Newest Review: ... for a reasonable price. However the hotel did not live up to its name at all. On first inspection the hotel room was basic and undist... more
Quality Hotel below the third floor
Quality Hotels in general
Member Name: T4imbo3107
Quality Hotels in general
Date: 07/07/07, updated on 07/07/07 (161 review reads)
Advantages: Great central location, no need for cabs or buses
Disadvantages: Needs a makeover
About 3 months ago, my good friend Rory called me to put forward some ideas as to what we could do for his Birthday, after about 20 minutes in deep discussion and rampant surfing we decided that it would be a laugh to go to Brighton for the entire weekend to celebrate his birthday. Therefore first things first we needed somewhere to stay. A quick search on Google showed us a number of hotels in Brighton that were within our budget, one of them being the Quality Hotel, so the prices they gave us were within our budget so we went ahead with the booking.
The location of the Hotel is superb; it is at the lower end of West Street. For those who don’t know Brighton that well, West Street is the main street where there are a number of clubs, bars and pubs and leads down from the Clock Tower to the seafront, this road is also used at the moment as a diversion due to roadwork’s taking place in North Street, so there is quite a bit of traffic going by as well as the traffic for the Churchill Square shopping centre. One of the main advantages is that the beach is just across the road, the bars are within a stones throw as well as the Lanes and the main shopping areas. The Odeon Cinema complex which is currently undergoing extensive building work is next door. When completed this will change the complex into a leisure complex contained 5 nightclubs.
The Hotel has a bar called Henry J Beans in the same building, for guests of the Hotel this means you can just walk through a connecting door, so you don’t have to even leave the building and can nicely bi-pass the doormen, who in the vicinity of West Street seem to have an unhelpful habit of not letting you in to the Pub/ Club unless you have ID in the form of a passport or driving licence. But that’s for another review. The prices are £2.90 for Guinness and a £2.75 for Fosters. Not too bad considering at Walkabouts we were paying around the £3.50 mark for a pint. The bar is open to 11pm and has a DJ playing from around 7ish, this is a good place to begin with and then to move on elsewhere around the town.
I had to drive down as I was working that day, and parked in the Russell Road car park which is about 300 yards behind the Hotel itself. I parked there because the Hotel has partnered with the NCP group and gives a discounted rate for any Hotel guests. To give some idea of the savings, if a car is parked in there for a 24 hour period it will cost £14, as a Hotel guest it will cost £8 per day. I paid £16 from Friday to Sunday. Every little helps!! You just need to get the Ticket validated by staff in the Hotel Reception when you check out. For the record the Russell Road car park is a secure car park and has a generous amount of room to park your car in.
I checked in at 4pm on the Friday and was pleasantly surprised by the decoration in the lobby area, a nice, spacious environment with a well staffed reception, and a visually stunning staircase that catches your attention as soon as you walk in. I filled in the forms and was given my key card to my room on the sixth floor. The staff were very helpful and as Breakfast was included in the price, I was advised of what time Breakfast was served to. For me personally this gave a very good first impression of the Hotel and the company itself and for someone who’s previous experience with Hotels in Brighton was not good, I felt that this was a step forward in a positive direction.
--- The Room---
Before I discuss the room let’s step back a bit, as I got out the lift to go to the room, something clicked inside. In this case it wasn’t my back but the realisation that the décor that was in the lobby had come to a grinding halt. Gone were the nice pastal shades, this was replaced with white walls with marks on and a carpet that probably could remember the Falklands War, not only was it torn in places but no attempt had been made to fix it around the skirting area of the corridor, possible Health and Safety issues to say the least. There was also a strange musty odour in the air which I could not place at all and do not want to think as to what it could be, when the windows were opened at either end of the corridor these soon disappeared.
My room allocation was up on the sixth floor at the back of the Hotel, I swiped my card and in we went. Here’s where we go a little bit CSI…. this had been a smoking room previously, how do I know? Simple, even though the walls were wallpapered they were marked with a yellow stain. I do not smoke and personally detest the habit, I checked the door to the room, yep, two little screw holes were present under the door number, probably where a sign denoting this as a smoking room had been in the near past. All the other doors on the floor were similar so I guess some kind of move had taken place. Other than the walls, the room was not too badly laid out, bed against the wall, TV in the corner. Although this seemed to be a standard layout it was smaller than what I expected as the bed was closer to the wall which created a narrower than normal space to walk around. There was plenty of storage space with enough room to hang clothes and place bags out of the way.
One problem was that the window, it didn’t really ventilate the room as much as required and this prevented the musty smell from being removed unless you kept the door open, which was not really an option in this case. The window itself was double glazed on the Bedroom side, with opening latches on the outside. This kept out the noise, which as the room was at the back was not too bad anyway, but meant that the room was consistently warm throughout my stay even with maximum ventilation, the angle of the windows opening were not much more than a couple of inches. The space between the two sets of windows had a fair amount of dirt collected as well. The Beds were extremely comfy to sleep on but I found the pillows were far too soft so I ended up with all four piled on top of each other in an attempt to get some support.
Now let’s talk showers, the best part for me when staying away is having a nice hot shower in the morning or evening before I go out, the feeling that I am clean all over is important to me. Unfortunately the same didn’t apply here, the bath enamel was chipped and showed quite a bit of rust around the plug hole area, the walls were grubby as well. The strangest thing for me was the taps for the bath and the shower were not in the normal ‘foot end’ position of the bath, even though the shower head was, but the tap’s were on the same side as you got in, this meant the occasional foot stub which was annoying. To top it off there was a sign saying please keep the shower curtain inside the bath at all times, so a precise fold and tuck behind the taps were required which didn’t work anyway and water got onto the floor.
