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I have stayed at two Innkeepers Lodge's, both were in Greater London - Beckenham and Croydon South. Innkeepers Lodge were created in about 2001 I think and they have 70 lodges as of Spring 2004. They are budget lodges, however, provide a comfortable, clean, refreshing experience of hotel, and have great value with all the facilities that you need. Unlike the other 'budgets', Innkeepers Lodge has 3 different styles of rooms (Travel Inn, Premier Lodge and Travelodge, all have 1 style of room, although some are still being refurbished into the styles.) In the 2004 Directory (and all the others up to now) have pictures of each of the styles of rooms, and they are also shown on the website www.innkeeperslodge.com BOOKING Booking, in our experience has been very easy, we have been 4 times, and we have tryed both ringing them up, and booking via the net. Booking by phone is on 0870 243 0500, and they are open 7 days a week. On a Mondoy-Friday, they are open 8am-8pm and on Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm. On Bank Holidays, they are open from 10am-4pm, but they are closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Alternitively, book online on www.innkeeperslodge.com and you can securely register, so when you book again, you log-in and info will be completed fo you. When you arrive at the lodge, you pay for your room on arrival, and other purchases as you make them. Then, when it's time for you to leave, you just drop your key at reception, and off you go to wherever you are going! FACILITIES All Innkeepers Lodges are lodges (gosh! suprise) that are attached to a Michels and Butlers pub and restaurant - either Toby Carvery, Harvester, Vintage Inn or Ember Inn. At Beckenham and Croydon, they have Toby Carvery, which have great fod, at a reasonable price (could drop it a little on Sundays?) but doesn't have a great choice of food, but then again, it is a carvery. I will say a little later about food in an Innkeepers Lodge. Some Innkeepers Lodges h
ave a reception, but then agin, some don't and you check-in at the bar! CHECK-IN As said above, check-in is either at reception, or at the bar. Check-in is usually quick, although once, there was a problem with a computer, with the irritating 'Page Cannot Be Displayed', the receptionist apologised, and, to be honest, it wasn't her fault! (Don't you just hate it at your computer when it happens!) At Innkeepers Lodge they have proper keys (in our experience) instead of the key cards, but they are still good. ROOMS As mentioned at the beginning of the review, Innkeepers Lodge are different, as not every lodge has the exact same look of rooms (some of the others ie. Premier Lodge and Travel Inn, have one style of room in all hotels, but are refurbishing some to offer that style) Innkeepers have 3 styles, modern(ish), in-between modern and classic and 100% old-fashioned. Fortunately, I haven't stayed in one with the old-fashioned look (see, I only like contemporary) Beckenham has the modernish style, Croydon has the in-between look. However, every one has the exact same facilities, and in our experience, they have always been VERY clean. Family rooms, ahev a double bed, witha sofa bed. Not the nice sofa-beds like most Travel Inns and Travelodges have, but those ones which are heavy, and the bed pulls out from inside the sofa, and is really heavy. Still, fairly comfortable though. They all have: An ensuite bathroom, most, apparently just have a power shower, with sink and toilet, but some have all the above and a bath. You are proved with Toilet Roll, Large Towels and Dove and Lux fixed to the wall (aw, none to be able to take home!)They also have telephone, tea/coffee making facilities, hair dryer and comfy beds. They all also have SKY TV, although, looking at the Directory, Maidstone, and South Queensferry don't haveb SKY TV and must have Terrestrial or Cable. They are all well decorated, but I prefer the more m
odern style (the 1st picture). The 2nd style is very good though. Very good rooms. Oh, they also have wardrobes (duh!) and hairdryer! BREAKFAST A FREE continental breakfast is included in the price and that is taken in the Restaurant. a buffet is provided and has Kellogs Creals, Yoghurts, fresh fruit, fruit segments, fresh bread, toast, warm croissants, preserves, fruit juice and tea and coffee (subject to availability). You can help yourself, and go back for more, but please leva some for everyone else! Yep, a rather nice way to start the day, from 7am to 9.30am Mon-FRi, and 8am to 10am on Saturday and Sunday. And it's all FREE! FOOD AND DRINK Food and Drink can be taken in the Toby Carvery, Vintage Inn, Harvester or Ember Inn, next door. The Directory and website tells you what each lodge has. We had Toby Carvery in both lodges we tryed. Food in Toby Carvery is very tasty and filling, and is very good value for what you get, but can get extremely busy on Sundays. The menu is not much more than Carvery, with maybe a few more things extra, but all are vegetables ect. OK, but you couldn't really go there every night if you were staying for a few nights! I have a review on Toby Carvery, if you wantto check-it out. Haven't tryed the others yet unfortunately. OFFERS AND SHORT BREAK IDEAS Innkeepers Lodge has a great offer which they started in 2002, and has been so popular, that they have extended it, even up until now. The offer is say Friday Night and Saturday Night and get the Sunday Night (and of coure add, but pay for any additional nights!) This is great value, and, if you're like me, and enjoy going on long weekends every now and then, this will allow you to extend your stay from a two nighter, to a three nighter, and maybe even more! Breaks are available from £29.95 per room pre night, and include complimentery breakfast. Remember, some rates maybe more than this, but I don't think they're too bad.
Also, Innkeepers Lodge, do short break ideas, where you can subscribe on the internet, or just look on the page on the internet, and has ideas to make a perfect leisure break at a certain time. Thanks for reading, remember, like Travel Inn, Premier Lodge, Express by Holiday and Travelodge, all Innkeepers Room Rates are per room pre night. OVERALL Overall, in my experiences, Innkeepers Lodge has: -Great Value -Spotlessly clean -Clean, Comfortable, Cosy bedrooms, with all the facilities that you want, and maybe some other things -Next to great restaurants -Friendly staff -Free Breakfast, which is rare at budgets -Great comfortable Breakfasts. So, if you think, ooh, I would like to try one of the lodges that belongs to that ever so generous Innkeeper, have a look on www.innkeeperslodge.com and look around, and maybe order yourself a directory
WARNING, THIS REVIEW MAYBE TOO LONG SO READ WHEN YOU ARE COMFORTABLE AND HAVE TIME! (or skip the info about Virgin Atlantic part!) In February we went to New York (wahay!) for a week. We chose to fly with Virgin Atlantic as we?ve heard some great things about them, and have always wanted to try them. We stayed overnight at the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel (I?ve got a review about that too) and it was absolutely fabulous. So were Virgin, part of the Virgin group, onwned by Richard Branson, and has other ventures such as mobiles, holidays, trains, cola, the lot, even Virgin Active (leisure clubs). Firstly, before I start the review, I will give you a little info about Virgin Atlantic. I have put lines in-between the info and the review, so you know what part of this op is which! Well here we go!... ----------------------INFO ABOUT VIRGIN ATLANTIC------------------------------------ A NEW AIRLINE IS BORN! In 1984, Richard Branson set up Virgin Atlantic after having been contacted by someone for an involvement in an airline called BRITISH ATLANTIC. Richard, re-named the airline Virgin Atlantic and set off from London Gatwick to Newark Airport (New Jersey, Near New York, USA), they used a second hand 747-200. They were very successful, and were an integral part of Virgin, before Virgin Atlantic, Virgin were just a mail order record group. FLEET Virgin have a fleet of 13 (I Think) modern 747-400s, 10 A340-300s (3 have been sold, and I have heard that they are planning at selling more) and A340-600s (I?m not sure how many, but more are arriving soon, and all are really modern, the oldest was deliverded in 2002.) They also are one of the first customers of the A380 in 2006. They name each of their planes with names like ?Ruby Tuesday, Cosmic Girl, Tinker Belle, a new aircraft has been named by the Queen very recently ? The Queen of the Skies? a A340-600. They also have slogans like ?More Experience than our Name Suggests,? and
?You never forget your first time?. Funny airline. Forgot to Mention they have two 747-200s for Manchester routes. PRDUCTS Economy has a seat pitch of 31?, with choice of 3 meals, personal entertainment system, amenity kit, free drinks and more. Premium Economy has all this, aswell as just a maximum of 38 seats, 38? legroom, pre-take off drink. Upper Class is very luxurious, with a minimum of 55?, Clubhouses at most airports, own check-in, and even the majority of aircraft have on-board bars with stools and massage areas! Some aircraft just, apparently have a small bar, with no stools. Virgin are also refurbishing Upper Class with the brand new ?Upper Class Suite? which is the largest fully flat bed in business class, and has 79? legroom, a reclining seat for take-off and landing, and a bigger seat and bed than BA (which previously had the best Business and First Class ones) So, over the coming months, Upper Class will be even better. Virgin were the first airline to give passengers their own entertainment. They have 4 entertainment systems. Arcadia is the oldest and has 6 movies, 6 TV (I think) 9 Audio channels, 10 games and a telephone on the bulkhead. Nova has 1 TV(!) 8 Movies, 14 Audio and a telephone on the bulkhead. Odyssey has 10 Movies, 10 TV (I think that?s correct) 25 games and a telephone at every seat. V:Port, is a new innovative system which is video and audio on demand and has 50 Movies (Wow) 100 TV Programmes (Even more Wow!), 14 Audio channels, 35 CDs, and 15 games with a phone at every seat. With V:Port, you can even rewind, pause, fastforward your programmes, and nothing works in a cycle. They plan to refurbish their planes with V:Port OR Odyysey by next year, and both are really good, as I have experienced both! DESTINATIONS They fly from London Heathrow and Gatwick to USA, Africa, Caribbean, and Asia, they also fly from Manchester to Orlando (Florida, USA) Finally, now the review can start. Sorry about al
