Address: Market Street
Lancaster / LA1 1HP „
Originally built in 1625, the Royal Kings Arms (part of the Best Western chain) is situated in the heart of the historic city of Lancaster. This period hotel boasts impressive views of the historic city castle.
On arrival you are greeted by friendly and efficient staff, the lobby has been refurbished but still maintains the elegance of its historic past.
The lift is advisable as there are many floors however it is small and carpeted throughout walls and all and has rustic sliding gates. It is also slow and if you are fit you could probably beat the lift by walking up the staircase at a steady pace. The staircase is large and full of character and you can imagine descending in your ball gown in years gone by. I love the whole ambiance of the place.
When i booked the room I requested a room with a 4 poster bed to mark the special occasion. I saw it on a picture on the website and through asking staff there are but 2 rooms in the hotel with 4 posters.
We arrived at 2pm to check in and the corridors were strewn with laundry and busy housekeepers flurrying about cleaning rooms but our room was thankfully ready.
the room we were alocated was 303 and we knew it was special as it had a door plate with 'Castle view' etched in brass.
The door handles are round and a little dated but probably in character with the whole building. I have to say the first impressions of the room were imressive it was very large with huge windows which stretched across a full wall. Old sash windows with large velvet drapes. Outside an impressive view of lancaster castle. The room boasted a flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities (small cups) with a selection of coffee and tea and milk jiggers. We used these quite quickly but more can be requested from reception. The room also offered dark wood matching furniture a desk and chair, drawers, large wardrobes, trouser press, iron, ironing board, pad and best western pen and of course a bible in the bed side cabinets. There was also a small glass coffee table with 2 comfortable chairs ideal for relaxing in front of the television. The channels available on the TV are the basic channels and there is internet access in each room for a charge.
And the four poster dark wooden bed with thick yellow drapes matching bed spread with contrasting cushions and bolster. the matress was springy and comfortable but the bed was creaky probably with age. I lay there (because obviously the first thing you have to do is try the bed) thinking the bed was fit to be in a stately hall museum and then began pondering how much dust may have been on top of the bed urgh! I didnt check but the rest of the room was clean and comfortable. the decor was modern paper with large patters in keeping with the theme of the room and age of the building. I noticed a small patch of damp above one of the wardrobes in the corner of the room near the windows but this seemed expected with the age of the property. the large sash windows oinlty opened a fraction probably for health and safety reasons but htere was no draught as there was another layer of thick glass which were on sliders infront of them. The room was warm and welcoming. The en suite however was a little basic and tired and could do with retiling and as you would expect from any hotel clean white fluffy towels and free shampoo and shower gel and soap.
Having inspected the room to our satisfaction we ventured off out into the city. Parking is usually a problem in Lancaster but the hotel has a small private car park. Arrive early to avoid disappointment at busy times. We were lucky as we visited in January and the car park was empty even at 2pm. Expect that your car will be blocked in for the duration of your stay as the spaces on one wall are marked to park 2 cars back to back. If you are able to park on the left or right of the entrance gate you should be ok however there is little room for manouver.
The loaction of the hotel is ideal for city visitors as it is central and as soon as you cross the road you are in the city centre.
Lancaster hosts a market place where you can buy locally sourced products and craft items. there is a large selection of shops and indoor market. the shopping centre is padestrianised and has quirky alleys to access other shops and cafe's.
The nightlife has pubs to suit every taste from quiet pubs wuth roaring fires to music venues and typical town centre clubs and pubs.
The hotel was quiet and we were not disturbed during the night with any outside noise.
We didnt eat at the hotel even though dinner was served at approximately £10 per head and room service was also available.
Breakfast ws included in the price in the large dining room on the first floor. We were greeted with a smile and allocated a table for 2 by the huge windows overlooking the city centre.
Fresh orange juice and coffee were served to you and breakfast was buffet style help yourself. There was a variety of breakfast options available from pastries, yogurt, cereal fresh fruit to a full cooked english breakfast. My only criticisms were that the toasting machine was unoperational and we had to wait for eggs. Other than that the quality of the food was good. My other grumble was that half way through eating our breakfast we noticed a chef bringing out toast to tables obviously they had requested it but it would have been helpful that we were advised this was an option.
checkout was easy at 12 noon with helpful staff to answer any queries.
Luckily we were able to get our car out but we noticed others were blocked in.
we booked the room online through booking.com and received an amazing deal of £39 for the room for 2 people with full breakfast included. For a city centre location you cant argue with that.The discounted room was probably offered at this rate because it was January but all in all we would have paid more for such an ideal location, parking and breakfast in such an authentic period property. i think it is rated 3 stars and it is worth every one of them!