Newest Review: ... and none of the other stuff we expected was in the room so Dave rang down to reception to ask if room 310 was a Premium Room. He was tol... more
Good but could do better!
Paramount Basingstoke Country Hotel (Hampshire)
Member Name: SusanLesley
Paramount Basingstoke Country Hotel (Hampshire)
Advantages: Good staff, nice food and very clean rooms
Disadvantages: Traffic noise, misleading web site
I am full time carer to my mother who has Vascular Dementia so we don’t get away very often as mom has to go into a respite care home to allow us to do so, therefore when we do get away we like a bit of luxury.
We are members of the Paramount Leisure Breaks Club and have visited a few of the hotels in the group so I looked on their website first to see if any of their hotels were ‘central’ enough for us.
I found the Basingstoke Country Hotel in Basingstoke (I bet you’d never have guessed that would you?) and we thought it looked ideal for us. The facilities looked good and the position of the hotel was great so I did a search for information on available rooms. I took a note of the prices if we were to book via the hotel and then Dave rang the Leisure Breaks number to see what sort of offers they had.
We booked a Premium Room for five nights full board at a cost of £597.50 – the same room booked directly with the hotel would have cost £850!
The Premium Room cost about £100 more than the standard room but it included extras like extra room, bathrobes, toiletries and a king sized bed. Or so we thought …………..
We found the hotel easily as it is on the A30 London Road just east of Basingstoke. It is set back from the road and looked very attractive as we drove onto the car park. There were plenty of available places to park and this was the same throughout our stay.
We entered the hotel and the foyer was very smart and spotlessly clean as was the rest of the hotel.
Check in was smooth and efficient. We were given the keys to room 310 and off we went. We were offered help with our luggage but we didn’t need it.
We entered the room and began to unpack. The room was very light and airy. It wasn’t particularly large but it adequate. There was a bed, bedside tables, a desk/dressing table, a chair, a wardrobe, a television on a unit and a trouser press complete with small ironing board and iron. There was an ensuite with bath and shower over, sink and toilet.
I immediately found the tray of tea and coffee and put the kettle on whilst I put our clothes in the wardrobe. As I put everything away I started to think about all the extras we should have in the room and the fact that none of them were there! The bed was a standard double and none of the other stuff we expected was in the room so Dave rang down to reception to ask if room 310 was a Premium Room. He was told yes. I sorted through my paperwork and found the confirmation letter showing that we had paid for a Premium Room and the hotel brochure stating that the Premium Room should have a king sized bed, additional toiletries, chocolate, more snacks and bathrobes.
On the website the Premium Room is listed as having all the extras and the Deluxe Room is not mentioned until you check availability when the deluxe room appears as an option.
We went down to reception to see what was going on where we were told that Premium Rooms just have slightly more space but no extras. The extras are actually in the Deluxe Room which isn’t even mentioned in their brochure and it was not offered to Dave when he rang to book.
Dave explained that he had wanted to make the stay special for me as I am a full time carer and don’t get away very often. We were told that there were no Deluxe Rooms available so the manager agreed to let us have room 210.
Off we went to find room 210 and it was – wait for it – The Windsor Suite! This was more like it! We were offered help to move all our stuff from room 310 to the new suite but we said we’d do it ourselves. It was rather exhausting after a seven and a half hour journey but we managed!
The new room was much larger with air conditioning, a king sized bed, bedside tables, a desk, a dressing table, a coffee table, a settee, two chairs, a television on a stand which contained a fridge, a wardrobe with shelves and a small safe inside and the trouser press with ironing board and iron. The ensuite bathroom had a bath with shower over, toilet, bidet and sink but no extractor fan, which I thought was illegal but maybe not.
Now that is what I call service! As I said to Dave it isn’t whether someone makes a mistake it is how they go about putting it right that matters.
After our hard work in changing rooms we got changed and headed down to our first dinner at the hotel.
The maitre d’hotel was a lady who was very efficient. She was prepared to wait on tables, clear tables and anything else that she saw needed doing as well as greeting every guest and making sure everything was OK.