l this!!! ------------------------HERE?S THE REVIEW GUYS! ---------------------------------------OUTBOUND FLIGHT London-Heathrow to Newark Libery Int?l (NJ, USA, Nr New York) Flight Code: VS001 Time Depart LHR at 1600 hours, arrive at Newark at 1830 (Local Time) 7 housr 30 minutes. We arrived at check-in about 4 hours before. The check-in area at Heathrow is in Zone A of Terminal 3. They were checking in for various other flights including the Shanghai one. It was relitavely quick for Economy. There were security people sticking labels to the passports in the queue, I suppose to speed up check-in. Check-in was done by Virgin Atlantic staff (duh!) and they were very friendly and bubbly. After exploring the numerous shops and restaurants of Heathrow, it was time for us to make our way to the gate. We were boarding at game 34(I think) and that was in the new gate area of Terminal 3. On the boards it said that it is a 20 minute walk (crikey!) but in all reality it took us about 10/15 minutes. I would allow 20 though, because if it is busy, well, you don?t know do you. At the gate, we were called to board 20 minutes late, Upper Class and Premium were called first, and then us Economy passengers had to board (about 306 of us!!!). We boarded our plane which was a 747-400 (aka, the Jumbo Jet) and it was the registration of G-VTOP and was named ?Virginia Plain?. The slogan was ?You never forget your first time? Funny that, it was our fisrt time with VA! We were greeted by friendly cabin crew and we turned right to Economy, past Premium (we saw the Upper Class bar, oh and our plane had the brand new Upper Class Cabin with the Upper Class Suites, lucky Upper Class people!) Blankets and pillows were waiting for us (we were sat in rows 48 ABC if you want to know). We pushed back about 20 minutes late, and the rather funny safety video came on in the form of a cartoon. It was taking the mick of the usual ?In the unlikely e
vent? safety demos. The blankets said ?This is a flying blanket, please don?t let it walk? on the label, obviously saying, don?t steal it! Seats were comfortable for Economy. We pushed past a BA and BMI flight, has we had priority because we were late taking off. We took over towards the west, over the erm, lovely (only joking) M25, and along over Reading, Bristol, Cardiff (tried to see my house, but couldn?t!) and over Ireland, before cruising over the boring Atlantic (also known as ?The Pond?) The large amenity kits were handed out, and were in a drawstring bag and had all the usual amenities you want. Drinks were served regularly throughout the flight and were free. The first meal, served about 2 hours into the flight was a choice of Sausage and Mash, Beef Cobbler or Vegitarian Curry for Economy and Premium Pax. For us, only sausage was left, but it was my first choice anyway. It was really nice, and was served with salad, a Cadbury?s Flake dessert and a roll. There was also real glasses to drink from and I had Virgin Cola. The second meal was a snack and was a choice of a Chicken or Cheese Sandwich. I chose Chicken and it was nice. It was also served with a drink, tea or coffee, and a choc chip muffin. Oh, I forgot, the entertainment was Odyssey, and the screen was decent sized, and there was plenty of choice. I was not bored once. I watched My Family, School of Rock, and listened to V.FM with lots of great recent music, presented by Libery X! I imagine that the programmes will be updated soon though. The list of entertainment is on www.virginatlantic.com aswell. After the smooth landing, we taxied into Terminal B. Dido? White Flag?, Kylie?s ? Come into my World? and Sade?By your Side was also played, along with many more. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at New York it was really brill! INBOUND FLIGHT Newark ? London Heathrow VS002 Times: 2130 ( I think) depart, arrive at 0905 ( I think) <
br> We arrived at check-in an hour before it opened to make sure. But a queue was already forming. We were second in the queue anyhow! After being in the airport for a few hours (a good airport mind you) we were called fro boarding. By the way, Newark does not have a separate large departure lounge. The Duty Free shops are accessible to the locals. However, you go through the strict security before the gates, where you?ll find shops, toilets and a pub (small) We boarded, and were greeted by some more friendly flight attendants. I felt really thirsty on boarding and I wanted a drink. A glass of water was brought to me before you could say Virgin Atlantic! We took off (I think on time) We were sat in 35 HJK and we could see Manhattan from our window on take-off, one final look at New York for this trip (until our next time!) Seats in Economy were comfortable. Seats with V:Port have a larger screen (should I say huge!) and an adjustable headrest. Now, I think this review is long enough, so I wont write as much. The meal was again good, with a choice of chicken, salmon, and pasta and the amenity kit was smaller but still useful. Drinks only came round once, but you could go to the galley and ask for one. We flew on another 747-400 G-VWOW, ?Cosmic Girl, built in 2001 and it had V:Port. This system was excellent, and they are refurbishing it onto almost all planes in the next 12 months, with the rest having Odyssey, which is also good for an airline, and eliminating the not so good Arcadia nd Nova systems which are, so I?ve read still good. Virgin are an excellent airline (and an excellent group at doing everything else), so, I think, they will be my first choice next time I fly somewhere they do. Oh yes, they are also supposed to be going to Sydney, Australia, this year. Wish they went to Toronto though. They do have limited routes which is a downside. Nice modern livery on their planes too!
We needed to stay somewhere at Heathrow on the 15th February before our trip to New York. We chose holidayextras.co.uk which is an excellent site. Our rate was £80.00 inc. 15 days parking, which was a great price. Just incase you don't know, Renaissance Hotels are a brand belonging to Marriott Hotels. Marriott has 3 brands in the UK - Marriott (funnily enough!), Courtyard by Marriott and Renaissance along with Executive Apartments. I have always associated Marriott with luxury, comfort, cleanliness and great service. Well, I was right. My dad used to be a member of the Marriott Leisure Club at the Cardiff Marriott, which was great. My dad has also stayed at a couple of other Marriott's in the UK which have also been excellent and I was looking forward to staying at the Renaissance Heathrow, part of the Global Marriott chain. By the way, Marriott are a chain with nearly 3000 hotels across the globe. Anyway, on the 15th February, after travelling all the way from Cardiff to Heathrow, we arrived at the hotel (the hotel is next to the Heathrow Visitor centre, the road is just left of the British Airways Concorde Statue. In fact, we got lost, despite having the Marriott Directory with us, because the turn is rather hidden, you see it and then you miss it if you are not careful and end up going under the tunnel to the airport! Here are the directions from the Directory: From M25/J15 and M4/J15 towards Central London on M4. Exit M4 at J4 and follow signs to Heathrow Airport Terminals 1, 2 & 3 via the M4/Heathrow Airport access road. Straight over roundabout then immediate left to next roundabout. Hotel is the second exit from the roundabout. This hotel is actually the closest hotel to Terminals 1, 2 & 3, but, if your travelling from the distant Terminal 4, the Hilton is the closest one. As we were flying with Virgin Atlantic (excellent airline, but that's a different review!) from Terminal 3, the Renaissance was great.
Well, on arrival, we were met by a porter, who collected our baggs and put them on to one of those baggage, trolley thingies. This was great. My dad then drove the car down to the car park down the back. There was a bit of a queue at check-in but it was fairly quick. The staff were very friendly and they were helpful. Aswell as the usual key cards, reciepts ect. they (have to) give you on check-in, they gave a mini tobelerone for each person which was a very nice touch. The lifts are large and airy, not to mention, spotless like the rest of the hotel. We were on the 3rd floor, in a standard room. There was a double bed, for 3 people which I thought weird at first, but they came with a comfortable fold up bed for me. I think the max. occupancy is three but I am not sure. The rooms were tastefully decorated and had all the great amenities. This hotel has the 'Marriott Room'. It had sattelite TV in a cabinet, so you could hide the TV to make it look more tidy, a mini-bar (with a Pepsi which was about four months from it's best before date!), tea and coffee making facilities in a cabinet, again to make it look tidy, spacious work desk, en-suite bathroom and the normal things. The room were very comfortable, if not luxurious and flight departures and arrivals was on the TV. We didn't have the runway rooms unfortunately, but the hotel throughout was silent from engine noise for a great sleep. The towels were very plush and there was toiletries branded 're'. They smelt really fresh and were luxurious. There was also a washing line holder in the bath! The bathroom had hairdryer, loads of mirrors and shaving kits. There was also sowing kits in the drawers in the room. We did not want to leave, even though we were going to New York the following day. For both Breakfast and Dinner we had Room Service, reasonable prices, although can't remember how much. The food was cooked to perfection, and was really del
icious. The Pizza, Chips, Club Sandwiches for Dinner/Tea were great and the breakfast set you up for the day. All served with a smile. The bar is, I hate to say it, very expensive, it is very, very luxury hotels prices. But, then again, what do you expect from a 4 star which should be rated 5 stars! The staff were very friendly in here though, like everywhere in the hotel. This hotel does not have a Marriott Leisure Club, it just has a mini-gym, and a sauna, steam room along with a steam room which we did not use. There was a 'Barberella' hairdresser and a gift shop on the ground floor next to the lifts. Check-out was easy, and, agin done in a frindly manner. Collecting our car was done very easy. Would I come back to the hotel again - of course- YES!! It was so comfortable friendly and, in fact luxurious and so enjoyable.
