“ Address: Calder Park / Denby Dale Road / Wakefield / WF4 3BB / Tel: 0871 527 9118 „
On a recent weekend away visiting the Leeds/York/Wakefield area we spent a night at the Premier Inn, Wakefield South. ~~ Location ~~ Conveniently situated on the edge of Calder Park on Denby Dale road, the hotel is less than a minute's drive from Junction 39 of the M1. Indeed the hotel is visible from the slip road off the M1 at this junction when travelling south, making it a very handy stop off point to break up a long journey. Wakefield town centre is 3 miles away and Leeds city centre 15 miles away. ~~ Changes ~~ I have actually visited this hotel several times, however that was when it was in fact a Holiday Inn Express hotel. Premier Inn have since taken over this hotel and although totally refurbished, from the outside on first glance it could still be mistaken for Holiday Inn Express. This was my first visit back to this hotel since it became a Premier Inn. I had always enjoyed my previous visits, so would it be just as good as it was when it was Holiday Inn Express? ~~ Booking & Check In ~~ I booked this hotel online via the Premier Inn website. I also used the cashback site 'Topcashback' to make my booking as they offer 5% cashback on all bookings. I paid £50 for a double room for myself and partner which was reasonable and a little cheaper than staying through the week, when you can expect to pay around £55 per night. Premier Inn actually have an offer at the minute where you can secure rooms for £29 on weekends, but you must book 21 days in advance. Due to work commitments and not being sure of getting the time off, I was unable to do this, but it is quite a saving if you can. Checking in was quick and easy. We arrived just after 2pm and parked in the large car park outside the hotel. The young lad on Reception was friendly and welcoming and it was just a case of signing a form, as he ran through the hotel information with us. The reception area was spacious with a seating area and vending machines. We were informed about breakfast which was served in a room adjacent to reception up until 11am on Sundays. Both continental and cooked breakfasts were on offer including an 'all you can eat' breakfast priced at £7.95 per person. It was possible to book there and then, but as we were undecided, we were told we could simply turn up the following morning. ~~ The Room ~~ We were issued with a key card to gain access to our room which was on the top floor overlooking the large car park at the front. A lift is available if you don't fancy the stairs. I wasn't expecting the rooms to look much different to how I remembered a couple of years ago to be honest, except for expecting the colour purple to feature prominently, as it does with all Premier Inns. However I was quite surprised at the refurbishment of the rooms. I thought maybe a lick of paint, a new carpet and a different bed cover would be the main changes, but I was wrong. Everything has been replaced. A large (and high!) purple bed dominated the room with its purple leather headboard and wood surround. It was made up with crisp white bedding and a purple runner. The bed seemed to take up a lot of the room, but the room was spacious enough for our needs and there was plenty room to move around. I particularly liked the bedside lights which also featured a separate reading light, which although attached to the lamp, was on a flexible tube allowing you to bend it into a suitable position. There was a sofa bed and work space area with a chair and a flat screen TV with freeview channels was fixed to a bracket on the shelving on the end of the wardrobe hanging space. This allowed you to watch TV comfortably from the bed. All of the furniture in the room has been renewed. A couple of mirrors were fixed to the wall near the door. One was full length and the other shorter one was fixed to the shelving with separate lamps to illuminate the area, making it easy to do your hair, apply make-up etc. A hairdryer was fixed to the wall here too. Also provided was an oscillator fan and a kettle with a small supply of tea/coffee. The fan came in handy as there is no air conditioning and it was quite a humid day and night. There were plenty of plug sockets in the room and we were able to plug the fan in next to the bed later on in the evening as it was very warm. The purple and beige striped curtains complimented the decor of the room and it had a cosy feel with the bedside lamps, a free standing lamp and also the lamp on the desk . Everything was spotlessly clean and we were very comfortable. The bed was lovely. My partner thought it quite high, but whilst it was much higher than most hotel beds, it was very comfortable. Four pillows were provided and they were soft and springy. I can honestly say after staying in two Premier Inns recently, that they now have the most comfortable beds out of all the places I have stayed! It never used to be this way, so a big thumbs up to Premier Inn from me for that improvement. The bathroom was small, but again perfectly fine for our needs and this was the only aspect of the room that reminded us of the Express by Holiday Inn hotel it used to be. Anyone who has stayed at one of those hotels will know that the rooms only have showers and no bath, where as Premier Inns usually have a bath with overhead shower. There was little Premier Inn could do to change this given the space so there is still just a shower and no bath, which is fine by me. It is a powerful shower, with plenty of hot water. Shower gel and soap were provided via dispensers on the wall and a bath towel and hand towel is provided for each guest. The bathroom has new tiles and again was spotlessly clean. The toilet is adjacent to the shower and has a separate door to enable you to close off the toilet from the rest of the bathroom. There was a sign in the bathroom informing guests that if they had forgotten something, washbags with essential items were available to buy from reception for both male and female guests. Express by Holiday Inn have signs in bathrooms too, but they are happy to provide you with a replacement item free of charge if you forget something. Premier Inn will charge you for this. ~~ Dining ~~ We did not avail ourselves of breakfast the next morning as we were still full from our meal the night before. The Red Kite, which is a Vintage Inn was adjacent to the hotel and is a really lovely pub/restaurant. We enjoyed sitting out in the beer garden and later enjoyed a nice meal in the restaurant. The meals were reasonably priced with an average main course costing between £7-£8. The service was good and the staff all very welcoming and friendly. ~~ Overall ~~ I really enjoyed my visit to this hotel and will return again. Yes it can work out more expensive than Express by Holiday Inn which it used to be, unless you secure a £29 room. This is because you are charged extra for breakfast which is complimentary with Express by Holiday Inn and also if you forget something, you have to pay for a washbag. Also the normal room rate can be more expensive. However, the rooms here are perfect for our needs. The refurbishment has been done well and better than I expected. We spent a very comfortable night and also enjoyed visiting the adjacent pub, The Red Kite, which was lovely. I enjoyed my visit just as much as I did when it was Express by Holiday Inn. The comfort of the bed and the added little extra of the reading lights were an improvement. On checking out at noon the next day we were asked if everything had been ok, were thanked for staying and wished a pleasant weekend. It was said in a genuine manner which I thought was a nice touch as it didn't feel as if the receptionist was just going through their 'spiel' . I would certainly recommend this hotel if you are visiting the area or looking for a place to break up a long journey up or down the M1. I will certainly return.