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Ideally Located For A Reading Pub Crawl
Novotel Reading Centre (Reading)
Member Name: Andy.mack
Novotel Reading Centre (Reading)
Advantages: Nice and central, cheap price
Disadvantages: The extras are a little bit expensive
As I'd decided upon the need to book myself a hotel room I paid a visit to the Novotel website where I managed to secure the room for a reasonable price. I've stayed in Novotel's quite a few times before so knew exactly what to expect when I paid £59 for the night. The rate is very reasonable as I booked it using the company's website and taking advantage of their no cancellation room rate over. I knew I'd be using the room regardless and for that reason decided that there was no risk of needing to cancel so paid the £59 upfront and secured my room. When you consider £59 for a room in the centre of town in a top class hotel, which ordinarily cost £109 isn't a bad deal. The only drawback is that the rate didn't include for Breakfast, which had I taken it up would have cost me an extra £13.50 and had I wanted a fried Breakfast it would have cost me another £4. If you book the room far enough in advance now though they have added an additional option of £69 including Breakfast.
Having booked it all a couple of weeks before all I had to do now was turn up and enjoy my stay. The hotel itself is located on Friar Street in Reading; about 5 minutes walk from the Train Station. It is incredibly easy to find given the large luminous Blue sign hanging from the front of the building. The hotel does offer a small amount of private car parking accessed from the rear of the hotel from Gerard Street. Had I known before parking there that it would cost me £14 to get my Car back out again I would have opted to pay the £10 overnight charge to use the NCP Car Park on Gerard Street instead. This would perhaps be my biggest complaint with the whole stay, the fact that I didn't know that firstly the parking wasn't included and secondly that it would be so expensive before I left my car in the car park, in fact it wasn't until I tried to leave the following morning that I found out.
The check in process was relatively simple and within 5 minutes of arriving at reception I was in the lift heading for my room. As I'd already paid upfront it meant that there was only the matter of filling in a reservation card and also putting down the optional money for additional services. I thought that as there was every chance I might want to watch a movie or eat something in the mini bar when I came in later that this was a good idea. With a preauthorisation done for £15 I headed up to my room on the third floor. The hotel is equipped with a staggering 178 rooms, which may not seem like much but when you look at the hotel from the outside it's hard to imagine where they all are.
The room itself was pretty standard fair. As you enter the room you have a small corridor with a toilet next to the front door, mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities and a small safe, before heading into the main room. Once into the main part of the room you will find what the Novotel call a Supreme bed, to me it just looked like a King Size but then I'm no expert. Next to that is a sofa and then on the other side of the room is a dressing bench and mirror and also a 17" flat Screen TV. In a separate room off to the side of the bedroom is then the main bathroom, which consisted of a sink and separate Bath and shower. All in all the facilities within the rooms are pretty good and if you pay the promotional rate you certainly get a decent deal for your money.
Of course once they have you through the door on the promotional rate they do try to sting you on the extra items to make some of the money back. For instance a Mars bar cost me £1.50 from the mini bar and should I have wanted a can of coke or a bottle of water then that would have been another £2. One slight improvement since my last stay in a Novotel has been the £2 drop in the price of the pay per view movies from £8.99 to £6.99. While a lot of these are around 8 - 9 months old it is starting to get to a more realistic figure than it had previously been. There is also a restaurant downstairs and you can either go there to eat or have it delivered to your room but at £9 + per main meal I decided to just go across the road to Burger King.
When it came to the actual reason I had opted to stay in the hotel that night it certainly can't be faulted. The hotel is ideally situated in the middle of Reading meaning it just required a stumble back to the room once the night was over. The bed was very comfortable and incredibly spacious. The bathroom had everything you could possibly need with a pretty powerful shower that was easy to control both the flow and temperature of. I have to say the quality of my stay was certainly very high and despite the price of the extras still worked out to be reasonably good value for money.
Then finally there is the check out procedure and again, much like checking in this is very simple, even when you add on my shock of £14 for the car park. Again within 5 minutes of arriving in reception I was on my way back to my car and going home after what had been a completely hassle free nights stay. Of course had my stay have been longer I would have liked to have tried out the complimentary Gym and swimming facilities, but alas I seemed to run out of time before my 11am check out time.
Overall it is a really nice hotel to stay in and as long as you don't intend to bring your car to the Hotel's own car park it is in an ideal place for the centre of town. The rooms and corridors were spotless and the facilities provide were certainly top of the range. When you consider all these points along with the bargain price you will end up paying for the room it certainly makes a night in a Novotel, a 4 Star hotel, very much an affordable proposition. Ok it's not as affordable as a Travel Inn or Travelodge but at the same time the service and quality of the hotel is that little bit better. They do try and make the saving back on the additional items but that's only to be expected and after all you don't have to take them up on them.
Summary: A decent Hotel and a Decent price
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