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A Good Nights Sleep, Guaranteed?
Premier Inn (Blackpool Central)
Member Name: wigglylittleworm
Premier Inn (Blackpool Central)
Date: 17/04/10, updated on 17/04/10 (429 review reads)
Advantages: comfy double bed, good breakfast
Disadvantages: fold out bed like sleeping on bricks
Blackpool is meant to have more hotel rooms in the town than in the whole of Portugal, the problem with having this level of choice is that it is daunting to know where to start to look when you want to choose a place to stay and horror stories about seaside landladies were very much at the forefront of my mind when I was thinking about accommodation. I planned to have a short break in the second week of the school holidays in April for one adult and two teenagers and needed a decent room in a safe and quiet hotel with on site parking so decided to book two nights at the Premier Inn located on Yeadon way for the cost of £50 per night.
Premier Inn is the UK's largest hotel company with over 580 hotels and new ones seem to be springing up all the time. I had never stayed in one of their hotels before but had read positive reviews of both the chain and the individual hotel so I thought I knew what to expect. Premier Inn are unique in offering a good night's sleep or your money back, an offer which unfortunately we had to take advantage of.
The Blackpool Central Premier Inn is central in the same way that Luton airport is in London! It is easy to get to by car since it is right at the outskirts of the town but it is a good 15 minutes walk to the pleasure beach (and £5 taxi fare to get back when your legs are knackered!) and even further to other attractions. The first impressions of the hotel was that it was a bit bland, a simple L-shaped brick building next to a petrol station and the main road. They do have various plants dotted around the exterior brightening it up a bit but it is not somewhere you would visit for its unique character. There is a small car park which was almost full both nights we stayed, parking is free for hotel guests.
Check in was painless, I simply told the receptionist my name and he gave us two swipe card keys and directed us to our room, you give credit card details to secure the room and pay for your stay when you arrive.
The room itself was a decent size. It seems there are two different type of rooms, the standard room has a double bed and a double sofa that can be folded down and the family rooms have the double bed and a single sofa with an extra fold down bed being brought out if required. We had the family room and the two single beds were made up on arrival. The room is painted white with a purple carpet and curtains and picture on the wall. It looked a bit gloomy to be honest but a lot better once we filled it with junk and clutter!
As well as the beds there was an open fronted wardrobe with half a dozen coat hangers fixed in place and some shelf space, two bedside tables and a large dressing table with a mirror, hairdryer, tea making facilities and a small CRT TV with freeview channels available. The dressing table came in very handy with the teenage girls and luckily it had room for straighteners, three make up bags and all our hair styling products! We also had a phone which was handy for phoning reception but since most people have mobile phones I doubt is really much use. We took advantage of Wi-Fi buying a card for £5 giving an hours access and it was a fairly slow connection.
The en-suite bathroom was basic and functional with a bath and over bath shower. The bath was nice and long and wide and deep which was perfect for a long soak in the tub and the shower had really good water pressure and it was simple to adjust the temperature. There were dispensers giving hand wash and a combined shampoo and shower gel but we had taken our own toiletries. The bathroom was nice and clean too so we were happy with it and were glad to see we had plenty of large fluffy white towels to dry off with.
The fun and games started when it was time for bed. My double bed was mighty comfortable and I slept like a baby and the sofa bed was also fine but my daughter described the fold up bed as feeling like a pile of bricks with a sheet on them. We did contact reception who gave her an extra duvet to put underneath her body but this didn't make much difference, we contacted reception again who said there were no more duvets and she would have to put up with it. After much tossing and turning she ended up using this duvet as a mattress and sleeping on the floor under the dressing table.
The next morning we went down to reception to tell them about my daughter sleeping on the floor and they guessed straight away that it was because of the fold down bed and told me they were designed for under 10's and that we should write to head office as many people had problems with them. I asked about the good night sleep guarantee and the woman went to fill in the forms and a refund was approved which will be sent by cheque in a fortnight. Of course this still left the problem about where daughter would sleep for the second night and we were told more duvets would be sent up to cushion the bed which was really not an acceptable solution.
I asked again at reception later in the day if anything could be done about my daughter's bed for the night and this time the receptionist could not be more helpful. In the end she looked on the computer to see if she could take one of the sofa beds from an empty room but none were available so she ended up taking the mattress from the sofa bed from her own room and came up and made a bed up on the floor. This proved to be far more comfortable and my daughter got a good nights sleep the second night.
Unfortunately I did not sleep well the second night due to the temperature of the room. You are meant to be able to regulate the temperature of your room yourself but despite turning the heat down to 15 degrees when I pressed the temperature check button it showed the room was 23 degrees when the optimum temperature for sleep is 18 degrees. After tossing and turning I ended up putting the fan on to cool down the room. When this did not work and I was still too hot I ended up splashing myself in cold water and standing in front of the fan so that I was freezing cold and would be happy to get into a hot bed! It worked and I eventually dropped off at around 2am, I thought I had slept all night but according to one of the girls I had got up to the toilet and the second I got back into bed started snoring again, it worried me that I did not remember this! I did not mention my second bad nights sleep to reception because I didn't want to make it look like I was trying to blag a free break. The room was nice and quiet, we never heard any noise from the road or the other rooms and only heard the occasional noise from the corridor.
There is no dining room in the hotel itself but guests eat breakfast in the Brewers Fayre restaurant which is right next door. Breakfast costs £7.75 per adult with a continental option costing £2 less and is served from 7 to 10am during school holidays. The good thing for families is that two kids under 16 eat free with each adult meal purchased so our breakfasts ended up costing around £2.50 each which is fantastic value. The breakfast is a self serve buffet and was surprisingly good. There is a massive choice of cereals, bread and croissants, marmite, jams, spreads, fruit juices, tea and coffee and cooked items and they will also freshly cook porridge, boiled eggs or veggie sausages. The cooked items included really good quality beef sausages, sunny side up fried eggs, scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes, bacon, baked beans and mushrooms. The breakfast was really nice especially the sausages and mushrooms and we filled up with huge cooked meals meaning we only needed a small snack between breakfast and dinner. You can also eat at the restaurant for your other meals and it sells reasonably priced pub grub but there is hardly a lack of eating establishments in Blackpool and we enjoyed the freedom of choosing different places to eat in the evening.
My experience at Blackpool Central Premier Inn was mixed. It is a functional and clean hotel rather than a luxury hotel and I think it is best for short stays as you would get bored there if you stayed for too long. What disappointed us the most was the rock hard kids bed, they say that the bed is designed for under 10's but since they try to attract kids under 16 with their free breakfasts it makes sense to have a bed that will be comfy for adult sized teenagers. I was however very impressed with the member of staff who went out of her way to help us the following day and made sure my girl got a good nights sleep the next night. Based on my first experience staying with Premier Inn it is a chain of hotels I would consider using again for a short family break with only one child in tow but would not want to take two teenagers to a family room again.
Summary: A functional hotel
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