* Prices may differ from that shown
The Quality Hotel Colchester looks lovely. A converted flour mill it sits beside the river about ten minutes walk from the town centre. Sadly, this is where the good stuff ends. As a romantic one night stop before a day at the beach, my boyfriend and I thought the Quality looked pretty good. Prices for bed and breakfast weren't bad, and from the pictures on the internet, it looked beautiful. We arrived at about seven and pulled into the car-park which, unlike the very public front of the building, was a bit like a tip and appeared to be home to an abandoned nightclub. Still, the car-park is for cars, and you never hear your Mazda asking for a room with a view. Maybe we should have asked for a room with a view, because we ended up with a view of the Mazda. Still, we were only staying for one night, who cares what's out the window? We planned to hit the town, come back, get some kip, get up early, have breakfast and then get to the beach. The Quality Hotel is about ten minutes walk from the centre of town, and the centre of Colchester would be really lovely if not for all the litter. Anyway, we had a meal, had a drink, had a wander and then returned to the hotel at about 11.30 to get some sleep. At about 9.00, however, whilst we had been enjoying a meal in the Ha Ha Bar and Canteen, the derelict club behind the hotel had opened it's doors. By 11.30 the clubbers had decided it was either a) too hot or b) too rickety, inside the club and had decided to continue their evening outside. In the car-park. Which our room over-looked. From 11.30 until 4.00am it was impossibly to get any sleep. There was constant noise from people (Oi, Vera, you met my friend Elaine?" or "Oi, you lookin' for a fight?")and from taxis and cars coming and going. Our small room was like an oven, and whilst shutting the windows muffled the noise it meant that we were far too uncomfor table to sleep. We couldn't believe, up on the thrid floor, how LOUD these people were! God knows what it was like for the poor people on the first & second floors. A complaint to reception a 2.00 am acheived nothing and at about 2.30 we looked out of the window and saw a burger bar had been set up in the car-park and it looked like these people were never going to go home. In the morning, after about four hours sleep, we had a lovely breakfast, and then complained to reception. Their response? "It's like that most weekends. Here's the bill." Now I don't have a problem with a club behind a hotel. Should I be a heavy clubber it's the kind of hotel I'd like to stay in - very easy to stagger back to. What I have a problem with is the following: 1) It would have been nice if, on booking or on arrival, we had been told about the potential noise and asked if we would prefer an upgrade to a quieter room. 2) That a hotel makes little or no effort to ensure the highest possible comfort for ALL its guests, and not just the ones lucky enough to get rooms at the front. 3) That the bloke on reception's attitude changed entirely once we complained. And if we'd been in his face about it I could understand, but we brought it up quite politely and the smile dropped from his face and he became a money-grabbing, er, rude word. Hotels are a service industry. It would have been nice to get a little service. SO, avoid the Quality Hotel, but if you must stay there ask for a room at the front.