Contrasts

I had 2 nights in North Wales last week, and then 2 nights in Sheffield. Sheffield in itself offers an interesting contrast with Snowdonia, but that’s not the real point.

I stayed in the Holiday Inn in Sheffield (not the budget brand “Holiday Inn Express” one, although it might have been better). A dreadful experience.

Where can I start?

I was there for an ice hockey meeting which was held in the hotel.

Holiday Inn Sheffield

Holiday Inn Sheffield

The organisation booked the room – and for other attendees as well as me. Between the meeting room hire, buffet lunch and the guest bedrooms it must have been worth over £1,000 to the hotel.

Anyway, I was given a 2nd floor room at the front. It was immediately above the front door and right opposite the lift.

The first night I didn’t get to sleep until about 2am. Noisy drunks leaving a function and getting into taxis. The taxi drivers sounding their horns (yes, outside a hotel at 1 am). Guests talking in the corridor outside the lift.

Reception got a very quick and brutal complaint at 7:30 am. They were apologetic and gave me a different room for the 2nd night. I got the impression this problem was routine for them.

The other room was quieter in the sense of not having the same noise problems. However, that side of the hotel faces onto a busy expressway, so the window had to be kept closed all night – I always sleep with it open.

Room with a "View"

Room with a “View”

Another poor sleep.

The rooms are OK. They have been refurbished recently. However, the building dates from 1856 and I suspect the windows and doors are original. Replacing them would certainly have reduced noise problems.

I was in an executive room both times.

Well Furnished

Well Furnished

That is astonishing as far as the first room is concerned. To be honest, they have a nerve renting it out at all if they have a function on. The same would apply to most of the rooms at the front.

The breakfast buffet was average (the coffee was dreadful and the food OK), but a whopping £12.50 per head. It was included in my room rate.

My hunch is the hotel makes plenty money from its function business (and to hell with guest comfort) as there was another event for noisy drunks on the 2nd night I was there.

Contrast all that with the bed and breakfast I stayed in in Betwys-y-Coed. The room at Tyn y Fron was quiet and comfortable.

Tyn y Fron

Tyn y Fron

The breakfast was excellent (good food and good coffee).

Delicious

Delicious

The welcome was friendly.

I’d go back anytime. I’m happy to sing its praises in a blog post.

ⓒ iain taylor 2016

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