertainment on the sea front (bandstand?)
Longer opening hours at the Tourist Information Centre
Reduce VAT (probably not possible but important)
Ask what EBC does with £25 million in business rates

Please let me know what you think.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Another hotel for sale

Sorry to hear that yet another hotel in Eastbourne is up for sale. This time it is the Big Sleep which is part of a chain of hotels, predominantly owned by Cosmo Fry. The  50 bedroom hotel  has a price tag of £1.6 million and was described  by the Travel Trade Gazette as the 'Travel Lodge with sex appeal'.

A single hotel up for sale may not be too much of a worry but when it becomes part of a trend then someting needs to be done. The Heatherleigh,  Carlton Court, Palm Court, Claremont and the a load more guest houses are all up for sale at this time.

Of course the good news is that Premier Inn have bought  the old Co-Op building although buying the building and opening a hotel is not quite the same....and no sign of any work to date I have to say.
So my advice is book early to get a room then check that the hotel is still operating as you get closer to your stay. Alternatively book yourself into the da the best advice I can give!!!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Languages spoken here

Just been counting the number of different languages spoken by staff at the da Vinci including:

Albanian, Arabic, English, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Tagalog and Urdu.

An impressive line up of talent I think!!!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Falling apart

Sometimes I wonder exactly what is happening to Eastbourne. First we hear the news that pieces are falling off the Congress Theatre, then it is the roof of the bandstand on the seafront. Who exactly is looking after our heritage in Eastbourne?

Unfortunately, not the council it would seem. We have a Conservation Officer but they only work part time - well one day each week in fact...and they don't have time to answer my emails

So we are now paying the price of these cut backs....scaffolding covering the Congress Theatre and a temporary structure to stop the roof of the bandstand falling on one of the tribute groups.

I have also asked what they intend to do about the building opposite which continues to rot away with no one taking a bit of notice...except me perhaps.

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Friday, 10 February 2012

Getting ready for the high season

Very busy trying to get everything ready. Walls are being repainted. Others are being touched up. New wooden floors in the remaining rooms. Additional toilets on the mezzanine floors. New sofa beds in the family rooms and new furniture ordered for rooms 106, 206 and 208. We have completed painting the back of the hotel and sorted out the gardens at the rear. Resolved the leak in 105 and replastered the ceiling in the front lounge. Now I just need some guests so I can pay all my credit cards off.

Veolia Environmental Services

Veolia have been refusing to collect our rubbish for the past week claiming we hadn't paid them. In fact we had paid them but they made a mistake in the accounts department. Spent most of this morning sorting it with the bank and their accounts department. Received a cursory sorry but then, to add insult to injury, the woman suggested we should have picked it up earlier....

Monday, 2 January 2012

Opinions from real travellers???

TripAdvisor has been told it cannot claim all of its reviews are written by real travellers. The Advertising Standards Authority said claims that all reviews on the travel site are genuine are "misleading". The ruling came after complaints highlighted statements on the TripAdvisor website which claimed: "reviews you can trust" and "more than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world".

The complainants said that TripAdvisor did not verify the reviews and therefore could not prove that they were genuine or from real travellers. They said that consumers would take the claims on the website to mean they could be certain the reviews posted were from genuine travellers.

TripAdvisor said they used "advanced and highly effective" fraud detection systems but were told not to claim or imply that all the reviews that appeared on the website were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted....or from people who even stayed in your hotel as happened to us!!!