Newest Review: ... store your bags so you can head straight to the park, or soak up the fun in the Splash Landing hotel which is next door. If the room is ... more
A great experience with some shortfalls.
Alton Towers Hotel (England)
Member Name: sim6
Alton Towers Hotel (England)
Date: 17/04/10, updated on 18/04/10 (277 review reads)
Advantages: Atmosphere, quality of facilities, groups, activities.
Disadvantages: Poor restaurant and badly trained staff.
I have stayed at The Alton Towers Hotel a few times, twice with a group of friends and once with my family. I last booked into the hotel in October 2009, during a Halloween tour of UK theme parks and attractions.
Alton Towers Hotel is Alton Tower's original theme hotel. You can get rooms suitable for families, groups of friends and even 'sleep-over' rooms for large groups of kids. The venue has great wheelchair access and generally seems suitable for most people, whatever their circumstances or needs. Aside from the standard rooms, there are theme rooms, which cost a lot extra, but offer a fairly unique experience.
Each time I have stayed, I have opted for a standard room and shared with one other person. The rooms have always been a very satisfactory. They are clean and light, with televisions, tea and coffee making facilities and a bathroom which includes a nice, large bath and power shower. The beds are a little uncomfortable, but bearable.
The hotel has some great touches and facilities. The hotel building looks impressive from the outside. There is an impressive water feature near the entrance, as well as a well-presented car park, which allows for easy arrival. The check-in service is quick and efficient.
The hotel has one bar that stays open until around 12. If you are a night owl and want to stay up later, you can make the short walk over to Splash Landings (without going outside) and use their 24 hour bar. The biggest disappointment with The Alton Towers Hotel was the quality of the food at the hotel's restaurant, as well as a very poor standard of service from the waiting and booking staff. The food is edible, but it is a long way from gastronomy.
Clearly a lot of thought has been put into the general appearance of the premises and this shows. The hotel has a fun feeling and some impressive features, such a the haunted lift and a large 'hot air balloon' statue standing in the middle of a magnificent stairwell. The gardens are large and well kept, with a large terrace for a nightcap or early coffee. There are fun things to keep the kids occupied, including a video games arcade and a number of games in the gardens. The hotel often plays host to entertainers, ranging from cabaret singers to magicians.
One of the greatest pleasures of staying at this hotel is the exclusive woodland walk entrance to the theme park. As well as getting tickets as part of your booking package, you are entitled to use the secret woodland entrance, which will put you at the heart of the theme park within 20 minutes. This also makes returning to the hotel during the day very convenient. As well as this, there are other benefits, such as the convenient proximity of the Alton Towers crazy golf course.
As I mentioned, I last stayed at Halloween and when I arrived, the hotel was fully dressed for the occasion, complete with dozens of pumpkins, a boiling cauldron, cobwebs and staff dressed at vampires and zombies. The guests at the hotel also received exclusive access to a halloween 'walk through' attraction, staged in the grounds. This was an impressive and enjoyable experience, that was well worth the very long queue.
The quality of my last visit to the Alton Towers Hotel was significantly damaged by the hotel's decision to put me and my friend in a room that was next to one of the hotel's themed Karaoke party rooms. This room was filled with young teenaged girls (may be ten 13 year olds). The room had an adjoining door to our room, so clearly our room was intended for the parents or guardians of the children. This door was actually unlocked when we arrived and one of the next door girls walked straight through into our room. It is questionable as to how appropriate it was for the hotel's management to put a group of young girls in a room like this, when the room connected was occupied by strangers. It is also questionable as to how they could choose to host unconnected parties in the room, who would be expecting a good night's rest, but end up listening to Karaoke into the small hours of the morning in a poorly soundproofed room.
When we complained to the hotel management, we were offered a 10% discount. We declined this and asked to be moved to a different room instead. At this point the manager became quite abusive and told us he was withdrawing his offer of the 10% discount. He was generally rude and seemed very unconcerned that we had spent nearly £300 on a room that we couldn't use properly. He explained that the hotel did not give a guarantee that customers would be able to sleep in the rooms they book, which seems a very odd reply. The following morning we were informed that we could move rooms, which we did.
On the whole, I would continue to recommend the Alton Towers Hotel to anyone. The experience of staying at the hotel is amazing and uplifting. I would recommend you request a quiet room in advance though and don't get too excited about your evening meal if you are eating at their restaurant.
Summary: A great experience for all ages.