“ Address: Letcombe Street / Berkshire RG1 2HN / England / Tel: 0871 527 8924 „
I stayed for two nights at The Premier Inn, Reading Central during August 2010. The hotel was used primarily as a base as I was visiting Legoland, Windsor with my son and partner.
We had not stayed in a Premier Inn before and I was a little wary as to the standards I should expect - particularly as I had read some poor reviews on other websites.
Prior to arrival, I received a courtesy text from Premier Inn. By return of text I received accurate directions to the hotel (more accurate that our Sat Nav!). We found the hotel relatively easily, it is located directly opposite The Oracle Shopping Centre. We had been previously advised that limited on site parking was available for £5. The car park is located directly behind The Premier Inn. Any car is able to gain access to the car park, however a token is required to raise the barrier on leaving, this is purchased from reception.
The car park is small!! It is also used by other local business', less so after 6pm. We were on the verge of leaving the car park when we managed to grab the last space, something of a relief as we had too much luggage as usual and an excited six year old!
The car park was full for our second night - secure parking is available in The Oracle Shopping Centre. There reductions for overnight parking, we parked at approx 6pm and departed the following morning just before 9am, we paid £6.00.
We found the reception staff friendly and efficient and payed lots of attention to my son, who gratefully received his Premier Inn children's pack. We were given our room key, this also activated the lift (required to go up but not to go down).
Our room was on the second floor. I have to admit, I was really surprised by the standard. Very spacious, extremely clean and my son's bed had already been made up (something we had not found during our recent stay in a Travelodge).
The room was air conditioned, had a flat screen tv, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. It had a very new feel to it, you could tell that the hotel had not been open for very long.
It was around 9pm when we ventured downstairs, quite late for us to eat. We did think that we would be forced to eat in the hotel restaurant due to a lack of choice (meals served until 10pm).
When I enquired at reception if we were in 'walkable' distance from anything (the shopping centre looked closed), the receptionist advised that there was a great choice of eateries not five minutes away - I assumed she would have attempted to promote meals served in the hotel but no!
All the restaurants were located on the other side of The Oracle Shopping Centre, on the riverside. We were spoiled for choice, we decided upon Pizza Express but there were at least another eight places to eat, including one of Jamie Olivers restaurants.
On returning to The Premier Inn we had a quick drink in the bar - reasonably priced and not too busy, we didn't have to wait to be served - staff seemed to be able to multi task, covering reception, bar and restaurant.
There are numerous tv's in the bar, showing Sky Sports on both nights we were there. There is also a pool table, this kept my son occupied for quite some time (£1 a go but he's by no means an expert so we didn't spend too much!!).
I awoke almost fully refreshed in the morning, the beds were extremely comfortable but I had been somewhat disturbed by the noise of the air conditioning - I am an extremely light sleeper, I think this probably accounts for this, my current pregnancy could also be something to factor in!
Breakfast in the morning was more than I expected for the £7.95 per adult - two children are able to eat free per paying adult.
Breakfast is buffet style, however porridge, fruit salad, vegetarian sausages (my partner is a veggie) and eggs - boiled and poached are cooked to order.
The buffet was plentiful - various cereals, grenola, breakfast juice, croissants, yoghurt, muffins, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, toast - I hope I have covered everything!! The hot food was not over cooked and replenished on a regular basis.
The staff were extremely attentive but not overly so, they appear to have gauged it just right.
Our second morning mirrored the first, so I can only assume standards are pretty consistent.
We paid £58 for a two night stay with an additional £31.80 charged for breakfast. I would rate our stay a resounding success and would certainly visit again.