I am actually quite stuck on this one. I hate smoking, yes I do. But then again, whilst it is dirty, smelly, and when they smoke by non smokers is disrespectful because it is dangerous to inhale the smoke even if you don't yourself, some people are stuck in it. They might have, when they were younger, got forced into it and wished they had not, and have (unfortunately) become addicted. I think that there should be more non smoking public places, decreasing the amount of smoking areas, but still with some places. After all, someone who is addicted cannot just give up in one second and feel great! I know a lot of people will badly disagree with this review, but I am not for smoking, oh no! I hate the thing, but it is not fair to those people who are addicted. To be fair, I really think, banning smoking on transport (aircraft, trains, buses ect.) is really acceptable, from both comfort and safety, mainly because you are in a confined (and in the case of an aircraft, pressurised and very sealed) environment, along with the dangers. Who would want to be stuck on any mode of transport with a far. Cars are another thing. What if you were smoking in the car, you crashed all of a sudeen and some petrol leaked - you would dead straight away. I am not thoroughly for or against this, although I've just got an idea. Why not start new programmes, where doctors speak to all of their patients and call appointments, so that everyone stops smoking. Eventually, I think it should be banned fully, with them not selling, some members of my family smoke, which I really hate, as I'm worried incase they will get all those health problems - lung cancer ect. but, as I said, health programmes for all smokers and, banning the whole thing. I know it sounds silly and impractical, but smoking, is a stupid habit, but, unfortunately, some people have been dragged in. Public places should have effective ways of keeping the smoking areas and non smoking areas, n
ot closed off (like a restaurant) fully, but keeping the smoke away from the non-smokers. I never have smoked, I don't smoke and never will. I hate it, you won't believe how much I hate it, but those people that do smoke, whilst are damaging theirs (and people around thems health) cannot give up - just like that! So, I whilst I say it should not be completely banned, I do hate it and always will hate it, but you cannot expect people who are addicted to stop what they are used to. Hospitals and Doctors should send out programmes to help EVERYONE who smokes stop, for their own and others around thems wellbeing and schools should extend the eductation to help stop teenagers falling in the trap. PS. In school the other day, in Science we learned about smoking and the smell that cae off the cigarrette was awful!
This August (2003) me and my family went on holiday to Zakynthos/Zante . We went with Airtours Holidays (part of My Travel) and like most of their flights, we went with My Travel Airways from Cardiff to the small airport that is Zakynthos/Zante. MYTRAVEL The My Travel Group was formerly the Airtours plc group. The airline, and the group has changed to My Travel, the main holiday company remains as Airtours amongst Aspro, Direct Holidays, Bridge, Cresta, Panorama, Going Places and more. My Travel Airways UK (there is another arm of My Travel in other places across the world) used to be Airtours International. I flew on them when they were Airtours and I have to say that they were good then but they seem to have got better. CARDIFF AIRPORT/CHECK-IN The flight was at 7.00am which was an early start (whilst we live in Cardiff, we still stayed at a hotel near there, which wasn't very nice- the Airlodge). The check-in arangment for My Travel is the best of the charters because they have the most flights (apart from schedules and low cost like bmibaby and KLM). MYT (the flight code for My Travel) have 8 check-in desks, but of course only a very small few were open! Going Places didn't have any baggage tags left so we had to just make do with the Airtours Holiday Plus baggage tags (an Airtours upgrade) which didn't have the destination and flight, accom. info on there but we just hads to make do. That's until the check-in staff gave us some Airtours standard ones which were sticky labels you tied around the handle. Check-in was relatively quick from handling agency, Servisair. We made our way up the stairs with the blue and orange shing boarding cards to be met by a blue and orange My Travel Airbus A321-200. I looked at the registration of the aircraft and I was glad- it was G-CTLA, a aircraft which was new a few months previously (I knew that because of this airliner website. The new livery l
ooks much better than the old Airtours livery. BOARDING Our flight boarded on time and we boarded at the same time as a Britannia to Palma/Majorca. We boarded on the airbridge (tunnel) of Gate 2 down to the doors of the aircraft. The cabin crew were very warm and friendly, they wore a blue and aqua uniform which was very smart, in my opinion. We sat in our seats, and we departed on time. The safety demo was very proffesional and was done without the video but with the cabin crew and the famous safety card in the seat pocket in front of you!. IN-FLIGHT Our TV above our heads wasn't working but the cabin crew gave us another row in 2DEF which worked. Now that, was very good because it shows that they want to help. The TV's were drop down ones on every four or five rows. The movie was 'The Core' and there was a selection from the audio channels. The headsets were £1.50 and were available to be kept forever. They were blue with the My Travel logo and were the ones that clip on your ear. They were two pin but could be twisted to allow to be used on one pin audio systems. You could also read the VIP- Very Important Passangers magazine which also featured My Travels fleet of aircraft and 'Retail Detail' their inflight shopping guide. The meal was a hot breakfast. Airtours Holiday Plus passengers get a free meal, Economy/Standard passengers get a free one in Winter 2003/2004 but from Summer 2004, you have to pay. All other Airtours and other company packages you have to apy aswell. The meal was nice by plane standards. It also featured the usuals like orange juice, roll, tea or coffee The bar service was good with tea and coffee available to purchase along with the other usual drinks and snacks. They also gave out the usual shopping services. DISEMBARKING We soon disembarked and we stepped in small Zakynthos/Zante airport. They are building a new terminal soon
though. By the way, Zakynthos is a greek island if you don't know that. RETURN Everything was just as good as the outbound on the same aircraft. A different crew were also very friendly, showing that My Travel are quite consistent with staff quality. The meal, was a choice for Holiday Plus from Airtours with others getting a cottage pie or shepards pie or something like that. (The choice was made before we travelled. We didn't have a choice on the way because it was morning.) Movie was 'How to lose a Guy in 10 days' alond with the audio channels and magazine. A perfect end to a great holiday. My Travel Airways is, in my opinion a good airline. Some people think that they are terrible in punctuality but they seem to have been getting new aircraft like ours (the staff said it was new) and both our flights arrived early and departed on time. Also, do not get confused! My Travel Lite is part of My Travel but offers a differend 'no-frills service'. My Travel is a full service except for the pay for meals unless in Airtours Holiday Plus. I would without hesitation fly with them again. Thank-you anyway. I hope my review was very good and I hope that you found it very useful.
