“ Address: 46-46a Greengate Street / Stafford / Staffordshire ST16 2JA „
Back in the UK again, I had some training courses to attend and so several of us from work got together to go on one in Staffordshire. Having found this hotel on the net, we all booked into it with eager anticipation of a night out before the course the next day. It wasn't to disappoint; amid all the banter, eating and drinking, I managed to keep my head and so present to you my experience of the hotel.
This is slap bang in the middle of Stafford town centre and so very handily located. It's only a five or ten minute walk from the train station. I ponced a lift and it wasn't hard to find once we got into the town centre and followed the directions. There are small signs pointing to the hotel which you follow, all the way round a winding road and finally into the hotel car park.
I was in a business class room on the top floor above the reception, which appeared to be bigger and more fancy than my colleagues.
There was a big LCD TV, complete with 2 remote controls which I found a bit confusing. It took me a while to work out which one to use, and even then I was struggling a bit to get it to work, so room for improvement there.
The furnishings included a brown carpet, a light brown wooden table and chair. Two low bedside tables were provided, one to each side of the bed. Two single beds pushed together were passed off as a double. I was a bit surprised by this when compared to the comparatively ornate nature of the room, but it was still a good nights sleep for me, so no complaints there, seeing as I was on my own.
When opening the door to the room you are initially greeted with a small ante room with a fancy swivelling leather seat, foot rest, and a kettle with tea and coffee on top of a wooden chest of drawers. There was also a small round coffee table and a wardrobe
A nice thick writing pad with a pen was provided, which I found more generous than the usual small notepad. There was also a trouser press and hairdryer in the room.
The position of the room was pretty acceptable. I had a good view of the high street outside, and I wasn't disturbed by any noise through the night. There weren't that many pubs or clubs in the immediate vicinity, so that might explain it.
The bathroom had an enclosed shower unit, and sand coloured tiled floor. A modern heated towel rack was on the wall near to the wash basin and in the shower. Some fancy branded hand wash was in a dispenser fixed to the wall on a bracket. There was also some small hair and body wash containers, a shower cap and some hand soap.
The shower was pretty powerful, which was just what was required to wake me up.
The hotel restaurant food was pretty good. The restaurant was fairly large and certainly bustling for a Wednesday night. I was under the impression that many of the people there were actually local, judging by the various groups of families.
My colleagues had steak on a plank, which was a still cooking hunk of meat served on a red hot granite slab, with vegetables and potato croquettes on the side. The idea was to take it off the slab once it was cooked to your own satisfaction; a novel and impressive concept. I am informed the steak was of decent quality and tasty, the croquettes fluffy and vegetables well cooked.
I opted for the salmon with crushed potatoes which was excellent. The salmon was well cooked, the potatoes full of flavour, the smattering of pesto sauce adding to the taste.
We also had excellent service from the waitresses. I felt somewhat sorry for them as you can imagine what it's like to serve a group of boozed up engineers away on a course. It wasn't quiet, that's for sure, and full marks to then for not losing their manners on patience - I think I wouldn't have been so nice if I was them!
Breakfast the next day was a mix of self service cereals and pastries and a menu, some item of which cost extra. I opted for the vegetarian full English breakfast, which was inclusive. This was excellent; eggs as required (fried in my case), a big Portobello mushroom, baked beans (not included in my colleagues meat laden option, I noted), a big tomato, 1 piece of fried bread, some toast on the side and some sauce if requested. I was a bit surprised to see no vegetarian sausage but I wasn't complaining, the plate was pretty big!
THE RECEPTION AREA
There were 2 bars and even a little coffee shop in the hotel, which impressed me greatly, although no TV was in sight and we wanted to watch the footy, as it was the night of the first Champions League semi final. The bar was full of leather seats and sofas which lent a somewhat laid back and relaxing vibe.
This hotel had an excellent location in the heart of Stafford, with the added advantage of being in walking distance to bars and restaurants (but, crucially, not directly outside). The service and food was great and the general atmosphere convivial. The rooms and general look of the hotel was pretty plush. I would highly recommend this hotel for any business travellers. If it's coming out of your own pocket, if you can get a decent deal then go for it!
The Swan Hotel
46-46a Greengate Street
Tel 01785 258142
Fax 01785 223372
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : http://www.theswanstafford.co.uk/