Stayed in this hotel for a business trip. The hotel is nice and clean and the staff are extremely welcoming and helpful, always a good start.
I stayed in room 18 and I must recommend it; it’s a lovely room with a big bathroom (just a shower though, sadly no bath) and a view over the rather lovely garden dining area.
The rooms are lovely and clean and the wardrobe holds an iron, ironing board and hairdryer, and of course there's a kettle and cups including a small selection of tea and coffee in your room too. (Minor complaint, the teabags were of the unwrapped variety and seemed old; when I made a brew it was pretty ghastly)
The continental breakfast was pleasant with a good selection of cereals, jams and spreads. Fruit and yoghurts are plentiful, but if you want a proper English breakfast you can order that for an additional charge and although I didn’t try it, it certainly looked delicious. It was lovely to be sat in the dining room with the patio doors open to the gorgeous sunshine, and there’s a small waterfall on the patio area. Climb up the steps and you’re in a garden; get yourself a drink from the bar and go and sit up there, especially at dusk. It’s divine, there’s LOTS of wildlife around with a multitude of birds filling the air with glorious song, which almost hides the noise of the traffic and the occasional jet flying overhead. (Bonus: you may spot a cage on the patio area, this is for Sammie an African Grey whose owner brings him out to enjoy the evening sun. He’s a lovely wee chap!)There were cute little frogs hopping around the waterfall too; it was really charmingJ
Unfortunately for me the hotel had somehow thought I was only staying one night rather than two. This mistake was swiftly corrected, but meant I had to be moved from my lovely room to an alternative. I was in meetings all day so wasn’t able to return to the hotel to move my things so this was done for me by staff in my absence. I have to be honest, I wasn’t chuffed about that at all, but everything was present and correct and they had even hung items in the wardrobe for me in my replacement room which I appreciated.
Unfortunately the room they put me in, room 2, wasn’t a patch on room 18. It was large and clean, but the bathroom this time was miniscule, and I was positioned at the front of the hotel meaning I was exposed to more noise. Also the windows couldn’t be opened easily and my room was sweltering. ( I wouldn’t have felt comfortable opening windows so near to the ground floor anyway)A fan in the room would have been helpful.
I also noted that there was an absence of power sockets in this room, the only two that I could see were in the bay window for the kettle. This meant that I couldn’t put my phone on charge at the side of my bed overnight.
There is free wi-fi available (ask at reception for the password) and worked brilliantly for me when I was in room 18. In room 2 it didn’t work very well at all though, so I gave up and went to sleep. Oh, I should also mention that the beds are nice and comfy, as are the pillows (and there are two spare in the wardrobe should you need them). The towels and bedding are laundered to a very high standard, so no quibbles there. (In fact, the towels are especially nice actually)
To sum up I like this place, it offers good value accommodation at a very reasonable price but don’t expect frills and frippery and you won’t be disappointed. The rooms are clean and fresh and the staff are really warm and friendly. The garden area makes this place worth booking during the summer months, BUT avoid room 2 (and 1 actually) if you can. In fact, when you book ask for a room to the rear of the hotel away from the road. (Ask for room 18!!)
Oh, last but not least, the evening meals looked nice. I didn’t indulge but plenty of people did, so I think it’s fair to say that the food served here is good quality. I wish I was staying longer actually, enjoying a drink in the garden before retiring to my room is a very inviting prospect indeed, and I’d be more than happy to stay here again. (Just not in room 2, room 18 is for winners!)
Pros: Clean, bright. Attentive staff, lovely garden. Useful facilities (iron, ironing board and hairdryer) already in situ.
Cons: A bit noisy if placed at the front of the hotel, no consistency of facilities between rooms (to be expected due to the age of the building) Parking is an absolute NIGHTMARE.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Smart and Simple Hotel, 39 refurbished bedrooms located in the heart of town. Other facilities include, bar, meeting rooms, secret garden and free wireless through-out. The hotel and rooms are exactly as you would imagine from the name smart and simple. All have flat screen televisions, en-suite facilities, complimentary hospitality basket, direct dial telephones. Some of our rooms over look the secret gardens and some overlook the Tunbridge Wells common. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Smart And Simple
- Smart And Simple Hotel Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent