The Langham Hotel has become Eastbourne’s only four-star hotel after being awarded an extra star from the AA.
The staff at the hotel, on Royal Parade, have been working tirelessly to achieve a fourth star over recent years and were finally able to celebrate after a mystery guest from the AA deemed them worthy of the additional credit after an unannounced overnight stay.
Owner Neil Kirby said, “It’s wonderful news. I’ve been at the hotel eight and a half years and it’s something we’ve been trying to achieve for some time.
“We’ve invested in the bedrooms to make them of a high quality and then we’ve put more than 60 staff on training courses because good customer service is just as important as comfort and high-quality facilities.”
The AA make an annual visit to its hotels to assess things like staff and dining facilities.
Its criteria for reaching the four-star standard includes ‘professional, uniformed staff respond to your needs or requests... The restaurant or dining room is open to residents and non-residents, and lunch is available in a designated eating area.’
Mr Kirby insists he is happy to settle with the hotel’s four-star rating but has now set his sights on gaining a second rosette award for restaurants to go alongside their fourth successive AA star for fine dining.
He said, “We don’t want to become a five-star hotel – the expectation is greater and you will inevitably have to charge more for guests. We don’t want to be greedy, we want to still be able to offer good quality services at a reasonable and competitive price.
“Our next aim is the second rosette. We’re working very closely with the AA because they help and offer advice to our chefs on what they need to do to make that next step up.”
Neil, who turned 61 on the day the hotel’s fourth star was announced, added, “It was the best birthday present I could have asked for.”