Room 20- (6/10) -Days Inn, Forest East, Leicester. “Cheap with Good WIFI, No powercuts yay :)”.

Good

“Steady TV signal”.
” Automatic WIFI login”.
” Tea biscuits provided”.
” Buff shower”.
” No powercut in contrast to the Bristol Days Inn”.

Bad

” Bathroom door lock not working”.
” Service station location on motorway”.
“Only one pack of broken Border biscuits supplied”.
” No light switches near beds”.
” No gym or spa”.
” Poor TV size and picture quality”.
” Odd bed and Tea setup for 2 guests”.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere was dampened early on, with very dated plain decor and bland corridors. With a tacky and cheap looking reception area, the hotel did not scream uniqueness or quality. The lady on reception was helpful on checkin and it was nice to have only 1 signature and date required for room access.

The location of the hotel was miles out of town in a service station though, which was difficult to access. It wasn’t noisy however, since it was setback from the road providing a more favourable ambience than the early morning lorry shunt of BW hallmark Manchester, or motorway rumble in the Hogs back of Farnham, Surrey.

There were no extra touches of character as were attempted in Manchester and achieved in Cardiff at the Angel. Double Tree by Hilton Swindon had a gym which was lacking here along with a spa or steam room. This banished any impression of luxury.

The peace and quiet did not fully compensate for the distance to my work event either, although there was a nearby KFC and a seemingly rather social settee area at reception.

A spruce up of the decor and facilities with a different location would make things tantamount to more glamorous establishments.

Tea provisions

With 3 white and 4 brown sugars in addition to 4 sweetener sachets, sweetening condiments appeared sufficient for 4 well-sweetened cups of tea. Tea provisions were on par with the Double tree of Swindon with regard to sweetening therefore, and with a fairly unbiased sweetening sachet split, this seemed preferable to the proportions stowed in BW hallmark Manchester.

With 4 UHT semi-skimmed and 2 fresh semi-skimmed sachets, this was good to see as fresh milk has not been supplied (as far as I am aware), in any of the hotels I have stayed at recently. Albeit with it confined to a long life container, this did appear a little dubious.

3 caffeinated coffees and 5 decaffeinated coffee sachets suggested a preference towards coffee rather than Yorkshire tea. The 6 sachets of Yorkshire tea was a good number. Yorkshire is also a good brand. I prefer this to PG tips which is often present in the cheaper hotels.

Not all was perfect however due to lack of variety in selection, as was the case in Manchesters’ BW Hallmark.
The kettle capacity at 1.7 litres was solid in comparison to just 1.2 in the Holiday inn of Hemel Hempstead though. With a strong kettle location adjacent to a plug, this was practical for use without transit.

Tea provision storage in a tray resembling a dog bowl or animal drinking basin, was not overly glamorous however. The 3 mugs for 2 guests did seem a little clumsy considering the hotel should have known number of guests per room prior to checkin. One of these could easily have been removed. I did manage to make use of 2 however, due to my passion for excessive tea beverages.

Mugs of short yet stout shape also appeared quite clumsy, but were of practical size still.
The room was serviced on day 1 for 3 guests but refined before checkout with 2 mugs and less sweetener sachets. This shows they did consider guest number which was thoughtful.

Finally, the tea biscuits were just as I remembered from the Days inn Bristol which I stayed at earlier this year.

That little bite of nostalgia…

Whilst calorie content was not listed akin to Double tree by Hiltons cookies, they were rather pleasant for a quick burst of sugar. The variation in flavour was definitely a positive, with a chocolate or Oaty option alternated on room service.

Sharing is caring however, and with only 1 packet supplied for the room this did seem a little controversial as can often be the case. This is resolved in some hotels by providing an additional pack. BW Hallmark of Manchester was an example of this.

Washing and cleaning

There were plenty of towels and generously portioned shampoo. Far superior to the little potion pots of many upmarket establishments. Using a hotel own brand did appear a little tacky however.

