Double tree by Hilton Swindon Room 136 review ” Can’t consume your own products but a free cookie to compensate”. – (8/10)

Good
” Plenty of plug sockets and quality TV”.
” Extra touches such as a cookie, kit Kat and coffee machine”.
” Limited roadnoise and comfortable beds”.

Bad
” Hard to cross the road to safely”.
” Wifi would not connect at first and required login everytime”.
“No padded backrests on the beds”.
” Toilet seat would not stay upright”.
” Hidden hairdryer and the kettle capacity was located inside the vessel”.
” Being told incorrect information regarding bar ordering”.

Atmosphere

On reception the atmosphere was great due to the epic size of the reception area. To not overwhelm however a very relaxed and sophisticated decoration repertoire was used which had excellent appeal.

The view from the room window was of a green, yet plain courtyard area. Better than the carpark of the Copthorne Sheffield though. There was also no noticeable roadnoise rather than the incessant rumble of the Hogs back hotel which was also situated on a busy road.

This perhaps helped compensate for it’s out of town location which was quite a walk from the train station.

It was a shame the keycard had to be left in to activate the power in the room since this is not my favourite system in case it gets forgotten. That said it did work effectively for room entry on first attempt. These are notoriously temperamental.

The location of the room buried down a couple of corridor passages made things tricky to locate including the gym and my room.

Tea provisions

A kitkat was left beside 4 small tubs of coffee which was directly beside the coffee making machine. This was a very nice addition which is seldom found in many other hotels. The chocolate cookie on checkin made this experience great from the word go.

Trust my sweet tooth to bias my reviews…

The mugs looked good quality and modern and were slender yet average in height. To be honest these were a little small in capacity much like the kettle which was only 1 litre. I did not like having the dial inside the vessel either as this meant I had to open it to view it’s fullness. A minor detail but many kettles do have this on the outside which I prefer personally.

With 6 large sachets of semi-skimmed milk this was a good number for tea making although it would be nice to also have a full fat option. With 6 sachets of breakfast tea and 2 of cranberry and raspberry this seems like a copious total number. There was enough breakfast tea incase people did not like fruity tea. It was good to have the option to try this flavour for the first time aswell though.

With 2 decaffeinated coffee sachets and 4 normal this also seemed like a generous count which is great for coffee liking guests.

With 11 total sweeteners for this tea selection this seemed slightly low since for 8 cups of tea at 2 sugars 16 would seem the ideal number. Overall though this count was far superior to most places so I could not complain.

In terms of proportions, 2 white, 4 brown and 5 sweeteners was great. This was perhaps adjusted assuming you eat the sugary kitkat and cookie first and then do not need the extra calories of lots of sugar. Therefore the bias towards sweetener was justified and valid. Again a good touch.

The tea supplies were replaced religiously but mugs kept being removed which made me unable to make myself a cup of tea for Sunday morning. This was not ideal and something I have not encountered an issue with before.

Community areas

The area beside reception was spacious and light which was great. There was a nice sized gym with many items of modern equipment.

It was not ideal to not be allowed to consume your own food or drink products in the area near reception however. This has been better in many places I have previously stayed.

Price

At £82 for the room, this felt reasonably expensive although due to the luxurious setting inside and the extra touches this made the stay still appear good value.

The products at £3.60 for a cider in happy hour seemed reasonable relative to the hotel price. This was thoroughly enjoyable and worth the money. I also like the concept of happy hour in hotels. Menu prices were a bit high though.

Washing and cleaning

4 towels were provided inside the shower bath which was a great number between 2 guests. The wardrobe featured 10 hangers which in my mind is the perfect number between 2 guests. To make this even more appealing these were constructed of wood unlike the more tacky plastics apparent elsewhere.

The shower was very powerful with an easily accessible jet of water. This was a highly modern silvery colour and not dated like in Hemel Hempstead or Farnham. It had dual control with one knob for temperature and the other for pressure which is my preferred system. Instead of arbitrary numbers the temperature was labelled with degrees which was good.

2 small litter bins were provided; One in the bathroom and one in the main room compartment which was good. There was a generously sized bar of soap and a good range of cleaning products including the ubiquitous body wash and shampoo but also body lotion, mouthwash and conditioner. This was certainly a strong selection compared to elsewhere.

The toilet seat unfortunately would not stay up so had to be left down which was a bit of a shame. The location of the flushing button behind the seat was also a little bit of an inconvenience.

The hairdryer was a little cryptic since it was located in a black kitbag in the wardrobe which was missed at first glance. It did work well however and pressure and temperature was simple to adjust which was good.

Whilst temperature was slightly fiddly to adjust on the shower, it was pleasant and towels worked effectively. No annoying shower noises were apparent either as was the case with the screech of holiday street Holiday inn express of Birmingham.

The door lock was easy to operate and working with a twist to lock activation system.

Chilling in your room

In addition to the cookie provided on reception there was a small kitkat biscuit supplied in your room in a special case for coffee making. This has never been provided previously and was certainly preferable to a border tea biscuit as provided in the hogs back of Surrey or days inn of Bristol.

The presence of a fridge below the tea provisions in the cabinet was very positive and began to rival the dizzy heights of the kitchenette of stokes Lymedale suites. Very nice touch. It didn’t have cup holders like holiday inn of Hemel Hempstead though …

There was a TV which was certainly large enough for the box shape of the room and easily visible from the beds. It was centrally located so not obscured by any chair backs as can be the case. One activation press on the remote provided a relaxing melody of tune which presented an okay instruction to continue. After this, the program came on without fault and instantaneously.

Picture quality was good and no intermittency in signal was suffered throughout the duration of program viewing. This was better than the Roundhouse of Bournemouth therefore.

Whilst there were no backrests on the beds, the pillows and mattresses looked thick and luxurious. They provided a great night sleep every night and covers were not too thick for the time of year. It was good to be able to open the window aswell to keep things cool.

There was a safe present in the wardrobe which was also good. Luxury hotels should always have this I feel.

In terms of charging, there were at least 5 easily spotable sockets in practical locations showing up the limited charging facilities of the hogs back. The wifi was difficult to connect to since it rejected my surname and Room number. This was a little frustrating to begin my stay. On approach to reception I discovered I was trying to connect to the wrong service and that you were meant to login with a code instead. Whilst this was simple it did seem like an overly confusing system.

Customer service

On entry, the staff member on reception was very welcoming and professional. I only had to sign one form and didn’t have to fill out any details. She gave the option to hold onto my room mates key or take it. I liked this element of choice. I was also supplied with a rich and very gooey chocolate and walnut cookie which tasted and felt very luxurious throughout consumption. She showed me the direction of my room and asked about meal bookings whilst confirming if breakfast was included. This was definitely one of the better receptions I had experienced previously. Up there then with actually being taken to my room in the Lymedale suites of Stoke on Trent which was just a bonus.

Staff were also quick and very helpful when resolving my wifi query. Bar staff were quite unhelpful when answering questions regarding consuming your own products however. I was told I could if I purchased a drink first at the bar. After going to the bar and being told I could not purchase anything, I felt tricked which did not improve my relaxing experience after a long day at work. This was a great shame.

On checkout the one lady manning reception was very happy and polite but kept me waiting due to a conversation with another guest. When in a rush for a taxi this was not ideal.

Summary

A modern, luxurious stay with only minor issues. Clearer systems for wifi connection and clearer labels to find the gym and reception would help Improve things. Bar staff could be more polite and clued up. I would definitely stay again if the hotel was in my price range.

 

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