The West View Hotel in the parish of St. Mary made a super family-friendly base in the heart of some of Jersey’s prettiest countryside and just a few minutes drive from its spectacular and dramatic north coast. Despite this, our journey to the West View Hotel took us under twenty minutes by car from St. Helier’s bustling town and port and the ferry we had just disembarked from. Like everything in Jersey, nothing is ever very far away and you can definitely enjoy country charm without abandoning completely the buzz of the capital.
The West View Hotel is ironically located on La Grand Rue, tucked away on the outskirts of St. Mary and on such a quiet lane that we nearly missed the turning. Luckily, our eyes were caught by the tourist signpost to the nearby La Mare vineyard which just happened to be in the same direction – a promising start we thought!
The hotel itself is fairly small and homely and pretty far removed from the large and impersonal image the word ‘hotel’ so often conjures up. We were met by the welcoming manager Phil who, informed of our ferry time, had been waiting for us and guessed correctly who we were!
We were quickly shown up to our accommodation in the East Wing – a ‘superior’ room. Despite the name, the ‘superior’ and ‘standard’ rooms are of a very similar standard. All rooms are en-suite, contain a hairdryer, a colour tv and tea and coffee making facilities (including a generous amount of tea and coffee – a surprisingly common failing in so many establishments). The main difference is that the superior rooms at West View have a bath as well as a shower – a worthwhile consideration for those staying with younger children who enjoy a wallow in the tub at the end of a busy and sandy day at the beach.
Our room was lovely and bright and roomy enough for all three of us. Roo had been provided with a large travel cot, including some sheets and a blanket and our double bed was comfy and roomy enough to occasionally squeeze in our daughter who was thoroughly excited by sharing a room with us and the tantalising prospect of sleeping in a ‘big-girl bed’! The room also contained a large wardrobe, desk and chair, as well as a table and two comfy chairs – perfect for enjoying the very important aforementioned cup of tea!
The whole room was spotlessly clean, if a little tired in terms of decor. The bedding and soft furnishings again were fresh and perfectly laundered, if slightly faded. Roo’s cot did have a few tiny old stains on the mesh but these were not new, with the rest of the cot and mattress looking hygienic and she slept soundly in it throughout her stay. The bathroom was surprisingly spacious with an instant and plentiful supply of scorching hot water available, regardless of the time of day or night. If anything it was almost too hot and we had to take care to run some cold water through after running the bath, before letting Roo near the taps!
Outside of the room, it soon becomes apparent why the West View is such a great choice for young families. During the summer months the hotel has its own outdoor swimming pool, complete with loungers and heated from May until late September. There are also the more practical considerations – it is possible to wash your own clothes in the hotel’s laundry room, with washing powder available on request for small fee from reception and there is a comfy bar to enjoy and evening drink at whilst still staying within close range of your younger charges. High chairs are available in the dining room and the set dinner menus are both affordable (£12 for 3 courses at time of our visit) and early enough in the evening to cater for those eating with little ones.
The whole atmosphere as well is very much child-friendly. When to our embarrassment Roo decided it was funny to shout ‘Hola!’ very loudly and repeatedly at breakfast one morning ( she was a little confused about which country she was in, obviously), far from the frosty and sniffy looks we full expected to receive from our fellow guests, we found to amazement that our daughter’s naughty antics seemed to have won her a new fan-club, with one lady coming over specially to say goodbye to her ‘favourite little girl’ on her way out! Now like all mothers, I am sure my delightful charge is utterly charming and could never be perceived as a public menace (!) but such a very positive reception as this we had definitely not met with on similar previous occasions! The child-friendly attitude did not end there – staff were happy to accommodate our needs, happily washing up our toddler cutlery and bottles for us after breakfast and not so much as batting an eye-lid when we ordered a full portion of scrambled eggs for Roo’s breakfast, only for the little darling to fail to eat any of her supposedly favourite morning fare…
Whilst on the subject of breakfast, we were certainly not disappointed with our morning meal. A buffet of cereals, yogurt, fruit and some savoury items was available along with a selection of self-served juices and milk. Tea, coffee and hot toast was brought to the table promptly upon request and a selection of hot breakfast options were available, including a full cooked breakfast. Having sampled the latter on both mornings of our stay I can confirm that it was tasty and well-cooked and we all left the table well-fuelled for the action-packed day ahead and wondering how we would ever manage lunch! My only reservation was that the sausages were rather basic quality – I would have preferred something meatier with a bit more of a farmhouse feel.
If self-catering is more your style then The West View Hotel also has a very popular ground floor self-catering suite. Opening directly onto the lawned garden, the self-catering room has a double bed as well as a fold away spare bed and plenty of room for a travel cot. Equipped with a small kitchenette complete with oven, microwave and fridge, as well as its own bathroom, the room is a great option for those looking for a self-contained space as a base for their Jersey holiday. With rates during high season at £469 for a week’s stay and £266 during the low season, the self-catering apartment also offers great value.
The prices for a stay at The West View Hotel are another factor which makes this place a great find for families or those on a budget. Standard rooms start at £33 per person, per night and peak at £44 pppn during high season, including breakfast. Superior bedrooms cost £4 extra with half board available for an additional £9. Children under 14 enjoy a 50% discount when sharing a room with 2 adults. There are also offers to be had when combining a booking at The West View Hotel with Avis car hire or tickets for Condor Ferries services. For an AA 2 star rated hotel which, if you can overlook slightly tired soft-furnishings, exceeds this rating in every other way, these prices are very reasonable and amongst the most competitive for B&B accommodation on the whole of Jersey. The numerous glowing reviews on Trip Advisor for The West View Hotel echo this sentiment.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our very personal and comfortable stay at The West View Hotel. Location-wise, St. Mary is a lovely rural spot with a great village pub offering delicious home-cooked food. St. Helier is 15 minutes drive away and St. Mary’s central northern location means the rest of the island is quickly accessible, including the lovely north coast with its coastal paths and many glorious beaches. Durrell Wildlife Park is a short drive to the east and for those whose heads pricked up at the earlier mention of a vineyard, the La Mare estate is within reach of an easy and leisurely walk along some of Jersey’s designated Green Lanes. We would very much recommend this small, welcoming, family-friendly hotel to other visitors to Jersey travelling with a young family and would definitely be happy to return there again on future family holidays to Jersey.
For more information on The West View Hotel, St Mary, Jersey, please visit the hotel website.
Readers should be aware that we were offered a complimentary stay at The West View Hotel as part of a wider travel blog review of Jersey, courtesy of Condor Ferries and the Channel Islands Tourist Board. All opinions in the above post however are entirely my own and reflect my personal experience during our stay at the hotel.