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“Long but hopefully helpful review from a travel agent with 30 year's experience of "inspecting" hotels...”

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Best Western Appleby Park Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Appleby Magna
Gosport, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Long but hopefully helpful review from a travel agent with 30 year's experience of "inspecting" hotels...”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

First, let me preface my observations by saying, in my opinion as a professional travel agent, that far too many of the complaints of ALL hotels on this website are based on expecting luxury service on bargain basement rents. The shortcomings I identify in my review need to be balanced with my overall opinion that it was extremely good value for money.

For the record, I stayed on Friday 27th June and I paid only £34.30 for a standard double room (without breakfast), booking a few weeks in advance. Note: this is a limited promotion - £49 is more typical – but I have found future weekend dates that are also £34.30 (on Booking.com).

It is worth noting that, although this hotel is part of a “chain”, that it is individually owned. Best Western provide marketing and branding to hotels – but you are dealing with the owners, so they should (at least in theory!) be more responsive to suggestions and criticisms than budget hotels where the management are direct employees of a large corporate head office hundreds of miles away.

Location - It is on the edge of the village of Appleby Magna – this sounds like the middle of nowhere but it is only 200 yards from Junctiion 11 of the M42. I chose it because I wanted to visit the military memorials at the National Memorial Arboretum (10 miles). It would also be an economic and peaceful base for a visit to the N E C, Birmingham) – however, the information (supplied by the hotel) on Tripadvisor, and their in-room cards, is incorrect – it is not 14 miles to the N E C, it is 19-20 miles depending on which route you take.

Check-in - Reception was efficient. Another plus for this hotel is generous times: you can officially check-in from 2pm and you need not check-out until 12 noon. Many hotels will not let you in until 3pm and throw you out by 11am.

The room - Mine was 253, upstairs and across the grass “courtyard”. If staying in the Summer, I would ask for an upstairs room so that you can safely leave the window open. The rooms have individual radiators (useful most of the year) but NO air-conditioning. Those staying on the ground floor would have to choose between open windows for ventilation or stuffy closed for night-time security. At least in my room, motorway noise was not an issue – I could have been in the middle of the countryside.

It was clean and equipped above the average standard for a budget hotel. Safety box in the closet, kettle with a modest supply of tea/coffee, a table with two armchairs; modern LCD freeview TV with a perfect picture; bedside telephone. The bed was an excellent size, though the mattress seemed a little tired. Only one spare mains socket (next to the kettle) so bring a double plug if you want to charge more than one phone or you will have to unplug the TV. Even a Room Service menu was available (surcharge £3 for delivery) and a laundry service offering same day dry-cleaning.

The bathroom was smart and with the usual toiletries. However, I found the bath to be both narrower and shallower than typical – if I was slightly more overweight then I might not have found it comfortable. I am not a fan of fixed shower heads (prefer those you can unhook) – the shower was almost touching my head when I stood up (and I am only 5’ 7”).

Wi-fi - All hotels need to understand the “gadget” revolution that has taken place in the last couple of years. Full marks to the Appleby Park for providing free wi-fi within their budget rates (my receipt had a daily wi-fi rate crossed out with a pen, so the decision not to charge may be fairly recent). Signal strength and speed were good enough for me to stream my favourite internet radio station (not always possible in hotels, even those that still charge £10+ per day). However, getting online was slightly cumbersome: you are given a small print-out with a temporary username and password. It was not until I had struggled for 30 minutes that I found out, from Reception, that the code only worked once for EACH gadget. Maybe we are not entirely typical: we had two smartphones and two tablets between us! They soon solved this by printing out more unique codes for us.

Facilities - Large, and free car-park – we had no problem getting within 30 yards of the door. Large, open-plan lobby area with Reception plus bar at the far end, tables and chairs which mainly become a breakfast area in the morning. There was a small area off the lobby called a “business centre” which had a desk with one standard PC on it. I guess these are becoming bypassed by the plethora of lap-tops, tablets and smart phones that people carry these days – but access to a printer is probably useful.

No ice machine (to the best of my knowledge) but the bar staff had no objection to providing me with supplies of ice to take to the room (my wife says I am a “cheapskate!”).

