I spent the weekend playing pitch and putt golf on the Yorkshire coast, with a diversion via South Yorkshire. Here are three things I discovered along the way:
1. Top-tier status is not always what its cracked up to be
I have occasionally joked on Head for Points that the benefit of having hotel status, even at the lowest level, is that you will avoid ‘the room overlooking the bins’.
I was therefore unimpressed when I received this room at the Holiday Inn Rotherham Sheffield on Friday night:
It is, indeed, the room overlooking the bins.
There were just two Platinum tier members of IHG Rewards Club in the hotel at the time, including myself …..
That said, it is not a bad hotel. Very cheap at weekends, with a full fitness club – including a large pool and a separate kids pool. The rooms are being refurbished with new carpets, TV’s and beds at the moment as well. Just get rid of the plastic-sealed disposable plastic cups from the bathroom please ….
2. The East Coast trains First Class Lounge is not what its cracked up to be
I wrote about the East Coast trains new lounge at Kings Cross when it launched. This is the photograph that they circulated at the time:
I checked it out on Friday for the first time, getting entry for just 50 East Coast Rewards points. It is perfectly pleasant enough, but the food, drink and newspaper offering leaves a lot to be desired. Fundamentally, you are looking at pre-packed biscuits (the same you get on the train), a bowl of fruit, a coffee machine and a fridge of cold drinks. Not exactly a life-changing selection.
There were no ‘real’ magazines apart from free promo nonsense, with newspapers limited to the Standard and a few well-thumbed copies of The Times. Admittedly, for 50 East Coast Rewards points, you can’t complain but it could be so much better.
3. I stayed at a Premier Inn and I liked it
On Saturday night I found myself in a Premier Inn for the first time – the Premier Inn Scarborough to be precise. And, to be honest, it was more than acceptable.
The room, as you can see below, was perfectly fine. They even had proper glasses in the bathroom, Holiday Inn Rotherham please note! (They also had a picture of Lenny Henry in the room though ….)
The only thing that grated was the fact that they treat guests like they are on a Club 18-30 holiday. They wanted full details of everyone in our party, not just the lead named person, which took an age. The front door to the hotel is locked at night and you need to be buzzed in. Lots of signs everywhere telling you to be quiet.
That said, it was exceptionally clean and well maintained, everyone was very friendly and I would stay there again with no worries. In a coastal town with 500 mediocre guest houses and zero quality hotels, the Premier Inn was just what we needed.