Neutral review, not blown away, but not put off.
We stayed here as a a couple on last Friday and Saturday night in the Alexander Room.
We were attending a wedding on the Saturday afternoon. First things first, access is through a housing estate, so don't think you've got lost, but singage is not the greatest.
The Speed humps are huge, my car scrapped the exhaust on every one, so be aware that are lowered or sports cars need to be very careful (this is not the hotels fault though)
Now to the hotel, it's 150 years old, wooden panelling, creaky floor boards, qwerky layouts, tends to be darker in decor than modern hotels, but full of character. It would be very easy to find many many faults. If you're looking for Neutral colours, LED lights, clean crisp lines, lifts etc then this is not the place for you.
We arrived in the dark so very little of the location and building when we arrived, but on the Saturday morning when we looked out the window, it was lovely to see a large lawn and a wall of trees wrapping around the hotel. Breakfast was good, few minor points, baked beans were not Heinz (I did ask, so did not have them), Brown sauce was not HP, Tomato Sauce was not Heinz (or Stokes), these are the sort of things that even road side food vendors know makes a difference. On the plus side, the poached Eggs were lovely, Tea was served in proper pots and was unlimited.
I then helped my friend set up for his wedding reception, which the hotel staff were also there doing their bits and bobs. The room looked lovely, with the bay windows and panelled ceiling.
Here's a gripe, the filter under the plug hole to the shower was blocked, very nearly causing the shower tray to overflow, I cleaned this out myself, I did mention to the manager later that day and he did confirm it should have been checked, so I doubt that will happen again.
Our room had a great view, lovely refurbished showeroom/toilet. With a Mustard coloured carpet, the bed was nice and big with white linen on. What let it down was the rather tatty furniture, functional, matching in style but to be fair, the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a 1980's student rental.
Now to the wedding, there was 2 weddings in the hotel chapel on the same day, the first one was running late forcing my friends to delay thier own wedding, telling the bride to go around the block again is not something she needed the stress of on her big day, OK it could have all gone smoothly like clockwork, but there should have been a larger window of time between the 2 weddings. There was also a shortage of chairs in the chapel (but was quickly resolved)
The reception itself went well, although the service of food seemed delayed, (possibly knock on from the other wedding party running late?), the beef was so tender and tasty, but the vegetables were less inspiring. Dessert (Lemon Tart thingy) top notch.
Bar prices seemed very fair £3.95 for a pint of Lager, but the price of a half seemed a touch too much at £2.10 (=£4.20 a pint) only pennies I know.
Breakfast on Sunday was a relaxed affair, with no pressure to leave, even though we chatted with friends until nearly 11am , (booking out time).
Worth mentioning there is Free Wifi, but it's not super quick. The hotel seemed to be getting hoovered a lot before the event, but there were still areas of housekeeping that could be improved, dust on panelling, picture frames etc, but does this add to the qwerkiness maybe?
Overall, we would go back, but we would not go back just because of the hotel, it would be to see our friends who live up that way.
The group could spend a millions pounds on the venue, replacing the rotten window frames and single glazing, slapping white paint over the panelling etc, but that's what gives it the character. Best Western seen to have many older style hotels, I'm sure we'll stay in a few more over the years.
So there you go. Bit of a mixed review. less