Not often the reception and the restaurant both ask you (in a meaningful way?) to please use their comment card to see what they need to do to make it a 10/10?
Reception was very good and the room was also exactly as expected – double bed, small 2-seater settee, compact bathroom with step-in shower, Work desk, hanging space and shelves. As an airport hotel the room has just what you need and is relatively spacious and uncluttered when compared to most guest houses.
Restaurant does need to ‘move up’ a bit to get that 10/10 – not because of the quality of the food (which was fine for this type of establishment) – but for simple things like serving the food on a hot plate, and having some more ‘international’ choices on offer. They had the usual burgers, steaks, a combined (and not particularly inspiring) ‘pasta, salad, pizza’ list – and three ‘fish’ dishes. No sign of any Indian sub-continent/Far Eastern/Rice/Noodle options.
Their main thrust seemed to be in promoting their ‘Rotisserie’ option of (mainly) chicken (which may well have been very good but, again, very ‘Brit’ orientated – and not something that tempted me when on an overnight stay with a morning flight out – maybe yes when going for a night out at home?)
So: I decided to settle for the scampi and fries – which came very well presented and pleasant to the eye. And tasted good to begin with but then, half way thru the meal, I realised that the fries had gone cold, which was when I tested the serving dish and found that it was cold and had taken the heat from the food.
Was also disappointed in the very limited choice of bottled beers – all continental (no Newcastle Brown or even a more local East Anglia bottled offering – they don’t go off!). Settled for a glass of Merlot at £7.00 when I’d have preferred a good bottle of beer at a more reasonable price.
When paying the (restaurant) bill I was again asked whether all was ok and the server quickly started to read the card (there were good points!) but went into defensive mode when he saw the negative bit(s) … and then quickly reverted to ‘all customer comments are welcome’ when he saw my ‘oh really?’ smile) … well – I do hope so as I expect to be back here again as I do like HIX and, prices generally being equal, the other close option of Premier Inn (which I also like) is right alongside and served by the same airport bus.
On that point – shuttle bus £3 per adult each way (u-16s free with paying adult?), every half-hour (minute 15 and 45 from the airport from around 0400 to midnight-45) from Bus Stop Bay 21 at the airport – good deal!
Car park at hotel is £9.00 for first night; £15/night thereafter (but there are long-term parking options at the airport – not my problem as I arrived by train – and the hotel may have ‘park, stay and fly’ offers ?).
Breakfast:- continental option from 0400-0600 and the cooked option added at 0600 – all included in the overnight price – is a big positive for me about HIX (all else being equal!). Free ‘basic’ WiFi for all and ‘premium’ for those of us who are regulars, or for a price.
Would be a 4.5/5 if available, and that minus half-mark is mainly down to the restaurant.