I rated this hotel a three after visiting back in the summer of 2013. Since then I have returned on business trips a few times.
I've always found the front desk staff efficient. I've managed to get 3G signal in some rooms which means I haven't felt the need to pay for wifi. It is now fairly unusual to pay for wifi in public areas of hotels and when you do end up paying for in-room wifi it is usually much cheaper than charged here.
Some of the rooms I've stayed in since have been redecorated, which has made them feel fresher, but the dark corridors and public areas will always seem a little depressing, and possibly unwelcoming to those with reduced vision. I still quite like the quirky style of the rooms and on most visits the rooms have been clean and the bathrooms have always been spotless.
I'm not a fan of the overhead showers, which are really good at getting your bald patch clean, but not much else, but that's a matter of my taste.
The restaurant menu seems not to have changed in the last sixth months, which means I'm fairly familiar with the two vegetarian main course options. A little more inventiveness or diversity would be appreciated, for if you don't fancy grilled meat then your options are fairly limited. The two options are pasta or risotto. The risotto is probably the best of the two, nice portion size, pleasing creamy texture and taste. The pasta summons up an impression of a refrigerated ready meal blasted for a few minutes in a microwave and then grilled on top, which is a shame because I am sure more effort goes into it.
On one occasion in the Autumn we had great service from a member of the waiting team. The prices haven't changed, so hopefully if inflation continues the cost of the food will become reasonable eventually. The hotel seems to rely on business customers who will charge the costs to the company - if it was my money I would be much more likely to complain as I judge the food to be worth 50%-75% of what the menu states. The bar prices are fairly hefty, but that is probably typical. What is interesting is that the design of the hotel means that the poor staff have to remove all the bar contents, dozens of bottle, etc. each night as they can't secure the bar area. What a silly thing to put them through! Style above function! Another weird thing is that the loud music in the lounge area doesn't match the music videos being played on the TV channel. Why turn the screens to a music channel if you are going to play a different soundtrack? Would BBC News 24 with subtitles be a better choice?
Unfortunately on my last visit (I had nominated the hotel to be used by 16 colleagues from all over the country) the shortcomings of the restaurant were all too apparent. The staff seemed inexperienced and busy - we watched with some schadenfreude as they tried to work out whose dish was whose for a neighbouring table - and the food was terrible.
My pasta had clearly spent a long time under a grill or heat lamp and was burnt and dry on the top. Had I not been entertaining a number of colleagues I would have sent it back, because I'm sure the chef would not really have been happy with results like that being sent out from his or her kitchen. Having had a burnt main course I went for the creme brulee for dessert as that is supposed to burned so I was confident that it would be alright. To be honest, that could have benefited from caramelising for a bit longer but it tasted fine.
A number of colleagues had reason to complain about their dishes, one in particular got the cold shoulder from a waitress after complaining about his steak and accompaniments. Others were disappointed with portion size after taking out a mortgage to have some chips and only getting half a dozen.
If you were eating in a posh, quality restaurant you might expect to pay those prizes but essentially this is just pretentious pub grub.
Unfortunately an army marches on it stomach and so the overriding memory of this hotel is the restaurant experience, which overshadows the good features of the establishment.
My colleagues and I still have regular meetings in this area so we'll try something else out locally and see how it compares.
- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Nottingham - Sherwood Park Hotel Nottingham
- Holiday Inn Nottingham - Sherwood Park Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Dakota Nottingham is ideally located at junction 27 of the M1, this stylish and modern hotel offers easy routes into and out of the city, making the perfect venue for leisure guests who are wanting to explore Nottinghamshire. This beautifully designed hotel offers 92 bedrooms with air conditioning, luxury linens and internet access. Then at the end of the day enjoy a cocktail and fresh modern cooking in our bar and grill. ... more less
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