Toby Carvery is definately one of my favourite restaurants. I think most have a Toby Motel which I do not know about but some have the new budget brand- Innkeepers Lodge. I have stayed at one of these and am staying again in one soon and both have Toby Carvery(some have Vintage Inn, Harvester or Ember Inns). I would write a review but it doesn't seem to be on dooyoo. Anyway the restaurant part is great, I simply love it. Why? Well keep on reading, see why I love it and maybe go there and you'll probably love it too. There is also one by me. I have been to 3- Beckenham(the one with Innkeepers Lodge), Cardiff Gate(one by me) and Cwm Ciddy(near Cardiff Airport, has a Toby Motel). On the outside of the buildings they vary. Most have pink walls with wooden beams but some have there own. They are not olde worlde like Vintage Inns but not silver, glass modern either- just a pleasant style which calls you and grabs you in. Step in to one and you will be greeted by a porch with boards saying welcome and has info on some. The decor is not modern and not traditional. It does have a traditional feel but also has a modern style. Just medium I would say. You will see pictures on the wall. Most of them are photos of stars from Carry On films. They sit with you while you have a meal! The staff are pleasant and when you sit down will ask you what you want- well they give you the menu's and let you have time to yourselfs first. You will see in addition to the Carvery menu Starters, Appetisers and a Childrens menu. On the weekend they have a different menu but still has the same on The Carvery. If you chose the carvery then they let you get your meals. They also have a childs carvery too. The prices are more than reasonable. They are super value! When you consider all you can eat carverys for about £7 then you will realise! Thye will cook the meals and bring the drinks. If you have the Carvery which is what they are so famous fo
r then make your way to the Carvery. The Carvery is open all the time and has fairly modern patterned tiles. Be warned! I stayed at an Innkeepers Lodge for 4 nights and when I went down on Sunday there was a huge queue! Sundays are very busy because that is when most people have a roast dinner. You can have it all the time though which makes it great! When you make your way to the Carvery it is a sight to savour. Firstly is the chef who carves your choice of 3 roasts- Turkey, Gammon or Beef. Grab a plate and tell the chef what you want and he will carve and serve. The walk along and help yourselfs to the trimmings. You may feel like eating broccoli, cauliflower, carrots or aenjoy the delicuious roast potatos or mash potatos. There are many more vegetables and you can also help yourself to yorkshire puddings. Then, compliment your choice of 3 roasts and/or 8 selections of vegetables with yorkshire puddings with sauces and gravies on a stand very adjacent with the carvery. Sit down and tuck in! Feel like more vegetables or sauces and gravies? Go back and get some more! One downside is that you may regret it because you will be really full afterwards! It is easy at the time though! If you do feel like a dessert after all this(you will probably have room if you do not keep on going back for more) and there is a seperate menu of desserts and teas and coffees. So if you can, indulge on a ice-cream or chocolate cake or unwind with a nice cuppa. Maybe you want Hot Chocolate instead of tea or coffee or maybe a more luxurious coffee like a latte. WARNING! Try this ONLY if you have room- thats the cakes and ice cream not the drinks. So there you have it- Toby Carvery. I would like to write a review on Innkeepers Lodge so if someone could tell me how to suggest a product then please tell me on a cooment. Actually, I will give you a little bit of info on Innkeepers Lodge. They are part of Six Continents Retail but not the hotels(weird
). They are either next to a Toby Carvery, Vintage Inn, Harvester or an Ember Inn. Unlike other budget brands hotel room styles vary. You can see the 3 styles that are available on the internet and on the bottom of the inside of the 'Collection Guide'. They have facilities which are good and most only have a shower although the Croydon Lodge said they have baths too as we asked them(I am staying there soon). The showers are great and flexible too, they also give you dove and lux dispensers as soap, shampoo and showergel. They can only be moved by housekeepers so if you like to take things home then no chance. I do hope that all Innkeepers Lodges are good and they keep there standards up. PLEASE Innkeepers Loge always be great like you have been. They also give yoy free breakfast in the room rate and at the moment have a ' if youre break includes a Friday and Saturday stay Sunday night for Free' offer. They don't call it that but that what it is really. So, please Toby and Innkeepers LOdge keep up the good work- great service, great standards, great value and be spotless and functional and have great. I will update this at anytime my opinion has changed. Enjoy youre meal!
Now, Virgin Mobile haven't been going for long- I think it was 1999. They are not there own though. They are a joint venture between Virgin Enterprises and T...Mobile(formerly one2one). They have there own tarrifs, own wap/info service, own pay as you go voucher, own logo, own check how much credit you have service(if on pay as you go) the only thing different is that the coverage and reception is through T...Mobile(I think). I got my mobile for Christmas 2002 and I have written a review about it- The Nokia 3410. I did put a bit of information about Virgin Mobile but I will dedicate this review to V Mobile. I really like the virgin group- V Atlantic, V Trains, V Holidays and even a not so famous Virgin Cola! When you get your phone it will come in a red box with someone at the side looking as if they won the lottery. On one side of it there will be a Manufacturers list of featuares.(eg. I had Nokia because my phone was a Nokia). Virgin list the phones features on the other side. There will be a silver tape securing the box and it says, "security seal, don't touch". Now you are allowed to open it when you have bought the phone(obviously!). Inside will be your manufacturers guide with how to use your phone. Then there will be a pack with a sim card in attached to a card with your phone number. It tells you what to do at the top- "push me out put me in", clearly meaning push the sim card out and put it into the phone. When you open the next bit of the pack it says, "turn me on", which means simply turn your phone on. You will then come to a guide called, "JOIN". It provides information about tarrifs of V Mobile and how to use there services. Another product you will find is a flimsy plasticy case. On one side is a quickstart quide to your phone, again with somebody looking as if something really really great happens. There will also be an insurance guide and a helpline booklet in the case. The
case is smart. The tariff is the same for Pay as You Go and Pay Monthly. They do not have off peak, peak or Weekend charges like some other crafty networks do. Wap and standard calls cost 15p per minute for the first 5 mins each day, 5p per min thereafter. This is quite good. Calls to other networks is 35p. Text messages is 10p which is what most networks cost. They also have VirginXtras costs which are like 10p to 30p. To use VXtras you do not need WAP. A great useful feature is that to use VoiceMail, you do not get charged for this. If you have Pay and Go though, it is weird because you still need airtime left even though it is FREE. The tarrifs are good because of no Peak, Off peak and Weekend charges like most do- 50p some networks do on Peak charges. Thye always give you £5 airtime on pay as you go to get started. VirginXtras is super!!!! There is no more- I need a WAP phone to listen to information. They have a number of 4321 which is voice activated. You do not speak to a live person but you speak to a recorded person who goes through options. For example if you say Entertainment it goes through a list of enteratinment options. Watch out though! Because you speak to a recorded person you need to say the topic carefully as it is Voice Recognition. They have sport, news, entertainment, horoscopes and lots more! If you have a WAP phone then you can use that for VirginXtras. Alternatively you can ring a number for each topic by selecting VirginXtras on your phone munu and scroll down the topics and select the one for you. The number will dial. I honestly do not know if you speak to a live person or what as I never tried it. I have tried WAP and Voice Recognition. They are both great! On the internet, you can register your phone. Alternitively you can ring them up on 789 or on there Customer Service numer. They have a mail order for registering in the JOIN pack. You can have a password on on the internet you type in your mob. number and you
r password and there is a lot of services. If you go onto VirginXtras when your logged in you can set up for free TXT alerts for your favourite thing- lotto numbers, music news, latest news, whats on at your cinema, whats on telly, horoscopes, sports(selection), new albums, albums and singles chart and lots more. So, even if you haven't got a WAP phone you can still see Sports news, scores, music news, whats going on and loads more- it's so inovative! To check your balance if you've got Pay as You Go then dial 789 and they give you how much airtime balance. Whatever payment method you are on you dial this number and after your balance(if you've got Pay as you Go)it will take you to a menu where you can do a lot of things. As for reception- it is good. They cover about 98% or even 99% of the country. On my phone and I imagine on everyones it shows the level of reception. It looks like the battery power meter. Occasionaly you get poor reception or sometimes none at all but this depends on your position and location. I imagine all British Cities have good coverage as mine does and most towns and suburbs(my house in the suburbs is fine) will I suppose too. Rural locations may differ- some being great while some being poor. Don't forget it is only 1% or 2% of the country with not very good Virgin Coverage. It shows on the website and the brochure a colour coded map of The UK with dark red being good and extremely light being not that good. The internet I think has a feature where you type in your PostCode and it tells you if it is good or not. I have heard quite a lot of complaints of the V Mobile service but if you look- most of them are in 2000. I hope those people if you still have a V MObile phone have found them good and I hope anyone who buys them find them good. They also have some great offers too- My phone was supposed to be £99.99 but when you bought £20 airtime they gave you the handset for £79.99 which meant you
still spent £99.99 but that had £20 airtime plus the free £5 airtme they give you all the time- offer or no offer. That was a Christmas offer and they always do offers. Another fun service from Virgin- Every Virgin(or most) including this has funny brochures and products. There Christmas Mobile brochure was set out like a Theatre Play saying- "My my what big offers you have- all the better to thank you with!. Well done Virgin!
