The hotel was pretty much what you'd expect for £17.50 a night; if you've ever stayed at a motorway service hotel then that's what we got. Including the constant roar of the M1. I would have given it an average score, but there were a couple of issues.
In the morning, I managed to get a shower, but my wife, who went in after me could get no water at all. I asked a couple of other guests and they had the same problem. The lady on the desk started to tell the series of actions that sometimes you have to go through to get the shower to work, until I told her water wasn't coming out of the taps either. In any case, there shouldn't be any need to stand on one leg, singing the French national anthem backwards to get the shower to work.
We also had no confidence in the door lock. The room we were in would seem to lock and then re-open when you turned the handle. Also, I can't remember the last time a I stayed in one of these places and the doors had to be locked with a key once the door closed, rather than the door being automatically locked when the door was shut. With the dodgy lock on our door, I had to fiddle about with the key for two or three minutes the first time and still felt uneasy leaving the room.
Other than off the motorway, access to the motel is via a small B-road, through two barriers. Which isn't too bad; getting there via the motorway would have meant quite long diversions when we went out in the evening. But the signage could have been better. There was a sign telling visitors to use the intercom at the barrier to gain access to the services, but this was 30 metres down the access road. There was also a much more dominant sign saying 'Authorised Vehicles Only'. I've had a quick look through the emails I was sent and I can't find anything about how to actually get onto the site to get to the motel via this route. Also, by chance, while I was at reception, the lady was on the phone to someone giving directions and she gave out a slightly different postcode. When I asked her about it, she told me that people can't find the motel with the other post code. She looked a bit confused when I suggested that perhaps the postcode that helps people find the site should be the one given out...
Overall it was OK. We weren't expecting the Ritz. Yes, it was a bit tired and dated and yes there were problems, but it was clean and the staff were helpful. We had a good night's sleep and that's the main thing. If we'd been staying any longer, it might have been a different story, but for one night, it did the job.
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