My partner and I were travelling to an event near Braintree yesterday and wanted to break our journey from the Midlands with an inexpensive overnight stay by on Friday night. We chose the Days Hotel partly because of its location just off the M11 (perfect for our onward journey) and partly based on the Trip Advisor reviews we had read.
As others have stated, it's important to know whether you are staying at the Days Inn or the Days Hotel as both are located here at the Birchanger Services station! It's also worthing saying that the signage at the service area is rather confusing and on more than one occasion in the past I have found myself taking a wrong turn and driving right out of the services again and back onto the main roundabout. Don't always assume that the car in front of you knows where it is going.
The Days Hotel is located next to the main services, with free overnight parking right outside (remember to advise Reception of your car registration, otherwise you'll be charged). Check in was quick and efficient and the Receptionist was very friendly and helpful. We were offered the opportunity to book a full English or Continental breakfast in the small dining area the next morning and opted for the full English at £7.95 a head. We were also offered a wakeup call but declined. I guess this service is mainly for people with early flights from nearby Stansted.
Our double room was modern, clean and of a decent size with plenty of room for luggage (good for those heading to/from the airport). We had everything we needed and more: desk with chair, flat screen TV, free WiFi, hanging space, tea and coffee making facilities, decent sized bathroom with walk-in shower (plenty of hot water), spare duvet, air conditioning, black out curtain.
Intially thinking we would drive into Bishops Stortford for an evening meal, we decided we weren't that hungry after all and didn't fancy doing any more driving so we opted to get something from the services next door. Not fancying fast food, we had paninis and coffees at Starbucks which hit the spot. We then popped into the M&S store next door for a can of Gin & Tonic, a beer and some crisps and settled back down in our room to relax and watch TV. It may be worth noting that there was nothing ressembling a can opener in the room so my partner had to improvise!
Although the hotel was comfortable and pretty quiet (and I had my ear plugs with me), neither of us slept very well that night. We were aware of the distant rumble of planes taking off/landing and we both heard the Receptionst knocking on one of the neighbouring bedroom doors for an early morning call, but this would not usually disturb us too much as we live under the flight path for Birmingham Airport. I can only put it down to the Starbucks coffees keeping us awake.
Next morning, somewhat bleary-eyed, we had showers and went downstairs for breakfast. For our £7.95 we could choose 6 cooked items plus fruit juice and unlimited toast and coffee/tea. Eggs are cooked to order so you need to ask if you want them.
The dining area is small and it's self-service. There was a catering member of staff keeping an eye on everything and she was quick to help me when I slopped my coffee all over my table and seemed to be doing a good job of clearing tables and engaging with guests.
The breakfast was filling and, although possibly a little expensive at £7.95, it certainly hit the spot and the coffee was good.
While eating our breakfast we noticed that there are ground floor disabled rooms right next to Reception. These may be a little noisy for guests as they are located right opposite the kitchen area but for those who don't need to use wheelchairs, the hotel does have a lift. There is disabled parking right outside.
Overall, we felt this was a good hotel, offering value for money and a friendly, efficient service. It did what it said on the tin, it ticked all our boxes and I would recommend.
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