“ Address: M4 Junction 13 / Oxford Road / Newbury RG20 8XY „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Hilton Newbury North
As with many of my hotel reviews in England this hotel was booked through a deal on the internet. We paid £64.50 per person so £129 per couple for the room for two nights and two full buffet breakfast and on the first evening we also had a three course buffet meal with a bottle of house wine per couple included.
We booked this with some friends who we met first on a Kuoni group tour in China. We have stayed in touch and try to meet a couple of times a year somewhere where we manage to find a bargain like this so nobody has to cater for eight people and we can explore the new area together.
I will confess that although I had heard of Newbury Racecourse I really didn't know where it was and had no idea it was that close to Oxford where my sister lives. We stopped on our way and enjoyed a lunch with my sister before our arranged meeting time at the hotel so it worked perfectly for us.
This hotel was off the main road just near one of those off road places with a few eateries and a couple of hotels. We found the entrance and went into the car park which has a ticket machine at the entrance. Reception was well labelled and accessed by a covered walkway lined with plants. As we walked into the hotel we were amazed at the enormous sitting area which in this hotel has been named 'The Space.' They have created this huge light open area with the Reception desk to the right as you enter the restaurant to the left and the bar slightly further in on your left. This was the only area in the hotel with free wifi access compliments of Vodaphone but you still needed an access code.
After greeting our friends we went over to check in. We were welcomed, a credit card authorisation was taken to allow us to put anything we ordered on the room bill and then we were given or room key and had our parking ticket validated so that we could go in and out all the time we were staying.
THE ROOM AS A WHOLE
This was on the ground floor about half way down a clean and obviously recently redecorated corridor. It was a reasonably average sized room and very clean and smelled fresh. The window which was double glazed did open but with a fixed limiter on the outer window. The room looked out onto a central grassed sort of courtyard area where they had set up tables and a BBQ on our first night for one of the larger groups staying at the hotel.
As we entered the wardrobe was on the left and inside that was an iron, board and a coded safe. There were also plenty of hangers too. Beside the door was a folding suitcase stand in a small space before the wardrobe.
The bathroom was opposite the wardrobe and although small had everything you needed, toilet, basin, large mirror and shower over a bath. We had two small towels each and two lovely white fluffy larger towels as well. The water was nice and hot and the bath filled really quickly. The shower was pretty efficient too.
The toiletries were very nice with a strong lemon scented shower gel and a more subtle scented citrus shampoo and condition all made by Peter Thomas Roth , a company I hadn't previously heard of nut will certainly investigate to see what they male as they smelled lovely and fresh. We also were left a shower cap in a little cardboard box and a mending kit as well as tissues in a box.
THE REST OF THE ROOM
The carpet was not one I would have chosen for my home but was okay in a hotel room. It was browns with flecks and then lines and circles in ochre, reds and creams and rather too busy for a home.
The bed was very comfortable but only a standard double. Four pillows were provided and a maroon runner as well as two maroon and cream modern flowered cushions, which matched the curtains, were on the bed to add colour to the white cotton sheets and pillow cases.
One both sides of the bed we had a small bedside table with a drawer under it and a reading light on the table as well as a brighter one attached to the bed head so I could read easily at night. The bed had a very tall fixed to the wall bed head with a beige leatherette pad. The wall that the bed was on had a very dark brown wall paper that looked more like leatherette with embossed pattern. The opposite wall was a creamy lighter coloured paper. It did mean that the room was a little dark as you had to keep the net curtains closed because we were on the ground floor opening out on to the courtyard.
The large flat screen TV was on the wall above a small ledge with a pull out storage drawer. My husband was able to watch Sky sports to keep up with the cricket and golf so he was pleased. A heater was on the wall but despite the awful weather we didn't need to use this.
A desk with two plug outlets and a mirror behind it also had the kettle and tea bits as well as a couple of biscuits. A second round table with a more comfortable arm chair beside it, held two bottle of fizzy spring water and two of still water as well as a larger bottle with a price of £3.95 on the neck. We discovered that the small bottles were free so naturally we didn't touch the large one with the high price on it. There was also a small pot of Pringles with no price but as we were not sure about those we left them untouched as we didn't want to pay silly prices for them.