Food - I only inspected the restaurant menu, and did not partake so I cannot usefully comment. It seemed reasonable if limited, and the fact that a restaurant and bar exists is a bonus – some of the similarly priced budget hotels in the UK have neither. The buffet breakfast was being served as I left in the morning – it had the usual 6 or 7 cooked components of the typical English breakfast on “help-yourself” hot plates and the standard selection of cereals, yoghurts etc. From other comments, I am given to understand that sometimes breakfast is provided on an individual “ordered from the kitchen” basis: I guess it will depend on how many of the 95 rooms are occuplied and have pre-ordered breakfast. Breakfast would have been £7.50, which strikes me as reasonable for a hotel.

Across the road, there is a Shell petrol station with the usual small grocery /snack selection. More importantly, it has a McDonalds and I was able to avail myself of a modest breakfast for £3.49. On reflection, I should have forked out the extra £4 in the hotel for the unlimited buffet! However, a McDonalds is a useful bonus for those travelling with kids.

Two miles away, at Measham, is a lovely Chinese Restaurant called Link Measham Cantonese. I won’t review it, as you can find over 40 reviews elsewhere on Tripadvisor. That it is rated, on here, as 2nd out of 51 restaurants in the Swadlingcote area speaks for itself. We had an excellent meal with a friendly and amusing host (not always a feature in Chinese Restaurants). IF you are planning to go in August 2014, check first – the Malaysian owner is going “home” for 4 weeks holiday.

Summary - Good value for money. My main gripe was the noise. Random bursts of muted banging in the middle of the night – it sounded like a hyper-active child was playing hopscotch in the room above my head. I was a little disappointed that the managers were well aware of this phenomenon and had engineers trying to trace it for some time, without complete success (it is mentioned in other reviews as being a problem at least two weeks before my arrival). Given that the hotel was not full (I checked online in the morning before setting off and could have booked at least 10 rooms) I do feel that they could have made more effort to allocate rooms away from the noise, even if it meant giving a free upgrade. BUT – I would definitely come back and stay here the next time I am in the area, and would recommend it to anyone else.

Mike@copta.co.uk

Room Tip: If it is a hot Summer day/night, avoid ground floor as you will be vulnerable opening the window at...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank organiser_25years
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
149 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

Hotel is very conveniently located and lots of parking. Meals were ok but starters are over priced. Steak bang on. Reception staff really good and welcoming but felt bar staff were bit slow to respond. Rooms ok but tired and as long as prices kept say below 70 a night thens it's ok.

Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deborah M, General Manager at Best Western Appleby Park Hotel, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback about our hotel. I am sorry that the restaurant team was not as responsive or welcoming as the receptionist on duty. I take on board your comments about the bedrooms being tired. We have just completed the first phase of our planned refurbishment of bedrooms and are soon to start the second. We look forward to be able to welcome you back when you are next in the area.
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Hong Kong
Level Contributor
63 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

Compared to a lot of other Best Westerns in the UK - this one is pretty good. Good location off of the highway. Great lobby area, ok breakfast....i had free internet, don't know if that is normal or not, since they printed up a receipt that said 8 GBP - which i didnt pay. However, the internet was pretty fast and reliable. so I was happy.

