Tuesday, 29 January 2013

EPISODE HOTEL:: Royal Leamington Spa Review

Our exams finished last week so we took a weekend away in Warwick (totally random, I know!) and initially, we planned this trip as a spa weekend but decided to do some sightseeing instead. Our friends came across a really good offer on Wowcher for a 2 nights stay in a 3-star hotel with breakfast for £99 (for two people!) - it was originally £200. You also receive £10 off spa treatments with a minimum spend of £40! Upon arriving at the hotel, we were very impressed by the exterior and were even more impressed by the interior as we had come across many reviews complaining about the rooms not being refurbished etc.

The entrance:

Once you enter the building, the atmosphere is surprisingly very calming which I think is super important if you want a relaxing weekend away. As we checked in, I snapped photos of the interior as it had this 'shabby chic' look which I really love. There were little chalk boards with offers written on them and a beautiful ball-shaped chandelier looking thing hovering above us! The bar and restaurant were to the left so I took a peek through the glass and noticed the suede sofa-looking seats around wooden tables - it was too good to be true!

As you enter:

We had booked a deluxe room with a double bed. Our room differed a little from our friend's room in terms of its layout but the furniture and television etc were pretty much the same :) We had a shower and our friend's room had a shower and a bath, but we had a fancy headboard compared to theirs so I guess it balanced it out haha ;p

Our room:

Our bathroom:
(excuse my jacket hanging there!)

Our friend's room:

I think the only downside was the amount of noise that you could hear as the walls were super thin! Also, the keys were actually quite bulky but I guess for a 3-star hotel you can't expect electronic key cards (yet!).

The breakfast included in this package had:
two slices of bacon, a sausage, an egg, fried bread, a whole tomato, a mushroom and black pudding.

I actually didn't end up eating most of it so the next morning, the staff were very helpful in allowing us to swap some of the items :)

As we arrived on a Friday, we thought we'd take advantage of the 'steak for £25 per couple' deal but they'd ran out by 9:30pm (restaurant closes at 10:30pm) with only one steak left. So in the end, Tim ordered the steak, I ordered a fish and chips and our friends ordered a burger and chips.

Tim's steak:

My fish and chips:
Earrings: Miss Selfridge (on sale)
Hoodie: Beezbo
(they're doing 2 for £20 on their website and it's only £7 in their store in the West Orchards Shopping Centre in Coventry)
T-shirt: New Look

Our friend's burger and chips:

We were so full afterwards and the service was brilliant considering we were the only ones in the restaurant! They had 'closed' the restaurant by the time we'd arrived and re-opened it and assigned a waitress for us so definitely a 5-star rating for their service! Although I should probably point out that they don't have a wine menu so you'd have to ask about what's available and they're less flexible with changing some items around (e.g. swapping chips to mash).

I think the hotel is more suited for young couples (like us!) and older couples who are looking to get some relaxing time-off from their busy lives. The town centre is about a 10-minute drive away and the Warwick castle is about a 15-minute drive so it's very convenient! The area is relatively quiet, possibly a retirement area so you won't have any trouble with youths etc. Parking can be a bit of a nightmare in the evening as the car park only has about 12 spaces so I recommend coming back to the hotel a little before 7/8pm! Otherwise, you'll end up parking in the streets outside.

Overall, we had very good first impressions, the service in the reception and restaurant were great and the rooms were also very impressive. There are some reviews on the net about their food tasting funny ("The egg tastes like rubber.. The toast tastes like cardboard") but actually, we had some really good food so maybe we were lucky in the hit-and-miss! I would definitely recommend having a look at their spa treatments as there's something for everyone (even manicures for men!) and although they're a little pricey, you could always wait on some vouchers which also come with discounts for treatments :)

Best of luck and let me know what you think if you've visited!

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