Here I am again, writing about Travel and City Guide-Why? Well, I love going on holiday, travelling by plane or train and staying at hotels. Well, my mum at the time worked in the Moathouse Cardiff. You may think that what has Moathouse Hotels got to do with Holiday Inn hotels. Well, the Holiday Inn Bristol along with a few others is a Moathouse associate and has shares with queens moat(owner of Moathouse and Moathouse associated HolidayInns along with other European hotesl). A lower rate was given as a result. This hotel is featured in both the Holiday Inn brochures and the Moathouse brochures. Don't get confused, there is another Holiday-Inn in Bristol-Filton with that name and is a Former Posthouse with(probably) the Posthouse look. This one is just Holiday Inn Bristol. I stayed in December 2000. It was a mix of a usual Moathouse aswell as Holiday Inns own products. LOCATION The location couldn't have been better(well!). It was down the road from Bristol Temple Meads Station although we took the car. It is on a street called Victoria street which is a pleasant street. It is near the centre of Bristol and we walked to the centre. PARKING The parking was underground. Yes, it is that kind of a car park, do not think it will be grand like the lobby. It is a normal concrete car-park. There is quite a lot of parking spaces and looking at the Moathouse Events brochure there is 150 spaces. When we got down there teh radio of the car had no signal. That's OK because it won't be long before you get out into the hotel. LOBBY You can access the lobby by a short flight of stairs or a lift from the underground car park and it takes you directly there. Or, you can enter by the doors at the front of the door. When we arrived at the lobby, it was very grand and luxurious looking. Creams gold and pleasant furnishings were all there with a sparkling floor. To be honest, the lobby looked very posh. Oppo
site one side (the long side) of the desk was an area of ultra-enveloping sofas and armchairs with menus and tables. It was a very warm, bright but not in your face setting. Alternatively there was a lounge in the bar area which I will tell you about later. Check-in was quite quick and the staff were wearing Moathouse uniforms because of what I said earlier- an associate moathouse. They were also very friendly. To one side of the desk was a Moathouse WorkBase- a secretarial service with photocopying, faxing and more. The lobby is what I call classic- a mixture of modern and Art DEco/Traditional leaving a not modern-not traditional feel. LOUNGE, BAR AND RESTAURANT Opposite the side of the reception desk was the Jack Spires Lounge, Bar and Restaurant. The lounge is what you come firstly. Actually, it is the same as the lounge area opposite the long side of the reception desk with the same sofas, armchairs ect. They had huge lamps which is the same as the other lounge area. Although the lamps were large, they were subtle and were not anything to cause a headache. They just lit up the places neccessary. The sofas and armchairs were huge and they gave you a cuddle. It was very, very relaxing. As our stay was aroung Christmas eve they played Christmas carols and songs. The bar was next to the lounge and had drinks, tables and chairs. Well, actually this lounge was part of ten bar so we took the drinks to the more than comfortable sofas and armchairs and let ourselfs be luxuriated. The decor is classic- not modern, not traditional. Just a warm relaxing blend of navies, greys(nice greys mind!) and other colours. The restaurant was alright but not great. It was actually a fair dissapointment. We ate there in the evening and they had a normal menu and a 'Noble Nosh Up' which was Moathouses Kids menu brand(this hotel should just become a Moathouse). The prices wer the usual hotel level. The portions were rather small and it won'
t be long before you are hungry again. Well, it wasn't untill we were. It is in a nice setting though. The same decor strikes you like in the lounge. The breakfast is absolutely spectacular though. An array of fresh pastries like bakers baps, muffins, danish pastries and juices, fruits, toasts or croissant and preserves are available at the buffet. Then the waiters/waitresses ask you if you want a Full Cooked breakfast and the buffet or you just want the buffet(Continental). They also ask you if you would like Tea or Coffee and they then cook it/make it for you. The moathouse near me (Moathouse Cardiff) has small portions while normal Holiday-Inns usually have good portions. The breakfast was great though! CORRIDORS Corridors are accessed by either stairs or lift. The corridors are again in what I call classic with wallpaper of white and a light creamy gold stripes. The corridors were quite wide. ROOMS The important factor of a hotel. The room was in the usual hotel layout- a wardrobe on one side, the bathroom on the other with a large area ahead with the main area. I think I will start at the bathroom. It was quite clean although bits of fluff were on the floor- anoying! It was clean in no-time though and the bathroom was then pleasant. White tiles were in the bathroom. On one side was a marble vanity unit with a built in sink. There was a larke mirror above this fixed to the wall. The toilet was directy ahead of the door as you came in to the bathroom. The bath and shower was opposite the sink. There was a towel rail which housed the free towels and they supplied toilet roll. The toiletries were not Holiday-Inn toiletries, and I bet you are thinking they were Moathouse and they were, although Moathouse toiletries are not their own- my mum worked in one and they had the same as this hotel- Dove and Lux. Thats right. Unfortuantely- I like taking freebies of a hotel home as you are allowed to but these
were attached to the mirror above the sink and under the shower. Oh, well I can't get greedy. The cleaners replenished as they had a key- my mum worked there remember? The bathroom had two spotlight halogens above the sink and a larke built in flush light on the ceiling(that's what they call them). The lights came on at the same time and were operated outside the bathroom. The room itself was quite large. When you came out of the bathroom you are greeted by a wardrobe with doors and next to this is a unit with the Tea and Coffee making facilities with biscuits and hot chocolate aswell as the usual tea bags, coffee beans and kettle. In the main part of the room was the beds- we had 2 doubles and a single. They were very comfortable but had a bedpread which made them look nice but those awful blankets and sheets. Don't worry as I have heard that both Moathouse and Holiday Inn are upgrading there hotels to have duvets- I don't know if they are in all of them yet though. The beds had a headboard if you wanted to know that. The dressing table was opposite the bed and had drawer space and a mirror on the wall. Next to the dressing table was a cabinet with drawers and had a TV with all Terrestrial and Sky News, SkySports and Nickelodeon( I watched that!). They also had Pay Movies- expensive as usual! They had hairdryers, trouser press, armchairs and table along with a chair for the dressing table. The window was the usual one which opened about a few inches which is good so people don't go falling out of the window! They had curtains too(a silly bit of info I have given you isn't it. There was a full length mirror and a luggage rack. One dissapointment was that there was a bit of dist and cigarette ends behind the bedside table, although that was soon cleaned by my parents you should have everything spotless the moment you arrive. It was alright though. Lighting of the room was OK but could have been brighter. On
walking in the room, there is a swich which operates the flush light built into the ceiling in the entrance area- it was bright there. This switch also operated two lamps built on the wall on both sides of the dressing table mirror. Each side of the double bed had it's own switch which operated it's own lamp above both sides of the double bed. Single beds have a lamp above the bed on the wall. All can be turned on seperately and the beds also had a switch which operated the main lights(dressing table and entrance). There was also a stand up lamp on the floor near the window by the armchairs. Lighting in all good places but not brilliant. There could have been a spotlight or some more but it was not bad. LEISURE FACILITIES The hotel had 'Body Club', Moathouses brand of gym and sauna area. Some Moathouses have 'Club Moatavation' with swimming pool, gym and most have sauna, stea room, spa and treatmant rooms. The leisure centre was on the top floor. It wasn't suited for me because under 16's or 18's aren't allowed to use the gym. This wasn't bad though. Normal Holiday Inns have either 'Spirit' or an individual name. MEETING AND EVENT There was a few conference suites dotted around on floors and there was 'WorkBse' a Moathouse Product of secretarial serices. HOW DO I KNOW THE INFO? I know the products because my mum worked in a moathouse and I have every brochure going. I love any excuse for getting away from it all and look at products and services. This hotel is on the Moathouse site and on the Holiday-Inn site. On the Holiday-Inn site, if you go on Accomodations when on info regarding Bristol Holiday-Inn. UPGRADES You can upgrade to an Executive room or suite with additional luxuries. Also, the upgrades are not Moathouses upgrade but Holiday-Ins brand. Moathouse upgrades are Crown Rooms and Holiday Inn are executive. OVERALL Well, I loved m
y overnight stop on the day before Christmas Eve until Christmas Eve to visit friends and family at Gloucester. I loved relaxing in the room after it was dusted more(should have been fully dusted before though) and the lounge and bar. The restaurant was only good at breakfast although always tasty. You can go on RO rate- pay for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Or BB rate- Free Breakfast but have to pay for Lunch and Dinner. DBB gives you breakfast and dinner free but not lunch. All offer complimentary access to rooms(obviously) and Body Club. You are always entiteled to thr restauraunt but have to pay for what wasn't included in the rate. Hope this was very useful and hope you enjoy any Holiday-Inn or Moathouse! Thanks. If it is possible writing a comment or rating this would be well appreciated.
