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White Rock Hotel, Hastings

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user reviews of White Rock Hotel, Hastings

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

The bar in this large hotel facing the pier appears in the 2016 GBG, so after a gig on the pier it was the perfect place to end the evening.

The Hotel looks like it’s recently been revamped and feels quite luxurious, the bar has 4 hand pumps with 4 ales, a nice mix of style’s and abv’s, my pint of Harvey's South Down Harvest @ 5.0% was very good.

It was a pleasant evening so we took our drinks and joined some friendly locals on the veranda at the front of the hotel overlooking the beach and pier.

We only stayed for one drink but I like this place, it had a good feeling to it and the ale was good.

lezford - 27 Oct 2016 14:10
Great selection of ales. Good food and well run. Very civilised. Terrace outside is fantastic and will be even better once the pier is finished. Always worth a visit.
pubking78 - 17 Mar 2014 13:26
A very good selection of ales. Food is also pretty good. The only let down is the amount of dogs that keep yapping or sniffing around your glass when sitting at the tables. Great place to sit outside in the summer.
pissedasanewt - 6 Apr 2013 14:40
They have a great selection of beers on most of the time. They often do Dark Star beers which are excellent. Laurence runs the place and he is a very welcoming gentleman who has done sterling work with this place. Bar staff are always friendly and they love dogs too. It used to be the Yelton Hotel, full of beer swilling idots but now it is excellent. Thanks Laurence.
Badmouth - 28 Jun 2012 12:25
Excellent beer, nice food and pleasant surroundings
alewhale - 12 Sep 2011 23:30
4 real ales on offer and pleasant enough service but the Dark Star Hophead was not really up to stratch being a little tired. Hope this is just a blip because I have visited before and found it to be well worth recommending.
Alan_br12df - 27 Dec 2010 15:19
Beer quality today was superb. The Dark Star Hylder Blond was new to me and so delicious. Didn't get around to trying the Rother Valley ale or the Harvey's Bonfire Boy. Food good and such value. Worth seeking out. Agree that the decor is a bit stark.
GrahamH - 5 Nov 2010 15:37
Stayed here overnight as was seeing John Bishop at the next door theatre. Had no idea until getting this year's GBG that the hotel was a bit of a real ale haven in Hastings. Pints of Oktoberfest and an IPA were OK but don't know place well enough to judge whether beer quality is an issue. Decor is rather cold, stark minimialism (though the place was roastingly hot even without being thronged with people.
JonW999 - 17 Oct 2010 21:56
Had a very pleasant lunch here today, sitting on the terrace people and sea watching. The choice of beers continues to be good and well balanced - light and zesty hophead from Dark Star, a dark porter from Rother Valley brewery, classic session brew Harveys Sussex and one other that I cannot remember. In excellent condition served by very friendly and helpful staff. Good value baguettes served at lunchtime too, with salad and crisps for under a fiver. What a nice lunch. Couldn't fault it!
GrahamH - 28 Sep 2010 15:40
The new bar is settling in nicely, the Sussex beers are in tip top condition and many of the bar staff may be foreign, but they know how to serve a full pint and are polite and friendly.
stuartandmonica - 24 Apr 2010 21:15
Does seem to have improved since my last visit, but as others have pointed rather like being served by zombies and a real feel that people did not know what they were doing. But having said that, the beer was good and there were sufficient people in the place to make it feel comfortable. Definitely worth a visit if you are between St Leonards and Hastings.
wanderjahre - 29 Mar 2010 08:43
Very pleased to report that this place seems to have found the plot again (ref reviews below). I was there yesterday (Sat evening) and the Hophead was in superb condition. Three other local micros also to choose from. Was a bit quiet to start with but by 10pm it was pleasantly buzzing with mostly beer drinkers. And this place needs people otherwise its got no atmosphere. So keep it on your visiting list cos its worth it for the beer range and quality. Hard to find this choice of beers locally so would be a shame to lose it from lack of support.
GrahamH - 15 Nov 2009 10:34
Situated opposite the towns pier, the White Rock looks like any other seasfront hotel and for the most part, that is exactly what you get. The entrance leads straight to the reception with the bar leading off to the right. The first impressions are of a typically genteel hotel bar, largely laid out for hotel guests ready to sit down for dinner or afternoon teas. The style is modern with dull shades and the zero ambiences that normally go with drinking in a hotel bar. Despite feeling a bit uncomfortable wandering in wearing a football shirt I was warmly greeted by the uniformed French brman and studied the 4 pumps which enticed me here in the first place. They admirably support local breweries and on my visit Harveys Olympia, King & Co Mallard and 2 Dark Star Ales (Hophead and Sunburst) were available and easily justified the visit. The lagars were of the premium top of the range variety and prices did not seem to be as steep as I would have expected in such surroundings. Along the front of the hotel is a decked terrace that overlooks the seafront and the pier which, fortunately for us, had a few seats available so I could enjoy the beers (and they were most enjoyable) without having to suffer the blandness of the bar itself. Sadly the traffic noise all but drowns out the seagulls and the waves crashing onto the beach. The bottom line is that this is a wonderful spot for a sunny Saturday in August but not really a place for a wet Tuesday in November and without the quality beers it wouldnt pass for much at all.
RogerB - 25 Aug 2009 13:12
Agree with melita666 that this place has now lost the plot, gone are the 4 beers only 2 now on and they were rubbish quality, not kept properly, the staff were young and inexperienced and didn't have a clue about customer care or service or anything much, had to wait ages to be served and the bar guy walked off once...weird, I won't be going back to this place so often now they have destroyed the bar and ruined the atmosphere and failed to provide decent beer (the most important)
real_ale_ade - 8 Jul 2009 20:16
Pleasant view across the sea near the pier from the terrace of this little hotel bar, fully open to the public, which does real ales including Dark Star. In the current Good Beer Guide.
rainlight - 11 Apr 2009 20:13
Oh dear, this place has really gone down in my estimation. My partner and I visited early afternoon on Saturday for a pint and a bite to eat; it wasn't busy but it took 10 minutes to get served. Only two ales on, Harvey's Porter and Dark Star Hophead, which I had and was well kept.

