Stradey Park Hotel (Llanelli, Camarthenshire)
On August 2nd 2012 I appeared on a Welsh television programme called 'Prynhawn Da' where I chatted about my CD (available from www.siopcwlwm.co.uk - search under 'Donna Davies' and performed my song. (you can watch my performance at http://s4c.co.uk/clic/e_level2.shtml?programme_id=503073582 I'm on at around 15 minutes). As I was ... required to be at the studio in the morning, we decided to go the day before as the studio is a good 3 hours away from us. We had a look online at different accommodation available in Llanelli - we were on a budget - but having seen the Stradey Park Hotel website, we decided this was the best option for us.
~ * Welcome * ~
We had a lovely welcome at the hotel. We were greeted at the reception by a lovely receptionist; she was really friendly, professional and nothing was too much trouble. She was there a lot of the time during our stay and was very helpful; I.e. calling us a taxi etc and giving us directions.
~ * Finding Our Rooms * ~
We were staying on the top floor (I was hoping we would have a sea view!) and so decided to take the lift as we had a couple of suitcases - we later used the stairs and they weren't bad at all; I mean there were around 4 small flights of stairs, but it wasn't hard going like I have found in previous hotels where the stairs really tire you out after a few flights.
~ * My Room * ~
There were three of us going (I had two supporters with me) and so we needed three rooms; so we had two adjoining rooms which we had for just £100 for both of them as I was appearing on the show.
I had a room to myself; it was twin room and so I had a choice of the two beds available. I chose the one nearest the window (obviously). I have to say, that was one of the comfiest ever beds I have ever slept in; I slept like a log.
Our room was at the back and so our view was of a wood. I had read other reviews which said that they had a sea view but even when we saw the sea from the restaurant it was very far away.
~ * Facilities Available In Room * ~
There was many facilities available in my room; television, bath/shower, hairdryer, telephone, fan, tea/coffee (with the most delicious chocolate chip cookies ever). The room itself was quite large too; there were two single beds, a wardrobe, a large dressing table, two bedside tables, a table and chairs and another small table for tea/coffee. There were lots of cupboards and drawers to store belongings too. As I was only staying the one night, I didn't really have a lot of things to unpack and so I didn't really use the cupboards etc.
The room was very clean and spotless looking!
There was plenty of tea coffee and milk in the room - that was great for me because I find that there is never enough milk for tea in rooms, yet I had plenty here.
~ * Restaurant * ~
There was a restaurant available (for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner). We only went to the restaurant for breakfast. The restaurant was lovely with wooden floors etc and comfortable chairs. The staff in here were lovely and there were plenty of staff about.
There was plenty of choice for breakfast; cereals, toast (you had to make your own toast with the toaster provided) croissants, pastries, fruit, yoghurts, Welsh cheeses, juice, and a cooked breakfast (bacon, eggs, hash browns, sausages etc). Haddock, boiled eggs etc were available from the kitchen on request.
Tea and coffee were brought to the table, however we helped ourselves to everything. I didn't want to eat that much as I was going on the television and so whilst it was going to be a long day I didn't want to stuff myself so that I was too uncomfortable to sing. So I just had a small bowl of cereal, one slice of toast and a croissant. I had a cup of tea and orange juice.
There was a menu on the table and I could see that you had to pay extra for special coffees (cappuccinos, lattes etc).
~ * Staff * ~
We found every single member of staff to be very helpful and friendly, whilst being professional at the same time. Nothing was too much trouble and we felt as though they had all the time in the world for us and made us feel really welcome.
~ * Other points and information * ~
There are a couple of bars there with televisions and plenty of lounge areas to relax.
I had expected the hotel to be near the sea (I had read reviews saying how you could see the sea), although we could see the sea in the distance from the hotel, but it was quite far away.
We travelled by train and so we didn't have a car; there seemed to be a lot of car parking spaces though; some right by the door. We got a taxi from the train station to the hotel and as the taxi driver knew where the hotel was; I cannot comment on how easy the hotel was to find (for someone who doesn't know the area).
