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Hotel Review – Hyatt Regency, Birmingham, UK

Hotel Review – Hyatt Regency, Birmingham, UK

Hyatt Regency Birmingham – Hotel Review

In October 2012 Joe Bonamassa played Birmingham, UK and we traveled from Ireland to UK to attend the concert. Having booked the tickets I needed to get some quality accommodation near the NIA venue. I did a quick search and the Hyatt Regency Birmingham came up a few times in the results with good hotel reviews also. I recognized it as I had seen it a few years previous on TV, with some reality TV VIPs exiting limos. Anyway, we were not disappointed … as it turned out we ended up being treated like VIPs.

We were checked in by Mohamed on reception. We were welcomed and he told us he was giving us a nice room and also assisted me in setting me up the Hyatt Loyalty scheme. From the start, this was a very good check-in and we were impressed already.

The hotel room was really nice with a great view of the city looking towards the very funky Birmingham City library. Our room was on the 7th floor and within close proximity to the lifts (but there was no sound from them which was great).

The next morning we availed of breakfast, although this was not included in our rate, we added it on when we arrived as there was an incentive to do so. The breakfast service and layout was excellent and there was a wide selection of hot, cold and if you wish you can have some food prepared to order food. There are also a variety of fruits, breads, juices and cereals.

The Hyatt Regency Birmingham is a very central, well run and very comfortable hotel. It was perfect for us as we were visiting the NIA which is about a five minute walk away.

Many thanks to the Hyatt Regency team for a great stay – we will be back!!

If you are looking for a Hotel in Birmingham check out the Hyatt Regency Birmingham.

 

Hyatt Regency, Birmingham – Hotel Location

Hotel Review – Hyatt Regency, Birmingham, UK

Hotel Review – Hyatt Regency, Birmingham, UK

This post was moved from shanestravelreviews.com and now resides here at shanemcdonald.ie

PopUp Hotel Glastonbury – Luxury Glamping at Glastonbury Festival

PopUp Hotel Glastonbury – Luxury Glamping at Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival Glamping Accommodation

The Pop-Up Hotel, Glastonbury Festival

We went to the Glastonbury Festival 2013 but went with one thing in mind … we were not slumming it, we had luxury glamping in mind.

We found the Pop-up Hotel online and saw that this would be the ideal Glastonbury Glamping Accommodation. Having visited the website, we decided on our accommodation; So on the morning Glastonbury tickets went on sale we were hopeful of getting tickets…. and so we did. Immediately we called the Pop-Up Hotel and secure our glamping accommodation with a deposit. Once booked we waited for June 2013 to come, paying the remaining amount in the previous months.

Even before we arrived we had lots of contact from Jessica and Graham from the Pop-Up hotel. We had been given directions to the designated Pop-up Hotel Car Park near to the Glastonbury festival site. When we arrived we were helped with our bags and driven to the Popup Hotel site by a very plush Land Rover (which I was very well impressed with).

On arrival our check in was processed very quickly and we were shown to our pre-erected tent, which would be our home away from home for the next four nights while at the Glastonbury Festival. I had been very impressed by how well our booking had been dealt with, nothing was too much trouble for the staff.

It is a family friendly hotel ideal for festivals. I have gone past the stage of slumming it and trying to do Glastonbury with out this sort of quality accommodation would be tough (I would probably have gone home as it was raining on the evening we arrived and some poor guys, first timers, were struggling trying to erect a tent …. for me, no thanks).

There is a strict no drug, no noise, no trouble policy at the Popup Hotel and the public area is bright, secure, lively and has free WiFi (always useful and a nice touch).

Glastonbury Pop-Up Hotel

This glamping is top notch. The deluxe rooms had charging points ideal for me, so that I could charge my phone and DSLR camera battery etc. The inside of the tent was very homely with lots of very nice finishing touches such as fairy lights, a bottle of lavender pillow mist, storage box, full length mirror, deck-chair, mats and complimentary toiletries. The tent is warm and the beds are very comfortable and you are guaranteed a good night’s sleep.
There was even a spa and hairdressers available at extra charge.

The Pop up Hotel is only 10-15 minutes from Glastonbury entrance and it is an easy walk to and from the hotel.

There were hot power showers in luxury blocks with clean toilets serviced regularly which was a real treat after a long day at the festival.

If you are looking for something to eat before heading to the festival, great hot breakfasts were available from about £9 per person.

The areas are well lit areas at night with a security presence, therefore, only those staying get into the hotel property. There is also some nice music (normally acoustic sessions) in the evenings, if you didn’t have enough music during the day and food is served almost all day.

