What’s it like? The hotel opened late 2007, and forms part of the Waterfront development in Jersey’s capital St Helier, which also includes a marina, cinema, restaurants, shops and residential apartments, with more still under construction. The Radisson SAS property (soon to be rebranded Radisson Blu – see online news February 5, 2009) is effectively the first internationally branded hotel in Jersey, although Bridgestreet Worldwide does manage a serviced apartment property in St Helier.
The hotel’s striking pastel pink building has not been to the liking of all of the residents, but there is no doubt that it brings a modern, upmarket offering to the island, and has led to several independent properties carrying out refurbishments in order to compete, which can only be a good thing for consumers. As is often the case with Radisson properties, the lobby has a centrepiece feature, in this case a large fish tank, which was actually acquired from the headquarters of a local TV station.
Where is it? On St Helier’s waterfront, around 15 minutes by taxi (which costs about £15) from the airport. Bus number 15 also runs from St Helier to the airport.
Room facilities Most Radisson properties provide guests with a choice of room looks, and this one is no exception, with two styles in the Standard and Business Class rooms – At Home (in beige and brown) and, my personal favourite, Chic (in red and grey). A third style, Fashion, is offered in the hotel’s suites, a bright, rainbow colour scheme that seems like it would be at home in Radisson’s forthcoming sister brand Missoni Hotels (see online news March 22, 2009).
Free wifi internet access is available throughout the hotel including the bedrooms, and room features include a flatscreen TV, workdesk, fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, an iron and ironing board, a trouser press and combined bath and shower. Business Class rooms enjoy upgraded amenities such as a Nespresso machine, free in-room movies, a bathrobe and slippers and a daily newspaper, and also have sea views.
Restaurants and bars When the hotel originally opened, its main restaurant was called Verres en Vers (a restaurant concept used in other Radisson properties), but the decision has recently been made to change this to Waterfront Brasserie and Terrace, and the hotel is in the process of devising new menus. As well as lunch and dinner, a buffet breakfast is served here with over 120 dishes from the Continent, Scandinavia, North America and England, while Martello Bar is located next to the restaurant, and serves great cocktails with high seating and sofas. At the back of the restaurant there is a private-dining area, and an outdoor terrace running along the length of the bar and restaurant, with great views of the marina. I visited the hotel in early spring, but I would imagine this area to be a popular spot for both guests and locals in summer time.
Business and meeting facilities The hotel has five meeting rooms, the largest of which is Rocco Tower, which is located on the ground floor and has its own separate entrance. This space can accommodate up to 400 delegates theatre-style, can be split into three separate spaces, and has a large breakout area with a private bar. There are three further function rooms on the first floor, all with natural daylight, but the highlight of the property’s meetings offering is without a doubt the Le Hocq suite, a fifth-floor space (flanked by two other suites) housed within the hotel’s central tower. The curved floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views of St Aubin’s Bay, the marina and Elizabeth Castle, and would be a wonderful location for a sunset drinks reception (for up to 64 people). It’s hard to see how anyone would actually get any work done in this room given the views, but it can accommodate a boardroom meeting for up to 24 delegates.
Leisure facilities The 368-sqm health club is situated on the ground floor past the lounge and business centre, and features a gym looking onto the seafront, and with an interior window looking onto the indoor pool. There is also a sauna, a steam room, and four treatment rooms offering therapies including Ayurvedic, Thai and hot-stone massages.
Verdict A convenient seafront location, with modern facilities and great views from many of the rooms, not to mention the beautiful vista from the Le Hocq suite meeting venue.
How many rooms? There are 195 rooms, of which 147 are Standard, 34 are Business Class and 14 are suites.
Room highlights The Nespresso machines in the Business Class rooms, the free wifi internet access, and a choice of in-room décor are all plus points.
Price Prices for a midweek stay in May started from £110 for a Standard island view room with breakfast.
Contact Radisson SAS Waterfront Hotel, Jersey; Rue de L’Etau, St Helier; tel +44 (0)1534 671 100; jersey.radissonsas.com
By Mark Caswell