“ Address: 43-81 Greenwich High Road / Greenwich / London SE10 8JL „
Premier Inn is a chain of budget hotels best known recently for the Lenny Henry TV ads. When we were looking for a cheap overnight stay in the London area with good access to the centre of town I decided to look at the prices of various budget hotel chains and found Premier Inn to be the cheapest option.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
The hotel was located in Greenwich to the south of Greenwich High road but within 5 minutes stroll of Greenwich mainline station. The price for our double room was £69, this will vary depending on the day of the week and the time of year and booking more than 3 weeks ahead will also reduce the price. Since the idea was to use the room as a stopover after having spent the day and evening visiting some sight and having dinner with friends in town I could have chosen a hotel closer to the centre of London, but staying closer to central London invariably increased the price of the room by about £20-£30 per night and I was looking for a cheap stay. Having said this Greenwich is perfectly placed for a London excursion. Greenwich station is part of the Dockland Light Railway line which connects to the London underground but quicker still you can take the frequent overland mainline service to London Bridge which only take 8 minutes and from there you can get on the Underground with only short journeys to the central London underground stations.
In the end we managed to get from the Hotel to Tate Britain (door to door) in a lot less than an hour which wasn't bad. The Hotel is also very conveniently located to sample some for the sights of Greenwich being only a short walk away from the Royal observatory, Greenwich Park, Greenwich village (with its popular Sunday market), the Maritime museum and the Cutty Sark.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS, CHECK IN AND PARKING
The Hotel we stayed in Greenwich was only opened last year and so was of modern design and fittings. As you'd expect from a new purpose built Hotel it had a very modern look, was very clean and shiny both inside and out and had been designed with the efficiency and value for money quality in mind.
If you have booked beforehand and have your booking reference number you can use the self checking system but when we arrived we were greeted by the friendly check in staff and let them go through the process. You do have the options of paying online when you book your room or you can wait to pay on arrival. Depending on what kind of booking you make you also have the option of cancelling you booking at no cost up to midday on the day of your booking.
After we had paid we were allocated our room given a swipe card key and were offered to book breakfast an extra at £7.99 per person or dinner from an a la carter menu, which was not inclusive of the room price. We had already booked breakfast online but declined dinner. The hotel was equipped with a dining area doubling up as a breakfast area and also have a Costa cafe sections with Wi-Fi available (again an extra charge was made after more than half hour use). Although we didn't go for the dinner judging from the menu they were offering reasonable standard pub grub from a reasonably wide ranging menu including starters, steaks, pastas, salads, fish and chips and kid's meals.
The parking which was very secure in the basement car park of the hotel with direct access from the hotel lift was also extra and had to be booked beforehand since spaces were limited. This came to £6 for a 24h period. We arrived at 2pm, which is the earliest checking in time and we were allowed to keep the car there for the full 24 hour period we had paid for despite having checked out earlier than this. So in total our Friday overnight stay in a double room for 2 adults cost us just short of £92.
The room we booked was a standard double with en suite facilities, which is one of two options the other being a family room with a double bed and a pull out sofa bed ideal for families with younger children. The room we had was very nice. It was a good size with a king size double bed and a very clean newly appointed bathroom en suite. The fixtures and fittings were of good quality and the shower which was part of the bath with a shower curtain was excellent. The water was consistently hot and the shower jet was reasonably powerful. The hotel to keep down the cost of the rooms only supplies basic toiletries in on wall dispensers for hand washing and for the shower. Both these were branded Imperial Leather and were reasonable enough although you might want to take your own shampoo and soap. You are provided with a set of bath towel and hand towel for each person and the room also has coffee making facilities with complementary sachets of instant coffee, tea, sugar and milk. The storage space in the room was adequate for our short stay and would be fine for longer stays as well. The room also had a hair dryer and a medium size colour flat screen TV/remote control with free access to a selection of Freeview channels. A telephone is provided to contact reception and to make external calls but these will be added to the bill.
The bed was very comfortable if a little on the firm side, which I do prefer. It was made up with a double duvet cover and two pillows per person, more pillows were available in the wardrobe. Despite being just off Greenwich high road the sound proofing in the room was very good and even on a Saturday night we had a very good undisturbed night's sleep. When we arrived the room felt warm, certainly warmer than I would normally like but the air conditioning system was very easy to use and the temperature control was very efficient at changing the room temperature either up or down. The windows could not be opened but I think Premier inn do say on their website that if you ask them before hand this might be possible to arrange. After a night out in town we got back to the hotel well after midnight. The swipe key allows you entry to the hotel but there was a receptionist on duty in any case.
BREAKFAST AND CHECKING OUT
After an excellent night's sleep we came down for breakfast at around 9.30 am (I think breakfast was served 8- 10.30). We had opted for the £7.99 breakfast which actually cost us £6.99 since we booked it beforehand online. This option gave us a choice of either continental (variety of cereals, toast, muffins, yogurts, croissant, jams, marmalade, marmite) or full English with standard sausages, bacon, eggs (scrambled, poached, fried), mushrooms, tomatoes or a mixture of both. The price was for an 'eat as much as you like' deal, which meant this was prefect if you were setting off for a day's sight-seeing in town and didn't want to spend much on lunch having filled up a breakfast. The food was good and I tried both cooked and continental. A selection of juices; orange, cranberry, apple and pomegranate was also available as well as a selection of teas and coffee's. Once again this was drink as much as you like. For the price this was a very good deal! Children under 16 eat for free. There is not waiter service and the food is supplied in a buffet which is regularly topped up. There is staff around if any problems arise or special requests need to be made.
Room check out time was noon but we wanted to go into Greenwich for a stroll around the Sunday market before we left without having the hassle to find parking so we asked if we could keep the car in the car park and this was not a problem. We had the parking space until 2pm in any case but the hotel was happy for us to keep our swipe keys on us until we left even if this was after checkout time.
GENERAL STANDARD OF SERVICE AND OVERALL VALUE
Overall our experience of Premier Inn was excellent. The staff was all very friendly and helpful. When we did struggle to work the coffee machine in the morning a friendly member of staff was at hand to help out with the minimum of fuss. We didn't have any other problems of note and the check in and checkout process was efficient. The standard of the room was excellent for the price. All areas of the hotel were clean and well maintained the hotel at night was very quiet despite being close to a main road and the parking facilities although limited were very secure. All in all this was an ideal place to stop over when visiting London and the Greenwich area itself is also worth a look.
For the price and considering the location this was excellent value and I certainly stay there again.
For more info check out http://www.premierinn.com