I have stayed at a few Travelodges in the past and my family have and they have been excellent. One of the Travelodges I stayed at does not seem to be in the directory(Widnes). My recent trip was in October 2000 to the Travelodge Docklands and it is still in the directory. I stayed for 3 nights. The location wasn't brilliant at this one. One good thing is that in this side of London you have the Dockland Express which connects you to various places. Opposite the lodge was the station. Small but modern, the station was good. The trains were abit like the underground but more modern. Behind this, opposite the hotel was the Thames and guess what- right opposite the Travelodge was The Millenium Dome sat on the River Thames. Of course it is closed now though. The hotel itself is very modern. In-fact there is a picture of it in the directory on the page with this lodges map. It is silver metal building and looks new. There is a car park and then there is the door to the lodge. On your right is the reception desk. It is a beech colour desk with light blues and dark blues. Also, Travelodge has the same or similar decor at all hotels. And the style is my favourite- contemporary. I love contemporary style and this is being introduced in many hotels like Holiday Inn, TravelInn, Premier Lodge, Moathouse and even some Thistles by the look in there directory. Well, I am talking about the reception of this lodge so before I start blabbering on about these others lets get back to where we were. Next to the reception is shelfs in some stands. There are toiletries, sweets, chocolate, drinks and more. You could also have an ice cream from reception. To pay for these items you paid at the recption too. Opposite reception was blue armchairs and a beech table to sit at. Then there was a large open doorway into the restaurant. Most Travelodges have some high street brands such as Burger King, Little Chef, Moto (the old name for Granada Service sta
tion with many shops and eateries) and more. N ew City Centre Travelodges have Bar Cafes which are a rippy offy restaurant. Some hotel restaurants have been not so rippy offy but a few have, The Bar Cafe was no exception. It was bright, contemporary and had blues, oranges and whites with friendly staff but for big prices you got small portions of food. I think that the desert I had was bigger than the main course! Lucky I had a dessert then. They had breakfast which was like TravelInn with buffets of Continental or Full English. They had large floor to ceiling windows if any of you wanted to know that! There was a lift and stairs. The corridors had that fresh yet smokey hotel smell. I have found this smell in all hotels and it is not like smoke but it does have a hint, yet they are fresh and also have a nice smell too. The room was quite nice. All Travelodge rooms have the same decor at each hotel although size and shape differ like at any hotel. This is due to obvious reasons becaus eof the shape and size of the building itself. My room was in the usual layout of a hotel with wardrobe on one side, bathroom on other with a large area up ahead for the main part. In-fact, the usual layout can be seen in the directory. Travelodge styles can be seen in the brochure or on the web. The white(ish) walls with light beech colour furniture and blue fabrics. The wardrobe was open air with hangars for you. Rooms were en-suite like all Travelodges and all hotel chains and most other individuals The bathroom had a toilet, sink, bath and shower. They gave you complimentary toilet roll, towels, soap and shampoo with showergel/bath foam. The towels were huge white ones too! You could wrap yourself. The soaps and shampoos all ahd the Travelodge logo. The bathrooms sink was on a vanity type unit with a mirror on the wall. The bathroom was fairly clean although- unfortuanately, the ceiling had mildue which looked like it was f
rom the room above because of that rooms floor bein g wet. The bathrooms were tiled. The light was operated from outside the bathroom, opposite the wardrobe. The bathroom was not the brightest- the only light it had was a flouresant tube light above the mirror, hidden at the front by a blue pannel. One member of my family when they went to a new one in Warrington had more lights consisting of halogen downlighters/spotlights. The room itself was nice. In the main area was a dressing table which was in a light beech colour and had a rectangular mirror above it. On the dressing table was a hospitality tray with a white kettle, cups, and pot with teabags and coffee beans. On the other end was a TV with the five terresrial channels aswell as a few satellite like Sky News, Sky Sports, Eurosport and Cartoon Network. The TV was a medium sized portable. Not small but not big either. The dressing table had an easy chair which was blue with light blue patterns- can't remember what pattern- sorry! Then there was the beds. The rooms have a double bed(king or queen in most Travelodges) and I know from the internet that they are luxurious hypnos beds. A company which to me surely make ultra-comfy beds. Family rooms like we had also have a sofa bed which has the main part of the sofa and under the mattress is another single bed and rolls out with wheels. The rooms have blue duvets with dark blue horizontal and vertical lines with light blue in between the lines. The pillows are white with the white sheets. There is also a beech colour headboard. The sofa is blue with light blue patterns. There was bedside cabinets for the double bed. They are beech with drawer space. The lighting consisted of 3 switches has you entered the room. One operated the bathroom light, one operated the built in "flush" light(thats what they call them I think) in the entrance area and the other operated the flush light in the middle of the main room. The
re was also wall lights with lamp shades on each side of the mirror which were operated by the hospitality tray along with a switch for the main room light. There was one of these lamps above each side of the double bed. Both were operated seperately from each side of the bed along with the switch for the main room light. Although Travelodge rooms are identical one Travelodge I have been to had square bed lights and dressing table lights. Other facilities were windows with blue curtains and the rooms were great. One downside though- the headboard was dusty when we got in the room. I would reccomend Travelodge if you want to save money yet get a nice room for your base. They do not have room service or leisure facilities and you do not have that superior feeling about yourself like you do in big hotels but I still love to think that I am in a hotel no matter the facilities as long as it is good, clean and had good service and is part of a chain of hotels. Don't forget that Travelodge has about 300 hotels which is great! The staff were OK but some are not great while others are superb! I have not used this company since Oct 2000- I have used others like Holiday Inn, Travel Inn and Innkeepers Lodge since and do not know how they have gone however on dooyoo they sound good- look at the others and you will find out! Yes, I do reccomend.
I love London. It is my favourite place in the UK. Why? Well, it is an exciting place to get away from it all. Now, I love breaks and holidays. I love just getting away. London is thoroughly reccomended to anyone wanting to escape on a Leisure break for any duration. There are more than enough hotels although I look and stay at well known brands like Holiday-Inn, Thistle, MoatHouse, Marriott, Hilton, TravelInn, Travelodge, Innkeepers Lodge- you get the picture. I haven't stayed at all these brands but a few and I always look for them aswell as other brands I haven't mentioned. The biggest hotelier in London is Thistle Hotels which are 4 star luxury hotels. They have them covered with 24 London Hotels looking in my Thistle brochure. I also like to stay on the borders sometimes like in Croydon or beckenham and maybe even Heathrow. Some private ones though, you may have to watch. Dont forget Thistle has other ones apart from London! Wining and Dining is easy in London with High Street brands like Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds, Harry Ramsdons and all the high street brands. They have privately owned ones which some can be nice, some might not be. Transport is absolutely great. You may choose to go by Bus which are red usually. Or you may chhose the London Underground which maybe better than buses because of no traffic but I hate the low down ones like the Bakerloo line. Gives me the shivers. There are taxis and in some areas overground train services. People, like always varies. i like most London people as they are down to earth usually. Of course, as it is a big City, you get a wide range of people so some maybe not nice but I find most people are. Attraction wise, there are loads of things to do. I absolutely love The Tower of London because of it's fascinating attractions. This is next to Tower Bridge on the River Thames. Also on the River Thames is The London Eye. This is good although when you first go up you
may feel sick. I felt better when we were higher up than when we were escalating- weird! There are loads and loads and loads more to do. Hundreds. Oh, i also like The Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Museum and many more. Overall, this is a truly Spectacular City. London is steeped in History and combines Old Elegance and Museums with Contemporary style too. So if you like oldy worldy things or museums then come or if you like more contemporary, modern style things then come. I like modern style but am fascinated by the museums. Happy travelling! PS I always go there 1-2 times a year and I love it!
Yes, that(the title) is true- well for me anyway. Now this book is the first Harry Potter book and there are a lot of reviews on this anyway so you may find this all the same. The book starts off introducing you to the family- well Harrys Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon and how can forget Dudley, Harrys spoilt cousin. These three are really vile! Dudley is a very, very spoilt brat. Greedy, nasty mean and loves to torment and bully Harry. On Dudleys birthday, you may laugh at this, Dudley counts his presents. When he thinks that it is 36 his face falls. He had miscounted them and there was 37. He was angry. I won't tell you anymore because it would be giving the story away. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia really pamper Dudley. They treat Harry as a Prisoner and makes him sleep under the cupboard although this changes in the next stories. They still mistreat him and really, deep down are scared because they know that he is a wizard. The main plot of the story is that, Harry thinks that he will be going to his school but oh no, he is told by Hagrid that he is a Wizard and that he has to go to Hogwarts. Non-magic people like you and me (I think!, joke!) are not called mortals like you would think. They are called muggles. And so, after a lot of letters posted into Harrys house, but Uncle Vernon not letting Harry open them, decides to go to this horrible old shed on this lighthouse place where there is a storm thinking that the letters will not reach them but oh no! Hagrid, a big magic man comes and barges into the little hut. Hagrid is very, very annoyed when he finds out that Harry has not been told that he is a wizard. He gives him a special treat because it is Harrys birthday which Harry has never had before. Then, a few days later, Hagrid takes him to Diagon Alley, a secret place which is where all people attending Hogwarts get there equipment. It's the big day- Harry is attending Hogwarts. The
train departs from Kings Cross at Platform 9 and three quarters. He doesn't know where it is and asks Rons mother. Read the book to find out how. On the train, Ron sits on the seat opposite Harry and they become friends. Talking and eating then comes Hermione who chats and becomes friends with them too. And so, exciting adventures leave from there where Harry, Ron and Hermione investigate to find about the Philosophers stone. I will not tell you anymore because you will want to find out the adventures and excitment that pop up to greet you in the book. WARNING Some people who adore adventure and magic books may find that magic is needed to close the book. Your eyes will be put under a spell that you keep on reading 'till you sleep. The other books are good and the Goblet of Fire is a very large book and the books after that are rumoured to be even bigger. It is now April 2003 when I am writing this and the latest book is supposed to be out soon. Happy reading and make sure your brain has magic power to help you stop reading. a great book to introduce you to Harry Potter. I am on the Goblet of Fire at the moment and there are loads and loads of pages- about 600- phew! Thankls for reading!