The staff moved glacially in a daze, distractedly wandering round and arguing about who'd ordered what; they couldn't hold more than one order in their mind at a time so had to keep going back to ask punters for what they wanted next despite having already beeen told; I had to ask 4 times for a pint of lime and soda for my partner, because the bar worker could only grasp the concept of serving it in a half pint glass; when I asked for a cloth to wipe down the table (most of the tables were covered in uncollected empties) I was baffled to be told "We don't do that in the daytime". I don't mind staff who don't have English as a first language but I think you need a reasonable level of comprehension which seemed to be lacking. But I suppose they're cheap.

It's a pity because the beer is good, the snacks reasonable and the terrace lovely (although the bar itself is sterile and not very comfortable), but the service falls well below amateur.
melita666 - 23 Mar 2009 08:21
This place never disappoints. The terrace bar was completely refurbished in autumn 2008 into a modern bistro style. Its a bit clinical but it is a hotel bar as much as a pub. Beer range always good because the landlord actually tries to support local micros. And for someone trying to raise standards in Hastings and actually invest in the future he deserves support. Do go there for the beer and the food - all reasonably priced and excellent quality. If the sun is shining its a joy to sit outside.
GrahamH - 19 Mar 2009 23:27
Well, the beer was superb (great range too), but the hotel/cafe setting is not great and feels very tired - sitting outside is the best bet. Great beer though.
mtaylor40 - 29 Aug 2008 23:55
Still excellent beer everytime I call here but its always a different beer which sometimes when you just want a pint that you know (and love) you could do with just one regular house beer, at the moment its four different beers each time I call and at my age I can never remember what they are all like.
real_ale_ade - 27 Aug 2008 15:15
Ordered a pint of Harveys which was served to me 3/4 full so asked to have it topped up to which there was no problem at all, sat on the decking outside over looking the beach. 8/10
superseagulls - 17 Jun 2008 21:57
That was Rother, not Rither!
sussexred - 11 Jun 2008 22:33
Thanks to an MOT hiccup, I unexpectedly found myself with an hour or so to pass in Hastings today and, based on BITE reviews (thanks MB), I headed off to the White Rock.

