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“Good location, fairly basic accomodation”

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Great Expectations Hotel & Bar
Ranked #20 of 31 Hotels in Reading
Reviewed 11 February 2013

We only stayed at Great Expectations for one night, which was fine, but more time there might have been a bit of a trial.
The 'hotel' is really just rooms above the large bar area, with breakfast taken in the bar. Some noise filtered up from the bar below in the evening, but we were disturbed more by occupants in the neighbouring room as some of the partition walls seem very thin. It is, I accept, a budget hotel, so you get what you pay for. However, I was quite suprised that the decor of the room was so tired (large bleach stains on the carpet and some curious brown gunge down the front of the chest of drawers) There were no toileteries at all provided in the bathroom, apart from one single tiny bar of cheap soap. I can't remember the last place I stayed where there wasn't at least some shampoo provided.
The front of house staff were friendly and helpful and the breakfast was fairly good. Others have commented about the lack of a lift. It didn't cause a problem for us, but I could understand that others who are less mobile or have heavy bags might have difficulty. The location is very handy for the town centre and The Oracle.
Overall, Great Expectations was OK, just don't go there having 'great expectations'!

Room Tip: Top floor rooms are probably clear of bar noise below
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Peter Mills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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158 - 164 of 219 reviews

Reviewed 22 January 2013

I have stayed many times in this Hotel when am in Reading. I hadnt stayed here recently, but was glad to see that the standards had been maintained. I had stayed one night, with an exceptionally early flight next day, as I would be leaving before breakfast I was offered cereals, milk to take to my room and with tea/coffee making facilities I was able to travel very early next morning having taken cereal and hot drink. I appreciate this customer care initiative. I will certainly stay here again.

Room Tip: Rooms, nearer lower floors are advised if you have mobility problems, or lots of luggage, as there i...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2013

I have stayed in this hotel numerous times in the past year, and whilst it certainly is not the most luxurious hotel you'll ever stay at, it does provide good value accommodation close to the centre of Reading.

The other bonus over the budget range such as Travelodge is that an excellent freshly cooked breakfast is provided within the cost, which has been as little as £38 per night on some occasions.

Room Tip: You can get a twin for single use for the same price as a basic single.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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Thank The_Coach55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2012

I visited the Great Expectations bar as a night out with my colleagues from work. The location is excellent as we work only seconds away, but the building is only a few minutes walk from the high streets of Reading.

When booking the table we were offered a choice of either bar food or their Christmas menu but all chose to go with the bar menu which meant we could choose on the night. The table reserved for us was tucked away behind a standing wall near to the bar - the only issue was other people kept choosing to walk though it to get to the other side of the room as opposed to walking around.

The food arrived pretty quickly after ordering, though there was some confusion about what was ordered (and some of the orders came with things that weren't stated on the menu) but the staff were pretty good and despite extra food having been cooked the didn't charge or make a huge fuss (unlike some other restaurants in which I have eaten). The food was very good considering the price (I had the mixed grill which cost £14 - in other places I have had the same for nearer £20) and presentation, though very 'pubish' was still neat and tidy.

I would definitely visit the Great Expectations for food again and would recomend it to others looking for a decently priced meal.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank LadyDoom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2012

I liked a lot of things about the place, and didn't care for just a few.

The hotel was locked when I arrived, a little after midnight, after a daytime flight from the USA, and a cab ride from Heathrow. I had no instruction on how to get in, and with luggage, that was not a good start, but in the end, the cab driver dropped me at the usual entrance, and after bar closing time, the hotel staff waits up for late guests, who are suppose to knock on the back door for entry. A passerby assisted, and after a short delay, all was well. If coming during the daytime, you'll have no such problem.

The staff: Friendly, friendly, friendly. My stay was just short of two weeks, so I actually got to know them a little. Neil let me in the first day, but Andrew caught me in the hallway and chatted with me on my way up to my room, helped me with bicycling info and orientation, and then I retired to my room. I was on the top floor. Carrying my bike up the stairs and through the fire doors was no picnic, but it was always at my disposal this way, and I was free to come and go at will. At breakfast, the same cheery team rotated shifts and took care of business.

Breakfast: Included, full english breakfast, or one could order other items or combinations, or adjust it slightly. Some days I had sunny side up eggs, some days scrambled, but I loved the english breakfast -- cooked to order, hot, fresh. Toast, juice, coffee, tea. Nice meal, nice dining area -- quaint.

Rooms/Price: Just what you pay for. "Backpacker" as they describe in England, this was budget lodging for the area, and even though it was over US$75 per night, it was well under US$100 on the high nights, and slightly less on weekends, when there are not so many business travelers. For me, this was perfect. A small room, imperfect amenities, but quiet, and it did the job I needed. Private bathroom, small TV (unimpressive, as was the programming), a few dresser drawers, and a freestanding closet. The room had instant coffee and daily biscuits, a nice touch. Bed wasn't overly comfortable, but it was not at all uncomfortable either.

Location: Downtown, this is really close to the big area shopping mall. If you are on foot only, that's excellent. Having my bike, I really didn't care.

Security: "Residents," as they call us, and it seems that the staff all live in the building, have a key to the building, so they can open the outside door (the locked one), the inside door (another locked one), and with a different key, can get into one's room. Non-residents cannot get to the residential space. It felt safe. Actually, I didn't meet my neighbors as much as I thought I would.

Would I stay again? Yes, definitely. In fact, I searched again for other places that would be within cycling distance of Reading downtown, and most were much pricier. Some were admittedly much nicer, but one doesn't take that space home with them, and it isn't a permanent residence, so why pay for more than what you need? I said I like this place, and I do.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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Thank GetOutAndGoTours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2012

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com
Thank Sinanzeni N
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 23 November 2012

Great expectations hotel in Reading excellent value - very central, warm comfortable with good breakfast. interconnection bit weak at times but otherwise all great. Beside Oracle shopping centre and Vue cinema. Close to station only ten minutes walk. Breakfast served speedily, with good choice.

Room Tip: higher floors away from bar better idea as quieter
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
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Thank rothar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Great Expectations Hotel & Bar

Address: 33 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Berkshire > Reading
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 31 Hotels in Reading
Price Range: £44 - £101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Expectations Hotel & Bar 3*
Number of rooms: 29
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Also Known As:
Great Expectations Hotel And Bar
Great Expectations Hotel Bar

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