Hemel Hempstead holiday inn review ( Room 209) ” A practical stay lacking some refinement”. (6.5/10)

Good
“Easy wifi login and TV viewing”.
” Plenty of hangers and tea provisions”.
” Mini fridge in room”.
” Accommodating staff”.

Bad
” Not centrally located”.
” Keycard swish required good luck or effective technique”.
” Lack of tea selection just Tetley”.
” Few plug sockets”.
” Creaky shower ??”.

Atmosphere

On entry, hotel location was noticeably noisy and on a busy main road. The building however was setback from the road alleviating some of this inconvenience.
There were limited footpath crossings and it was difficult to get across to the hotel.

Once I entered, the receptionist was busy for a short while on the phone yet happy to help and very polite, informative and professional in his guidance. He informed me of my room number and the location of the free fitness suite on the lower ground floor which sounded like a real bonus.

Tea provisions

Tea provisions were adequate for at least 3 fully sweetened teas were provided. This was a good if slightly low number yet these were very neatly laid out.
For sweetening there were 3 sweeteners, 2 white sugar sachets and 2 brown. There were 4 Tetley teabags provided yet no selection. Some places offer earl grey or camomile tea or other brands which provides a little more variety.

Mugs were of good size which was more generous than at the Copthorne.
4 semi skimmed UHT milk sachets were provided which was sufficient but again some full fat option for variety would be welcome. A fridge which was complete with cup holders was provided. This would be great for your own fresh milk which was a pleasant touch. I hadn’t experienced this for a while since the Lymedale suites in Stoke on Trent.

The Kettle had 1.2 litre capacity which was better than holiday streets’ Holiday inn express in Birmingham. This was plugged in and easy to spot from the room entrance which was convenient. All the tea provisions were neatly laid out in a tray.
No tea biscuits were provided like the days inn in Bristol which would have been a good touch.

Community areas

The community areas upstairs were plain and less characterful than some places yet more relaxed and a little more dated than Holiday inn in Birmingham. Reception was light and airy and modern and had a spacious new bar area which felt the correct balance between comfortable yet extensive. It was nice to be allowed to consume our own food and drink products which is often not the case.

Price

At around £62 pounds per night for the weekend per person for a twin room the hotel is not the cheapest I have come across for a 3 star. That said it seemed good value for what was provided including levels of space and facilities such as a gym and pool.

Washing and cleaning

At least 4 towels were provided which was a good number. They worked well for drying and were comfortable to use. The switch activated heated towel rail kept towels ready for next time and was good for saving on unnecessary washing or damp smells that can begin to develop.

As for bath and shower facilities one reasonable sized tube of conditioning shampoo and another of shower gel were provided which seemed positive although they were hard to dispense since they were not squeezable tubes.
The 2 toilet rolls were not locked in place and were quilted to provide extra comfort and practicality.

A hairdryer was provided but hidden in a drawer … why ??

The Shower with a single control knob with one ring outside for pressure was apparent and another inside for temperature. The activation of the outer was very stiff and creaky which was also difficult to adjust. It looked dated and a bit unclean.
The bathroom door did lock however unlike in the Copthorne Sheffield which didn’t.

Chilling in your room

The mini fridge for a glimpse of the Radisson and Lymedale suites aparthotel was supplied which I made good use of for cider cans.
The bed was made with single pillow which was my preference and one of the only places to do that. 2 spare pillows were provided aswell to cater for all guests well including those with other preferences. Definite thumbs up therefore. The pillow was supportive for sleep yet a little flimsy for a backrest however.

Moreover no padded bed backrests were supplied for comfort or grip which was a bit of a shame.
There were varied storage spaces for belongings including standard and open drawers which was good.
9 wooden hangers were supplied in an open wardrobe which was a very good number. This was pretty much perfect for 2 guests in my opinion.
2 comfy seats with ample desk space situated well for TV viewing was great. Both beds were also well placed for this.

The room was box shaped with adequate TV size. The TV worked on first press of the button. It was not huge but had mediocre picture quality. It was large enough for the room size but one of the desk seats did obscure the view slightly from my bed. Wall mounted TV’s can often overcome this issue.

Limited plug sockets were present near the beds. There were only 3 in total which were easily noticeable yet quite spread out. This seemed a bit impractical. Plenty of mirrors were provided with at least 2 near the bathroom. 2 small litter bins were proved one in the bathroom and the other under the desk. This would have been better placed under the tea tray station however to prevent a walk with a hot tea bag.

The power did not need keycard access which was nice and my preferred system. This felt better than the Raddison blu of Leeds or the Copthorne in Sheffield. The lift didn’t either which made a nice change. Keycard access to the room did require multiple attempts though and a quick swipe to gain access. The keycard did not wear out though for the entirety of my stay which was great.

The Wifi connected automatically which was great with no login or password needed
This was a little slow to sign in on subsequent logins however.

Customer service

The staff were polite on checkin and informative about the location of health suite when I asked. They were quick and professional on sign in and checkout and quite tolerant of our late night socialising. The rooms were well cleaned and serviced which I can only offer many thanks for. For this I would stay again.

Summary

A well serviced, if slightly bland room equipped with easy to operate technology and many hangers and tea provisions. Luxury touches were a little lacking but a practical stay nonetheless. Shower needs modernising.

 

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