Having read the positive reviews I was expecting a great stay.
I’d checked out the price of a one night stay for two rooms on a last minute online booking system. I rang the hotel and the manager said I should book direct with him rather than book through the intermediary. He asked what price I had been given online and said he would charge the same and asked if we had a car and the parking would be an additional £30 for 24 hours. Not knowing how much parking would be in Stratford I accepted that. I received an email confirming my booking and the total due for the two rooms had a price for each room which had now increased by a total of £30 indicating a higher price for the rooms and parking was not shown as a separate item.
We arrived and I rang the doorbell. The greeting wasn’t particularly friendly and I started to follow the manager into the hotel, and he said ‘stay there’. Not much of a welcoming greeting. I’m sure something like, ‘if you’d like to wait I’ll get the parking voucher for you’ would have been better. He didn’t introduce himself, from the other reviews I guess his name was Mark. We were advised that breakfast was between 08:30 and 09:30, well in fact he said no later than 09:15 as he finished at 09:30. He asked exactly when we’d be turning up for breakfast the following morning which did take me back a little, and I felt like I was imposing on him. The manager asked how many croissants we’d be wanting and we had to decide there and then the evening before so we settled on 3 for 4 of us. He also asked if I could pay in cash so I said ok, I’d have to withdraw the cash later.
We were shown to our rooms which were spacious enough and clean, no carpets, which made the room look a bit hard, and there was a little kitchenette type arrangement. I felt like I was going to sleep in the kitchen.. Our rooms were in an extension at the back. The double bed was extremely uncomfortable. It was rock hard. The quilt was very thin. I had a dreadful night’s sleep. The room had adjustable heating so it wasn’t cold but the bed was just not a cosy place to be. The other room we had was the same.
We turned up for breakfast at 8:45, 15 minutes later than we’d stated and I felt nervous about it, based on the firm way the manager had asked when we’d be turning up for breakfast as if a 45 minute window was not a restricted enough timeframe in which to appear. The 3 croissants arrived which were very good. We’d finished our breakfast when the manager then asked if we’d like any toast. It was really bad timing and I felt that the answer should be no otherwise we’d be putting him out. We said no. A water filter would also be good as the tea tasted of chemicals.
We checked out immediately after breakfast and the manager asked if I had the cash for him. When we returned to the car park I checked how much it costs to park there for 24 hours. The cost is actually £10 for 24 hours, and having read other reviews and Mark’s comments in return, there is reference to free parking if booked direct. We weren’t offered the 50% discount card for the attractions either as other reviewers had been, and he didn’t offer any information at all other than give us a map. I felt like the manager had taken a dislike to us as soon as we got there. I had booked this mini-trip as a treat for my sister and her daughter and although we still had a great time in Stratford I’d hoped to give her a better hotel experience than the one we received.
The place itself is actually spotless clean to the point of being sterile. There is no welcoming home from home atmosphere and I didn’t feel we were welcomed at all. I will be returning to Stratford but not to here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 100% Non-Smoking, Family Run & Family Friendly, 4-star Guest Accommodation Character Town Centre Property, Close To Railway Station, Close To Shakespeare's Birthplace, 12 Minutes Stroll To Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Beautiful Decor, Guest Lounge, All Rooms En-suite, Single, Twin, Double, Triple And Family Rooms, Two Ground Floor Rooms For 2-3 Guests, Self-Catering Possible, Freeview LCD Televisions, Tea & Coffee Making Facilities, Hair Dryers, Ironing Facilities, Mobile Phone Hire, Money Savers Free Guest Computer For Internet Access, Free Wi-Fi Hotspot, Generous Cancellation Policy. Property Website Booking Options: Parking Permit - Full 24 Hours From Arrival, All You Can Eat Continental Buffet Breakfast, Secure On-Line Booking, Freephone Booking Number, Multi-Nights Discount (£5 or £10 per night), LASTMINUTE 10% Discount (This Sunday-Friday) ROOM ONLY 15% Discount (Any Booking) Make An Offer Facility ... more less
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