I have recently spent two nights at the Ramada Ealing hotel in West London. While it could in no way be described as a luxury retreat, it is perfectly adequate for the needs of most travellers, particularly those on short stays which I imagine is who they mainly cater for. Unfortunately I can't comment on value for money as my stay was (thankfully) paid for by a third party!
The hotel is located at Ealing Common, about 5 minutes walk from the tube station and close to the very busy North Circular road, although I wasn't disturbed by traffic noise even with the window open all night. Ealing Common tube is on the district line and its very easy to connect to all the major tube lines and get anywhere you need. I'd say its about 20 minutes into central London which isn't ideal during the crowded rush hour but in the middle of the day or the late evening the journey is a breeze. The hotel is located in Zone 3.
Check in was quick and easy, and the room key is a credit card style one. You need to swipe it quickly in and out of the mechanism on the door to unlock your room. It took me a couple of goes to get the hang of it but its easy enough, I was a bit tired!
The rooms are basic but perfectly adequate. The beds are reasonable comfortable, there is air-conditioning which was a life saver during my stay as it was bordering on a heatwave. The TV has a decent selection of freeview channels as well as an on-demand movie service which I thought was fairly reasonable at £6.99 for a recent blockbuster. The TV was a flat screen which made a nice change from the old fuzzy CRT boxes you often get in hotels. The other facilities were pretty standard, a cheap hairdryer, a trouser press, a tea and coffee tray and for some reason, 2 phones within about 3 feet of each other.
The bathroom was a similar feel to the bedroom, good enough but nothing to get excited about. The sink area was spacious and clean, the towels were freshly washed although a bit scratchy, some fabric conditioner wouldn't have gone amiss! The bath was a bit too small to really enjoy a bath in it and the water pressure in the shower was a bit low which made it hard to get all the conditioner out of my hair. The water temperature was consistent and easy to adjust though.
Breakfast was included in my stay, and was served between 7 and 9.30am on weekdays, later on weekends. It was a very familiar buffet setup with the traditional English options of sausages, bacon, eggs etc. along with cereals, fruit and some more european cooked meat and cheese choices. I don't usually think much of hotel breakfasts so I was pleasantly surprised by how nice everything was. It was a great way to start a busy day.
There are five floors, and two lifts. The lifts aren't terribly roomy and probably only fit about 4 or 5 people in, or only 2 or 3 if they have luggage. The lifts get quite busy around breakfast time and you might end up watching a few pass you by already full before you get on one, so if you're able to it might be easier to take the stairs.
The reception area was always clean, there was plenty of seating and a bar which opens in the evenings, the reception area toilets were clean and spacious. The reception staff were friendly, but not overly or irritatingly so, and competent which is the most important thing! Checking out was just as easy as checking in.
A great hotel. Entering through a superbly decorated bar restaurant area, you are then able to use the two modern elevators up to your floor.
I stayed in the 'Director's suite' and must say it was truly fabulous. You are given credit card style cards, which all ow you to open the door. As you enter, to your right is a well mainteained bathroom, equipt with shower/bath combo and two sinks. Straight ahead is a wardrobe area, with storage provided for holding all of your clothing
As you enter the living area, which is on the left as you enter, you are greeted by a superb TV, a large window giving views out over london. A large king size bed is supplied, along with a pull out bed.
By using the TV's keyboard you are free to access the internet at very little cost.There are also a selection of tv packages which can be bought, such as films, which accompany the free chanells such as bbc 1, itv etc.
The food i ate was breakfast and was absolutley delicious.
Paying a one of price, you were free to make as many trips to the breakfast bar as you wanted, in a buffet style system, pick up what you want.
Food ranged from hashed browns, sausage, bacon and all the normal cooked breakfast foods, to cornflakes and an assortment of different cereals, along with a various selection of fruit juices.
I truly recommend staying at this hotel.
This hotel is more commonly known as the Ramada Jarvis Ealing.
Historically, when attending meetings in London, I have always tried to avoid staying, but over the last year this has become increasingly difficult to avoid thanks to early starts and several day visits.
I am not a big fan of the train, thanks to an accident on a platform in my late teens, and therefore, where possible, prefer to travel by car or plane. Living to the west of London, when taking the car, essential criteria have to be reasonable rates, on-site parking, easy access to central London and the M4, the Ramada Jarvis Ealing fits the bill on all these fronts, and has become a firm favourite, having stayed there numerous times between November 05 and June 06.
Easily accessible from the M4 & M1 motorways & the North Circular, the Ramada Jarvis Ealing is on the edge of Ealing Common, about 2 minutes walk from Ealing Common Tube station, offering frequent services to central London on the District and Piccadilly lines.
The hotel has ample on-site free parking with a rear entrance to the hotel reception, saves you traipsing around the street with your luggage.
You would be forgiven if your first assumption of this hotel is that it is more reminiscent of an age old block of flats common in most city centres. Its façade, hammered by years of traffic passing by on the main road a few yards away mean the seventies style building is grimy on the outside.