The shower jet had good pressure, located in a bathroom which was clean and of agreeable size. No body lotion was supplied however which would have been nice. This shower was not an off-white dirty colour. It also didn’t let out a creak-or-shreak melody from a twist of the activation knob, as was the case in the Holiday inn express of Holiday street, Birmingham.

The toilet roll was thin and of poor quality. Quilted is far better. It was good to have 2 supplied for practicality however, just in case …
The bathroom door didn’t lock as was the case in the Bournemouth, Roundhouse suggesting this isn’t unique amongst hotels. Many do work well however such as the Hogs back, Farnham highlighting this as a problem.

 

Chilling in your room

It was easy to connect to the WIFI, which operated consistently at good speed. Far superior to the renew-everyday system of the Copthorne in Sheffield. There was just 20 minutes free in Premier Classe, Coventry which was more conference than premier league. It was far better than this hotel also …

The simple login was automatic, not requiring any information was also superior to most places I have previously stayed at. Overall very good WIFI.
There was a small TV however, which had poor picture clarity. It did have reliable signal however, unlike the Roundhouse, Bournemouth which suffered from intermittency during Ghost adventures …

Spooky or what …

The open wardrobe had 6 wooden hangers which wasn’t bad and was the same number as the Hogs back hotel, Farnham. Not quite the Beautiful South “Perfect 10” of the Roundhouse, Bournemouth however. Also wood was a better material I feel than the cheap metal present in the Birmingham Holiday inn express, Holiday street.

There were 2 Litter-bins with one of reasonable size in the main room compartment.

I liked this idea, since bathroom waste items tend to be more diminutive in stature than food packets and bottles which are generally consumed in the larger part of the room.
Keycard activation for lighting is never great, especially when accompanied by an unelegant bulky key. Either a lightweight keycard or a traditional key without power activation would both be better. I think a keycard without power activation would be perfect. This was a letdown therefore although I did retain access.

Only 1 was supplied to the room however, meaning problems if a roommate arrives later than his companion.

The desk was very narrow and charging facilities were highly limited in practicality with
location a significant distance from the beds.
Only 1 chair was present in the room, which compared to other places, was a bit of a letdown. The mattress was firm, yet supportive but didn’t cause any sleeping trouble. When I wanted to view the TV, the lack of bed backrests apparent however meant considerable impracticality.
The bed orientation facing each other, was a bit of an oddity. Almost like you are a reflection of your room mate the other side of a mirror. Waking up to the sight of your roommate in front, is not the best thing to impose on guests in a twin room.

The towels were placed in the bathroom and on just one of the 2 beds. This seemed a little one sided and unfair to the unfortunate guest who had to venture towards their proud roommates bed, or rely on those already in the bathroom. Only a very minor issue there…
The mirrors were good however, with a full bodyheight mirror in the room and one half height, by the desk.
Very little drawer storage space was present, with just 1 small drawer provided for 2 guests. One double bed and a single was not the ideal setup for a 2 guest twin but in light of the 3 guest mistake detailed earlier, I guess this is forgivable.

Price

The price at little over £46 is cheap by any standards. Far less than Double tree by Hilton Swindon at around £82 or the Hogs back private hotel in Surrey at £71.
They did possess a fridge to serve ciders behind the reception desk, but I didn’t enquire about purchase. I would suspect they would also be reasonable.

Customer service

People on checkin were polite and informative, pointing out directions to my room. This was far easier to locate than in BW hallmark inn, Manchester and the staff were less abrupt. The room service was fairly consistent although the milk sachets were slightly different resulting in slight variation. Room cleanliness was well maintained however, and reception was quick to respond to a taxi call request, on checkout.

Own products could be consumed in the area near reception which was better than the awkwardness caused in Double tree by Hilton, Swindon when this was randomly banned throughout socialisation.

Summary

Out of town, good value hotel lacking any extra facilities or storage to hint of luxury. Practical, cheap with no real drama. Room setup and TV viewing was a little awkward removing a few brownie points.

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