“ Address: Beverley Road / Willerby / Hull / HU10 6NT / Telephone: 0845 11 26 036 „
WHY DID WE BOOK THE INNKEEPER'S LODGE - HULL?
In this instance it was a purely business decision. The previous night we had stayed in the Innkeeper's Lodge at Chester (North East), the Hull Lodge was ideally situated for my business appointment in Brough, on the River Humber near to Hull.
In years gone by we have found accommodation in Hull problematic, it is not a city exactly overflowing with a good choice of hotels and Bed and Breakfasts. We now use Innkeeper's Lodge's regularly in our travels and know that we can rely on the quality of the room and that the service offered is of a more than acceptable standard when compared to other lodge type hotels.
HOTEL DESCRIPTION / OUR PERCEPTION FROM HOTEL PUBLICITY
As with all of the Innkeeper's Lodges in which we have stayed, the Hull one is very well, and honestly, described, both in the new (2008) paper directory, and on the simple to use web site.
I have said this before in previous reviews on this chain, but I cannot help but thinking that in some respects, Innkeeper's tend to "undersell" their Lodges, in our modern puffed up days of PR speak, that is refreshing indeed.
HAVE WE STAYED THERE PREVIOUSLY?
Yes we have. At that time, two years ago, this was a very new lodge. On a previous stay we actually celebrated our third wedding anniversary and in no way felt our room there to be a let down for that particular occasion!
Finding ourselves back in Hull, close to Christmas, it was the obvious place to stay.
BOOKING PROCESS 10 / 10
As with all of our booking experiences with Innkeeper's Lodge, this one was simplicity itself. We booked our room about ten days in advance using the highly efficient (fast too) internet booking facility.
If you do not have access to the internet (strange, as you are obviously reading this!) booking can be made by telephone, or if you are lucky, you can walk in and take a room on the day. Particularly, with the Hull Lodge, I would not recommend turning up expecting a bed for the night, at 34 rooms it is not large, and as already mentioned there is a dearth of rooms in this geographical location.
Reinforcing my perception of there being a lack of competition in this area, the week and weekend rate of £54 per room per night is the same. We were also not offered any reduction on the room rate - our similar room in Chester (probably regarded as a more interesting venue!) the previous night had been booked at exactly the same time and had been reduced to £29.95 on an early booking "Advance Saver".
I should mention here that there are variations in the terms and conditions of your stay according to your booking type. The Advance Saver rate is a non-returnable, non changeable rate, pre-paid by credit card - if for whatever reason you are unable to make it, hard luck - no refund! Stumping up the full rate - i.e. £54 at Hull - gives you a flexible booking, you can cancel up to 17.00hrs on your day of arrival; change the booking to another date, or even, if the room is available - to another Lodge in another location.
LOCATION 7 / 10
This Lodge is not actually located in Hull at all - it is five and a half miles out of the city centre at Willerby on the Hull to Beverley road - it is literally mid way between those two centres.
By car it is very easy to find - assuming that you are entering Hull from the west, i.e. the M62 / A63, just follow the Beverly (A164) signpost and you will find the Innkeepers Lodge three miles up the A164 adjacent to the roundabout at the local Willerby shopping centre, Waitrose being the main "landmark" store there.
Providing you have a car, as with many other Lodge locations, you will probably find this Innkeeper's Lodge convenient enough. If however, you turn up by other means - public transport, or dropped off by a business colleague maybe, you could well feel rather cut off here, especially if you expected to find yourself actually in Hull.
Some may well argue that you are better off not actually finding yourself in Hull, but that is a different matter!
Whenever possible, time permitting, we always try to mix a little pleasure with my business calls. On this particular occasion my wife and I did just that. We visited and took photographs of the Humber Bridge, just ten minutes down the road from here. The lovely old town of Beverley is a mere ten minutes to the north east, it was a miserable rainy afternoon, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the superb Minster there. In the evening (rush hour as it turned out) we even braved the awful city centre traffic through Hull to go to the Odeon Cinema on the docks - no I am not going to write a review about that place - it was (literally) unspeakably bad!
All of these places are easy enough to access by car from Willerby, where the Innkeeper's Lodge is located. The city of Hull undoubtedly has its attractions too - but there are more appropriate places to read about them than this.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS 5 / 10
For a Lodge, compared to others in the chain, approaching it from the outside is far from the best impression. Its situation is a bleak one, on a south facing hill, above the city of Hull. Whilst the Lodge itself is, comparatively small, the adjacent Toby Carvery is a big one, there is therefore a very large car park fronting the Lodge.
Immediately adjacent to the Lodge / Toby site is a huge Shell fuel station, not really the best outlook for rooms at the front! To cap it all, the A164 leads inland from the Humber Bridge and extremely busy A63 (the main dual carriageway leading into Hull from the M62). Whilst in the middle of the day this road is not terribly busy, during the rush hour, morning and evening, it is extremely so. This makes driving onto - and particularly off of - the car park a nightmare, especially, from experience, in the morning after breakfast.
The car park is so large that however busy the Toby Carvery gets, we have never had a problem finding somewhere to park close to the Lodge.
CHECKING IN 9 / 10
In order to check in, you have to enter the Toby Carvery. This is the only Innkeeper's Lodge that we have stayed in where there has been a dedicated Check In desk; usually it is carried out over the bar. On both occasions, having pre-booked our room over the internet, we have checked in within five minutes of arrival, the staff are pleasant and quietly efficient.
ON THE WAY TO THE ROOM i.e. how easy is it to find your way around? How accessible is if for less able persons? What condition are the public rooms and passageways in? 6 / 10
In a sense, I feel a little mean awarding a mere six out of ten, but there is a good reason for so doing!
