Travelling for work, we never normally use this hotel but occasionally need to be in the town centre so do use it.
The location is ideal for the station and the centre of Carlisle, but that is it. There is limited car parking behind the hotel but it's very tight for larger vehicles. I was the last space in the carpark at 18:00 and there was a clear risk of damage from people getting out from their cars in the narrow spaces.
The downstairs area of the hotel looks OK on arrival but once you enter the "upper floors" things rapidly go downhill. It's like something from the 1960's and looks like it was last decorated then too. I had a single room for £70 and the room was possibly the most depressing hotel I have ever stayed in. Dim, dingy, dark old furniture, dirty carpets, grimy bathroom, extractor fan like a spitfire taking off, water hammer like a jackhammer when you flushed the toilet, crumpled bed linen that may or may not have been clean, scratchy towels etc etc. Room overlooked the station and had a lovely view of two british transport polce vehicles. The window had some dirty secondary glazing but these wouldn't close fully, which let in the smell of train brakes every time a train came in.
The bar downstairs wasn't as bad. Service was OK and the beer was at least OK too. At around 7pm, a staff member turned on the TV and proceeded to complain loudly about having to have the news on as the company said so. Anyway, I was glad not to stay in for dinner...
After a not so great night, I presented myself for breakfast. This was where the experience properly went downhill. If that's possible.
Anyway, I waited at the entrance to be seated, and a bored looking staff member folding napkins said someone would be with me soon. A few minutes passed and nobody came, during which the same staff member proceeded to go to a set table for 2, remove the "clean" cutlery and wipe down the table with some cleaning spray. Theythen put the same cutlery back on the table. Sadly the cutlery had been place directly on the cloth seat of one of the chairs and was just put back on the table for use. I asked the staff member if she thought it was OK to do this and she just shrugged. I decided not to experience the culinary delights based on this experience.
I raised this at reception and to be fair, the employee there was very helpful and said many of the staff were new. They offered to refund the cost of breakfast and asked if there was anything else they could do to remedy things.
Sadly, the only thing that will improve this place is a full refurbishment and a programme of proper staff training. Or maybe a full demolition.
Seriously, don't ever stay here until something changes. The 1 star reviews are spot on, and you should take heed of them. Don't less