An interesting stay at the Windmill Village
Windmill Village Hotel, Golf Course and Leisure Club (Coventry)
Member Name: shoe_gal_84
Windmill Village Hotel, Golf Course and Leisure Club (Coventry)
Advantages: Good food, location, leisure facilites
Disadvantages: Inconsistency of service, cleaning in room, lack of fridge
I was booked into this hotel through work as I had to attend a 3 day training course. I had expected to be booked into a 3* hotel in central Birmingham so was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had 3 nights in the 4* Best Western Windmill Village.
I drove up from Norwich after work and knew that the hotel was on a dual carriageway. The sat nav found the road for me, and then I was stuck AND it was dark! I spotted the hotel eventually, on the other side of the dual carriageway - how incredibly frustrating. I had to continue driving for about 5 minutes down the dual carriageway until I could turn around and return to the hotel.
I finally arrived and couldn't wait to get checked in! I was dark when I got there so I can't comment on what my first impressions were, all I was saw was the large car park attached to the hotel that is free for guests. As I was travelling for work, I was fully laden and had a wheelie suitcase, my wheelie laptop case as well as my handbag and a carrier bag. It seems that you cannot access the hotel from the side where the car park is, meaning that I had to walk around to the front. This was a little frustrating as I was tired and cold and just wanted to get there. It was also a pretty uneven surface, meaning that my case and laptop bag took a bit of a battering and I struggled a bit.
When I entered the hotel, I received a warm welcome from the friendly receptionist. The reception area was nice and bright, I could see a nice, public area with comfy sofas. I was given my room card to room 308 and headed off. There was a lift as well as stairs (phew!), so I took this and came out right near my room. My first impressions were that the room was a bit dated, but looking back, maybe I was being a little harsh. I had just come back from a weekend in a modern hotel in London and think it was a direct comparison! The carpet was a hideous mustard colour with a blue pattern on it and the furniture was a little dated, but it was fine. The room had the biggest bed I have ever seen and had a proper wardrobe, table and chair, writing desk and sideboard. There was also a TV unit with a flatscreen LG TV - this had all Freeview channels on it.
The room had tea and coffee making facilities, which was great, but I was a little disappointed that there was no fridge. I had brought a bottle of wine with me (to save money) and ended up having nowhere to keep it cool. Most importantly though, the room was very clean.
The bathroom was a good size and had a bath with a shower over it. I also REALLY liked that there were miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion. I went to use the toilet and there was something sitting in the bottom of the toilet (not what you're thinking, but not sure what it was!). I flushed the toilet and it went, but it was just a shame that I had to get rid of it!
The room was always cleaned when I got back from my training and the bed had been made. However, I used one of the glasses on my first night and found that the next day, it hadn't been replaced with a clean one. I tried to leave the glass in a more prominent position; however, even after leaving it out for a second day, it still wasn't replaced. As I wanted to use the glass on my third night, I ended up having to wash it up myself which I thought was a bit bad for a 4* hotel!
It is possible to get free WiFi in hotel rooms. You just need to get a code from reception and it is possible to access the internet free for up to 24 hours. If you are staying longer and need more internet use, you can just pick up more codes from reception - I ended up with 3 different codes and had free internet for 3 days - brilliant!
It had been dark when I arrived, so when I woke up the next morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had a view from my window over the golf course. I'm not especially keen on golf, but it was so nice to look out and just see green and not a car park or a wall!
Breakfast is served from 6:30am until 9:30am in the Fairways restaurant again. I was greeted by the friendly waitress from the night before and taken to a table overlooking the golf course and brought a coffee. There was a good selection on the buffet - typical fried breakfast, pastries, fruit, yoghurts, cereals and toast. I had a fry up and it was fairly average, pretty much what you would expect from a hotel breakfast. The only downside was that I wasn't given a teaspoon with my coffee, so had to stir it with a knife!!!
Breakfast on my second day was ok, although the waitress was clearly more interested in the business men in suits than me. She took one look at me and dismissively sent me off to find my own table. Most of the tables had been used and not yet cleaned, so I managed to find a table for 4, which had one remaining place setting. Today, I wasn't offered a tea or coffee until I was about to leave. I politely told the waitress that it was a little late for coffee and left - not a great experience.
