Bradford is a metropolitan district that has a catchment area of almost 500,000 people, spread over a fairly wide geographical area. However, the city has known better days from its pomp as the major wool-trading city in the world at the latter end of the Victorian era.
These days, and in terms of its hotels, the city boasts surprisingly very little in the way of acreage. The city centre has four major hotels: the Hilton; the Victoria; the Midland, and the Express by Holiday Inn. I have stayed in all of these at some time or another, plus a few of the smaller, pub-type B & Bs that were conspicuous by their mediocrity. There are a few other hotels dotted around, such as the Dubrovnik in Manningham (avoid like the plague) and the Coach House. (Not stayed here, but heard a few things ... )
The ones I've stayed in are all fairly formulaic, although on balance I'd say that the Midland at the bottom of Cheapside, near the city's Forster Square railway terminus, is about the best. A former hotel for railway workers, the Midland is the priciest, but worth the extra expenditure. They used to offer a complementary glass of wine when you checked in, but I have no idea if that still applies.
The Express is very generic, with linear room layout, stripped-down bedroom configuration and utilities, and very basic breakfast. (No cooked food, etc., ans strictly self-service.) This is why it's currently going for £39.00 a night.
The Hilton is rather better, with everything you expect from a mid-range branch. Walls are a bit thin, which can be embarrassing to some when the couple next door are very vocal in their midnight romping sessions. Good breakfasts, though.
For the Victoria, read the other review; accurate, and to the point.
Looked like a good deal at £69 per room and when we saw the building from the outside we felt we had made a pretty good choice. It wasn't so good to stay in though. A bit shabby when you had a close look, but not too bad and a very imposing buildling. The problem we had was with the restaurant. They took our booking for 19:00 saying it was fairly quiet.. but when we sat down the waitress advised us that food would take 20 to 25 mins and suggested we might want to come back to 20:00. I didn't find this a very intelligent suggestion. We have three children, and they were hungry. As we didn't know Bradford, we settled for the 20-25 mins delay and for 2 courses.. the first course turned up at 20:00. Our desert didn't turn up at all.. at least not by 21:00 when we walked out.
If we had been told that night was difficult and that we might be more comfortable eating somewhere else, then it wouldn't have felt so bad. But the receptionist didn't even seem to know. I tried to complain.. but no manager was available. The only ear I could bend was that of the receptionist. We did end up with free deserts delivered to our room, but that missed the point. It wasn't the food and it wasn't the money, it was the evening that was ruined.
Sadly the limitations of the hotel were all too plain to see.. it looks magnificent but it is poorly staffed and probably not making a lot of money. Unfortunately it is unlikely to make any more out of me.
I had to spend a night in Bradford recently and was booked into the Victoria Hotel, Bridge Street, by our administrative assistant. Last time I had to go to Bradford for work, I was advised to stay in Leeds and travel to Bradford by train, which I did (the train journey is only 20 minutes and trains run very regularly). This time, to cut down on travel time, I requested a hotel in Bradford. Big mistake - not one I am likely to repeat.
This was done without any problem by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The phone number is 01274 728706.
The hotel is located right in the centre of town opposite Bradford Interchange train station. The surrounding buildings are fantastic period pieces, including the hotel itself, which looks quite imposing from the outside. A variety of shops and restaurants are conveniently found nearby and for those who choose not to walk, there is a taxi rank right next to the hotel.
Getting there was no problem -I walked straight out of the Interchange station, walked across the road and there I was. I wasn't too impressed on arrival to find out that I couldn't check in because it was only 12.45 and the rooms weren't yet ready, but left my luggage behind the front desk without too much complaint because I had things to do that afternoon anyway. Sitting in a chair waiting for a colleague, however, I suddenly realised that the grubby chair I was sitting on was wet and water was dripping from the ceiling. The reception area in general was messy and grubby-looking, not helped by the fact that the rugs were white! Not a good start. When I returned in the evening, I was greeted fairly politely and asked if I required a wake-up call or newspapers in the morning.
My room was quite large, high-ceilinged, with a good bathroom. Facilities included a television, hairdryer, tea and coffee, a telephone and toiletries in the bathroom. The room did not look particularly clean though and I wasn't impressed to find blood on the bedcover. The carpet needed replacing, or at least a hoover and the furniture was tatty. However, the bed was comfortable and that is the most important thing for me. In addition, the water was beautifully hot and I had a fabulous bath in silky soft water. My room was warm enough, but two of my colleagues had to complain about the cold; one was given a separate heater to warm the room up. The hotel was divided up into smoking and non-smoking floors.
There was a restaurant and bar on the first floor. However, a colleague who had stayed at the hotel before advised me not to eat dinner there because of the poor quality of the food, so we went out to a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant, which was fabulous. Breakfast the next morning was certainly not great. The staff were quite abrupt and the choice was slightly odd - I ended up having ham and cheese baps from the buffet. I avoided the cooked breakfast - it looked too greasy. Cereal, yoghurt and one type of fruit were also available. Coffee and tea were brought to the table by the waitresses; but trying to get a refill was like asking for blood. The breakfast was included in the price, but I was disappointed that it wasn't better. The restaurant was decorated with a variety of old suitcases and hats, which looked great, but were covered in dust.
There is a gym, but this was closed for refurbishment.
This was easy and quick enough. I had made a phone call, but it didn't show on the computer, so I didn't pay for it! Again the location opposite the station was ideal.
£85 for a single ensuite, although this included a double bed, so not too bad if you are a couple. However, for one person, bearing in mind the shabbiness of the hotel and the less than adequate service, the price is way too high for a three star hotel. Thank goodness my company was paying.
I doubt very much that I will stay in this hotel again. For the price, it is simply not worth it. I think part of the shabbiness is due to the fact that the hotel is probably a listed building and the management are restricted in what they can do to it, but there was certainly no excuse for the dirt. Staff attitude was very don't-careish and looked scruffy. I had a drink at the bar of the Midland Hotel, which certainly seemed better and I understand there is a much better hotel in the German Quarter, but I think next time, I will be tempted to commute to Bradford from Leeds. Not recommended.