The staff at the Pop-up hotel are very friendly and we would like to thank especially Nevin, Joe, Graham, and Jennifer who were all very helpful to us during our stay and couldn’t have done enough.

We loved our stay and we will certainly return to the Pop-Up Hotel at Glastonbury. If you are looking for luxury accommodation during the Glastonbury Festival then check out the Pop-Up Hotel Glastonbury !

2015 Updated

For Glastonbury 2015 we stayed once again with The Popup Hotel. There were a few new items such as more lounge areas near reception, there was even a swimming pool at one point. Wifi Continued to be a feature which was widely appreciated.
Overall this is a wonderful glamping experience and if you are going to Glastonbury, or indeed any of the other festivals which to Pop-up Hotel are in attendance, then certainly book it.

Contact Details for The Popup Hotel

Website: http://www.thepopuphotel.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thepopuphotel
Address: Rubbery Farm | Rubbery Lane, TA11 7HE , England

Pop-up Hotel Glastonbury

This review of Popup hotel glamping is my opinion of the service and I was not paid or in any way compensated for this post. This post is on my site as I feel it is important to spread the awareness of products or services which I myself and tried and which I feel are good quality, good value or worth trying. I have no personal or financial association with the Pop-up Hotel.

Inside Loftus Hall. The Loftus Hall Tour – Visit Irelands Most Haunted House

Inside Loftus Hall. The Loftus Hall Tour – Visit Irelands Most Haunted House

Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe that the devil himself visited Loftus Hall? Did you know the Devil exited through the roof of Loftus hall and that hole in the roof cannot be repaired?

Loftus Hall – Ireland’s Most Haunted House

If not, (or even if you do) then a visit to Loftus Hall in Co. Wexford, Ireland just might change your mind. Ireland’s Most Haunted House, Loftus Hall is  open and running very well organised hour long tours which bring you through the history, and horrors of the haunted house. You may even catch a glimpse of the ghostly Lady Anna or one of the other ghostly demons.

I had known of Loftus hall for many years. As a child living in Waterford, you get told the stories of the devil and how he left the building. Loftus Hall is visible from Dunmore East so it was always in the focus of the young inquiring mind. At one point in the mid-90s it reopened as a bar, and I remember visiting it. The place had an un0ease about it, not just an old abandoned building but a sense that it lacked peace.

Even with my previous visit in mind, older and wiser, I was a small bit sceptical. I wasn’t sure how this old house could be the setting for a tour but I was proved very wrong within the first 5 minutes. The tour guides are very well prepared and give you a lot of history and facts to digest. I’m not going to give anything away are there are a few interactive elements to the tour also. For me the highlight (if you can call it that) was the visit to the tapestry room which is the most haunted room in the house, as I felt a real drop in temperature in this room, apparently associated with spirits. One story of what a child on the tour said to her mum, brought chills to my being.

It was a very well run tour and I might even be tempted to return for the more sinister adult only tour which is a lot darker and guided only by candlelight (which often goes out I was informed). Shortly after writing this post, one person took an unexplained photo with a potential ghost. The news story hit national press and went viral online so if you are interested in the paranormal, Loftus Hall is certainly one for you.

Admission to Loftus Hall : Tickets are €5 for children (who must be accompanied by at least 1 adult) and €9 for adults.

A great tour, my only gripe is that if you do the tour, your parking should be validated as it is €2 to exit the car park otherwise. (at the time of my visit, maybe this has changed now)

Website : http://www.loftushall.com/

Location of Loftus Hall

Loftus Hall, Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford

Top 15 most annoying things about some hotels

Top 15 most annoying things about some hotels

I really enjoy checking into hotels and having a good stay. Finding that everything is as you like it is important. It’s your home away from home for a few days, so you want a relaxing time and some time to enjoy the facilities of your chosen hotel.

However from time to time hotel stays are not 100% perfect and I have listed some areas where hotels have let me down in the past in my Top 15 most annoying things about some hotels or to put it another way the “Things which annoy me about some hotels” list …

Noisy or non-functioning air conditioning

Worse than a window not opening, a hotel which advertises air conditioning and it barely manages to keep the room at 20C or rattles like a coffee grinder when you have it on. Some of the best Air Conditioning was in the US, where you could have the room at 10C if you so wanted.

 

Getting a smelly room

Sometimes you can be very unlucky and end up going into a hotel room and getting an unwanted smell. This could be a cleaning problem or it could be something like the previous occupant being a smoker or taking food back to the room the night before.