I was on a dinner, bed and breakfast rate, so on my first night, I made my way to the Fairways restaurant for something to eat. I was greeted by 2 young girls and instantly felt uncomfortable - one of the girls was lovely, but the other looked at me as if to say 'you're here on your own?'! I was taken to a table and sat down and ordered a diet coke. The restaurant was fairly large and I guessed that they serve the breakfast for there as part of it was set up for a buffet. One thing I noticed was that there was no music in the restaurant; I found this a little uncomfortable as I was seated near a large, noisy table and could hear everything they were saying. We are usually allowed to claim up to £20 per dinner on work expenses and I soon realised that this would make things very difficult. The food all sounded lovely, but the average price for a starter was £6-7, the cheapest main was £12.95 with the most expensive being £18.95 and desserts were £6-7. I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be having 3 course meals on this work trip and ordered the sea bass (£15.95). It was typical of a 'posh' restaurant and the food came all stacked up in the middle of the plate with a few carefully placed dollops of sauce around the edge. It was very tasty, but there wasn't a lot of it unfortunately! On my way out of the restaurant, I asked one of the girls what was actually included on my dinner, bed & breakfast rate and she told me that I am entitled to a 3 course meal. I didn't feel as though I could go and sit back down and demand my starter and dessert so I chalked it up to experience and thought I would treat myself the next night!
The following evening for dinner, I joined a table of 3 colleagues who had just ordered. The restaurant manager seemed to be incredibly stressed out; although I didn't think that the restaurant was overly busy. I had to get up and order at the desk as I was left waiting for quite a while. I ordered a glass of water, which I never received - very frustrating. I ordered vegetarian enchiladas which were nice, although it was really annoying that I didn't have a drink to wash it down with. We finished our meals and asked for the bill - the manager asked if we could go over to the desk to sort out the bills as he was getting in a muddle. This was a little annoying, and it seemed that the service really slipped as he was so stressed.
Dinner on the third night was a fantastic experience. A colleague and I had a starter and a main course, the restaurant was a little quieter and we received excellent service. The food, as usual, was to such a high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
One of the things I was most excited about with this hotel was that it had a swimming pool, steam room, sauna and jacuzzi. There was also a gym and 18 hole golf course, but these weren't quite so appealing! I went down to the swimming pool, signed in and got my towel. The changing room was quite spacious and was nice and clean; I put my things in the large lockers and went into the pool area. The first thing I spotted was the showers, there was a pad on the wall and you had to wave your hand infront of it to make them work - amazing! The swimming pool was nice and everything was very clean; unfortunately there were quite a few people there when I went and there wasn't really space for everyone to do lengths (there is probably space for 4 or 5 people to do lengths at a time). The jacuzzi isn't really a proper jacuzzi, it is joined on to the swimming pool so uses the same water. It has seats around the outside and does bubble up, but because it isn't particularly warm, it just doesn't have the same impact as I was hoping for. The steam room and sauna were both lovely - both rooms were fairly large and had fairy lights in the ceiling which I loved! Both served their purpose perfectly and I left the swimming pool feeling incredibly chilled out and relaxed.
I was here for a 3 day training course, so I got to experience the conference facilities. We were only a small group of 7, so were in the Blenheim Room which was the perfect size. The staff were incredibly attentive and brought in fresh tea, coffee and biscuits 4 times during the day, which was a god send! We had lunch in the restaurant and were assigned a table; it was a buffet style lunch with a salad bar for the starters, either beef stew or salmon for the main and then a very rich chocolate cake for dessert. The only downside to the location of our room was that it was a long walk to the toilets (about a 5 minute walk if you don't get lost). Overall, I found the conference facilities to be very good. There were a lot of rooms available and almost all of them were in use while I was there, so it's obviously a popular venue.
My room was initially booked on a bed and breakfast rate of £85 per night. This seemed to be fairly standard for hotels in this area and I think that it was pretty reasonable considering that you could use the golf and leisure facilities within this. It cost £20 per day to upgrade to dinner, bed & breakfast which could include a 3 course meal a day - this is definitely worth doing if you are planning to eat this as a 3 course meal is likely to come in at just under £30!
I found it really bizarre that some aspects of the hotel really lived up to the 4* standards - eg. the food, the location, the leisure facilities etc. But some aspects were really lacking from a 4* hotel - eg. the service sometimes, the standards of cleaning the room, the lack of a fridge in the room. Overall, I have given this hotel 4 stars as I had a good stay and enjoyed myself. But some areas were not quite up to the standard that I would have expected from this hotel.
Summary: A nice hotel, but lacking in a few areas.