There was a comprehensive wine list, expensive of course, but then that is what you expect in a hotel and a well stocked bar. Any extras taken could either be paid for in cash at the time or added to your final bill at check out. We did the latter and found that a couple of things had been missed off, as they only added up to about £10 we kept quiet! It was also possible to keep track of the ongoing cost of your stay via a channel on the TV in the room, which I found useful.
The dinner menu consisted of a choice of 6 different starters, then chicken, lamb, pork or steak with various sauces or goats’ cheese tart, or you could choose from grilled chicken, lamb, steak or salmon taken with boiled, chipped or baked potatoes, onion rings, vegetables, or salad. This was followed with a choice of pecan and walnut tart with vanilla ice cream, sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and clotted cream, warm strawberry pancakes with custard cream, lemon meringue parfait with a tuille biscuit, raspberry tart with a blackcurrant coulis or cheese and biscuits.
Having just read that paragraph back I realise that I have given the most detail to the sweets! I am sure that must say something about me!
The food was excellent but the menu was exactly the same very night so we did get a bit fed up by the end of the stay. We also always had to have our evening meal after 7.30 as there was always a coach party in taking up the earlier time slots. This was a bit late for me being a diabetic but there was nothing anyone could do about it and I managed OK.
We slept well that night, having lots of room in our lovely big bed. We kept the windows open as we like fresh air in our room. If you are a light sleeper forget this place though! Although it is set back from the main road the traffic noise is invasive. It didn’t stop Dave and I sleeping as we are used to sleeping through a dawn chorus of seagulls every morning but it may well disturb some people.
So it was out with the tea tray to have our morning cuppa. There was plenty of tea, coffee etc and cartons of long life milk but the staff in the restaurant were happy to give us a small jug of real milk as we aren’t too keen on the long life stuff.
Then it was time to try out the shower. It wasn’t as powerful as ours at home as we have a power shower but it was good enough for the job. The shower curtain kept getting in the way and sticking to me but it wasn’t too bad. The lack of extractor fan made the bathroom rather steamy but it soon cleared.
Next it was time for food again – this time breakfast!
There was a buffet with a choice of apple, orange or grapefruit juice, muesli, cornflakes, frosties, bran flakes, rice crispies or all bran and fresh fruit salad or grapefruit, prunes and fresh pineapple. There were also croissants, pain au chocolate, fresh bread rolls and pastries.
The main part of our breakfast was ordered and delivered to our table. The choice was tea or coffee, white or brown toast and any or all of the following: bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, fried bread, sauté potatoes and eggs (boiled, scrambled, poached or fried).
We went into the bar for a pre dinner drink one evening and got fed up with waiting to be served so we just went into the restaurant and ordered a drink with our meal instead.
We also went into the bar one afternoon to log onto the Internet with our laptops at a cost of £5 per hour. We ordered croissants as a tea time snack to keep us going until dinner time but they took ages to arrive and then they forgot the butter and we had to wait again for that to arrive.
The hotel has 100 rooms and 200 car parking spaces. There are 10 modern meeting rooms supported by an events and organisations team. The Naseby Suite and Woodlands Suite at the hotel both have a wedding licence. They have their own private entrances and their own bars. The hotel has a dedicated wedding co-ordinator to help you organise everything.
The staff were, almost without exception, very kind, helpful and courteous at all times and seemed to have everything under control but without being ‘in your face’ if you know what I mean.
The hotel also has a Bodysense gym on site together with quite a large swimming pool built in a huge conservatory. There was also a range of beauty treatments available including massage, pedicure, manicure etc. I can’t comment on any of this as we didn’t have time to try any of the facilities but it all looked very nice and was, again, spotlessly clean.
All in all we both enjoyed our stay and would be happy to recommend the hotel, although if you are a light sleeper you’d better ask for a room at the back where the traffic noise would be less!
The address of the hotel is:
The Basingstoke Country Hotel,
Telephone: O1256 764161
Web Site: http://www.paramount-hotels.co.uk/hotels/southern- england/ paramount-basingstoke-country-hotel/
NB There is not acually a gap between england/ and paramount but I had to put it in to get the review to load as it won't accept 'words over 80 characters long'!
I e mailed the Paramount website to tell them of the error both on their site and in the hotel brochure. They replied to my e mail back in August and said that they would update the site but nothing has yet changed - oh dear!
Summary: A nice hotel but things still could be improved
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