The Club Hotel & Spa, Jersey
Where: St Helier, Jersey
Long story short: A relaxing haven just a skip away from the capital’s shops.
Short story long: To be honest this hotel had me at hello. Mind you, I’d be impossibly smiley if I lived on Jersey, possibly one of the most pleasant places on earth. Walking into the beautifully scented (possibly freesias but I’m no Alan Titchmarsh) vestibule is a treat in itself, the outdoor pool swishes enticingly just outside the door and the Jersey sunshine streams in through the windows. A sweet collection of books line the mini-(honesty) bar area and bright and happy art adorns the walls. You could almost sit down, have a coffee and go home satisfied. But I didn’t.
Jersey is A Nice Place. People drive carefully and if you so much as look at the road from the pavement you get waved across. Shopkeepers greet you warmly, animals let you stroke them and the beaches invite you to sit on them. It’s like a rose-tinted view of wartime Britain. Without the bombs and rationing (it doesn’t feel like there’s much rationing going on here). Actually, my hotel would have almost been incidental to my enjoyment if it weren’t so nice.
My room itself was quite small but perfectly formed, with sliding doors overlooking the carpark, but with pleasant views beyond, and featuring everything you’d expect to find in the condition you’d expect to find it. Toiletries all present and correct and reception super-keen to provide anything missing. Struggling to find something bad to say, I did note that the fridge was a little over-stuffed and I had nowhere to keep my large Toblerone cold (*break out the violins*) in the Jersey heat.
It was at dinner time that the place showed its true colours and I was treated to one of the best meals I have ever had (and I am not even exaggerating because it’s hard to say bad things about Jersey), courtesy of the hotel’s Bohemia restaurant. I preceded my six-course tasting menu with a cheeky Mojito, which was so nice I had to have another one immediately. This set me up nicely to greedily and giddily accept everything offered, including the most amazing foie gras and orange pate and a cheese trolley that had every cheese ever made in the history of cheeses. “Bring me the stinkiest!” I cried, like Henry VIII at Butlins.
The restaurant houses one of the UK’s most expansive lists of of rare large bottle wines. Possibly the surrounding (well-heeled and pearled) diners (and possibly the cast of Howard’s Way) cared more about this than I, content with my bottomless cocktails, reading my book and stinking of cheese. Spotting my vulnerability, the waiters kept sidling over and I ended up spending my children’s inheritance on 'extras'.
Luckily, I’d booked a swim in the indoor pool and spa treatment the next day to slough off the effects of the meal. There was a man fixing something quite loudly at the edge of the pool which marred my pre-spa relaxing read a little bit but to be fair I could have gone into the relaxation area to avoid him and once I was in the 'zone' getting my body exfoliated to within an inch of its life, I was dandy.
PS. I did NOT want to leave.
Champagne tastes: It’s not cheap. The Master Suite will set you back £525 in low season but this includes dinner and spa vouchers.
Shandy pockets: The honesty-bar is a nice touch and you can sit and read in the library area for hours. The pools and thermal suite are free to residents.
Details: Green Street, St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, JE2 4UH, www.theclubjersey.com