The hotel is quite smart and whilst I didn't see any signs saying you had to be dressed smart; I did feel a bit underdressed when I arrived in my ;travelling clothes;'. So I would suggest dressing 'smart/casual'.
We were not disturbed by any other guests etc. and didn't hear any noise.
I loved the tv in the room - it was large with plenty of different channels available.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this hotel.
Thanks for reading.
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
Read the complete review
Sundial Venue Barnett Hill (Guildford, Surrey)
~ Barnett Hill ~ Barnett Hill is a stunning Surrey, country house which is nestled within 26 acres of manicured gardens and in a quiet village just minutes from Guildford. Barnett Hill is a Queen Anne-style country house that provides a fantastic, intimate environment for all sorts of celebrations and special occasions. Barnett Hill ... is a Sundial Group venue and is located in Wonersh, Surrey. There is a large range of facilities available including 15 conference and meeting rooms, and accommodation in 56 individually decorated bedrooms. They also host a fantastic range of events here including Teambuilding days to various charity events and weddings fairs. Their rooms range from single, double and family bedrooms each with en-suite showers, or bath or both. Every bathroom features luxury toiletries from The White Company of London. Bedroom facilities also include free WiFi internet access, bottled mineral water, hot drink facilities, Hairdryer, iron and ironing board and a large well lit desk suitable as a working area. Barnett Hill also has a sauna which is a perfect way to relax after using their air conditioned gym. There is a games room which includes a pool table, table tennis table, and table football and satellite television. There are also outdoor activities which include croquet, volleyball and the woodland walk which takes you around the garden and grounds. Gusts may also borrow a mountain bike and helmet if they wish to cycle anywhere. Routes and maps can be provided at reception. You can hire rooms in Barnett Hill for special occasions such as weddings; you can go to look at the venue before booking it and to discuss things further.
I was actually invited here with my partner to celebrate a wedding. The wedding started at approximately 12 mid-day so we were to spend the whole day and the night at Barnett Hill. In terms of the venue being used for a wedding the grounds and building are beautiful. The ceremony was held in one of the rooms which was lovely and we had a 3 course meal which followed later in the afternoon. As the grounds are so beautiful lots of pictures were taken in and around the gardens as the day was beautiful and the sun was out which made the day even more special. We had to choose our food a few weeks in advance for the wedding. I chose to have a mushroom and onion tartlet which was served with a side salad. I then had a sea bass fillet with asparagus and baby potatoes for my main meal and coffee was served after the meal along with some sweet treats such as chocolate, marshmallow and meringue pieces. I can't comment on how much it was to have the ceremony and meal here as I'm not sure how much they charge for all of this. I know the room where we had our main meal cost approximately £350 to hire, this seats up to about 55 guests.
~ The Grounds/Gardens ~
The grounds/gardens to Barnett Hill are beautiful. There are many different gardens which lead into other gardens and these are separated by trees and well trimmed bushes. There is a range of beautiful tree's and plants in the grounds and me and my partner spent a long time walking around the grounds and taking in the beautiful gardens. There are different seating areas in and around the garden where you can sit and relax and take in the beautiful scenery. There is a large pond towards the side of the building which has stone steps going down to it. The pond is quite large with a water fountain in the middle and the pond has beautiful lily pads and lilies on the water. There are a few fish in the pond that we saw every now and again. At the back of the building is a very large grassed area with beautiful trimmed hedges which turn into archways to walk into other parts of the garden. This area is beautiful and is perfect for having wedding photos taken. In the gardens is a small Wendy house which was originally built for the cook's daughter. This is open and you can have a look ion here which me and my partner did. The building is very old looking and is very small. We walked into what would have been the lounge/dining area and then through another door which led into another smaller room. There were various other doors which led into very small rooms and cupboards. We then opened one more door which led out the back of the Wendy house. There were a few items of old furniture in the Wendy house which gave the house a very old feel to it. Me and my partner loved looking at the Acer tree's which have beautiful leaves in shades of red and green. There was a small wooden shelter which was for smokers; it was quite nice sitting in here during the evening as the area was surrounded in bamboo and other different plants. There are ash trays provided either side of this area where you can dispose of your cigarette butts.
