“ Address: Brands Hatch, J3, M25 Dartford, DA3 8PE / Phone: 0871 376 9008 „
For our anniversary this year we had a surprise night booked at The Thistle Brands Hatch Hotel. Living in Orpington this is only a 10-15 minute drive for us but being local we have always heard over the years what a great hotel this is. I am sure many of you have heard of the Thistle chain and know that they are one of the top hotels in the U.K ***First Impressions*** As we drove into the car park and saw the Hotel we were pleased with what we saw. There was plenty of hotel parking so it didn't take us long to find a space. The views around the hotel looked lovely all around is country fields, and also for those who are in to their car and bike racing the Brands Hatch Race track is out the back to the right of this hotel. As we walked into the hotel the reception area and lounge area is in front of you which looks warm and inviting. As you look over to the back of the room there is a glass surrounded room which is the bar. When you enter the Bar the first thing you cannot help but notice are the two bike which are displayed in the middle of the room!! Although I am not a big fan of bikes or bike racing this did fit right with the feel of the place and with the type of people who were using the bar services ( they all had biker jackets on!) ***Reception*** We went to check in and was greeted ( if you can call it that) by the manager who asked straight away for a booking name, he then gave me a piece of paper with our room number on it and then started serving the next people. We were not told where our rooms are and this is a very big hotel, so I waited until he finished with the other couple who equally looked confused and asked him where our rooms were, he huffed and told us where we had to go so as you can imagine by this point our excitement of this Grande hotel had somewhat come down. He also didn't tell us what time we had to check out, where we go for our breakfast in the morning and what time the breakfast runs until, or the facilities the hotel had which we could have used. ***Room*** On entering the room first impressions was it was an ok basic room but as we didn't book it we was fine with this. As we started to look around things we noticed were that the fridge were the fridge had been had had the fridge ripped out. The complementary tray with kettle and two cups and a sachet of sugar, but no tea coffee or milk so not sure what we was meant to do with the rest! I decided to have a shower but as I climbed in the water was freezing it did not warm up at all and also the shower head was leaking so was spraying out onto the toilet. I was not impressed. The bed was comfortable, thankfully with clean linen! There were also complementary shampoo bottles in the bathroom which was a nice touch. ***BREAKFAST*** As I said before we wasn't told about breakfast, it was only when the friend who booked the hotel called to check we found it alright she told us we had breakfast included! We went down in the morning luckily it only took us 10 minutes to find it as we bumped into a nice couple who told us where to go. There was a wide selection for breakfast. As you walked in the restaurant on the left was the hot counter which had scrambled egg, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms and fried bread. Over the back wall was another counter with a variety of fresh fruit and yoghurt. The long table which went down the middle of the room had orange juice, 4 selections of cereal, and pastries. There was also one toast machine which everyone was queuing for! When you take your seat the waitress comes over to take your order for tea and coffee. ***My Opinion*** Unfortunately I wouldn't go back to this hotel again and I wouldn't recommend it either. This hotel in my opinion spends more time and money on the reception and bar area but as soon as you go out the doors to the rooms you can see a completely different standard. We wasn't told but there is also a swimming pool and sauna and steam room which you can use for free with your booking but if you do go there you will have to ask where it is as we wasn't informed about this. I have been to Holiday inns which are a lot better than this hotel and I can imagine at only a fraction of the price. Because we were right by brands hatch we asked at reception what was going on there that day to see if it was worth going down there only to be told "I don't know I work at the hotel not the track!!" This has put me off going to a Thistle chain hotel now and if it wasn't booked for us as a present I think I would have put a complaint in as it was a very disappointing stay. Luckily it was only for one night.