The Red Lion hotel is nicely situated in the middle of Salisbury, close to Market Square and perhaps 5-6 blocks from the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral. The hotel has an attractive lounge, complete with a fireplace and comfortable seating. It also has a beautiful courtyard, with 200-year-old vines over the entrance and around the periphery. Since the hotel’s oldest section, the bar, is located right beside the courtyard, it is a very pleasant place to sip a glass of wine or ale and reflect peacefully at one of the wrought iron tables. And it serves a very nice full English buffet breakfast.
Unfortunately, there are also some significant shortcomings, particularly when it gets hot. First, the place is a maze of corridors and small stairways. I had to mount seven stairways and make eleven turns with a bag to find my third floor room. I only discovered by chance that there was a lift (elevator) that could have made the climb much easier. The desk staff, while friendly, never mentioned the lift at check-in time.
Second, it is not the most pleasant place to stay during hot weather. While the windows in some rooms (not all) open wide, the bedrooms retain daytime heat through much of the night. Also, the beds are topped only by a bottom sheet and a comforter, as is standard in most English hotels, unlike their American counterparts. Without air conditioning, however, guests have the apparent option of sweltering beneath the comforter or sleeping bare on top of the bottom sheet. I did ask for a top sheet on my second night there, and one was delivered to the room. I also discovered a rotating fan in the wardrobe. It would have been nice to learn about the fan from the desk staff, given the hot weather.
Finally, the showers lacked adequate water pressure. While it was more than a trickle, one had to wash with just a weak flow of water that dropped directly from the shower head. I did get clean, but it took a few minutes longer than normal to do so.
This hotel does occupy a perfect location in Salisbury, and that is a real advantage. It also has a beautiful courtyard and serves an excellent breakfast. However, the staff could make life much easier for guests by informing them about the lift, mentioning the rotating fan, and offering the top sheet option for cooler sleeping at their arrival outset. The water pressure is a separate, mechanical issue that should be addressed. This is an attractive hotel in a great location. Without these problems being addressed, however, I would be hesitant to stay there again, especially in warmer weather. less
William W, General Manager at Best Western Red Lion Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for your review of the Red Lion. I would like to apologize your visit did not fully meet your expectations. I greatly appreciate your comments regarding the information our reception team relays at check-in especially the supply of fans in all of our bedrooms and the directions the team gives. I can only apologize as the team will normally try and give the shortest route to the bedroom which may not include the elevator. Again, please accept our apologies.
Once again, I would like to thank you and I do hope you will stop by again in the future to see all the improvements we are constantly undertaking.