~ Inside the Building ~
The building has beautiful marbled style floors and long hallways. There are various different rooms which come off of the hallway and each of these is called something different. In the corridor are various items such as old looking chests and other items such as statues. The reception is located down the corridor when you can check in and out and find out any other information you may need. The bar is quite small, how-ever there are various different tables in this area and they stock a range of beers, wines and other spirits as well as soft drinks. The rooms all have a very old style feel to them, with oak panelled walls and floral covered chairs. We only went into 3 different rooms whilst we were there celebrating the wedding. The room where the ceremony was held was very nice and the walls were oak panelled. The chairs had floral covers to them and were lined up behind each other ready for the ceremony. There wasn't a huge amount of space in this room; how-ever it just about fit all the wedding guests in here to watch the ceremony. It did get very hot in this room and by the time the ceremony had finishes everyone couldn't wait to get some air. The next room was where we sat down to have our meal. The tables were all numbered and covered in white table clothes and silver cutlery and plates. There were flowers in the middle of each table with a name card when you had to sit. There were a total of 6 tables in the room, each sat about 8-9 people around them. The main table was at the top end of the room which was a square shaped. This room was also very neutral looking with large windows and this room also got very hot too and throughout the meal people went outside for some fresh air or to have a cigarette. The building itself is very interesting and it's lovely to walk round and look at all the different things such as the large Grandfather Clock which stands towards the end of the hallway. The toilets are kept very clean and are well stocked with tissue, hand towels and soap which are provided by The White Company. There is a small shop in which you can purchase non-prescription medicines, greeting cards, newspapers and toiletries. I never went to the small shop as we had everything we needed throughout our stay here. The evening reception was held in a room which had oak panelled walls again and a small wooden dance-floor area. The DJ and lights were located at the top end of the room where there was a door which enabled you to go outside easily if you wanted to get some air or have a cigarette. Although this room was quite small and was a little crowded at times, everyone had a lovely time here and enjoyed themselves. In this room were also some double doors which led into another room where they had tables and chairs so you could sit down and enjoy the evening buffet and some drinks.
~ The Room ~
We were able to check into our room at 1:30pm and check out time would be 10:30 the following morning. A full English and continental breakfast is available from 7-9am during the week (Times are different during the weekends), which is served in a buffet style in the dining room. Our room was very basic; how-ever it was quite spacey and looked very clean and tidy. As we walked through the door the double bed is in front of you and is made with white and neutral coloured bed sheets. There was a very large window which looked out into the car park. The window had a large net curtain as well as thick long curtains which pulled across the windows. There was a small wardrobe in one corner of the room where there was an ironing board and a few hangers inside. There was a small bedside table next to the bed which was white in colour and had an alarm clock/radio. This was a great as you could put your ipod or iphone onto this to charge it or to listen to music. The clock face was also lit at night so you could see the time. On the other side of the bed was a desk which had a chair and a large mirror. The desk had some information about Barnett Hill and a folder telling you about room service and fire evacuations procedures. It also gave you some information about Barnett Hill which was quite interesting. There was also a try with 2 china cups and tea making facilities along with a small packet of biscuits. There was a small bin in which you could put your rubbish. There was a Samsung flat screen TV on the wall facing the bed and also a full length mirror. The carpet in the room was a very neutral beige colour with a pattern in it and it looked very clean. There was a white door on the wall opposite the bed which led to the bathroom. As soon as I opened the door I was greeted by lots of light. There was a large window in the bathroom which had patterned glass so no-one was able to see in. There was no blind for the bathroom window which I thought was a little odd. There was a very large shower which had a small shower head and a very large shower head next to that one. The bathroom looked very new and was extremely clean. The main colour of the bathroom was neutral in white colours. There were towels provided which were hanging on the heated rail on the wall and there were more towels which were folded neatly on the bed in a triangular shape. In the bathroom was some hand wash, shampoo and body wash. This was provided free of charge and the products were a well known brand which was The White Company. The bed was actually very comfortable and we were provided with 2 pillows each, although 1 was more than enough for me as they were quite big and fluffy. The walls to the room are quite thin and we could hear the TV from the room the next door, how-ever this wasn't really a problem as we weren't in the room for very long anyway before we had to get changed and ready for the evening event. I believe the room cost approximately £98 for a Saturday night here which included breakfast. This was for a double room.
