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I have stayed in three different Premier Inns over the last two years. In December 2010 I booked to stay in the Premier Inn on the Liverpool Albert Docks when I took my husband to see John Bishop at the Liverpool Echo Arena for his Christmas present. There was a special offer if you booked so many weeks in advance you only had to pay £29 but you would have to pay this if you cancelled. If you book the normal tariff, you can cancel your accommodation on the day you are due to arrive if you have to and don't have to pay anything. The Liverpool Albert Dock Premier Inn is the best one I have stayed in. The hotel is literally two minutes walking distance from the Liverpool Echo Arena. We also went into town to do some Christmas shopping which was only a ten minute walk away. There are lots of lovely bars and restaurants around the docks and I would recommend it if you fancied a night out in Liverpool and a cheap night's accommodation. You get great value for your money. What I like most about the Premier Inns is that you know you are going to get a nice clean room, a comfortable bed, and a great breakfast. The ones we have stayed in have had modern bathrooms with showers that work properly rather than the ones that drip water on you and it takes half an hour to wash the shampoo out of your hair! What I also like about the Premier Inns is the staff. They are polite, friendly and helpful and this has been the case in every Premier Inn I have stayed at. I would have no hesitation recommending a Premier Inn to anybody and would definitely stay in one again, especially this one.
My husband and I stayed here with our two daughters. We had not booked to go to this hotel and did not know we were going there until two days before our holiday. We had originally booked to stay in a different hotel on another Island in Cuba that friends of ours had stayed at and said was beautiful. Two days before we were due to travel, Thomas Cook cancelled our booking, bearing in mind we had booked this holiday thirteen months before. We were offered the Guillermo as an alternative, it was the only one available with the same dates and flights so we took it. The pictures of the Guillermo in the brochure were lovely, the beach is a long stretch of pure white sand and the rooms looked spacious and clean. The pictures showed a lovely restaurant and there were two other restaurants on the complex. When we arrived it was obvious that all the people who had booked into our original hotel had been shipped over to the Guillermo. We had to queue for ages to check in then discovered that our rooms were not ready. We were all hot and sticky and desperate for a shower and a drink, we headed for the bar whilst we waited for the room to be ready. We had to queue at the bar for ages , the staff were miserable and they wouldn't allow the men to have lager in pint glasses, they had to have little plastic cups. Not a good start! We were eventually shown to our room which was right by the pool; we had booked adjoining rooms for our two daughters but were told there were none available in this hotel so the girls were next door to us which I was not happy about. The rooms were horrible, dirty, old and scruffy looking with hardly any storage for clothing. We had two drawers and a rack made of rickety wood to keep everything on. The bathroom was disgusting and there were no towels. I immediately went to reception to complain but was told there was no other accommodation available and that I would have to speak to the rep in the morning. On a positive note, the beach was just as it looked in the brochure and the pool area was lovely. Things did not improve when we went to the main restaurant for our evening meal. When we arrived I thought we had gone into the staff canteen, it was the most unattractive restaurant I have ever seen. It was huge and the noise was deafening with the amount of people in there. There were no clean tables, no cutlery, no plates and no food left. We had to queue for a table and queue for food and we couldn't get a waiter to serve us a drink. On top of this, there was no air conditioning and it was boiling hot. The whole experience was horrible. We decided to try one of the other restaurants the following evening and were told that we could only go to the Italian or the Al a Carte restaurant on two occasions each during our stay. The Italian restaurant was right on the sea front which was lovely but there were birds everywhere, landing on the tables, pinching food off plates and eating from the salad bar. The pizzas were burnt and the pasta was over cooked. We had more luck with the A la Carte restaurant which we loved. We used our two vouchers in the first week because we could not face going to the main restaurant. Luckily our two girls had vouchers and did not want to go there so we used theirs the following week. The entertainment was brilliant for the kids but there was not a lot for adults. I also have to say that we had a number of items taken from our veranda. We made a formal complaint during our holiday and then to Thomas Cook on our return. I would not recommend this hotel to anybody unless they have had a major overhaul of the rooms and improved the quality of the food since we went.
This is the first time I have bought a mascara that actually does what it says. It has a specially designed lid that allows you to apply a thin coating for normal day to day use or a lovely thick coating for special occasions. I must admit, I was confused when I first opened it and couldn't figure out how they got two brushes inside one tube but then realised it is the same brush but it goes through two different sections of the tube, if you use the top bit, it removes more of the product from the brush giving you a thinner coating. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it not only lengthens eyelashes, it thickens the appearance of them. I also have quite sensitive eyes but have not experienced any stinging or watering eyes with this product. I was so impressed I bought it for my daughter and she loves it. I have bought my second one but the other one did last me for over two months.
