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A modern & contemporary hotel in the centre of Milton Keynes
Ramada Encore (Milton Keynes)
Member Name: nixtee
Ramada Encore (Milton Keynes)
Advantages: Modern, contemporary, comfortable
Disadvantages: Prices can get expensive when a big event is on at Milton Keynes.
The Ramada Encore is situated in the heart of Milton Keynes and is an ideal base when visiting the town. So far, I have stopped there on two occasions (once as a stop gap on a journey down to Brands Hatch and another when I went to a concert at the MK Bowl).
Reservations for the hotel can be made online at www.encoremiltonkeynes.co.uk or by telephoning 0870 428 1438. I made both my reservations online with ease. You can check room availability and prices before going ahead with your booking. In June 2007, I paid £50 for a twin room (accommodating 2 adults) for 1 night, this was a special web rate and booked 2 weeks in advance. In September 2006, I paid £139.95 for a twin room, booked a month in advance. Why the jump in price? Hotels (not just this one) have a tendency to up the prices when there's a big event on as they know they can fill the rooms. I was going to see Robbie Williams at the MK Bowl and most of Milton Keynes was booked up that night. The Ramada Encore has various offers available, however, so I would advise checking them out on the Offers page of the website.
The hotel can be found within walking distance of the train station (come out of the station through the main exit and walk straight forward onto Midsummer Boulevard and follow the path straight up to the hotel (you'll see the hotel sign on the side of the building). Walk straight past Jury's Inn (which is next door) and turn right to find the entrance. If you arrive by car then there is limited on-site parking at £7.50 a night as well as on-street parking (which is pay & display, but can be free during certain periods such as bank holidays).
I found checking-in to be simple and swift, and the staff friendly and helpful.
The Ramada Encore is a modern hotel and I've found the rooms quite stylish and contemporary.
To get into your room, you're provided with a keycard (as per most hotels these days) which you put in the slot in the door and pull out (and a green light should indicate that you can enter the room), then open the door. For energy saving purposes, you then need to put your keycard in a slot in the wall to activate the lights. This means that when you leave the room (and take your keycard with you), you can't accidentally (or, for that matter, purposely) leave the lights on (wasting energy). You also remember where you put your keycard the night before!
The bedroom floors are wooden (no grubby carpet here) and tend to have the minimalist look. As well as the bed/s (I've only stayed in the twin rooms, but I believe the "Standard" rooms contain a double bed and a fold-away sofa bed with room to accommodation 2 adults and 2 children under 18), the rooms contain a desk, telephone, TV (with Sky, radio channels and pay movie channels), tea & coffee making facilities and a hair-dryer, as well as space for your clothes/luggage. There is also broadband access, but I can't remember if this is included in the room price or if it's pay as you go (as I had no use for it).
I found the beds very comfortable (which, in all honesty, is the most important thing during a hotel stay) and had a sound night's sleep on both occassions.
A same-day laundry and dry cleaning service is provided if needed and an iron & ironing board can be borrowed from Reception.
The ensuite "bathroom" is more of a wetroom with a walk-in shower (separated by a screen) as well as a toilet and sink. Toiletries are provided in the form of a soap dispenser and shower wash dispenser attached to the wall (Lux branded, if my memory serves me correctly). The bathroom can be a bit on the small side, but I find this common to a lot of hotels.
There is a bar and restaurant at the hotel, but I can't really comment on either of these as I didn't get time to experience them. Breakfast (hot and continental) is served between 7am - 10am on weekdays and 7.30am - 11am on weekends, so early enough if you need to get off early for a meeting, but late enough if you fancy a bit of a lie-in.
If you don't fancy eating at the hotel, then don't worry as there are plenty of other eateries in walking distance such as a posh burger bar, a Chinese restaurant, Bar One, Wetherspoons and many others.
Don't forget that Milton Keynes' main shopping centre (The Centre:MK) is also a short walk away and provides loads of shops and eateries. Xscape provides the country's biggest indoor real snow slopes as well as climbing walls, bowling and other fun activities including a multiscreen cinema.
The MK Bowl (where such bands as Bon Jovi, Take That and Robbie Williams have played) is also a short distance away and I (and many others) have walked to there & back to the hotel with no problems.
The hotel is also by the business area of Milton Keynes so is an ideal base should you be attending any meetings etc, and I cant forget to mention that Silverstone is just a few miles up the road and so you can use the hotel as a base when going to watch races.
I have stayed at this hotel twice now and would certainly stay in it again when visiting Milton Keynes. In fact, after staying in the Milton Keynes Ramada Encore twice now, I decided to book a room at the Ramada Encore York for my trip there.
Summary: I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel to others.