We stayed here for the Valentine's weekend, as we know Canterbury really well, and wanted to go out to the Belgium restaurant nearby. Booking was done online through Superbreak, and it all went smoothly. We knew that this lodge would be within walking distance to all the local sights (Cathedral; Roman Pavement; Canterbury Tales experience; The Marlowe theatre; restuarants; shops and city wall) and so it was almost perfect for our needs. The only draw-back was the parking, but ahead of time we were advised that we would have a reduced rate permit to park in a local car park.
We arrived a little early, and sat in the breakfast room. We had a chat to the manager who was local and able to give advice on where to visit etc, if we had needed it. She offered two types of parking permit - we opted for one about £7.50 for 24 hours. There were a few carparks to choose from, one of which we were already parked in (near to The Marlowe) so this worked well for us, and we didn't have any problem with our car being left overnight there.
She explained that this was part of a hostel group, and that there were usually students staying in the lodge. Breakfast was a separate payment, and we were told in advance that there was no cooked option - this gave us the chance to consider if we wanted to go out for breakfast instead. We didn't, so we paid for the continental breakfast offered at The Lodge.
The room was above the gates to the park, and I assume this would have been the coachman's quarters back in the day. There was a pub opposite, but this didn't disturb us, as the windows were closed due to it being winter. The bed was warm and comfy, the furniture tired but adequate, and there was a shower room with wc and basin. The shower room had seen better days, but was ok for us. The toilet was very noisy, due to it being on an inside wall and being a Sanilav type loo. It grinds the 'contents' before flushing them down the pipework a bit like a plane or train loo. This is a bit of a problem if, like me, you are a light sleeper. I could hear other guests 'flushing' their toilets and it was a little noisy.
There were tea making facilities in the room, and toiletries for guest use. In the breakfast room, there was a vending machine selling drinks and chocolate / crisps (as I remember).
We had a key to come and go as we pleased, and did return to our room quite late on the Saturday night.
In the morning, we found a table and chairs easily and were shown the options for breakfast - cereals, toast - with butter and jam etc, croissants, pain au chocolat; fruit salad, yoghurts, and I think there was ham and cheese (but I don't eat these at breakfast, so can't fully remember).
Check out was easy - just handed over the key!
The only think I think would improve this hotel is for the manager to have a stock of items such as toothbrushes and combs etc. I say this as I forgot my hairbrush and have long hair.
Other than that, if you don't expect to be in the lap of luxury, then this hotel is a good place to stay to explore Canterbury.
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