Let me begin by saying that this review may not be a true reflection on standards of accomodation offered to individual bookers. We visited as part of a National Holidays weekend mystery tour and expectations need to be lowered accordingly. My first impressions after viewing the hotel supplied photographs, on my return home, is that they bare no resemblance to either our room or the catering facilities that we were fobbed off with. I know better than to expect top quality from a National trip and that is just the way it is although they usually still represents value for money.
On with the review:-
On arrival we were faced with a very impressive looking building which did bode well for our stay. The outdoor seating areas appear to benefit from the sun from mid morning through to sunset and there are plenty of chairs and tables. The view, once you look past the main road, is staggeringly beautiful and I can imagine spending lovely summer evenings sat there with a nice refreshing drink. There are brackets for hanging baskets all along the front wall which were unused unfortunately, maybe later in the year. First impressions on entering the building were OK with no immediate wow factor evident but on the other hand no overwhelming disappointment resulting either. Check in was as simple as picking up an envelope containing your key and a short letter giving dinner and breakfast times. Our room was on the first floor at the front of the hotel and a short walk upstairs and along a corridor brought us to Room 30. On entering we were underwhelmed, the room was clean enough but very spartan in both furnishings and decor. Everything appeared clean enough and functional. The bed was OK if a little low and the bedding was all clean. The pillows were very thin and I needed the two spares from the wardrobe to achieve a level of comfort. The main feature is a large wall mounted TV with the full FREEVIEW channel selection. All the furniture matches but appears to be of quite poor quality but it does provide more than enough storage capacity for an overnight stay. There is a hairdrier in one of the drawers in the main dresser. This is also where the brew facilities are located. There were enough milks and sugars for a single brew each but no biscuits supplied. The bathroom was quite small with a corner shower, a sink and a full sized pedestal. This was probably the worst part of the room as a whole and it looked in need of a refurb or at least a sprucing-up. There was a soap dispenser over the sink and another in the shower cubicle although the soap they dispensed was not of great quality. Towels were in good supply and were clean and fairly fluffy. Toilet roll was of poor quality but again ample in quantity although the toilet roll holder was broken. There was an ever-present musty smell in the bathroom. Well that about describes the room, it was OK for a one night stay but I wouldn't book it as an individual or a couple if staying in the area. The photo's supplied by the hotel do not show this type of room in all it's glory and you could be lead to believe that all the rooms in the hotel are beautifully decorated and appointed. For the price we paid National for the weekend it was just acceptable and to expect anything that truly matches the blurb would be sheer folly. Obviously the 8/10 rating is not based solely on the reviews of National guests. Anyway, on to dinner which we had been informed would be served at 7-15pm. A decent time to allow everyone time to refresh from the rigours of the day and perhaps even partake in a pre-dinner snifter. It was not immediately obvious where dinner was being served and only by walking through the restaurant used by individual guests did we end up in what appeared to be a function room being utilised as a second restaurant. There was a menu on each table and the choices for dinner were as follows:- Starter - Vegetable soup, egg mayonaisse or pate served without any relish or toast. Main Course - Fish pie, roast chicken or macaroni cheese. Accompaniments were mixed vegetables, mash potato and gravy. Dessert - Apple pie and custard, trio of ice-cream and sticky toffee gateau. I know, it all sounds OK and in truth I suppose it was. Anyway it went like this:- starter was served at your table, main course was buffet style and dessert was served at table. The fun really started with the serving of starters, there was no coming round and taking orders beforehand. No, what happened here was a waitress would appear with two bowls of soup and then find diners who wanted them. Another waitress would follow with two egg mayonaisses and ask who wanted them. This continued until everyone had their choice but it took a while. From an organisational point of view it was very slow and amateurish in both its concept and its implementation. There were three soups and one egg mayo on our table and the concensus was that the soup was really good and the egg as OK. Nobody had the pate but I would have done had there been any toast or