I have read nearly all of Martine Coles' books and this one is definitely my favourite so far. The story had me gripped from the beginning. I couldn't put it down and found myself sneaking up to bed earlier and earlier every night so I could read it (sad!!). This is the first book where I have actually felt sorry for the bad guy, Phillip Murphy. His character is strangely endearing, he adores his mother and is totally besotted (in a sinister sort of way) with his wife Christine who is suffocated by his obsessive controlling behaviour. The whole family is brilliantly portrayed and the storyline is full of surprises with plenty of nasty bits thrown in of course, it wouldn't be a Martine Cole novel without the gory bits. There is a sinister edge to this story which keeps you guessing all the way through as to what is going to happen. I was nervous reading the last chapter, nice twist at the end. Martine Cole is a brilliant writer and I'm only sorry that I am now half way through the last of all her books. I don't know what I am going to read in future, she is a hard act to follow.
I was offered this phone as part of an up-grade to my contract three months ago. I am no expert on phones, sending a text message involves a lot of concentration on my behalf, but I had just got used to my little pink house brick and was managing quite nicely until it broke. I was pleasantly surprised to be offered a new phone from Vodafone on my contract, especially as I only phoned them to see if they could fix the one I had. The sales guy convinced me to have the Samsung GT S5620, he told me it was a lovely little phone with loads of extras and a touch screen which I would get used to and would never want to go back to my old house brick! Well, I can tell you that three months down the line I am no closer to loving this phone. It is true to say that I panic every time it rings or when I get a message. I can't seem to control it. The touch screen facility is hit and miss, you literally have to hit it to make it do anything and most of the time you miss what you wanted!! It is very pretty though and the camera is quite good. I have asked a number of my friends who are experts in the phone world to have a go on my phone to prove that it is my own inadequacies that are causing the problem, but no, they all agreed it is one of the worst phones they have ever tried to operate. Oh, and the Wi-Fi doesn't work!
What a great day out this is. I reluctantly went with my two daughters and one of their friends; my husband is too much of a wimp!! We had a great day, I amazed my two girls, I'm secretly a bit of a wild chick at heart! Anyway I loved it. Nemesis is my favourite ride, I went on it twice and we didn't have to queue for very long. We went on Rip Saw, Rita, the Flume, Thirteen, Oblivion, well actually I didn't quite make it on to Oblivion but only because they closed it for technical repairs just as I was being dragged forcefully into the queue. I have to say that even watching that ride made me queasy! My youngest daughter and her friend went on it; they queued for about an hour but said it was worth it. Although it can be quite pricey, £40 each, there are lots of offers and vouchers available on-line so we managed to get two for one. Seriously, I would never pay the full entry fee. I was very pleasantly surprised by the choice of food available in the park, and more so by the price. A few years ago they had some grotty café which used to serve greasy slop and would cost you a fortune. Two of us ate in Burger King and the other two ate in KFC and it only cost £20. It is not really the sort of place you want to be carting a picnic round with you all day so I thought this was very reasonable.
We visited Chester Zoo at the weekend and had a lovely day. The park has changed over the years and is a lovely relaxing place to visit with the family. However, I do have to criticise the charging system for entry to the park. The price board shows two lots of prices, one is the standard charge and the other includes a donation which is around £2 extra per person. This is a great idea as the money is for the conservation programme, but, big but!, the cashier automatically charged us the full price including the donation without asking us if we wanted to pay it, this is a bit of a bullying tactic as most people would be too embarrassed to ask them to take it off. Days out for the family don't come cheap, especially when there are five of you. The donation added a considerable amount to our admission fee. It would be far nicer to have collection boxes where people could choose if they wanted to donate, and how much they wanted to give. Most of the animal enclosures are lovely and the animals well looked after. My favourites, the elephants, monkeys, chimpanzees (hilarious) and the baby Cheetahs. We couldn't see the tigers because they have built them some sort of ledge which is totally hidden by trees so all you can see is the occasional striped leg or a glimpse of an ear! The Orang-utan house is awful, the most depressing horrible place in the zoo, I felt sorry for the animals who all looked depressed and we couldn't wait to get out of there. It looks like a huge green concrete prison. When we arrived at the zoo, we had our photograph taken by a photographer against a blank background. We went to find it on our way out but we had a job because there were hundreds of photos and we had not been given a ticket or anything which would have made it a lot easier to find. We eventually found it with the assistance of one of the staff but were then told that the pack would cost £17.99! The pack contained a number of photographs of us superimposed with different animals and also included on-line access to download as many photos as we wanted; it also included a fridge magnet. I couldn't help thinking that they would make far more money if they offered people the opportunity to buy one photo for a fiver, instead people were walking away with no pictures and the packs were probably thrown in the bin. What a waste! Apart from that the day was lovely, the animals we saw were on form, the gardens are beautifully maintained, the staff were very pleasant and even though it rained (as usual) we had a lovely day. I would recommend it and am a bit ashamed that it is virtually on my doorstep but I don't go often enough.