~ The Staff ~
The staff here are extremely pleasant and very helpful. The staff always looks very smart and very well presented in their black and white suited outfits. The staff are very professional and helpful should you have any queries or any problems during your stay here. The staff made everyone feel very welcome in Barnett Hill and were very helpful with and enquiries that we had during our stay here. There is always plenty of staff in and around the grounds should you need any help with anything or have any problems. I cannot fault the staff in anyway as they are just brilliant.
~ Overall Opinion ~
The grounds to Barnett Hill are beautiful and I could have easily spent all day walking around the gardens and sitting down relaxing and taking in the beautiful gardens. The house itself is breath-taking and beautiful. This is such a beautiful location for a wedding or other celebration. The house is very clean and tidy and it's fascinating to walk around it and look at all the different rooms and features that it has. The whole day here was just spectacular and like a dream as it was so perfect for the wedding couple on their special day. Through-out the day there were no problems with anything, and no-one had the need to complain about anything. The room was very clean and the bed was comfortable. The room did get very hot and we did open some windows, how-ever as faced out onto the car park we could hear cars going in the late hours of the evening/early morning. Although we had the curtains pulled across the window the headlights of some of the cars still shone into the bedroom which was the only downside to the room. Apart from this the stay in the hotel room was perfect and couldn't have been any better. During our time here we didn't have any room service and we didn't have the breakfast which was included either. This was mainly because me and my partner were rather late getting up and had to be somewhere the next morning so we unfortunately missed out on this. I can't fault this venue in anyway as everything was just perfect during the whole day and evening here. I would definitely stay here again and would highly recommend it to others as the grounds and the building are both very beautiful.
Barnett Hill, Blackheath Lane, Wonersh, Surrey, GU5 0RF
Tel: 01483 893361
(review also on ciao)
Read the complete review
The Z Hotel (London)
Introduction: It's not often that I'll stay over night on London - transport links have always been good enough that I can easily get home at the end of an evening. As a Christmas present, I got my other half theatre tickets, and with more theatre gift tokens in our hands, we planned to get some last minute tickets for other plays ... too. As it was a special occasion, we decided to try and find a hotel that we could stay for the Saturday night. There were lots on offer, but invariably that were a few tube stops away from where we were planning on being. We found the Z Hotel, located in the heart of theatreland - literally (and I mean literally in the literal sense, not in the exaggerated and inaccurate modern vernacular use of the word) a stone's throw away from the Palace theatre, which sits on the crossroads on Charing Cross and Shaftesbury Avenue. The price wasn't too bad, and it had good reviews. It's brand as "the Urbanite Stay" - a new wave of affordable, cheap and trendy hotels for city lovers. Intrigued, we booked. We choose the Z hotel in Soho, but they also have a hotel in Victoria.
The hotel says about itself: "If you're an Urbanite, you don't stay out-of-town, when you visit a city. You don't skimp of style, or pay grand hotel prices. The Z Hotel is where you sleep, in a city that doesn't. That means that you can check into your room, congratulate yourself on choosing a central hotel with uber-modern interior design, then go and check out the city. The essential comforts. Crisp bed linen. An en suite wet room. Achingly stylish design. Plus the city on your doorstep; so you can work or play as late as you like - then simply saunter back to your Z Hotel, drop into the Z Cafe for a refresher, and then off to Z bed. If you love cities, you'll really like Z Hotels. From £75, The City for out an out-of-town price. Zleep on that."