One big advantage was that the room has black out curtains, and they worked lovely. As the room was south facing this meant the sun was streaming through the window effectively all the time. So having these not only assisted in eliminating unwanted sunlight but also helped keep the room temperature constant as well.
A TV is also included as well with a number of channels including an in-house film channel and the obligatory Adult channel as well; funny thing was there were more porn films available than family films to choose from. It stated that it cost £5.95 for the family and £7.95 for the Adult orientated films. The TV had the normal amount of terrestrial channel as well as a sprinkling of Freeview channels as well. The reception on some were bad but generally speaking all were watchable, especially Cartoon Network. All rooms also have Tea and Coffee facilities, no biscuits at all, but a good range of products from Tetley Tea to Nescafe with a few herbal varieties included.
As were on the sixth floor, we had the benefit of a sea view that meant that we could see over the Brighton Conference Centre and out over the water. Although this isn’t a bad view and on a stormy night could probably give a decent light show, it was the fact that the roof of the conference area had a collection of Burger boxes built up on it; I can assume these were from the rooms, but the rubbish itself had not been cleared.
The Hotels offers a breakfast bar that is included in the price itself, the restaurant is used for Breakfast and redressed for lunch and also evening dinner. At the weekend Breakfast is from 0830 to 1030. As it seems that the vast majority of the Hotel has been out on the juice the night before, around 10am there is a major stampede of people coming down in the lifts for breakfast. Seemed as if the Hotel had just woken up and all came down at once. Needless to say that morning that Breakfast didn’t finish to gone 11 as everyone left it to the last minute.
Food wise I was very impressed with what was being offered. The standard and somewhat obligatory eggs and bacon, sausage, mushrooms and so on, as well as fruit and yoghurt were available and also a continental option. Although what did surprise was that as they were a full range of juices on the side, that there was no fresh filtered coffee as all hot drinks such as Tea and Coffee were delivered from a table top vending machine which tasted bloody awful. Overall the quality of food was very good and more than sufficient to last till evening. Whilst at the table I perused the lunch and evening options, they also looked good value for money as well, and too be honest we were tempted as the restaurant was licensed as well, but unfortunately decided not to as we were due to go out, so we had two bars within the hotel itself. Bargain!!!
Other facilities include dry cleaning and also wireless network if required, there is an Internet terminal in reception and primarily aimed at children the ability to play PS2 games through the TV, something which can be added to your final bill.
---Booking a room/ Prices---
I googled ‘Hotels in Brighton’ and was presented with a number of hotels, looking through the list, this fell within budget, and although not the cheapest, I went purely for location itself knowing that it was just a few minutes walk to most areas of Brighton.
On the wall of reception it stated that a single room is £190 and a double £210 per night, don’t worry I never paid anything near that. If you look around then there are sizable discounts to receive. I paid a total of £224 for two nights sharing a Twin room. The Internet stated that was a 57% saving on the original price. I booked through the Hotels own website and still saved money. The response is quick and you can confirm on-line with regards to availability so there is no pending confirmation or having to wait 72 hours to confirm. Payment is not taken on line as the card will hold the room, payment is only taken on arrival when the credit/ debit card is swiped.
This is a Hotel that can cater for the coach party, or hen/stag party. In fact any generously sized party can be booked for. When I stayed there it was the weekend before Whitsun Bank Holiday so there were plenty of hen parties and stag do’s. In fact the Stag Do just turned up for Breakfast from a night of clubbing, then went back to the rooms to sleep! The floor we were staying on was not at all rowdy and was quiet, in the morning we discovered that we had a hen party of 25 in the rooms next to us, so from that you can say that they were well behaved as I didn’t hear a thing outside the room.
I will be honest, as the Hotel needs a general overhaul at the very least. It has a total of 140 rooms and conferencing rooms and facilities available for hire. The décor runs out when the staircase stops on the conferencing floors and primarily for me this is an issue that needs addressing. This would be to not only make the rooms feel fresher but to also make the rooms are more presentable. Seeing some of the other rooms on the way to check out on Sunday morning showed me that the others were of the same layout and also had the same issues as mine which was a shame.
As I have said the location is great, if you go Brighton as a group you have everything nearby, and as you will never need to leave the City area then this will save quite a bit of money and time as you will have no need to hire cabs or catch buses. Value for money is not really that bad as a full Breakfast is included in the price, as a base for hen and stag parties then it is fine, as you will only need the room to basically crash out in, looking at it from a travellers view and as a more mature person then at the end of the day, this may not meet your expectations as a Hotel.
The rating of the Hotel is three star, but I am unclear as to the significance of the rating and what has to be done to achieve this, don’t get me wrong I am not questioning the rating the Hotel has, but do not understand how rooms that are at the bottom line grubby can have this rating. Although I can only presume it is done on facilities offered. That said if a bit of paint here and there and a new carpet was laid I would definitely go back there again. If I was to have another weekend in Brighton, this would be one the list but would be a probable instead of a definite. The Hotel does genuinely have a good feel and a pleasant ambiance as well as showing a high level of good customer service to it and it goes without saying that you do a get a good nights sleep. It is just the decoration that let the place down. For me the best thing is the location and the attractive benefit of a cheaper car park tariff as well. One thing you do need to be aware of is that this Hotel is literally around the corner form the Brighton Conference Centre, if by chance there is something happening that week or weekend then this place will fill up very quickly indeed, other than the Grand and the Metropole, this is the next nearest place to stay. So as I said any vacancies and booking will go quickly.
Thanks for reading and until next time… Tim
Summary: Good place to stay, but grubby in the converted non-smoking rooms.
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