Advantages Clean; modern
Disadvantages Low staffing; only so much a machine can do
|Value for Money|
No one likes getting up early. No one in his or her right mind any way. And I avoid it as much as possible, see; my weekends. But on long haul flights there is something to be said for flying early in order to get more time at your destination and adapt to a new time zone. Having said that, I would still take a later flight if I could, but it’s just not always possible. After a terrible early morning journey to London a couple months prior, due to the dark and cold, nothing more sinister, I was refusing to have this situation again. Brainwave, lets book a hotel to stay up at the airport the night before, and instead of waking up at a horrendous 4am, I can look more positively at my mobile phone alarm being set to wake me up at 7am.I’m telling you the obvious to say that flights are a big business, and as such it seems to be more common place to stay in a hotel the night before your flight. So now you have the options of who to book with. I’m not a big spender, but I do enjoy my comfort, and I had nothing but good things to say at this point about Premier Inn, so they were my number one choice to book with. A quick search of our terminals post code on both the Premier Inn site and Travelodge site showed that Prem Inn was marginally closer any way. Having explored the area afterwards there were actually many more [closer] hotels to choose from.
Booking online, as you do in this day and age, I was impressed by the price of the room being £39. I know they offer discount rooms, but my general experience of booking hotels in large cities at a weekend is over the £100 price point. I suppose being a massive Premier Inn like the one on Bath Road is, perhaps they don’t fill to capacity and offer a very reasonable rate. When booking they also offer a parking option, I was a little curious of this, especially the safety of my vehicle, so I took it upon myself to e-mail them before making any rash decisions. Especially when adding parking took the cost above £100, although I still worked this out as being cheaper than it would have been should I have used Heathrow’s parking.I received a fairly swift reply, telling me that on the first night I would be able to use the hotels parking but upon check in I would be given a voucher for a car park next to the hotel and I would have to drive my car there in the morning. They then explained the frequency of the shuttle buses to the airport. Seemed a little annoying having to move my car about, but nothing too stretching I suppose…
Journey to the hotel there were no real complaints, the post code they had given worked in my slightly out of date Sat Nav, so with that trusty woman guiding my way how can I ever get lost. Admittedly I did nearly miss the turning into the hotel, which was somewhat hidden. Driving up there was a barrier that seemed stuck in the raised position, so needless to say I completely ignored the sign about how much it costs to park in there. What? I’m a paying guest, why would I need to pay even more? There was so much parking in the car park that I was confused as to why I would need to move my car in the morning.I was slightly taken back by the size of this Premier Inn, whilst I have stayed in incredibly high ones in the past, this was only about three levels but ridiculously wide. This is without a doubt the most modern Prem Inn I have stayed in, with a high ceiling and a large projection of the football on to the wall. You had the bar, a restaurant and a Costa Coffee. There seemed to be a few staff pottering around but waiting made my attention turn to self checkin. I’m all up for self-service, even if they are destroying peoples jobs, and this system was really easy. You had a number of options for how to search for your booking, your surname or your reference number being just two of them.
The only concern I did have when I checked in was that I didn’t receive my voucher for parking, which I had been told so much about, but wanting to just get to the room and relax I didn’t feel like waiting around any longer to ask. The elevators had to be activated by your card, and there was an elderly couple in front of us that hadn’t worked this out until I showed them how. Considering it’s only three storeys and I’m a little afraid of elevators, I was confused why I couldn’t find a staircase. I would hope there was one somewhere in case of fire, but it wasn’t obviously positioned.Remember I mentioned how wide the building was? This prompts a long walk down the corridor to actually reach your room. The room was a twin double, and the beds were huge but this doesn’t leave much space for anything else. TV and the rest of the appliances worked so can’t really complain. The window was very narrow and small, not allowing for much natural light at all. Cleanliness wise it was all up to scratch. And as with all the Prem Inn's I've experienced, the comfort was great, with all the extra pillows you could imagine.
I’m one for not wanting, but having to explore my surroundings, and it wasn’t a long walk before we came across a drive thru McDonalds. Tasty. The rest of it was just a couple houses and more hotels, really nothing to get excited about, but it was a nice evening. Oh and we walked past the car park that I was told I would have to leave my car in the next day, looked very cramped. One last thing about the hotel room, if you’re a smoker you are going to get incredibly sick of the long walk to the outside. Especially as you’ll probably be on a chain smoking roll considering the airport waiting and flight journey the next day. It was almost just as long journey to the out of order vending machines on the ground floor.
Being already in holiday mode, I wasn’t going to put up with waiting for buses either, especially as they all looked busy with locals, and booked a taxi using the direct free phone the hotel pointed us in the direction of. It arrived before I could barely hang the phone up.
I went straight for the exit, only for the first time ever the barrier was actually down. This meant I had to wander back into the widest Premier Inn of all time, find a member of staff in this self-service world, and asked what I had. No questions asked they gave me a card to get how of the car park, it made me wonder why I had even paid for the parking when it seems so easy to abuse the system. I also wish when I left my car there someone could have told me the exact procedures. Apart from their Park & Fly package leaving a lot to be desired, Premier Inn Bath Road almost lived up to my expectations. The room package on its own is up to scratch and considering you’ll be jetting off the next day, how many facilities do you need? I will probably try other hotels in the area if I need to stay up there again.
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