First impression is how small and bijoux it is. Through the main doors you have the reception-cum-bar area with a few tables, so you can buy a drink and sit down. On checking in we were taken further into the foyer area where we told that our room wasn't ready (this was about 6pm), we were delighted to be offered free wine and nibbles whilst they looked into it for us. We went through to a bar area with more little tables. Half of the room was probably the width of a very generous train. I realised there were doors outside, on the furthest side of the lobby/bar/cafe - and we were infact in the "Z cafe". The menu offered light snacks and drinks (all London prices). We sat back with our wine and nuts and relaxed, very nice. The beautifully presented receptionist came and told us it was our lucky day and by way of apology, we had been upgraded to a Queen sized room for the inconvenience. Brilliant! All the staff had a European-Business-Young-Professional-chi​c quality about them. The decor was minimalist and smart, yet very comfy and relaxing.
We were on the 4th floor, and whilst it was supposed to our lucky day...the lift was out of order - so we had to walk up the stairs! Ouch! There are 85 rooms in all. We got to the 4th floor and had to go outside into a sort of courtyard and open area, to get to our rooms - it felt like we were in a block of posh flats as we navigated the chrome and wood panelled corridor, with glass on one side, letting us look down onto the ground floor "urbanite" surroundings. Our private corridor only had 2 rooms, making us feel somewhat VIP! When we got into the room, through the standard door swipe, card key, locked door, the first thing that hit me was the size. It is tiny. Of course, they make no apologies for this - nor do they pretend they are otherwise. The finish is clean, tidy, trendy and minimal. The size is similar to a student dorm, a small amount of floor space, with a double bed up against the wall. Our room had the window just above the bed, so it didn't feel quite as claustrophobic as I feel it would appear if the bed up against a blank wall. At the end of the bed is a swanky Samsung flat screen TV - with SkyTV (oo la la). We also have 2 small bedside tables - one with a bottle water and glasses, and the other with a tea caddy - holding "teapig" teabags (which I thought was rather special, as opposed to the standard brands) and coffee. We also have a kettle and an iPod/iPhone connector, we were able to use this to charge our phones, which was really handy, but also, more impressively allowed us to play music or videos on the TV - a fab touch, I thought. The decor was lovely and smart, certainly stylish, as they promise. We had plenty of fluffy pillows and gorgeous bed linen. There was no wardrobe, but hooks on the wall and a full length mirror. There was aircon which either didn't work properly, or we couldn't work out how to use it. The room wasn't sound proofed, but I believe double glazed. As London never really goes quiet, I don't think you can expect to stay in the city and get a completely traffic-noise-free stay. It kept surprising me how central we were - it made me giggle when we could see the Palace theatre out of our window - central or what?!
Housed within the room, is the ensuite bathroom/wetroom. What makes this stand out, compared to other ensuites, is that the walls are made of frosted glass. To be honest, I thought it was too much design over substance - using the bathroom was like you were still in the bedroom, peeing in the corner or something - weird. If you had to share the room with someone you didn't know intimately, I can imagine the ensuite being potentially embarrasing - i.e. you.can.hear.everything! The fixtures were smart and snazzy, but the loo was really small - bucket sized diameter! One thing that made me coo, was the complimentary shower gel was Thierry Mugler - very nice! The room didn't get as steamy as I thought it might - shower steam all in control, thankfully. I don't know about you, but I just don't get on with wetrooms, I hate that the whole floor gets wet, so when you go back in there to brush your teeth, you can't wear socks. Luckily there were lots of towels that we could down to stave off the flood. In my mind, a wetroom is just an excuse for lack of water controlled shower trays, which probably here, would make the room feel smaller.
We didn't have breakfast, but the hotel offered a continental breakfast for £8.50 - I thought this was quite a lot, really. There is also cafe and bar on the other side of the building that sells light snacks and drinks. The prices are fair for London, but not extraordinarily high. When we first got the hotel, a couple near us had paninis, which looked quite good. I wouldn't choose to eat on site, but for convenience it seems ok.
