Hotel de la Plage in the 1960s
This feature on the De La Plage Hotel appeared in Jersey Topic magazine in 1966
There are many factors which influence the choice of where to spend a holiday.
High on the list, particularly remembering the wet disaster of last year's British summer, is the sun — and where one can find lots of it. A location rich in romantic natural beauty is today not enough on its own; it must be backed-up by hotels dispensing luxurious comfort, good food, and if possible cheap duty free drinks to go with it.
All these elements are to be found in the Hotel de la Plage in Jersey. After forty years experience in the Jersey hotel industry, the Seymour group decided to build an entirely new hotel and from the site of an old building the de la Plage rose like a Phoenix from the rubble, typifying all that is best in modern architectural elegance.
Accommodation is 107 bedrooms, the majority having their own bathrooms and telephones, and television, too, if ordered. A spectacular feature of the de la Plage is that it is actually on the sea front facing due south. a few feet away from the beach. All the bedrooms face the sea and have their own private balconies overlooking the vast and beautiful bay.
It is a hotel that caters for all generations, giving them all the different sorts of service and entertainment they seek while avoiding any possibility of friction.
Laurence and Gillian Seymour
Laurence and Gillian Seymour, a young married couple with a family themselves, welcome family groups with a true understanding of all their wants and needs. There is a telephone listening service for the children, which is supervised by porters Alfredo and Edward, who have an almost uncanny knack of understanding the young. Supper for the children is held at 6 o'clock every evening and afterwards parents can lose themselves in the pleasures of good food, good company, dancing, watching cabaret and so on, in the knowledge that their toddlers are under constant expert supervision.
Sound proofing throughout the hotel obviates any possibility of inconvenience caused through noise. A view from the hotel over the bay in the early morning sun, in the haze of mid-day heat and the sinking rays of the setting sun on the sea, are such to charm the visitor with a lasting memory.
The bars and dining room are set facing the sea so that those in balconied rooms are in sunshine all day, whether eating, drinking or on the beach. At night the waves wash gently at the sea wall, only fifteen feet away from the cocktail bar. This is very popular with guests who often walk through the open windows and dive into the sea for a last dip before a drink and changing before dinner.
Above them is the sun deck, a positive paradise for sun worshippers where tea, snacks, drinks and coffee are served all day long to those who can stand the heat. This large balcony is a perfect sun-trap. Guests are advised to bear this in mind before trying a marathon session of sunbathing.
There is dancing to a residential orchestra every night, and twice a week a cabaret is given by artistes drawn from the big names in night clubs in England and the Continent. To run an enterprise like the de la Plage and to maintain its outstanding reputation, a large staff is required. Lawrence Seymour, ex Royal Navy and with three years of hotel management training in Switzerland to his credit, runs a staff of 95, which works out at one staff member to two guests.
The following analysis of the sort of guests who visit and re-visit the de la Plage will testify to the hotel's excellence. Company directors, professional men, retired folk, honeymooners and hoteliers from the mainland give a good cross section of the guests; many Continental countries are represented, too. Frenchmen, Germans, Belgians and Swedes are often to be found there, so that parents and children can get to know each other in a relaxed cosmopolitan atmosphere. Throughout the year, but more particularly in the off season, campanies and associations find the de la Plage an ideal setting for conferences, where hard work can be achieved in ideal surroundings.
Also to be found during the year are the frail executives resting on doctors' orders and they find peace, privacy and mild weather.
Long weekenders favour the de la Plage, especially in view of the rapid communications which can see a company director in Jersey at 11 o'clock Friday morning and back at his London desk by 11 on Monday, or to Paris, Rome, Brussels or Madrid almost as quickly.