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Heritage Hotel should inherit a Demolition Ball
Heritage Hotels in general
Member Name: deenewton
Heritage Hotels in general
Disadvantages: The hotel
You may think that I am unqualified to write a review about a place I've never stayed in, however the ten minutes or so that I spent in this hotel have given me ample experience to write about. Indeed, in those ten minutes I experienced the following: nausea, claustrophobia, disgust, deception, intimidation, fear and weariness. And so you begin to see how I can justify writing a review on a hotel I've not actually stayed in.
How did I end up in this hell hole? (OTT? Probably) My husband and I were looking for a place to stay after a wedding in Derbyshire so I used the website laterooms.com to search for hotels in and around Derby. There were a few to choose from within our price range and I chose the Heritage Hotel because of its reasonable price (I believe it was on special offer), free parking and complimentary breakfast. The hotel website gave details of the building's recent refurbishment works, and the photo showed rooms of a similar condition to those you might find in a Premier Inn.
We rocked up at the hotel, which is located right in the centre of Derby so is useful for access to the city's attractions, at around midnight. I had been experiencing a growing sense of trepidation, because as the Sat Nav had been informing us that we were getting closer, our surroundings had been getting dirtier and less salubrious. We turned the final corner and were greeted with a garish and shabby hotel sign attached to a tiny, hostel-like shop front, at the sight of which our hearts sunk. With relief we spotted our actual hotel on the opposite side of the street, which was larger, brighter and more welcoming, but we also noticed that there were quite a few smokers and a bouncer standing around at the doors of the hotel. My sense of trepidation was not going away.
We struggled with parking; the website claimed free parking (when I looked again after getting home I noticed it said 'limited free parking') but there were no spaces left in the tiny car park to the left of the hotel (this is strange as the hotel has 92 rooms). We were directed by the very helpful and polite receptionist to park in the NCP car park round the corner so we headed there, determined of course to demand repayment in the morning. So we drove round to the back of the hotel, and saw more drunk, dressed-up revellers, a static police van, street pastors and several bouncers - our hotel building backed onto a large nightclub. We immediately began imagining being kept up all night, but were trying to be positive so we parked up and walked round to the hotel reception (passing a man being questioned in a corner by three policemen).
The front of the Heritage Hotel isn't too bad - the name is bright and the reception is large and spacious, newly decorated with pale cream tiles on the floor and wall. Spotlights in the ceiling gave a 'glittery' feel to the room. It was bright, clean and inviting. The reception was to the left, and the lifts were straight ahead as you walked in; there were two comfortable black leather sofas opposite them. To the right, the narrow stairs led you upwards, and to the right of the stairs a door led into a large, bright bar area with more comfy looking sofas. The only down point was that there was a strong smell of smoke because there were people smoking right outside the large double doors. At the reception we checked in and had to pay before we'd completed our stay which I wasn't best pleased with but we handed over the debit card and just hoped for the best. We were charged £45 for our night's stay and breakfast, which is a low price for a Saturday night. Check-in was easy and hassle free, and the receptionist was again polite and friendly.
Our room was on the 5th floor, so we headed to the stairs (I don't like lifts.) On the stairs there were a few people hanging around who we had to struggle through, and then we realised that there was a function on the first floor of the hotel (this explained the smokers at the door!). We had to squeeze past people waiting on the stairs to pay to get into the event. The smell of smoke wasn't going away. The stairs were carpeted in a strange pattern comprising of beige spots and the hotel logo on a dark blue background, which did not give very stylish impression. The walls were papered in beige with a raised floral pattern. The corridor was horribly narrow and dingy, and followed the same décor as the stairs. We could hear noise from someone's room. With a deep breath we used the key card to open our (horrible, MDF, grey-beige) door.
I move on to my description of the room, which I will admit is not thorough or extensive because we were in there for no more than 2 minutes, so sorry if it does not give you enough details. The room was very pokey, dark and dingy (I know it was dark outside, but still.) The far wall housed a large, single glazed window that afforded the most awful view of the local surroundings if you looked straight, and drunk clubbers around the club door if you looked directly below. The window had been left open so the room was cold and stank of smoke. I pulled a rackety glass shutter across the window. The curtains were dark brown. The walls were covered in painted wooden panelling. The bed was neat but looked horribly uncomfortable and not at all welcoming. A small analogue telly hung from the ceiling. There was a constant thud-thud coming from the night club. We immediately knew that we couldn't and wouldn't stay there. As we left, we glanced into a small but neat bathroom with a shower, bath and toilet, complete with complimentary toiletries.
The only redeeming point about the hotel was that the man on reception refunded our £45 immediately. He didn't kick up a fuss or say anything about cancellation policy, so I have to say that the customer service in that respect was excellent. It makes you wonder it it's ever happened before. I will, at this point, make another admission. When we arrived home, I looked up the hotel website again. Upon closer inspection it was easy to see that the photos had been taken very cleverly, with careful positioning of the camera to show each part in a better light. I had also made the huge error of not reading any reviews on the hotel (stupid for someone who's just discovered this site where you can read reviews on pretty much anything); if I had done so I would have learned that most customers were unhappy with the hotel and had lots of complaints of noise and smokiness. I realise that I should have done more research into the hotel rather than just accepting it at face value. I feel foolish for falling into that trap, and will certainly never make that mistake again. I can with confidence, however, still maintain that the way the hotel represents itself online is deceptive and unrepresentative of what customers should expect.
In conclusion, the last thing I would do is recommend this hotel to anyone. Even if you were looking, like us, for a stop-over point - not expecting or requiring anything too fancy - this is not the hotel for you. We preferred to take the 1hr 45m drive home at 12:30am than stay there. To state that £45 was reasonable or good value would be untrue - I would expect someone to pay me to stay in that room, not the other way round.
Summary: Do not stay here.
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