The Virgin Megastore Cardiff is situated in the Capitol Shopping Centre(That's the name of the Centre). Capitol has had a slight refurbishment and has a lot of stores. The largest is Virgin Megastore. If you enter Capitol at the end by Churchil Way then the Escalators will take you up through to Virgin although there are doors at the end so you can get out. Virgin takes up a large part of the bottom of Capitol and all of one end of the upstairs. There is a lot to choose from such as music, electronic games and mobiles. Music is set in different places. If you want classical music then you will find a seperate place on the upper floor. All other music is on stands with titles like Pop, Rock, R&B and more. You will find information on where things are and what the best records are on the boards. You will also find stands with a CD in with headphones where you can listen to that CD. If you are looking for games then they have seperate places for types of consoles. They have a wide range of games to choose from which means that whatever you want you have a high chance it will be there for you. Sorry if you yourself didn't find what you wanted- I did say a high CHANCE. Upstairs is the mobile part of the store which sells Virgin mobile. This section is near the doors. They have V mobile catolouges and a stand with model phones which are attached by a string. Underneath each model are leaflets which are free telling you information on that phones features. There are also phone accessories. Overall, Virgin megasores is a compliment to the Virgin group. I really love the Virgin group because all of the products I have tried such as Trains, Mobiles, coke and more have really been good. So you have such a high CHANCE of coming out of the store with a smiling face. The staff are also helpful. There is a lift and stairs if you wanted to know! Thanks for reading and if possible please rate this re
view and write a comment. Thank you!
As you may know, Posthouse in 2001 were taken over by Six Continents Hotels(formerly Bass)and most have changed to Holiday Inn with a few into Crowne Plaza. Unfortunately, a few couldn't and have been sold to other groups. I went a few months after the aquisition and it was still a Posthouse(April 2002). It is now the Kensington Close Hotel which was what it was known as before it was a Posthouse in 1996. Anyway, the hotel was in the Posthouse porfolio style, you know, the contemporary style with leather chairs. This is the Holiday Inn portfolio now and I think will stay as it shows most of the room pictures in this style. Well, want to find out more... OUTSIDE It isjust off Kensington High Street and a 10 minutes walk down the other way will take you to Earls Court. The hotels facade is well Victoriany or 1930's ish. Inside it is ultra modern but with one oldy pub. It looks rather grand, I do personally prefer modern, but as long as the inside was modern the decor was fine. RECEPTION AND LOBBY When you walk in you will notice that the carpet is a dark redish purply colour to make you know this was a Posthouse Hotel. On the left was a reception desk. The lobby was modern yet stylish and made you feel as if you were in a big hotel. The Mid shaded brown wood for the desk was nice. Oh, and we checked in at 0900 am.(The coach arrived early see) and check-in isn't usually ready until 2 pm. We were checked in though as our room was ready. Of course sometimes the rooms may not be ready and you may have to wait. The receptionists are friendly too. On the opposite side is a handy shop serving all items like a newsagents. On walking to the shop from the main entrance, you will pass a Concierge Desk. You will also pass a leaflet desk. RESTAURANTS AND BARS This hotel has 3 of them, yes three. There was the Greens of Kensington and Biancone now changed to The Carvery and The Grill Room. If you walk right of these and past the Po
s thouse lounge then you will come across to Marloes Tavern which, despite Posthouses Contemporary look was an old-fasioned Pub. We had a drink there and it was nice. Sorry but we never went to the others. Also, if you are on a BB package or DBB package then Breakfast in the restaurant was included and you can choose from Continental or Full Cooked. We had Breakfast in the Room which is not included in the price even if you go DBB or BB. I will talk about Room Service later on. ROOM SERVICE This was good. You had a menu. We had a Posthouse menu although you will have a different one due to change of company. You can have Room Service Breakfast which you complete a card and choose what type you want and how many, then you put what time you want it delivered. Although it was around £14 for Continental it was well worth it if you wanted to wake up and luxuriate. Instead of rushing early to get a shower, dress ect. you could just wake and collect from the friendly waters. Watch telly too, sit in a nice chair or watever. This is the norm in big hotels nowadays. Obviously not in Travel Inns but in Holiday Inns, Moat Houses, Thistle, Mariott, Hilton and probably the Kensington Close aswell as other big individuals. Well, this hotel I think is part of someone called Cola Holdings. THE LOUNGE Before you got to the Marloes Tavern, you went past the lounge. Fitted with contemporary Posthouse new portfolio feel, with warm reds and oranges. I have learned that designs in the new style, although beings same design and patterns have diffeent colours. You can have blue and cream or green and black and more. The lounge was great and had a lounge or what they called "house" menu. It was all leather(or most). It was a great setting for a great light meal or when there is a drink crying to be drank wanting to meet your tongue. Oh, how I do love exploring a hotel. SPIRIT HEALTH CLUB This was Posthouses own brand or well now Holiday I
nns. G o to www.spirit-fit.com for info. It has changed to breathe health club at this hotel but I e-mailed the hotel a few days ago and they said that the hotel has the same decor so the look info and facility wise in this review is probably accurate. It is located just before Marloes Tavern and is down some stairs. You can access it from one end of the room corridors for even easier access.You will find a door. On one side is vending machines, a passage to the gym and chairs and tables along with female changing rooms. On the opposite side is a reception desk and a blue floor to ceiling unit with a television. The decor is fresh with blues, aquas, whites and light wood colours for the wood. If you need to use the changing rooms then you need a pound coin which, whenever you unlock the locker, the pound returns back in your possession! So you are not actually paying for the locker, just hiring it. If you haven't got a pound coin then they are happy to give you one. If you walk on from reception you will find the male changing rooms, the female are on the opposite side from reception. The changing rooms are modern and feature lockers, hairdryers, toilets, sinks, toiletries, shower cubicles and even saunas. Yes Saunas! This means that one sauna was for males only and others for females only. Please!! read the safety advice too, on reading it, there is useful info. Out from the changing rooms was the swimming pool and more. There was fresh colours. Next to the male changing facilities was a steam room for all genders. Then there was the luxurious spa bath. Oh, the spa baths(or jacussi's as they are sometimes known) are bliss! Warm water which bubbles which warms you and relaxes you. After about 10 or 20 minutes it goes off and you need to press a button at the side of the jaccusi to start it, there is no harm done! It is easy as 123. Alternatively was the big swimming pool which was a great place if you wanted to do proper swimming, sma
ll swimming , or splashing out with family or friends. Around on one side was the loungers which were blue. Oh, the peace of the health Club. Don't forget that they provide safety info on all facilities and they give you clean free towels which you put in a built in laundry bin in the Changing Room(s). They also have beuty treatments, massage and a gym. BUISNESS If you are on buisness then they had the Academy which is Holiday Inns own buisness brand. In the Kensington Close, as it has nothing to do with Holiday Inn has changed to the Alchamy or something like that. They have break-out areas, lounges even there own reception. I know this because of the internet of Holiday Inn UK. I didn't go in there though. CORRIDORS You could choose the lift or stairs in between the restaurants and reception. The corridors were bright, airy and modern in decor. They were quite clean but not absolutely spectacular. BEDROOMS An important one. Bedrooms should be nice. The ones at this hotel were OK but dissapointing as other Posthouses had great rooms. As we walked in, although in the contemporary new Posthouse look were cosy but not WOW! They were extremely small. We had a standard room but The Superior Rooms are supposed to be bigger so a definate must if you come to this hotel would be a Superior Rooms. On one side of the room was a beech colour wardrobe with doors. The layouts differ I think, thats why I said ,"on one side". On the opposite was a luggage holder which was good. Above this was a modern photo. You know the ones with no picture but ones with just colour all mixed. Next to this was a mirror. The mirror was full length and if you slid it across, then it acted as a door to the en-suite bathroom. The bathroom was a long shape. On one side was the toilet and they gave complimentary toilet pper. The opposite side housed the sink with soap and mirror. In between the toilet and sink was the towel
rail. They gave you complimentary towels. Opposite the rail was the bath and shower. It had a white shower curtain with one small stain. They also provided you with shampoo and shower gel. The lights were operated outside the bathroom and had halogen downlighters. The decor was co-ordinated in a pattern which went like white tile, pale green tile, white tile, pale green tile and so on. At the top was red and gold tiles. The mirror was circular. In the main part of the room was the bed. They were quite comfortable and had a Bedspread and blankets on(I prefer duvets so much). Behind the bed was a coloured inset which can differ. Our inset was a terracotta. There is a lamp above each bed and on a double bed I think above each side. All bed lamps are controlled seprately. Next to the bed and wardrobe was the dressing table with table lamp. They had drawer space with hotel menus. There was a round mirror above the desk. The lamp could be controlled by the table. If you are wondering where was the TV then, because the desk being next to the bed, there was a unit with 3 spaces. The top space had the TV with all terrestrial channels a couple ot sky and info services. In the space under that is the Mini-bar although in this hotel you needed to ask housekeepeing to open it because it was locked unless you asked. We never bothered. Under that is the Tea and Coffee facilities with kettle, teabags and sachets. For ease of operations, it slides out of the unit so you aren't banging your hand on the top of the pannel. Next to the unit was a hole with a radiator in it which you could take out. The decor of the room was contemporary yet warm. There was also a hairdryer by the desk and a trouser press. The carpet was a bit bitty and the nets on the window were a wee bit dirty. Nothing dramatic but the hotels rooms could have been cleaner. Of course it is in London and it is busy but that is not much of an excuse. The cleaner was a bit rude too. There was a light i
n one corner and a downlighter near the door which both come on at the sam e time. The rooms were nice but the clesaning wasn't brilliant. The Superior rooms from reading the old Posthouse Brochures have flexible lighting duvets with throw(in Holiday Inns now but maybe with bedspread), bathrobes and neutrogena toiletries and more. There were also suites. OVERALL Overally I would reccomend this hotel. Remember, Most Posthouses have changed to Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza and a few have been sold like this one. It is on wrights lane. The hotel at present has the same style as before so don't think that because it has been sold that it don't have all the Posthouse feel. Holiday Inns have adopted the Posthouse look and I think may keep them. I was very dissapointed with the rooms though, they were small and had worn carpets, dusty net curtains and marks on the showercurtain. Fortunately, it wasn't big dirt but could have been better.
