Premier Inn, Winchester – ok apart from shortage of teabags and a very thick duvet

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April, 2024

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Premier Inn, Winchester

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There are no photos with this review. Most Premier Inns look the same and this one wasn’t in a picturesque environment so I didn’t bother. I also can’t review the restaurant as we didn’t use it. We just wanted somewhere cheap to stay for two nights while my husband and I went to a plant society AGM in a nearby famous garden. We know Winchester well, nearly always visiting for plant society meetings of one sort or another, and have stayed in The Royal Hotel in Winchester (my preferred option), Travelodges and some that have turned into Days Inns from former Travelodges. On this occasion we left it too late to book in at The Royal (perhaps my husband left it too late on purpose – it is more expensive than the alternative options!). We dismissed the Travelodge in Winchester city centre, which although in an ideal location there is no parking, so one has the added cost of the public car park nearby and Winchester City Council has increased charges quite significantly; it used to be a good place to stay and park, especially on Sundays and evenings – but no longer. If driving into the city centre for an evening meal be aware that it’s best to wait until after 7.00 pm to park.

The Premier Inn, Caledonia House, Winnall Manor Road, is on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Winchester, close to Junction 9 of the M3 and the A31. There is free parking, some of it under cover, and should this car park be full then the surrounding roads on the industrial estate have a lot of roadside parking, especially during the evenings and at night. We found a space in the car park without any problem and we took a lift up to Reception from the car park level. We booked in but declined to order breakfast as we’d heard the receptionist tell the man before us that it could be busy at breakfast next morning. There are two lifts so we didn’t have to wait long to go up to our 3rd floor room, which had a view of a 24 hour veterinary surgery opposite, Costa Coffee nearby and, my husband said he could just see, behind some trees, a bit of the Cathedral, although I wasn’t convinced. There was a fire station next door and a Royal Mail sorting office further up the hill..

The room was a Standard Double but was clean and had a kettle, mugs etc. but only 2 teabags and 2 coffee sachets, sugar sachets and UHT milk . Considering we’d booked in for 2 nights and nobody would be coming in to clean or change towels unless we requested I would have thought we could have had at least 4 teabags provided. Later we saw a basket in Reception with sugar, coffee and UHT milk but no teabags and there was no-one around to ask for more so we hoped the supplies would be filled up later. We drove into the centre of Winchester to a car park on the one way system; it’s a fairly easy walk downhill to the centre and I would walk it in summer but as it was cold we opted to drive. There is a bus stop practically outside the Premier Inn and the following morning we saw several people from the hotel waiting for a bus into town as there is a regular service to the nearby Tesco Superstore so when it was closed on Saturday we saw no buses.

That night we could not sleep as the room was too hot and the duvet too thick. We turned on the air conditioning but it was really noisy – rather like the sound of a waterfall – so my husband turned it off completely and I wrapped myself in a beach sarong I’d taken with me for such a contingency and lay on top of the duvet. Why do budget hotels insist on such thick duvets? I suppose we should have complained that the heating/air conditioning was not functioning properly but we had to get out early in the morning so walked the nearby McDonald’s – just up the road near the Tesco’s. As my late mother would have said the breakfast roll ‘filled a hole’ but at least it didn’t take too long to order and eat and I suspect we could have got a ‘breakfast deal’ if we’d been able to navigate the automatic ordering process.

The second night was much like the first, in that I got too hot again, and there were no teabags left for an early morning cuppa. We had tried to get some the previous afternoon but the queues in Reception were too long and there were none available to help ourselves. Note to me: next time take a couple of teabags! The second morning we walked across the main road to a Costa, which I enjoyed more than the McDonald’s),and I think we could have bought a bacon roll from a food van parked in the car park there. Basically we got what we paid for (£45 a night) but in future I’ll go prepared with teabags and a sleeping bag inner lining.


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