This is one of two Innkeeper's Lodges (the other in Warrington) in which we have stayed, where the Lodge is in a separate building to the pub with which it is partnered. There are plusses and minuses to this arrangement; in this case you have a long, potentially very wet, walk from your car, to the Check In desk and then back to the accommodation block.
The two buildings here are adjacent, although aligned at about 45 degrees to one another; it would not have been a huge expense, nor great architectural challenge, to link the two side on. As it is, the two front doors are on almost opposite sides of the buildings.
Whilst there are, downstairs, disabled equipped rooms in the lodge - and completely flat entry to the Toby, the distance between the two may prove challenging for the less able bodied amongst us.
Once inside the Lodge, all is cosy and warm, enhanced by the red and cream décor of the passageways. These are cleaned and decorated to a high standard and you feel very welcome, both in the lodge itself (which is not staffed apart from housekeeping during the day) and in the very relaxing Toby.
Our room was easy to find, being situated immediately opposite the top of the stairs. There are only two floors in this Lodge, the upper one accessed via a very gentle, wide, staircase. There is no lift.
THE ROOM 9 / 10
As we are now used to finding in all Innkeeper's Lodges, the room here at Hull was of a very high standard. This was a double room, containing a proper double bed, an easy chair plus an upright one for working at the desk, or applying make up, and the usual tea, coffee and complimentary biscuits. An electric panel heater on the wall provided the room's heating, although in the extraordinarily mild December weather we had the window open and the heater turned off.
Presumably for safety reasons you are only able to open the window a small amount. Oddly the view through it is a worm's eye view of a ploughed field, the Lodge has been constructed in a levelled out hollow below the field. This outlook is rather better than that of the Shell fuel station, traffic and car park "enjoyed" by the front rooms here.
The décor is warm and relaxing, a predominantly red, blue and white colour scheme being used. It is, as it looks, a very comfortable room. Adding to the general ambiance is the very generous lighting provision, not over bright, but providing excellent, yet restful illumination.
Both bedclothes and towels are immaculately clean, giving you the impression that you are the first person ever to have used them.
THE EN-SUITE 8 / 10
A point dropped here for this being the second Innkeeper's Lodge in two days in which the Dove Soap dispenser has been broken and either dropped onto my foot on the floor or (in this case) is merely laying on the top next to the basin.
That really is being rather picky! As usual, the en-suite here is brightly lit and sparkling clean. As these facilities go, this one is even rather imaginatively designed too - with the hand basin and mirrors being mounted across a corner of the room. This en-suite contained a reasonably sized, curtained, shower cubicle - in which lurked Mrs R's much loved power shower. Personally I prefer a gentler (English rain like perhaps) shower, but this one provided plenty adjustment enough to satisfy our extremes of ablutional preferences!
DID WE GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP? 10 / 10
Yes indeed, this was the best night's sleep that I can remember when away from home. The bed was extremely comfortable; we heard no noise from the passageway outside, or from adjacent rooms.
FACILITIES ON OFFER - No score here, different grades / prices of hotel understandably have different facilities.
This is, when all said and done a Lodge, not a hotel. There is a comfortable accommodation block and a homely Toby Carvery attached.
This particular venue does not have any meeting rooms, some Innkeeper's Lodges provide small conference suites.
BREAKFAST / OTHER MEALS, FOOD & DRINKS 9 / 10
In a sense, to criticise an Innkeeper's Lodge breakfast would be to look a gift horse in the mouth. This is the only one of the Lodge chains that includes a free, albeit continental only, breakfast. However, on our travels, we always find the breakfast provided is more than adequate. On offer is a good range of (Kellogg's) cereals, a selection of breads for toasting, warm croissants, a choice of fresh fruit and fruit juices, along with a choice of tea or coffee served to your table by the waitress.
Breakfast is served here on one side of the Toby Carvery between 7.00 and 9.30am.
We have not actually eaten a main meal in this particular Toby, I am a fan of this excellent value restaurant chain, and judging by the number of diners here when we checked in at 5.00pm, this is a popular spot for locals to eat out.
OVERALL VALUE FOR MONEY 8 / 10
Had we not spent little more than half the amount on a similar Innkeeper's room in Chester the previous night, the Lodge at Hull might have walked away with a 100% score here. Due to its location it may not be our favourite Lodge, but the value offered is undisputable.
If you need to stay in the area for a long weekend, the three for the price of two offer is available here - i.e. pay for Friday and Saturday night and get Sunday thrown in free.
HOW LIKELY AM I / ARE WE, TO USE THIS HOTEL AGAIN?
Providing I have business to do in the Hull or North Humberside area, this particular Innkeeper's Lodge will remain my first choice of accommodation, you are therefore likely to find us there at least once a year. I have absolutely no qualms about using it again and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone needing to stay in this area.
CONTACT DETAILS FOR INNKEEPER'S LODGE HULL:
Tel: 01482 651 518
RICHADA'S HOTEL RATING 81 / 100
In order to put that score into some perspective, we can compare it to other hotels in which we have stayed, scored using the same criteria:
Innkeeper's Lodge, Chester Northeast - 83%
Innkeeper's Lodge, Stockport - 83 %
INNKEEPER'S LODGE, HULL - 81%
Chadwick Hotel, St Annes - 63 %
Once again the consistency of the Innkeeper's Lodge brand is proven. Innkeeper's Lodge are justifiably promoting their Lodges as a "collection" rather than a chain, this means that to you, the traveller, not all Innkeeper's Lodge rooms LOOK the same, which I find a real bonus having become tired of the boring corporate sameness of more expensive competitors such as Premier Travel Lodge.