We decided to book this hotel to break the journey from Cambridgeshire to Devon. I wish we had gone elsewhere.
I have stayed at several HI Express hotels and this is the worst I've encountered.
The staff on reception were Ok and check in wasn't too bad. There is no car park at the hotel and you have to park in the drop off bay whilst you check in. There is a fee to park in the railway station car park which is a short walk from the hotel. The cost for this was £6 (although I think the website states £5). The main problem here was that from the entrance lobby to the reception you have to go up in the lift, which isn't really a problem but on this occasion just as we were unloading the car a coach party arrived with luggage and the lobby became blocked as everybody had to wait for lifts to reception. In the end we battled through and carried our cases up several flights of stairs.
We were staying with 2 children and had booked a family room. When we got to the room on the second floor it was the smallest room I've ever stayed in and with the sofabed out there was no room to swing a cat. The air on in the room didn't work and seemed to be blowing out cold air - it was like walking into a fridge. There was a small electric heater but that was smelly and pretty useless.
We then popped to reception to see if we could be moved to a bigger room but the excuse was that the hotel was full due to 3 coach loads visiting on route to London. To be fair the girl was apologetic but just kept tapping keys on the computer saying that they had 3 coaches in and eventually we told her not to bother.
In the room we had 1 pillow each. My daughter called reception asking for extra pillows but the reply was that we couldn't as there were 3 coaches in - I find no spare bedding unbelievable and we had to make do with using cushions from the sofa.
Both sofa bed and normal bed were extremely uncomfortable. The sofabed even had springs poking through the very thin mattress.
We were told that as priority members we could access free Internet in the bar area but as the hotel had 3 coaches in the bar had been taken over by extra tables and there was nowhere to sit and so we just spent the evening in the poky room.
Breakfast was a fiasco. As we exited the lift, we were greeted by a member of staff, who said "breakfast, come" and took us in the opposite direction to the dining room. He explained that as they had 3 coaches in that they were also serving breakfast in a conference room. When we walked in it was set up like an army barracks with rows of tables, so that we weren't able to sit as a family. We went into the main dining room and waited for a vacant table, which we cleared ourselves prior to sitting down to a pretty poor breakfast. The queue for coffee was unbelievable due to one of the machines being broken although to be fair the engineer tuned up whilst breakfast was on to fix it.
I understand that hotels get busy but this hotel wasn't geared up for the amount of guests. The staff were just overwhelmed and to use the excuse that "we've got 3 coaches in". I don't want to hear that because that's not my problem.
I definitely won't be staying at this hotel again and as I've said I've been to several HI express hotels both in the UK and the continent and this is the worst one I've encountered.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Swindon City Centre is a new modern hotel offering a bar, restaurant and 6 modern meeting rooms. Each modern guest room is spacious and offers power shower, cosy beds and plasma-screen LCD satellite TV. Complimentary Hot Continental Breakfast is included in the rate. Relax in the lounge area, with 2 large screen TVs. Enjoy a prime location in the Swindon City Centre, only minutes away from shops and attractions such as STEAM Museum, Outlet Village or Oasis Leisure Centre. The Swindon Rail Station and the Central bus station are a brief walk away. Pop in a train or a bus and visit the historical towns of Bath, Oxford, Cirencester, Wotton Basset, Cippenham or Bristol.Located close to one of the most important ancient routes in the UK - The Ridgeway. At 85 miles long and 6000 years old, it offers some of the finest walking, cycling and horse riding experiences in the UK. Walk a short way along The Ridgeway and you will find Barbury Castle, Wiltshires best Iron Age fort. Further along you will see the famous White Horses at Hackpen.Within touching distance are the delightful Cotswolds. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is world renowned for its rolling hills and hidden valleys. Most certainly a quintessential English landscape not to be missed. Only 15 minutes north is The Cotswolds Water Park. With 147 Lakes it offers canoeing, sailing, fishing windsurfing and waterskiing. Close to Avebury, Stonehenge and Westonbirt - The National Arboretum which is one of the most spectacular tree gardens in the world. Visit Castle Combe and Lacock Abbey, a National Trust property. Breathtaking scenery, prehistoric sites, the Cotswolds, castles, historic houses & gardens, Britain's largest water park and The Ridgeway-all a short distance from Swindon. With so much to see and do you must make Swindon your touring base! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Swindon City Centre Hotel Swindon
- Holiday Inn Swindon
- Swindon Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Express Swindon City Centre Wiltshire