At present I am in school and PE is compulsory. I absolutely hate it. Words can not desacribe my hate for PE. Most people like it and think- Oh it makes you so much healthy but for some people does not make their mind healthy. Some of you reading this may have really adored it, some of you liking it but still thinking it should not be compulsory, hating it but thinking you should do it or hating it and is totally against it. It may make you healthy but it certainly doesn't build confidence. There are around 30 in my class and most like it. Now I know that most people like it but you do get your few who do not like it. I am not a lazy cant be bothered to do PE type but a genuine "I hate this" type. Now those people for Sports in school- Did you like it in school? If you did then think for a moment, have you, or did you have something you did not like in school and would rather not do? That is what some people are like. Many of you who are for it are for it because you like it or liked it. You may not have full understanding of what it feels like to not like PE. PE should be optional, for those people who DO want to do a PE lesson during school time then do so but for those who do not, they should be allowed to go to a library or something. After all I would rather study more for something useful in later life such as English or Maths instead of wasting valuble education playing something which can be done as an after school club or during play-time. I would also rather get my hole-work done in that time rather than doing PE and then having to waste your own free-time doing homework when you have spent lots of hours doing work in school. Also, about confidence building- I am not very confident and PE certainly doesn't point me into the direction of confidence- I think it nastily pointed me into the other direction! I mean, all these things about health problems are true but if parents were really concerned
about it and they weren't doing PE then they should organise a voluntary after school PE club. Also, it sometimes doesn't make you slimmer anyway. A good idea would be basic excersise like running on the spot, the treadmill ect. Why sports and dangourous gym? Why do you have do do Football, Rugby and Netball for the girls aswell as Tennis. If you wanted to be in a club or play that when you were older then sign up isn't it? Kids are active(mostly today anyway), I know computer games are played a lot know and I use the computer very frequently know but Kids do play ect. I mean, it is not as ifd 24 hours a day you are satb down and only move about 5 times in a day into the kitchen about 3 metres away. Confidence should be important too. Do not think,"well it's un-confident peoples fault they are not confident", because confidence does not suddenly come. And for many people Pe doesn't add confidence, it takes it off and it it just stupid because of this reason. I am not fat or anything but everyone should watch their diet. After all, I love swimming and when I go on holiday I swim ALL DAY. Swimming is very good exercise too. My school does not have this facility though. And if it did, leisurly swimming would be better. Infact, I suppose schools should do exercise but NOT TOO HARD. I think that it is a little bit too much. We have to do handstands of boxes in gym! I think we should do basic exercising like running and similar but not things like hanstands off boxes and things like that. If people want to do these things then, they can choose. I do think you should have some exercise but have a choice of what you do instead. Overall, I am in High School and I can tell you that if you do not like sport it is not good. Lots of my friends hate PE too. It's not 1 in a million people who do not like it, it is about 1 in 10 or even 1 in 20. PE does not make you confident so that is that
. Thank you for reading. Please if possible could you write a comment and rate Thank you.
Some of you may know that I wrote this review in 2003, and didn't rate Britannia very much, with an all round poor service. This review was based on my experiences in 1998. I have just returned from a Thomson Holiday with a Britannia flight - and they were excellent this time! So, I like the airline now! First, some info on the company. Britannia is part of the 'World of TUI', created in about 2001/2002 which owns companies all over the world. TUI UK own Thomson Holidays, Lunn Poly, Skytours, Portland Direct, Travel House and many more, and of course- Britannia! You will also notice, Britannia's livery is changing to fresh blue and white, with the red logo, and the 'TUI' smile on the tail, with only a few aircraft with the awful 'classic' Britannia livery. At the end of 2003, Britannia started to call the charter operation 'Thomson operated by Britannia' and aircraft are being replaced by the small Britannia logo, with a large 'Thomson.co.uk' logo, with 'operated by Britannia' in the nose. They also recently launched 'Thomsonfly', their low cost operation. Uniforms of TUI companies have all been standardised, and are very smart I must say. Now to the flight... BY196A BRISTOL-CORFU AUGUST 1st 2004 BOEING 757-200 AIRCRAFT REGISTRATION OF AIRCRAFT: G-CDUP Thomson.co.uk TUI livery. Arrived at airport at around quarter to 4 in the morning on Sunday for our 7:40am flight. Check-in was very quick and efficient. Bristol's new terminal (opened in 2000) is very nice and modern, glass and silver, very open with many shops and restaurants like Burger king, WHSmith and many. Whilst I like Cardiff Airport, I think Bristol has a bit more, and is busier, so has more of a buzz. Just my opinion. Boarding was on time. I was happy to see an aircraft painted in full TUI colours with Thomson.co.uk, very nice, I would of hated that awful old livery! Boarded a
nd seats were the World of TUI fabric seats, with stripes of blues and very thin colours. Staff were all friendly and it was in no time before doors were closed. The new TUI uniform is very nice, with light blues, dark blues and light yellows, better than the other one with all those different colours everywhere! I've heard though on the internet that the 757s will be fitted with new '777' interiors and leather seats in October, lets wait and see! The safety video was shown, and we were soon on our way. The flight to Corfu should take about 3 hours, but it was around 2 hours 40 minutes. It was unfortunately announced that the entertainment system wasn't working. Oh well... Food arrived after around 45 minutes and a very good breakfast for us who had paid for it was given with all the cooked breakfast items in (even Bacon!). Also was a roll, melon, tea and orange juice was on the plate with something else that I can't remember. If you didn't book a meal, then Skystore has some snacks to choose from, but we had a meal so it didn't matter to us. Skystore was served (shopping) followed by a drinks service shortly before landing. I bought a model 757 and 767 in TUI livery, but with the smaller Britannia/TUI logo, rather than the large Thomson logo. They said that they have only just changed, they will be stocking the thomson ones soon. Oh well. We landed safely onto sunny Corfu (a lovely island) where the TUI livery looks even better! We disembarked, into the quiet airport of Corfu as it was a Sunday. The holiday at the Hotel Athina, San Stefanos (NW CORFU) was superb! Service from Thomson was very good too! The return flight: BY196B CORFU-BRISTOL BOEING 757-200 G-CDUP THOMSON.CO.UK TUI LIVERY This flight was also excellent. Not much different than the outbound fligt rather than it was 3 hours, drinks were before the meal, the entertainment was working and the meal was a
beef stew, with a berry/strawberry tart with custard and a roll, and of course tea/coffee served afterwards. entertainment was movie Jersey Girl, Creature comforts and friends with audio channels. Headphones were £3.00 but you could keep them. Britannia along with Thomson Holidays and the World of TUI overall was excellent. Let's see if the 757s are fitted with leather seats then. They also operate 767-200 and 767-300s as wide bodies. We are flying them again next year to the same place and hotel. keep up the good work! oh, remember, that my original review of BY was bad, so that's why comments may say this and that I was 8 when I flew. I was 14 this time, and the flights were very good. Is my review as good as the original?