Friday, 7 August 2015

When budget hotels feel luxurious - my review of a Yorkshire Premier Inn.

 Invited to be my mother's plus one at a wedding recently the first thing I thought of  was "where can we stay overnight?" and the first search term I entered was "Premier Inn hotels near Pontefract in Yorkshire."

I am a big fan of the so-called budget chain of hotels because on the whole I have found they are reliably good value and good quality.

Over the years through my journalism career, blogging work, family life and hot air ballooning jobs I have stayed in many hotels from 5 star down to real budget venues so I have a good idea of what you can and should expect in a certain standard of accommodation.

Back to the wedding. The church ceremony and reception were to be held near Pontefract in Yorkshire, and a search on the Premier Inn website  (you could also use their handy app) revealed a selection of hotels in the area. Many were fully booked already but I was quite happy with one of the choices available - the Castleford Xscape venue just off Junction 32 of the M62 which was just under 15 minutes from the church.

The hotel sits on the edge of the Junction 32 outlet shopping centre which sent me and mum a bit giddy - we do love shopping especially when there's a chance of a bargain and we vowed to make time in the hectic weekend for a quick look round the stores.

The hotel itself was modern and after a warm and efficient greeting from reception staff we made our way to our room - which seemed huge with two double beds and a spotlessly clean good-sized bathroom.


There were drinks making facilities, extra pillows, a basic shower gel/shampoo in the bathroom dispenser and a TV with a good selection of channels. There was also air conditioning although we didn't use it.

Premier Inn is known for its Good Night Guarantee but after a peaceful night in the large comfy bed I had no complaints. The only niggle was that I couldn't get the sleep timer on the TV to work and the heated towel rail wasn't working either - but neither of these really affected our stay.

Breakfast was buffet style - in some sites you might get table service and I have to confess I was a bit nervous after a slightly underwhelming experience in an older Premier Inn hotel in Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth site we had booked was a bit tired and lacked some of the modern facilities like keycards and air con but this was reflected in the very cheap price of the room. (We could have paid a bit more and stayed in the much more modern Premier inn right over the road!)

The food at our "vintage" Premier Inn was OK but the hotplate was a bit slow to be refilled and in the end I gave up waiting for my mushrooms and my husband couldn't eat his rubbery eggs.

I needn't have worried though as the buffet area at Castleford was impressive and constantly refilled so the food was as fresh as if it was cooked-to-order.

The restaurant was large but well designed so it never felt crowded and we sat by lovely big windows overlooking a nice grassy area.

My top tips for getting the best from Premier Inn would be to book as early as possible to ensure getting the venue or room type you want as it is a popular brand and sites get booked, especially during big events like sports fixtures or shows or in cities or near airports and railway stations.

We stayed on a Saturday and then a Sunday night- it was really lovely to have the Sunday night and a relaxed breakfast before hitting the motorway after the morning rush hour. It really felt like a long weekend even though we only stayed two nights!

And sign up for the Premier Inn newsletter to be among the first to hear about their great value flash sales when you can pick up rooms at bargain prices.


Disclaimer: I received two nights free (accommodation only) at Premier Inn Castleford Xscape at Jct 32 for the purposes of this review. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.

1 comment:

I'd love feedback- but keep it clean and kind.