Category Archives: Hotel reviews

Disco lights, friendly staff and great location at Point A hotel, Kings Cross, London

It might possibly be the first hotel room I’ve stayed in which had a ‘disco lighting’ option but it was typical of this Point A hotel, which was full of quirky, thoughtful and useful touches.  While I usually review hotels at the more luxury end of the scale for, this more affordable option showed that value for money doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the sense of being ‘looked after’ which the top hotels do so well.

Point A Kings Cross St Pancras is just a few minutes away from Kings Cross and St Pancras tube and railway stations as well as the Eurostar terminal

Point A hotel chain was started in 2017 and so far has six hotels in central London and one in Glasgow. While the company says it’s looking to offer ‘great value, comfort and design in convenient locations’, it also prides itself on its friendly service and personal touches which was apparent the moment I walked into my hotel room.

While it wasn’t large – and indeed the single bedrooms are smaller, and not all have windows – some well thought out design touches meant the room made the most of the available space without leaving it feeling cramped or crowded.

budget hotels london king cross st pancras point a hotel review
My hotel bedroom – in the subdued lighting mode – had a Hypnos double bed, window, smart TV and lots of useful touches

Thus there were foldaway tables built into the wall, an information board as part of the room decor showing everything from a local map to how to work the free wifi, a place to store the remote control and several more storage wall-mounted alcoves for your stuff, plus lots of storage space under the bed, a folding stool and hanging hooks for bags. Continue reading Disco lights, friendly staff and great location at Point A hotel, Kings Cross, London

Relaxing in the slow lane at Brandshatch Place hotel and spa

As befits a hotel which shares its name with famous motor racing circuit, guests to the Brandshatch Place hotel and spa are greeted with the hum of traffic when they park at the front of the hotel. Rather than superbikes and touring cars on the racing circuit however, the sound is actually coming from the nearby M20 but don’t worry – not a sound or squeak from the motorway actually penetrates the hotel or adjacent spa at all and a night in Brandshatch Place will see you securely insulated from the outside world.

Brands Hatch Place hotel and spa review
Brandshatch Place hotel and spa is situated in 12 acres of Kent countryside

The hotel itself predates the motor age by almost a century, being  built by the Duke of Norfolk in 1806 and it remained a private home until 1977 when it was transformed into a hotel and country club. Now owned by Hand Picked Hotels, the 19-strong hotel company owned by Julia and Guy Hands, Brandshatch Place has 38 bedrooms and a restaurant plus a spa with a gym, indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna and treatment rooms. Continue reading Relaxing in the slow lane at Brandshatch Place hotel and spa

A seaside stay right on the Suffolk coast at The Brudenell hotel Aldeburgh

There is something gloriously untamed about the British seaside on a blustery day and when I arrived at The Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, the hotel building was receiving a severe battering from the elements. Situated just a few steps from the cobbled beach, the Brudenell is on the very edge of town and felt like the last sanctuary before the wildness of the neighbouring nature reserve and the long uninterrupted stretch of coastline south.

Brudenell hotel Aldeburgh Suffolk
The Brudenell hotel is right on the beach at the pretty seaside village of Aldeburgh in Suffolk

I dived inside for cover and was instantly transformed from a windswept traveller to a calm and serene guest, helped by the friendly reception staff and the happy chatter of people settling in for an afternoon’s relaxing. Being so close to the sea, the 44-bedroom 4-star luxury hotel has been known to flood on occasion, with the waves coming up through the main doors, but thankfully the weather wasn’t that extreme during our visit and people could enjoy coffee in the lounge or stronger stuff in the bar in warmth and comfort. Continue reading A seaside stay right on the Suffolk coast at The Brudenell hotel Aldeburgh

A charming luxury stay in Brockencote Hall hotel Worcestershire

Brockencote Hall hotel was the third hotel I’d visited from the Eden Hotel  Collection and I wasn’t sure to expect, given that the first two hotels had been so different. Would it be as grand as the spectacular and imposing Bovey Castle, the 60-bedroom colossus in the heart of Dartmoor? Or would it be more like the boutique hotel Greenway in Cheltenham, with its high-end spa and Champagne bar?

Luxury hotel review Brockencote Hall hotel Worcestershire
The hotel is surrounded by green fields and is just a short walk away from the village of Chaddesley Corbett

Brockencote Hall, set in several acres of lush green Worcestershire countryside, turned out to be different from either of them but no less an almost perfect stay, with the comforts and treats of a luxury country house hotel, from immaculate rooms, impeccable service and great food. What it did have in common with its sister hotels however, was the staff who in all establishments have been at the top of their game, being as efficient and well-informed as you’d hope but with a huge amount of charm, friendliness, humour and total unflappability. There was the sense that they were genuinely pleased to be there, that they had all the time in the world to help out (even if they probably didn’t) and were all able to answer a flurry of questions thrown at them ranging from the age of the hotel to the provenance of the cheese served at dinner.

Luxury hotel review Brockencote Hall hotel Worcestershire
On sunny days people can enjoy their drinks outside

We bumped into one member of staff while exploring the hotel and being unable to find a way out and not only did he show us outside and  suggest a walk across the field to the local village, but several hours later remembered our trip and told us more information about the area, while taking our food and drink orders and delivering everything flawlessly. Continue reading A charming luxury stay in Brockencote Hall hotel Worcestershire

A relaxing stay at Mallory Court luxury hotel Warwickshire

It isn’t often I embrace a hotel gym so wholeheartedly but there was something about the brand spanking new gym at Mallory Court which made it irresistible. England were playing rugby, so I could be inspired by their fitness feats from the treadmill, there was a lovely spa to sooth my tired limbs in afterwards and as we’d just come from feasting at sister hotel Brockencote Hall and were about to  enjoy another hefty dinner here, it seemed sensible to try and work off a few calories in advance. And, excitingly, I had the gym all to myself, so I could pretend I was a millionaire working out in my own home.

mallory court luxury hotel warwickshire
The spa was in a separate building to the hotel and contained a hydrotherapy pool, steam room, saunas, outdoor hot tub, gym, and treatment rooms as well as bedrooms upstairs

All most unlike me, I have to say, and within a couple of hours normal service was resumed as I lounged in the outdoor hot tub and wondered whether to visit the pool, the steam room or the sauna next?

mallory court luxury hotel warwickshire
I had the very modern gym all to myself
Mallory Court luxury hotel Warwickshire
Thankfully this awaited me afterwards… the hydrotherapy pool at the spa at Mallory Court hotel

It was a bright February afternoon and the sun was shining on Mallory Court and its 10 acres, its gardens in hibernation now but promising to be stunning in summer. Mallory Court, part of the Eden Hotels Collection, is just a few miles from Warwick and its spectacular castle and was built around 100 years old, being converted from a family home into a hotel in 1976.

To book directly with the hotel, go to Mallory Court hotel
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mallory court luxury hotel warwickshire
The Rose Garden promises to be beautiful come spring and summer

The beautiful courtyard leads into a charming hotel in a classic country house style, with a succession of lounges and even a tiny sun trap of a bar, a restaurant, library and glass corridor leading to the rooms. Continue reading A relaxing stay at Mallory Court luxury hotel Warwickshire