This is a large and modern hotel on the outskirts of Sittingbourne. It is now part of the Holiday Inn group and rooms are typical of the group. I spent four nights here as part of a coach party.
Reception was swift and efficient. There are two lifts which can take up to eight people as long as they aren’t too large, have luggage and you don’t mind your personal space being invaded. Decor is the grey, black, white and lime green of the holiday Inn group.
I had a large room with a king size bed. I never did work out the difference between the firm or the soft pillows. The black grey and white decor is a bit stark and functional. The grey carpet had hollow rings in black and white and, in a half awake state in the mornings, the white rings did feel a bit like walking on toilet rolls…. There was a flat screen TV and small working area with the kettle. An arm chair was also provided but the only place for this was beside the bed which might have caused problems if there were two of you.
There was plenty of hanging space, small chest of drawers, safe and hair drier.
The very modern bathroom had an excellent shower over the bath. It took me two nights to find the bath mat we were advised to use in the bath. The quality of the towels varied from average to good. Soap and shower gel were provided in hand pumped dispenser bottles but I found they didn’t lather very well. There was only a small hook behind the door to hang towels to dry.
Sound proofing between the rooms isn’t that good and you can hear noise from adjacent rooms. That may explain why it wasn’t possible to turn up the volume on the TV. Fortunately there were no noisy groups in the corridors when I stayed there.
It took me ages to work out how to work the lights. These are turned on using your key card and come on automatically when the card is inserted. Small black buttons below turn off the lights but it isn’t intuitive.
There was a reasonable choice of food at breakfast with fresh fruit, cereals, yogurts, fried breakfast and toast, croissants and muffins. However staff were slow to replenish food, especially the fried eggs. I also found the bacon greasy and a bit too ‘piggy’ for me.
Being a coach party we had a set menu for the evening meal. The hotel is popular with coaches and there were at least two large groups each night. We were all asked to be seated at the same time. Food was slow to be brought out from the kitchen and even slower to arrive at the table. It could often be 30 minutes before everyone got their starter. Rolls were brought round but these were very hard and could challenge the teeth. The only time I had a soft roll was the night the chef hadn’t made enough and had to bake more. These rolls were warm, soft and very good. The main course and desert was equally slow to appear and be served. There was a choice of three items, including a vegetarian option. The food was at best mediocre. Meat was either very chewy or tasteless. There was plenty of meat, but vegetable portions were on the small side. The meals were redeemed by the desert which was often the best bit of the meal.
On the last night we had a buffet meal. This worked a lot better although there were still long queues as again two coach parties had been asked to arrive for dinner at the same time. It was a better meal too.
This is the first time the coach company has used this hotel. It was convenient for the places we were visiting in Kent. Sittingbourne itself doesn’t have a lot to offer teh tourist. Most people were happy with the room but everyone was grumbling about the evening meals and this is reflected in the overall grading.
They also serve meals for non coach party guests. I wasn’t aware of anyone else in the restaurant in the evening and did wonder how they would fare. Or perhaps they eat elsewhere?