Like most hotels in the UK - it is a bit older and nothing special. -but it is clean. I stayed in the main building and was traveling with work friends who stayed in the next building. They could not rest during the late afternoon because their rooms were like saunas (june 2014). No air, facing sun, extremely annoying. Both co-workers had to leave their room and hang out in the lobby because their rooms were so hot. In the evening, the water pipes banged every 10 minutes. One of the coworkers recorded it on his iphone and let reception and management listen to it. It was seriously loud. They apologized, but of course, made no effort to rectify the situation.
I was in the main building, so i didn't experience any of those things.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RZirkelbach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deborah M, General Manager at Best Western Appleby Park Hotel, responded to this review, 17 June 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about BEST WESTERN Appleby Park Hotel and for your comments. By telling us what you liked about your stay and how we can improve, you are helping us deliver a superior experience for you and other guests in the future. We do provide free internet for all our guests here at the hotel. I am sorry that your friends rooms were hot. but as the hotel is U shaped some of the rooms will get the afternoon sun and that particular week the weather was really humid. We did bring an engineer onsite after a guest had made us aware of some noise from certain pipes in their bathroom and this was due to water pressure. Again thank you for taking the time to write a review.
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Never received such awful customer service in my life, admittedly the lady on reception who checked us in was lovely and helpful, but when we had to raise issues on the second day with another receptionist her attitude was disgusting she was rude and patronising, even requesting extra pillows was a chore for her.
The room ok basic nothing special, except our bed was broken and the toilet handle came off in my hand. Also beware if booking the west midland safari park break we booked this hotel expecting the safari park to be within the vicinity of the hotel but NO it's AN HOUR AND HALF drive away so don't get stung on that like we did.
I have since raised a few issues via email to the general manager, she couldn't answer a few concerns I raised, I called to speak to her direct she was meant to call me straight back and didn't bother, I get told that a duty manager is on site 24/7 yet when I asked on the 2nd day of my stay to speak to a manager I got told no manager was on site that evening. Customer service is appalling they do not give a S##T about you and they will just fob you off.
Not to mention whilst waiting in the breakfast area the second morning I overheard the receptionists on duty slagging off another customer of the hotel that had had issues the evening before, I was listening in shock!!! not very professional at all.
Overall a basic hotel, but heaven help you if you have any issues or a complaint after because the after care is even worse you will just get fobbed off, I would advise to travel the extra 5-10 minutes and stay in a hotel in tamworth. Safely say I will be not be returning.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Klh89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deborah M, General Manager at Best Western Appleby Park Hotel, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Hello and thank you for your feedback. It is with regret we have received your comments regarding your recent stay with us. I have investigated into your concerns and unfortunately you did state in an email to the Assistant Manager at the hotel after you had left, that you did not have the time to raise these isuues as you were late visiting friends. You also stated that you should have researched into the location and distance to West Midlands Safari Park from the hotel. I am sorry if you felt that the customer service was appalling but the team on duty during your stay, received nothing but praise from numerous guests. I again offer my apologies that you did not enjoy your stay here.
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Travellers are raving about these Appleby Magna hotels

Middlesbrough
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Well I didn't book the hotel direct, it was part of a two day trip with National Holidays, but what a brilliant hotel to have stayed in overnight, really clean and tidy, rooms where great and very spacious, service was excellent, really friendly staff, we had something to eat on the first night which was nice, and breakfast next morning which was once again really nice, overall great value for money.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Toss90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deborah M, General Manager at Best Western Appleby Park Hotel, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Thank you for writing such positive feedback. I am delighted you found our hotel to the standards we aspire too. Our team take pride in customer service and i will pass on your kind comments to all the team here at BEST WESTERN Appleby Park Hotel.
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Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

A quiet, no frills basic hotel more equipped for business than families on holiday. Perfectly kept, very clean with very helpful land friendly staff that made the stay a pleasure. Twin rooms with sofa bed are available which made for a better nights sleep on the safari package with my two sons. Food was hit and miss - the right menu choice a pleasure to eat; the wrong one a very big let down. Choose food that has to be cooked fresh and can't be kept warm for hours or reheated badly. Take your own entertainment

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mailk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Applebypark, General Manager at Best Western Appleby Park Hotel, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We are delighted the hotel cleanliness was to your satisfaction. I am sorry that you found some choices of food disapointing and I trust this was rectified once made aware to the manager on duty.
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Additional Information about Best Western Appleby Park Hotel

Property: Best Western Appleby Park Hotel
Address: M42/Junction 11 - A444 Atherstone Road, Appleby Magna DE12 7AP, England (Formerly Aspect Hotel Tamworth)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Leicestershire > Appleby Magna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Appleby Magna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Appleby Park Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The BEST WESTERN Appleby Park Hotel, just off Junction 11 of the M42 is perfectly located on the outskirts of Tamworth, midway between Birmingham and Nottingham, and 10 miles/14km from Drayton Manor. The NEC is just 14 miles away.Do business with a choice of 5 flexible meeting rooms with all the latest equipment and complimentary wireless internet access and free parking.The Appleby Park Hotel is located amongst some of the best fun filled attractions in the country including Drayton Manor Theme Park, Twycross Zoo and Conkers. Family and interconnecting rooms are available making us the ideal choice for your family break.Relaxed and informal, The Park Restaurant offers tempting dishes cooked to perfection with light meals and snacks served in the lounge bar throughout the day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ramada Tamworth
Tamworth Ramada
Best Western Appleby Park Hotel Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

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