Price and Value:
We paid £120 for one night's stay, on a Saturday, in January 2012. I'm not sure what you get for that exactly as we got a free upgrade - but it couldn't have been much smaller than the room we had. Considering we are in the heart of London, I think that's a fair price. Working out at £60 each, you are paying along the top end of the price spectrum, but also reasonably cheaper than some other London hotels you could find. They boast you can stay for as little as £75 per night, but this must be for a single room, midweek. With this hotel, if you define value as a comfortable room to sleep in, as you won't be stopping (as you want to explore), you probably are getting good value.
Other points to mention:
Being right in town, there is no parking, although you should be able to find plenty of NCP parking scattered around Soho. The hotel is being refurbished, and our room did have some unfinished timber (displaying measurements from the carpenter, for added realism) around the door, and on the bannister rail outside in our mini corridor - not that this put us off in any way.
GRAND TOTAL: 39/50 - 4 stars out of 5
Would I stay again:
For the location, yes. For the comfort, probably. For the fact you are staying away on a nice break, not sure. If I was planning on spending no time in the hotel, then fine - but sometimes, I like to take my time in the mornings and use the space, but at the Z, I didn't really want to hang around, I can imagine cabin fever developing - especially if you were staying there for a week. I said a few times that the size took me back to my uni days in halls or residence (if only my halls were so swanky) - even then, some of my friends had bigger student rooms than the Z.
If you are heading to London this summer for the Olympics and need accommodation, the website also points out the following:
- 5 minutes walk to Tottenham Court Road (Underground) station
- 20 minutes journey direct to Stratford (Underground) station
- 5/10 minute walk to the Olympic Park
- 2 minute walk to Victoria station (Underground)
- 10 minutes journey to Kings Cross (Underground) station
- Short walk to Kings Cross St Pancreas (Mainline) station (less than 10 minutes)
- Trains depart to Stratford International every 5-10 minutes (less than 10 minutes journey time)
I've created a couple of photosynths to go with the review, if you want to have a look:
The location (next to the Cambridge pub, on Moor Street, opposite the Palace theatre):
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx? cid=512805c8-36af-4b33-ac60-f16045a3da6f&m= false&i=0:0:0&c=0:0:0&z=495.806147897154&d= 4.67939408598089:-0.465892329400866:-0.478861080564795&p= 0:0&t=False
You can contact the Zhotel at:
London, W1D 5AP
Tel: 020 3551 3700
Recommended to the discerning city explorer
Thanks for reading
© MarcoG 2012
Read the complete review
4 Stars Hotel National
Address: 17 Moor Street / Hotel National / London W1D 5AP
Address: The Parade / Hotel National / Aldeburgh IP15 5BU / Suffolk
Address: School Road / Hotel National / Aylmerton NR11 8RA / Norfolk / Tel: 01263 837588
Address: Blackawton / Hotel National / Nr Dartmouth TQ9 7DE / Devon
Address: Westgate / Hotel National / Peterborough / Cambridgeshire / Tel:
Chain: Q Hotels / Hotel National / Rating: 4 star / Location: Peter St, Manchester, Greater Manchester M60 2DS / Tel: 0161 236 3333
Chain: Q Hotels / Hotel National / Rating: 4 star / Location: Mellor's Way, Off Woodhouse Way, Nottingham NG8 6PY / Tel: 0115 973 9393
Address: The Street, Chilham, Nr. Canterbury, Kent CT4 8DL / Hotel National / Tel: 01227 730351 / Rating: 4 star
Address: Brands Hatch, J3, M25 Dartford, DA3 8PE / Hotel National / Phone: 0871 376 9008
Address: 40 Hanover Street / Hotel National / L1 4LN Liverpool / United Kingdom / Tel (+44)151/7025100
|4 Stars Hotel National Recommendations 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... back next|
|dooyoo Results 11 - 20 of 153|