Thursday, December 20, 2007

Seaside Postcard 39: Holiday by Brand by Grammar

comic postcardToday's gem dates from around 1910 - the pictures include the New Royal Pavilion (built 1905) and show the West Cliff Gardens (where the Hall will be built in 1914). Our happy traveller arrives from Ramsgate with a suitcase clearly full of delightful memories and souvenirs (or drop-downphotos...).

Our capacity for visitors has just increased quite significantly with the imminent opening of the new Express by Holiday Inn (surely the crappest name for a hotel chain ever) near Minster. The official name seems to be Express By Holiday Inn Kent International Airport. Elegant or what? Formerly the Prospect Inn, whose listed deco curves have been incorporated in to the new build, this hotel has a substantial 105 bedrooms, ideal for business visitors, the airport and others whose idea of a comfortable night is at the side of a dual carriageway a couple of miles out of town. Maybe they know something we don't about council plans - or about changing visitor patterns. Especially as despite the fact they describe all 105 rooms as suites (I think they just mean they are all en-suite), 69 are single-bedded, and just 31 are doubles. No family market here, this is clearly a hotel for business travellers. Oh what fun the bar will be each evening, as sales reps compare their day's triumphs...

The Hotel's web page states "Margate, Ebbsfleet and Canterbury are just a short drive away", but any driver aiming for Ebbsfleet is likely to find themselves even nearer to Pegwell Bay wondering why this little village doesn't look like a shiny new Eurostar Terminus. Lots of scope for fun with lost bus drivers here, methinks.

I'm not complaining though - it means a few new jobs, an extra visitor resource and an eyesore restored to use, so overall it must be a good thing.

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