How good to find somewhere in Hastings to enjoy a selection of local ales in extremely pleasant surroundings. There was reasonably priced food, papers to read and a great sea front view from the spacious terrace.

I sampled WJ King's Golden Bitter (KGB) which was a little hazy and Dark Star Original - perfect. Also on offer was Rother Honey Fuzzzzz and an impressive selection of about a dozen bottled ales from local breweries Kings, Hepworths, Rither, Harveys, 1066, Weltons. And don't have a side-order of chips with your sandwich/baguette/ciabatta, you won't need them!

sussexred - 11 Jun 2008 22:31
The Whiterock could be the best venue in Hastings if what you want is a decent beer at a reasonable price and maybe something to eat with it. They offer free wireless internet and are happy for you to linger over a coffee while you do some email or similar. The pub is dog friendly which is either bad or good depending on your point of view.

A classic hotel bar with a combination of tables and comfy sofas, pleasant staff - often foreign students but very helpful and nice. Good selection of beers, with Dark Star and Harveys usually available with various guests. During the summer months, take your beer outside and watch the tourists and comings and goings around the now sadly partially closed pier.
wanderjahre - 4 Jun 2008 08:22
Excellent hotel bar with terrace overlooking the sea and a choice of 4 local real ales. Next to the White Rock Theatre, so handy for pre theatre and interval drinks - much better than the dire theatre bar.
Floyd - 10 May 2008 16:43
We stayed at the White Rock Hotel for our last night on our walk from Redhill to Hastings. We were a bit nervous as we had been warned that Hastings a bit rough in places, but we really felt comfortable and at home in this hotel. In their caf bar, overlooking the sea, there was a choice of four excellent real ales and a flexible range of snacks and meals to suit any needs. The dcor in our 1st floor double room was great with a large flat screen TV and a big bath, at last! Altogether it was the best value for money on our 6 nights holiday and we would heartily recommend it.

pubramblers - 16 Apr 2008 00:18
A much overlooked bar on Hastings sea front. So far ths has always ben the last port of call before going home after a day at the seaside, but with the beer selection this place has, next time I'm in town I'll just saty in this place.
MankyBadger - 18 Feb 2008 22:40
A real treat to find a pub where the landlord has put effort and determination into sourcing a range of local real ales from the regional brewer and also micros. As well as Harvey's session bitter there was the seasonal (mind numbing) Christmas ale 8.1% and also two beers from the Dark Star brewery. All in excellent condition and served in such a pleasant manner by the bar staff. Business has improved a lot since the place was taken over in 2005 and it deserves to succeed. Do support this pub if you are in Hastings.
GrahamH - 19 Dec 2007 09:37
At last the name of this Hotel has been changed on here after about a year or more, the bar is still excellent and the real ale is great and I like the place very much. Shame the other "thread" where it is called The Yelton couldn't just be renamed and the many other pubs here and in St Leonards haven't been added when I have sent in their details and written a review.
real_ale_ade - 26 Nov 2007 17:18
Best quality real ale for sale in Hastings. Dark Star is a fabulous brewery and they often have one or two different types of their beer on pump. Note that this is more of an afternoon then evening pub.
david_gower - 20 Nov 2007 09:26
When you're at the seaside and fancy a pint, how many of us would go into a hotel? Not many. Which is a shame. Hastings sea front is littered with so many grim pubs and this place gets overlooked. Four decent ales on the hand pumps, and over twenty local bottled ales behind the bar. With bar staff who know what they are doing, the place is welcoming and I for one will be going back.

MankyBadger - 19 Nov 2007 17:07

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