on July 20, 2009
Number One South Beach gave me sunshine on a rainy Day!I’ve stayed at the sister establishment (No 1 St Lukes) and decided , on my return to Blackpool to try the "big brother", Number One South Beach. But life is never straightforward and my friendly SatNav took me, without any difficulty, to the door of St Lukes! Now I cursed a bit as I didn’t have the proper address of South Beach and having pointed out to myself the error of my ways I was escorted to South Beach by Mark’s father-in-law. I received a royal welcome from Mark and his partner, Graham, and subsequently have learnt that they pride themselves on ensuring that each guest is personally welcomed and made to feel at their ease. That being their intention I can confirm that they do the job to perfection and I felt that I was returning home after a hard day at the office. The ambiance is totally relaxing and it has to be said that the efforts of Mark and his team are underpinned by the delightful decor of South Beach. I understand that this is the work of Claire, Mark’s wife, and if that’s the case she must be credited for creating this boutique hotel’s perfect environment.South Beach is, believe it or not, situated at Blackpool’s South Beach and is well away from the hustle and bustle of Blackpool’s centre. Its 24 bedrooms are all individualised and I was pleased to be accommodated in the macho environment of the Black and White room, which is known as "Drama". I had a super view over the greenness of a small local park, which I was told would be populated by sand rabbits when the local’s had finished walking their dogs. I glanced out my window just before 9.00pm and sure enough the rabbits were frolicking in the grass. To my right I had a superb view of Blackpool’s sea front with the massive mirror globe reflecting the sun (well that’s my over active imagination at work because in truth it was raining fairly heavily), and the steady and graceful turning of two elegant wind-machines.But back to my bedroom. It was very well kitted out with a comfortable sofa, to aid my relaxation, and a modern flat-screened wall mounted TV (indeed it was the identical model to my one at home). There was plenty of tea and coffee to help me through the night and a small tin, which I later discovered held a decent supply of luxury biscuits. Too much of a temptation for me as once again my diet was put on hold. After dinner and a coffee or two I decided to relax in South Beach’s Jacuzzi Bath. There are two things I’d suggest you remember. Firstly when filling the bath be easy with the bath foaming gel. I failed to listen to my own reminder and emptied a full bottle into the bath and then left it whilst I studied the control on the TV remote control. When I re-entered the bathroom the foam was perilously high and extremely frothy. I quickly stopped filling the bath with water but as I’d set the Jacuzzi running the foam continued to rise and, despite my efforts to turn off the motor nothing I did seemed to stop the growth of the foam. After about 10 minutes it was looking like a badly pulled pint of ale but miraculously the froth just rose above the bath before settling back into the water. I carefully continued filling the bath before lowering myself into the luxurious foaming mass and enjoying the gentle stimulation of the jets of water pummelling my aching limbs. To add to my high life style I turned on the wall fitted TV but the noise of the Jacuzzi overpowered the TV volume. I turned it off and just enjoyed soaking in this beautifully designed bathroom.The second thing to remember is that these baths have a self-cleaning cycle after the water has drained and so you shouldn’t panic when the Jacuzzi seems to continue working. I forgot this and desperately tried to turn the damn thing off. I guess I just prolonged its cycle! South Beach satisfies another of the requirements of a good hotel and that is that it should be quiet during the night. I had a great night’s sleep on the real comfortable bed and heard not a sound from the inside, or more remarkably, the outside of the hotel. Full marks on passing the peaceful night’s sleep test!Having dragged myself from my peaceful slumber I checked on my emails via the free internet access and then enjoyed an invigorating shower using some more of the foaming shower gel (this time no rising foam!)Breakfast is another high-spot at South Beach. The expectation is that you place your order the night before and give an approximate time when you want to eat. I’d elected for 7.45 but arrived early with no problems. Starting off with a selection of cereal and fresh fruit and a served glass of freshly squeezed orange I was certainly going to start my day off well. My freshly made coffee arrived in a stainless steel plunger and although I enjoyed it I declined the offer of a further pot. There’s no limit to the drinks they’ll serve you but I had a long journey ahead and didn’t want to tempt fate!!After my cereal the pre-ordered cooked breakfast arrived and what an absolute delight. Just as required and perfectly cooked I tucked into my egg, bacon, sausage, beans, black pudding and potato cake before devouring some freshly toasted bread and marmalade. My appetite was fully sated and I was well set up for the rest of the day. What a superb meal!I was intrigued to read about the transformation of Number One South Beach from a drab but profitable hotel. The work started in 2007 when the owners of South Beach spoke with advisors from the Resource Efficiency Centre. They’d already "gutted the building" to create bigger bedrooms and wanted to ensure that their hotel was not only great to look at but also as "green" as they could make it. So they fitted solar powered water heating system, greatly improved the insulation, fitted passive infrared detectors for the low energy lighting and many other energy saving features. The double-glazing ensures high levels of soundproofing from the outside world and in total the refurbishment has resulted in a really comfortable environmentally friendly hotel.Will I return again? Certainly NOT – I’ll be back again and again and again. Here in Blackpool this haven will almost guarantee you sunshine on a rainy day! Enjoy – I certainly did.
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