On our first arrival there we encountered a mass evacuation through a false fire alarm, followed by discovering the hotel had no record of our booking on what was the busiest night in London (Chelsea playing Liverpool in the European Cup). Having browsed over 350 outlets, we were a little stunned to discover that this place actually had rooms available. Luckily, my colleague had printed the booking confirmation, and rooms were "found" for us, despite them being fully booked.
The first time we stayed problematic because of the booking error, on subsequent visits everything went smoothly, completion of the registration document with name, home address and car registration, a quick swipe of the credit card and you are despatched with your room key (or should I say card?). The whole process rarely took longer than 5/10 minutes, and unusually for many hotels, there always seem to be plenty of staff around in case it gets busy.
The inside of this hotel eliminates initial impressions from its exterior. The rooms are reasonably spacious offering floors with a pleasant combination of black & white tiles and carpet, an open cupboard area with trouser press; a double bed, colour TV, desk area with chair, and the usual assortment of teas/coffees with kettle & cups.
All rooms also offer the little seen, but marvellously effective "Quadriga" system providing movies and music on demand through your TV, and a High speed wired connection for your laptop. In addition, there is also BT Open Zone (Wireless internet) throughout the hotel.
The bathrooms are small but functional providing bath/shower and towels big enough to go almost twice around my ample frame.
The lighting in the room is superb, offering a range of independently operated soft lamps and bright spotlights.
The hotel also has a number of 'executive suites' which have more space, larger beds, but only have a shower unit in the bathroom, whereas I much prefer a bath. As a fairly regular customer, I have received complimentary upgrades, but have actually requested to downgrade to secure the bath facility, and the basic rooms are more than adequate.
One thing worth noting, this hotel does provide fans but does not have air conditioning in its rooms. I had the misfortine of choosing to stay here during the very 'unbritish' heat wave in early summer, and I can honestly say it was unbearable, despite leaving the fan on me all night. I also found much of the food at breakfast time quite unpalatable on this occasion.
Breakfast is the usual buffet affair, although I must confess after several years of staying regularly in hotels these days I tend to prefer the "cook to order" offering; but with 189 rooms, and guests at the budget "lodge" next door able to use the restaurant. cooking to order for over 300 people could be somewhat problematic.
Food on offer includes a wide range of cold meats and cheeses, juices, fresh fruit, cereals, fresh pastries and yogurts, plus the usual cooked selection of bacon, sausage, scrambled & fried eggs, beans, mushrooms and hash browns.
On a large number of our stay here, when travelling with colleagues, the evening meal has been taken at the nearby Harvester, If you are not a fan of steaks, there are several other eateries within easy walking distance of the hotel.
On my second visit here, I was taken ill, and therefore opted for room service (prices ranging from around £6 for sandwich style meals up to £18 for sirloin steak). I chose Chicken Cabonara with bacon and cheese sauce and a large slice of Ciabatta garlic bread. Arriving hot within about 20 minutes of ordering, it was very tasty and the plate was efficiently collected from outside my door within half hour of leaving it.
The meal cost £12.50 with a drink, and there is no additional loading for using room service.
Customers can also take advantage of the room service menu in the bar, offering a range of food from sandwiches to steak, with curry, chilli and burgers in between, or they can use the restaurant where an additional (and somewhat pricier) menu is on offer.
In common with most hotels there is a bar on site, and drinks, although slightly higher in cost compared to what I would pay at home, are considerably cheaper than hotels in central London. I paid £3.25 for a Courvoisier Brandy, compared to a price tag of £7.50 in the Radisson Edwardian Kenilworth we stayed in the night before. A half pint of Orange juice cost £1.25.
There aren't at this particular outlet, but that said, with only about a 30 minute tube run into central London, you can be forgiven, if travelling for pleasure, if you have other things on your mind.
Rack rates start from £145, although we have paid anything from £65 to £87 for bed and breakfast, dependent on the day and time of year
We generally booked with an agent or directly with the hotel, but sites such as www.laterooms.com and www.activehotels.com should have affordable offers with discounts off the displayed rack rates.
And for breathtakingly priced weekend breaks, you could do much worse than visit Ramada Jarvis's own website, www.ramada.co.uk, I have had some ridiculously cheap deals at some of their outlets across the UK.
There is also a lodge alongside the hotel offering budget accommodation, we spoke to three people sharing a room, and it was costing them £22 a night; guests can take advantage of the hotels eating facilities.
The hotel offers 9 conference rooms with modern connectivity, the largest room holding up to 200 people.
Our first visit here left a bitter taste in our mouths because of the booking mix-up; nevertheless they did come up trumps for us, and their rooms are clean and functional with good entertainment facilities.
Personally, their on-site parking coupled with their proximity to the motorway network and the London tube system (c30 mins into central London) makes them an ideal choice for business & Leisure travellers wishing to control costs, yet still requiring decent home comforts and good food.
My advice: if you want to stay here, BOOK EARLY; on both our visits, the hotel has been near enough filled to capacity.
Telephone 0208 896 8400
Fax: 0208 992 7082