“ Address: Girtford Bridge / London Road / Sandy / SG19 1NA / United Kingdom „
I recently stayed two nights at the Holiday Inn in Sandy on business. We chose this hotel as it was close to where our conference was and also due to the fact that we had stayed at several different Holiday Inns before.
~ * Making The Booking * ~
I didn't make the booking myself as someone else did it on my behalf; although the other person informed that booking was easy and straight forward and we were told on booking that we could cancel before 4pm on the day of arrival free of charge -which I thought was great.
~ * Location, Location, Location * ~
We travelled to the hotel from the train station by taxi - it took around 10 minutes. There was absolutely 'nothing' around the hotel - - just busy roads and a very busy roundabout. We like walking and as we had been informed that we were in the countryside we had expected to do a lot of walking. However, on the way there in the taxi, we discovered that the hotel is located right on the round about on the 'London road'. The taxi driver informed us that there was no way we could cross the road as the road is that busy, it's just far too dangerous - which spoilt it a little bit. There was a Co-Op across the road which we did go to once after risking our lives crossing the road.
~ * Checking In * ~
Checking into the hotel was simple and straightforward which was great as we had a long day of travelling. We were informed the usual things e.g what time breakfast was and about the WI-FI etc.
~ * The Room * ~
We had booked a twin room so I was a bit disappointed when we arrived and discovered that we had a double bed! Luckily I was sharing with my sister and so we didn't like to cause a fuss, as it would probably meant we would have had to move rooms etc. and we just couldn't be bothered after the long day of travelling we had had. The room was clean with plenty of space. We had an ensuite consisting of both a shower and a bath, a wardrobe (it didn't have a door and so our clothes were on show - this was good though as I could lie in bed and choose my outfit for the next day!) There were plenty of hangers although they were 'stuck' and so it was hard putting some outfits on them as you couldn't pull the hangers off the rail.
The bed was comfortable although there weren't enough pillows which meant I had to sleep with my head flat - which is something I never do - not with my chronic sinusitis! So that was a shame - we did find extra pillows on top of the wardrobe although it didn't make that much of a difference.
Our view from the room was of the car park and so there wasn't anything exciting to see really- we were above the hotel entrance. The room was very hot - we had a fan and opened both windows (they had safety things on them so we couldn't open them fully) and yet we were still really hot.
The television was good with a good choice of channels - I think it was freeview as we had all the 'normal channels' and then we also had a few Sky ones like ITV 2 and some music channels which was good. There was also a telephone in the room which we used to contact others who were also staying in the hotel with us - this was free.
We had tea and coffee facilities in the room which was good - although as usual there is never enough milk to go with the tea. Although they did replenish them on a daily basis which was good.
Considering that the hotel is based by a very busy road - it wasn't that noisy at night - you could hear when the windows were open, but it was very quiet when they were closed which was good. We were facing the car park - we didn't come by car but from what I could see there was plenty of space of the car park.
The corridor did smell a bit like a toilet which was horrible - some times it was worse than others. Luckily we couldn't smell it in the room.
~ * Staff * ~
We didn't really come across many members of staff. The receptionist was friendly and helpful. The waiter at breakfast was polite. The housekeeping staff were lovely; very friendly and always saying hello every time we saw them. They also kindly gave us directions when we weren't sure where to go. At breakfast the chef was constantly in and out of the kitchen walking around reception and going outside which isn't very professional.
~ * Breakfast * ~
We walked into the restaurant - we didn't know whether to wait to be seated or to walk straight in so we waited a for a minute or so until a lady from house keeping told us to go straight in and sit anywhere. I was surprised to see that it was very small (apparently it seats up to 40 people). Whilst there was only a couple of people in the restaurant - I did think that the tables and chairs were a bit squashed - as you had to squeeze through them to get the buffet (at least there weren't people sat at the tables at the time).
I love having breakfasts in hotels especially when there is a help-yourself buffet. So having had 'great breakfasts' in other Holiday Inn hotels, I was really looking forward to this breakfast. However, I was really disappointed as the cold buffet was very basic with not a lot of choice. I love croissants and had one of them - it was the worse croissant ever - it was so dry as though it was out of date and had been left out for days - it wasn't even like it had been out on the buffet breakfast all morning either because we had our breakfast around 7am.
Other items on the cold buffet include: yogurts, jugs of fruit juice, cheese and meat. There was also a toaster for you to make your own toast - along with butter and jams and marmalades.
I'm not really a fan of cooked breakfasts - I much prefer a continental breakfast over a traditional one. Although the others had a cooked breakfast and it looked really nice and they enjoyed it.
~ * What Else? * ~
There wasn't any atmosphere there at all, although I guess that this was because it's a 'stay the night when you're on a long journey and then go' kind of hotel. A couple of others who were with us went down to the bar for a drink in the evening (around 8-9pm) and they said that there was a really dull atmosphere there.
There is a restaurant (the same restaurant where we had breakfast) which seats approximately 40 people. We didn't eat here however and so I am therefore unable to comment - although looking at the 'specials menu' there were some 'tasty sounding' items on there.
The majority of people who we saw were 'singletons' who were in suits and looked as though they were staying there on business. Apparently the hotel is very busy with London business people.
All in all it cost us around £150 for 2 of us for 2 nights - so ok really. It was good value for money - quite basic, but good for what we needed.
So would I recommend it? Yes if you are on business in the area or looking to stop somewhere overnight to break up a long journey. However as a place to stay on holiday then I wouldn't choose this hotel. But it was ok for what we needed.
Thanks for reading!
Xdonz / xd-o-n-z-x