 

No provision of parking or local car park which is then validated

This is a real problem for me. If I’m staying at a hotel and there is no hotel parking the least I expect is that the hotel have a deal running with the local NCP or city car park and therefore validate the car parking for you.

Some of the best examples of this recently was at Future Hotel Bristol and The Bristol Hotel, both of which validated our car parking. I would return to these 2 hotels as a result!

 

Badly maintained bathrooms

Please enjoy our bathroom but ignore the rusty tap, the missing shower head and the mould around the tiling… also if the toilet takes 30 mins to refill that’s normal …. NO it’s not ! Having a well maintained bathroom is vital to an enjoyable stay.

 

No free WiFi in rooms / Crappy WiFi

There is nothing worse than checking in and then accessing your smartphone or tablet only to find out that there is a charge for WiFi. You may have paid a lot for your room, yet you are not given free Wireless Internet.

Even worse is when you have chosen the hotel based on the Free Wifi promise, you check in and the WiFi times out or fails to load even the most basic web pages. If I’m paying for an expensive hotel room I don’t want to have to pay $20 or €10 for WiFi.
Free WiFi is something I now look for in a hotel, if it’s not free I won’t stay.

 

Tea and Coffee Facilities

You come back after a day out and fell like a cup of tea for 2 only to find that you have to call reception to get more tiny UHT milk packets delivered to your room. Even worse is when no tea/coffee facilities are provided.

 

Finding things left from last visitor

There is nothing worse than seeing evidence of the last visitor in your room, like a sweet wrapper under a chair etc. Once in Australia there was visible evidence in my hotel that the pillows had not been changed. In that room the evidence pointed to the previous visitor having a bad cold! (we swiftly left that hotel)

 

Housekeeping ignoring ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs

If you are in need of some rest and just don’t want to be disturbed, you hang the little do not disturb sign outside the door… some time later you get a knock or a “Hello, House Keeping” – Why? It’s on the door …. Do Not Disturb!

In one hotel we were disturbed exactly 1 hour after check-in … asking “Do you need more towels?” — what could I have done in 1 hour which would result in requiring more towels?

 

No electrical plug sockets near the bed

This is very annoying for iPhone charging especially if you use your smartphone as an alarm clock or radio… or indeed if you log onto Facebook at 2am which some people do. Having a plug near the bed or bedside locker should be standard.

 

Uncomfortable beds or pillows

One of the things I really hate is a hotel which markets the room as having a double bed which is actually 2 twin beds stuck together and you end up falling down the gap. That bed split drives me mad.

Windows that will not open at all

I understand for health and safety you have to prevent people from opening the windows too much but when they don’t open at all it really feels claustrophobic – it’s nice to let some fresh air into your room!

 

A TV… with 4 channels

So we have a TV, lets have a look BBC1, BBC2, UTV and a Local Channel … that’s all?
You may as not have it at all! I’ll read a book !

In the age of amazing technology you should have more than 4 channels.

 

Keycards not working

There is nothing worse than returning to your room on the 23rd floor to find that your keycard no longer works. You get the red light and you end up having to return to reception. They usually ask “was this near your phone or other bank cards?” … that shouldn’t be the point. In the age of AI and advanced technology, a key card shouldn’t just de-programme !

 

Complicated light switches

There have been some hotels which have had the most unusual lighting systems. There were so many light switches in one hotel, I had to click each one to find out what each one did. If you click the wrong one you end up waking any guest in thee room up with every light in the room suddenly turning on.

 

Do you have anything to add to this list?

What was the worst thing you ever saw in a hotel? (Please don’t mention names)

The Blakemore Hotel, Hyde Park, London – Hotel Review

The Blakemore Hotel, Hyde Park, London – Hotel Review

One of the hardest things to do it get a decent hotel when you don’t know the area. I was searching for a good hotel in London. After looking at the usual hotel chains I found and booked the Blakemore Hotel Hyde Park London. This hotel booking was done purely on the basis of the Booking.com ratings. At the time of going to post with this review it was 8.1/10 which is very good.

We arrived in London in really bad traffic and ended up getting a tube to Lancaster Gate, and walking the 7 or 8 minutes to the Blakemore. The Blakemore hotel is really nice in the great location on a quiet street.

Blackmore Hotel Lobby and Reception Area

Having arrived tired at the hotel, we found the check in to be very efficient and handled well by a very friendly receptionist.