THE RESTAUTANT MEAL AT NIGHT
This was included as part of our deal. We were looked after really well by a lovely young man from Croatia who brought us a couple of jugs of water and or four bottles of wine as well as taking us on a tour to see what was being offered in the buffet.
The starter was a variety of salad stuffs including smoked salmon and lots of different salamis and cold meats but no cheese. It was all tasty and fresh and no complaints at all.
The main course was a sort of carvery with roast pork or roast lamb as the central elements but then they also had a steak pie, cooked salmon steaks and cauliflower and broccoli cheese as well as a couple of other dishes which i didn't have so I forget what they were. The next counter had a choice of new or roast potatoes, boiled broccoli, spring greens or savoy cabbage, carrots and then gravy and apple and mint sauce.
The pork was really good and plenty of it put on your plate, the salmon was also very tasty. Other said the steak pie was nice. The vegetables i thought were a bit boring and unimaginative but the cauli/brocolli cheese was nice.
The dessert selection offered a choice of fruit salad, cheese cake, a sort of cheese cake mouse and then a chocolate cake and another which I forget. I would describe the food as okay but not exciting in any way and am glad it was included because I feel that at £22 which is what it should have been ( without the wine) it was quite expensive for what they offered.
Breakfast was, like dinner, a buffet. We were escorted to a table and offered orange juice from a jug. I asked if it was fresh and it wasn't so I went over to the juice table and helped myself to an apple juice instead. Coffee and tea were on another high ledge in large insulated jugs. Tea was a selection of Twinnings bags and you then used the hot water jug and made your own.
The cold selection included a range of about four bowls full of different fruit, and a fruit salad as well as whole apples, bananas and others. A range of yogurts in tubs or you could use the plain (rather tart0 one from the bowl. As well as fruit this cold section had cheeses, cold meat and smoked salmon, butter, margarine and jams in mini jars.
The cooked section is where all my companions headed and this offered scrambled and fried eggs, bacon, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes and black pudding. The next section was a variety of cereal , some in mini boxes and others in bowls but as that was pretty crowded I thought Ii would pass.
The last section had fresh bread for toasting, English muffins and bagels as well as Danish pastries and lovely fresh tasty muffins , the ones like large fairy cakes.
The hotel was pretty busy with a huge party we thought must be staying for a wedding as well as a coach party we saw arriving. 'The Space' area always had a large number of people sitting around in groups sharing a drink or two. There were several TVs in this area as well as decorative diving shelves between parts of 'The Space and the bar and Reception.
There was a gym and a nice pool which was popular with some of our friends but i never know what to do with my wet swimming stuff when staying in a hotel and we were pretty busy so I didn't use it.
In our room on the bed we had two towelling robes and slippers which the others used to wear to the pool over their swimming gear. I do like having a robe as I love wrapping myself in them after a luxury bath in a hotel, it is a real treat for me.
We were very impressed with the standard of accommodation in the hotel and although you did need a car to explore from the hotel and indeed to get there in the first place it was close enough to both Oxford and Newbury to make day trios to either.
The staff were very nice, especially helpful and friendly which makes a pleasant change as some we have encountered in other places have been less than helpful.
We all felt that the information in our rooms was a little lacking, nothing to tell you about wifi or facilities in the hotel at all. There was also no tourist information stand with brochures about what you could do locally which we would have found very useful and it would be so easy to remedy.
WOULD I RECOMMEND
Yes certainly and if you can grab a deal like ours it is fantastic value for money. Although the evening meal was not amazing there was nothing actually wrong with it. It was the sort of food I have had in many pubs and carveries, but it just wasn't £22 worth in my view. The breakfasts however were excellent , freshly cooked and constantly replaced so no complaints at all there. It was nice to get free wifi in 'The Space' but I would have preferred it in my room but at least it was available and free.
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