Afton hotel (Room 309)

Good
” 11 wooden hangers split for 2 guests”.
“Scenic seaside location literally on the seafront”.
” Great TV size and picture quality”.
” Good in-room charging facilities”.
Bad
“Toilet seat did not stay up”.
“Bathroom door had no lock”.
“Roomsize quite small”.
” Lack of selection in tea provisions”.
” No in-room WIFI !!”.

Atmosphere

The hotel had a rather cosy and homely atmosphere which was a bit too compact. The surroundings were great with a location right on the coast. The pier was just a short walk away which was one of the main local attractions. The hotel was a little noisy due to a busy road nearby though and had rather narrow corridors. The single lift meant a rather long wait every time and the staircase smelt very strongly of cigarette smoke which was far from ideal. The staff did create a welcoming experience however with reliable room service.

Tea provisions

4 semi skimmed milk sachets were presented on a clean white tray very neatly. This neatness continued to the other tea provisions including 2 rather small mugs, 4 caffeinated coffee sachets, 4 Tetley tea bags, 4 brown sugar sachets and 11 white sugar sachets.

Whilst it was nice that all the sugar was fairtrade and that there were a sufficient number of sachets for 4 well sweetened cups of tea, the lack of sweetener option, absence of decaffeinated coffee, lack of tea selection such as no choice for earl grey or flavoured tea and the small mug size seemed to negate much of the positives including good presentation.

The kettle capacity appeared substantial however although this wasn’t labelled. It would have also been nice to have a full fat milk choice and perhaps a tea biscuit if I was being picky.

The location of the kettle directly next to 2 plugs and the bathroom for refilling was a certain positive so whilst far from perfect, some things had been considered.

Community areas

The downstairs bar area felt characterful and cosy suggesting this would be the overall hotel ambience. Whilst this was continued upstairs the corridors felt a little narrow and pokey and the room was not large and perhaps too compact for a comfortable stay.

Stairs smelt heavily of cigarette smoke and the lift was very slow. There was no extra spaces such as pool or gym that many larger hotels have. The bar could have benefitted from some ciders on draught but wasn’t excessively priced.

Washing and cleaning

The shower had dual control ; One knob for pressure and the other temperature which is my favourite system. The bathroom had a large soap and shampoo dispenser rather than sachets which initially appeared less fiddly. This however required several firm pumps to dispense. To make matters worse the shower pressure was very feeble and therefore it took a while to get clean. Shower temperature was also not quickly responsive making the experience less pleasurable. Neither of the shower jet options provided greater pressure unfortunately.

4 towels were split equally between the 2 beds providing sufficient drying equipment. One hairdryer was provided in the drawer which is always a must. This worked fine and was simple to operate.

The toilet seat unfortunately would not stay up on it’s own accord and the bathroom door had no functional lock which was a bit disappointing.
It was good to have a mirror in the bathroom and the extractor fan was important, due to compact size, for the prevention of damp.

Chilling in your room

The provision of a key rather than keycard whilst traditional was very refreshing considering the number of times these experience technical wearing out issues due to close proximity to other objects such as phones. I could rest assured that my stay would not be plagued by constant keycard replacement problems. This felt like a notable positive. It was a shame to only have 1 key per room however as it meant the risk of one resident getting locked out was very real.

The beds seemed highly comfortable although not made to my personal preference of just one pillow. The WIFI was quick and easy to connect to from reception as no login details were required whether that be password or email. It was a shame that due to a leaking issue no WIFI was available from my room for the entirety of my stay.

The bed backrests were not padded although they were accompanied by 9 medium sized drawers for clothes storage which was great.

This storage theme continued to be positive when approaching the wardrobe with 11 wooden hangers which were split almost equally to either side of the wardrobe. For 2 guests this was the best set up I had experienced in a while so was therefore very positive.

The TV worked well with good picture quality and reliable signal not suffering from any intermittency. The size provided a top quality viewing experience considering the small room size.

Everything is relative …

For charging, 4 plugs were easily noticeable from the bedroom which was a little low yet sufficient between 2 guests. It was nice to see that all of these were easily accessible and quick to locate.

With a half height mirror in the bathroom and a full height in the room, the mirrors seemed sufficient for the room size. The wide mirror viewable from the desk, was very clean and provided effective reflection for inspecting personal appearance.

Customer service

The lady on reception was very polite and quick to check me into my room. She provided clear instructions on how to get there and provided the wifi password without issue. It was a shame no wifi was available in the room throughout the entire stay. Staff on reception were happy to help with calling taxis to the work venue which was also very positive.

Whilst staff were apologetic for lack of in-room WIFI, I was advised this issue was only temporary yet this affected the whole duration of my stay making work arrangements difficult and darkening the mood a little.

Price

At it’s price point of a 2 star budget hotel £40 is certainly very affordable for an overnight stay. For the basics supplied this did represent reasonable value. A few finer touches however would have made the stay great value at this price including better showers and wifi.

As previously mentioned, in comparison to other hotels the bar prices were not that high. When relatively close distance to London is considered they were much cheaper than the hogs back hotel of Surrey. £4 for a bottle of cider is therefore not terrible although with only a 2-star rating and lack of cider selection the alcohol to me wasn’t the most competitive on price-point.

Summary

A welcoming and professional service which only lacked in room wifi and a powerful positive showering experience. Great staff and atmosphere if a little tight on space.

 

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