Having stayed at The Pier a number of times in recent years I thought it was time to give it the praise it deserves, especially as recently there have been some staff changes including a new head chef; none of which have dented or detracted from it's well deserved reputation.
The combination of comfortable rooms, a choice of two restaurants (fine dining and a bistro) and a Grade II listed building on the historic quayside of Harwich make this the only hotel worth considering along the Essex coast (the nearby town of Frinton on Sea which continually boasts of it how posh it is has precisely none!)
Staying for three nights during the recent snowy weather the comfort and cosiness of the rooms, including the public ones, was much appreciated (and on occasions too hot!)
The Harbourside fine dining restaurant provides high quality food (with an emphasis on fish and locally sourced meat etc.) and service, building on the excellent work of its founding chef, Chris Oakley, who has recently retired. Staff treat every diner as a very important customer, and are knowledgeable about the food and wine they serve. It is clear that the waiting staff are trained and their work is a career not some moneymaking fill-in until they get a 'proper job' as is so often the case.
At all levels nothing is too much trouble, and all staff will deal with the most seemingly menial tasks and requests with the same level of cheerfulness and efficiency.
If funds allowed I would stay here on a regular basis (once a month!) or at least eat in one of the restaurants every week!
But, yes there is a but... The Pier like many establishments has to deal with awkward customers, ones that seem to delight in complaining (usually in a loud voice to the most junior members of staff who have had little experience of dealing with such situations). Such complainers usually, of course, not only think they know what they are talking about but manage to irritate other customers in the process.
In the restaurant I overheard (the loud voices made it impossible not to!) complaints about the food and the way it was served by people who clearly did not know what they were talking about, along with negative comments aimed at anyone listening about their perceived shortcomings of staff who had just dealt with them.
During my stay this culminated with a member of reception staff being responded to with a racist remark as they had enquired if the guest was a resident or not.
I do wonder why such people even bother to stay in a hotel or eat in a restaurant, no doubt these rude, ignorant guests will soon be potsing their own review here.
Ignore their reviews, stay for a night (in the Mayflower Suite if it is available) and dine in the Harbourside.
- Also Known As:
- The Pier At Harwich Hotel Harwich
- The Pier At Harwich Hotel
- Pier Hotel Harwich
- The Pier Hotel Harwich
- The Pier Hotel At Harwich UK - England
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pier Hotel is located in two historic buildings that stand proudly on the quay side of old Harwich. The hotel's main building, built in the 1850's, houses two celebrated seafood restaurants – The Ha' Penny on the ground floor and the Harbourside on the first floor – and seven second-floor bedrooms, most of which overlook the estuary.The year 2000 saw the acquisition of the next door building, formerly the Angel public house, which dates back to the 1700's and is now fully refurbished and converted into a further seven bedrooms.All 14 bedrooms are carefully furnished with many individual touches and all have private bathrooms, satellite TV, minibars, telephone and welcome tea and coffee tray. In addition, the family-friendly feel of the hotel continues into the bedrooms with several of them offering sofa beds for accompanying children. ... more less
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