relish/chutney served alongside it. We had all eaten our bread roll while waiting for the serving debacle to start. The queue for mains was very slow moving but it was moving. The main element was served by the chef and you helped yourself to accompaniments. The macaroni cheese looked very stodgy and is something more akin to a school dinner than a serious grown-up evening meal. The fish pie didn't vary very much in appearance from the mashed potato although as nobody on our table chose it I can't comment any further. The chicken appeared to be under water in the serving tray and to my greedy eyes looked like it was the breast of a previously unfamiliar miniature breed. It was small OK. The mashed potato was what it was and the mixed vegetables were varied, well cooked and hot. There were three chickens and one macaroni cheese on our table and concensus was that the chicken was OK albeit small and, as one of our party doesn't like mashed potato, her entire dinner was small. I opted to disregard the mash and loaded up with the mixed vegetables. Desserts began to arrive in the now familiar ad hoc manner and our table chose two ice creams and two apple pies. Both were enjoyed by the respective diners and I can't comment on the gateau. All in all dinner wasn't great and to make it worse the restaurant area that we had to walk through to get here contained diners on our way out. These people obviously had ordered real food from a real menu and it smelled good. After dinner we attempted tp retire to the bar area as entertainment had been provided. Unfortunately, as another coach had turned up after us, there was a bum on every seat. We ended up sitting in a variety of fairly scruffy but comfortable chairs in reception. As it turned out this was an ideal situation once the incredibly loud band started up in the bar area. They played an interesting mixture of Irish tunes and some more unrecognisable stuff that could have been skiffle or it could have been hip-hop for all we knew such was the volume and piercing nature of the vocalists warblings. We had been forewarned by the driver that the bar was very expensive. In short, no it wasn't. There was a happy hour notice propped up on the bar offering £1 off each drink between 8 and 10pm. In short we were paying £8.70 for 2 pints of Caffreys, a whisky and lemonade and a half pint of Olde English cider. Bargain. The night passed fairly pleasantly and we all turned in. The room was very hot due to being bathed in sunshine all afternoon and we found that we needed to leave the window open overnight. The main road was fairly noisy all night but it doesn't affect us that much as we live under a flightpath and are used to noise. We had a fairly decent sleep although the wife awoke complaining about aching limbs and blaming the hardness of the bed. I thought it was OK. Anyway it was time to pack and go down for breakfast. Hopes were high as, once again, the real restaurant smelled really good as we passed through it. I was lloking forward to a decent full English and to say I was disappointed with what was on offer is a massive understatement. I should have known better after the dinner from last night I suppose. Basically there was orange juice and a choice of 2 cereals in addition to the cooked breakfast. This comprised fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms and baked beans. There was also pre-prepared toast available. Not a sausage in sight or a hash brown, or black pudding or tomato, or scrambled egg. The eggs were mostly overcooked, the bacon appeared to have been boiled and the mushrooms like-wise. Very poor fayre with the exception of the beans which were OK. There was a flask of coffee but you had to take your cup to it. No fresh drinks served at table. We moaned about the sausages all day to the extent that it almost became funny. It wasn't.
As I said at the start this review should not be taken as a definitive statement concerning standards of accomodation and catering available at this hotel. It's what you get if you stay here on a National break. The great shame is that it taints opinion to the extent where, as I stated previously, I would not select this hotel as an individual or a couple staying in the area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 10 minutes’ drive from the National Exhibition Centre, the Quality Hotel Coventry offers free parking and free Wi-Fi access throughout. The M6 and the M42 motorways are within 4 miles of this hotel and Birmingham International Airport is a 15-minute drive away. Each of our recently refurbished bedrooms have a private bathroom with a shower is included in each room, which also has tea and coffee making facilities and a telephone. Guests can dine in the spacious and elegantly decorated dining room or enjoy a drink in the informal bar area. Twycross Zoo, Cadbury World and the Belfry Golf Club are all within a 10-minute drive of the Quality Hotel Coventry. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Quality Stonebridge Manor