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Avoid Room No.4!
Ship Inn (Caerleon)
Member Name: grahamt
Ship Inn (Caerleon)
Date: 11/10/01, updated on 11/10/01 (789 review reads)
Advantages: Reasonably cheap
Disadvantages: Iffy quality
Standing on the opposite bank of the River Usk to Caerleon, at the foot of the road bridge over the river, The Ship Inn is a very visible landmark when approaching from Newport and the M4. The Inn has been here since at least the 19th century and has, in the past, been a Symonds tied pub.
Our reason for staying was that our daughter is a second year student at the Caerleon Campus of the University of Wales, Newport College, based in the town and it was her birthday that weekend. Wanting to take here and her friend out for a celebration we didn't fancy the drive home the same night so, accommodation was essential.
It was our daughter who pointed us in the direction of The Ship, her choice being based on price, a first consideration for most students. There are a number of establishments offering accommodation but many she tried first had no rooms available. The Ship was simply the first that did. We had no previous experience of the place and the Internet gave no guide.
The entrance to The Ship is at the centre of the building, facing the road. To the left is a large but unsurfaced car park. The entrance opens onto a single, long bar-room, with an eating area to the left, a bar facing and a normal drinking area to the right. To the right also is a large screen on which was being projected, when we arrived, the England/Greece match, to a surprisingly small audience. There were less than a dozen people in the pub, not a good sign!
Having signed in we were shown to our room. First surprise, no entry to the bedrooms from the bar! You have to go out the back door, up a set of iron stairs, across a flat roof and in through a door to the first floor! No problem in fine weather but when we were there it was mostly pouring with rain. An umbrella is essential if you want to avoid being soaked going backwards and forwards to your room.
The room we had (No. 4) was at the rear of the building, overlooking the rear gard
en and children's playground. At least, it would have been overlooking except that the bed was underneath the only window so apart from clambering onto the bed you had no view anyway. The room itself was quite small and the bed just about filled it, leaving only room for a wardrobe and a couple of bedside cabinets.
The room had a slightly musty smell to it, even though the window was wide open. We soon discovered why. The room didn't really have an "en suite". What it did have was a shower cabinet in the corner of the room with a wash basin next to it and a toilet room alongside. Fortunately the toilet was at least in a room of its own!
The problem was that the door to the shower cabinet would not close. Clearly water had been seeping out whenever anyone used the shower, over a considerable period, as the carpet was wet and the floorboards beneath rotten. A black mould could be seen on the wall adjacent.
The single window had set into it an extractor fan but this didn't work, as the electric cable wasn't even connected to it, indeed, it was just hanging loose, bare wires and all! Just as well that we weren't in the height of winter. I wouldn't want to be there with the window wide open then, simply to reduce the smell!
We weren't planning to eat there in the evening as we had already made plans to eat at a restaurant in Newport (review elsewhere) so cannot make any comments about the quality of their food but when we get back to the inn later there were several people having an evening meal so I assume that it was acceptable. We did have breakfast there the following morning (included in the price) and that was also perfectly acceptable. I didn't have a fry-up but could have done.
Even in the evening the inn was hardly packed, and this on a Saturday night! I can't imagine when their busy period is!
They have the usual run-of-the-mill drinks offerings
. The usual fizz (keg beer such as Carling) and the ubiquitous Bud plus four handpumps serving the real cask ale, in this case Whoosh from the Tomas Watkins microbrewery of The Castle Hotel in Llandeilo. Unfortunately I didn't have an opportunity to try it. Spirits lean towards the younger end of the buyer spectrum. No malt whiskies, no specialist cognacs.
At the price (£40 per night including breakfast) it is probably just about acceptable. So, overall, adequate but no more.
Oh, but avoid Room 4 if it is offered.