The Blakemore Hotel Rooms

We got rooms 311 and 312 as we were there as a group of 4. The rooms are very nice, bright, airy, clean (I personally preferred 311, street view) and had excellent air conditioning. The rooms are serviced daily and are done so to a great standard. One point to note – one of the main things we noticed was that the beds are so comfortable you will want to stay there.

The rooms have TV, internet points, a room safe, ironing facilities as well as tea and coffee making facilities.

The Bathrooms in the club rooms are very nice with great product in bathrooms.

Blakemore Rooms - Rooms at the Blakemore Hotel Hyde Park - Hotel Review

Another great point about the Blakemore Hotel is the Free WiFi which is accessible in the rooms also – many hotels have Free WiFi but only in the public areas and not in the rooms.The free WiFi allowed us to plan our day without incuring hefty 3G roaming charges.

The Blakemore Hotel Food

We tried the food in the restaurant and it proved to be very good, from curries to burgers and Caesar salads. The service was excellent and done so with a smile. We then enjoyed the Euro 2012 playoffs in the lounge which is very nice and relaxing.

The Blakemore Hotel, Hyde Park, London : Review Conclusion

I was very impressed by the Blakemore Hotel, the rooms are a perfect size for those looking for a great city break

The location is very good, just opposite Hyde Park and within a 10 minute walk of Bayswater, Queensway and Lancaster Gate tube stations.

I will certainly consider it on my next trip to London and it will be a hotel I will revisit again in the future.

 

Blakemore Hyde Park Hotel Location

Address: 30 Leinster Gardens, London W2 3AN, UK

Blakemore Hotel Hyde Park, London Hotel, UK

The Oxfordshire Golf Hotel and Spa – Hotel Review

The Oxfordshire Golf Hotel and Spa – Hotel Review

A while back I went to the UK and stayed at the The Oxfordshire Hotel and Spa, which as you guessed is situated in the heart of Oxfordshire (so it’s not just a clever name)

The Oxfordshire Hotel, Golf Hotel and Spa

The Oxfordshire Golf Hotel and Spa is situated in the heart of the Chilterns. It is located about a 1 hour drive from Luton airport. The Oxfordshire Hotel is a luxury 50 bedroom Hotel and Spa. It also boasts a Championship Golf Course if you are so inclined. This course has hosted some high profile golf tournaments; including the Benson & Hedges International, Andersen Consulting World Championship and Ladies English Open.

The Oxfordshire Hotel : Review

Approaching the Oxfordshire Hotel you drive along a well maintained entrance with the golf course on either side. There is plenty of free car parking and a handy drop off area which should suit everyone. Checking in at the hotel is very quick and done with a smile. We were offered spa and pool times as well as an option to book a time at the restaurant.

The food in the restaurant is superb, very well cooked and plenty to choose from. Whether you are a steak lover or a lover of fruits-de-mer the menu will suit your needs. The restaurant offers fantastic views over the golf course and is lovely at sunset. Service was friendly and efficient. I was very impressed with the depth of flavours in the food.

The rooms were comfortable, spacious and had very good air conditioning. The rooms also had a nice terrace / veranda which was accessed via sliding doors. In room hair dryer and safe for your valuables was good to have also.

Oxfordshire Hotel, Golf and Spa, Oxfordshire, UK - Hotel Review

Room photo at The Oxfordshire Hotel

The Breakfast next morning was varied, hot food was tasty and was actually hot (which some hotels can learn from). I also availed of the delicious fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals and muesli which were also on offer.

The hotel is an ideal base for visiting places like the university town of Oxford and the Oxfordshire countryside. You could also enjoy punting on the Thames in Oxford or a visit to the Harry Potter Studios in Watford. If you are interested the village where the Vicar of Dibley was filmed (a small town called Turville) is located near by. There are many other great places, gardens and country houses to visit nearby also.

The Oxfordshire Hotel : Accolades

The Oxfordshire has had some recent accolades including the top 50 places to Stay & Play voted by Golf Monthly magazine, Top Golf Course in the county voted by the Top 100 Golf Courses in England and awarded 4 Bubbles by The Good Spa Guide.

The Oxfordshire Hotel : Conclusion

I did not know what to expect on booking (via booking.com) but was more than happy in the first minute inside the doors. The Oxfordshire is a well serviced, clean and friendly hotel which I have bookmarked and will certainly return to in the future. I had a very enjoyable stay and look forward to returning to the The Oxfordshire Hotel and Spa at some point in the future.

The Oxfordshire Hotel : Contact Details & Map

The Oxfordshire Hotel, Rycote Lane  Milton Common, Oxfordshire OX9 2PU, United Kingdom

The Oxfordshire Golf Hotel and Spa