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“Expectations Were Great”

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Great Expectations Hotel & Bar
Ranked #22 of 32 Hotels in Reading
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Expectations Were Great”
Reviewed 3 February 2014

This hotel has a great location, a wonderful building and staff that clearly care about it. I stayed for one night right after a transatlantic flight because I had a meeting in Reading the next day. In order to check in to the hotel you need to walk through a pub and then back out to take the stairs up to the rooms -going through two sets of doors as well which is tricky with luggage so the assistance from the owner was very welcome!
The room was clean, and spacious but very old fashioned with not even a telephone and a TV that I could not make function. Wi-Fi was free and worked well.
The next morning breakfast was served downstairs in the pub and it was great! Do not expect a chain hotel style buffet or set up but do go for the full English option because it will set you up for the day!
The hotel is great value and very well located and as another reviewer mentioned 'you get what you pay for'! I would suggest to the management that playing the TV audio throughout the pub all day has a negative effect on ambience, and that it would be great to have some kind of information on the building's significance in each room. I wish the owners of this hotel well and I really hope that they are able to make some good investments in the place because with a minimum amount of updates this hotel could put its rates up and still be incredibly competitive.

Room Tip: Take it for a short stay and have the Full English breakfast!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jason W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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205 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    31
    71
    52
    22
    29
See reviews for
12
32
43
71
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cockfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2014

I gave this 5 stars because I think it represents excellent value for money in central Reading. My room (17) was very spacious, with a large four poster bed. The shower was hot and very powerful. There is a TV in the room with some satellite channels and a kettle for making tea and coffee. The rate includes a substantial cooked breakfast. It is true that the bedroom decor is a little dated but all in all and especially given the very reasonable cost, I was very satisfied. The staff were all very helpful and polite and the room was clean.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2013

I stayed here for a night whilst away woth business in November 2013. Check in and welcome were fine. Room was only accessible via quite a few stairs (could be an issue if you have access difficulties) and was ok in the main. Bath and shower were looking tired and in need of some attention cleaning wise. Bed quite soft but comfy enough when tired! Breakfast service was efficient as was check out. All in all I would probably stay again for one night given the price and location but would lower my expectations from "Great" to "Average".

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SharmanMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013 via mobile

Along with my book club we meet at Great Expectations once a month as there are side rooms to talk in. One of our members is in a wheelchair and we had a problem when someone had parked in front of disabled access door; this time they tried calling the car owner but to no avail. Luckily this was the summer and it was warm enough for us to sit outside.

However, when we visited again this month a car was again parked in the doorway and my friend, who had arrived early, was left waiting outside in the cold by himself for an hour until I arrived. Despite phoning the bar to explain the situation he was left by himself with no one to take him anything to warm him up. Luckily after he had been outside for an hour, the driver of the car arrived and moved out of the entrance.

When we went into the pub I asked the bar staff to get my friend a drink who proceeded to charge him, I asked whether he could not have something "on the house" to compensate for being left in the cold by himself for an hour and was told that it wasn't their fault. I questioned whether they considered themselves to have disabled access and was told by the bar staff that although it is "technically" a disabled entrance, they don't stop people parking In front of it. I struggle to see how that could therefore be considered to be a disabled access.

The barman told me it wasn't his fault and there was nothing he could do, I did suggest he could have at least taken something to my friend or not left him there knowing that he could not get in and was there by himself. I appreciate that it was not the barman himself parked there, but his response was completely inadequate. Suffice to say, we are now holding our book clubs elsewhere and I will never enter that pub again.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank ngea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Reading hotels

wales
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2013 via mobile

Stayed here with my wife from Friday to Sunday.
Great location, just about opposite the Oracle shopping centre. The bars and railway station about 10 mins away. The hotel definitely needs updating but it was comfortable. The bar downstairs is good and so are the staff. Breakfast was very nice on both days.
We used the hotel for a trip to Ascot Races and found it ideal for this. If you want 5* and pay 5* prices for facilities then this won't be for you but a cheap weekend away it's fine.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank caegarw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frimley, England, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 13 November 2013

I stayed here for three nights. When I first entered the room I was impressed, given the poor quality of other Reading hotels. This rapidly went downhill when I noticed the bedspread hadn't been washed in a long time and then I went in to the bathroom ....

The smell hit me as I opened the door. From my conversation with Reception they seem to think it's the drains, but more likely it's poor maintenance and configuration. The shower curtain is too long meaning it sits in putrid water all day every day - I doubled it over the rail overnight and by morning the smell had reduced slightly. The toilet seat was cheap plastic and not fitted correctly so it moved around and slid to the side of the base when sat on. The drainage in the bath was poor, so more fetid water, and the bath panel had huge cracks. I should mention at this point it's not cheap - I paid c. £70 a night.

I asked Reception to move me to another room the following morning which they did. I returned in the evening and they had moved my case as requested. Again the second bedroom they gave me impressed at first glance, and the bedspread was a little cleaner, but while laid on the bed I noticed a cigarette stub on the floor beneath the radiator.

Into the bathroom and it's much the same. I lifted the toilet seat to find someone had left me a present(!) but this is probably poor plumbing again as one of mine came back to greet me too! The shower curtain sits in fetid water all day because it is also too long, and the drainage of both the bath and the sink is extremely poor - when I left the bathroom after a shower there was still 3 inches of water waiting to drain. To top it all off the plug was missing so I had to shave with a running tap.

Needless to say, I've cancelled my booking for 2 weeks time. I was going to make this complaint privately on the company website, but it appears there's no customer service details and I don't have the time or energy to explain to the staff at reception, I get the feeling they couldn't do much anyway.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Darren H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013

The single room I stayed in was a good size and a lot better than expected at this price range. The breakfast was good and location excellent. You can park overnight on the street for free until 8am. The breakfast serving lady didn't say anything when I entered the room for breakfast which was a shame as bar and other staff very good. Will definitely stay again. Great value.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ben S
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

Property: 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 #22 of 32 Hotels in Reading
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Expectations Hotel & Bar 3*
Number of rooms: 29
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Expectations Hotel And Bar
Great Expectations Hotel Bar

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