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“Great restaurant, poor hotel.”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of The Sidings Hotel

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The Sidings Hotel
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
108 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Great restaurant, poor hotel.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2011

I was determined to write a positive review for Sidings as I had very fond memories of the place from October 2009 and my husband, keen trainspotter, absolutely loved the place in its "old days". The location of the hotel is perfect for trainspotters and train enthusiasts. Converted train carriages cannot provide spacious bedrooms, but this should be expected and it definitely is not a problem of this hotel.
We spent a night there again in October 2010 and it was a night of near horror, which was in fact quite appropriate for the Halloween night.
On our arrival we were met by a young receptionist/waitress who spoke very little English. The situation was saved by the male receptionist who also worked as a restaurant waiter.
When booking the room we were advised they didn't have our desired double room, but they could push two beds together for us. When we entered the room the beds were still apart. The room was quite cold so we were happy to discover an extra heater. To our bad luck, it didn't work. The same situation repeated itself with the main lights of the bedroom, in fact we even didn't find the switch and the mirror light in the bathroom. Bathroom itself was of reasonable size for the room, with no heating, some toiletries were provided ( hair shampoo, conditioner and soap) and water was lovely hot. However, mould in shower cubicle corners was rather offputting.
The room offered tea and coffee making facilities, but the sockets were placed behind beds and when boiling the kettle we had to position it on the bed or radiator. It wasn't pleasant to still find water from the previous guests in it.
Chest of drawers had 5 drawers and provided enough space, but 3 drawers didn't have any handles, other two were missmatched. Beds in the room had quite good mattresses, but duvet cover was around 4 inches bigger than the actual duvet, which on top of everything was very thin and not appropriate for such a cold room. Extra blankets were, of course, not provided, and pillows (one pillow for each bed) were also very thin. I had a little black stain on my pillow and my husband's duvet had a suspicious looking stain, too.
After a trainspotting session, for which our room was perfectly located as both windows had a view of the track, we headed to the restaurant. We were seated at the window in a carriage restaurant which looked lovely, but was very cold. Menu was still traditional Italian, but with extra Greek specialities, which were the new Greek owner's influence. We went for Italian food and were not disappointed. The website says there is an extensive range of good wines on offer, but we didn't order any as we never got a wine list. Food was excellent, service efficient and polite, but we dearly missed the former older bubbly Italian waiters, who fitted into the Italian place much better than Eastern European staff.
When we returned to the room after dinner it was freezing cold. Radiator was cold (set to time switch) and any extra heating was not provided. Walls of the carriages are not very thick or well insulated and windows are single glazing. After shower the whole room had condensation and there was water nearly dripping down the wood panel walls. We survived the night, but caught cold and were yet again shocked at breakfast. It was stated that the continental buffet would be laid out. I understand this kind of breakfast is not the most generous type of breakfast, but we were only provided cereals with one kind of milk (not sure which one it was), bread (make your own toast), jam and butter. You could make your own coffee and have orange juice. People were lingering around the bar not knowing what to do and then followed suit when we put our hands on breakfast. The English breakfast, for additional £4.95, was served an hour earlier than the usual 10am (I wonder if it was due to the hour going back that night), but we decided not to try it. During the breakfast two very scruffy men suddenly appeared behind the bar. We recognised one of them as a cook, the second - we guess - was the owner wearing tracksuit bottoms. We decided to check out immediately after breakfast and were checked out by the cook. Checking out process was fortunately very quick and problem-free.
I must admit we didn't complain and decided to laugh at the whole bad experience rather than be grumpy and miserable and spoil our weekend so we don't know how complaints are handled.
It breaks my heart to write such a negative review as we used to love this themed hotel with perfect trainspotting location and had made quite a few visits there. It could be a unique experience for guests if the owners actually invested some money and gave a bit of attention to the hotel and then we would be excited to go back again.
My final verdict is: don't be fooled by romantic pictures of the rooms on hotel's website and don't stay in the hotel if you have other options (or at least in room number 6 in winter), but do try the restaurant.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bibi1209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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685 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (240)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
cambridgeshire
Level Contributor
154 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2011

Stopped here as a group of 11 for a birthday and used the restaurant for the evening meal and breakfast.
The owners are very firendly, and didnt even charge any extra when our 19 year old son decided to join us, they put him an extra bed at the bottom of ours.
Rooms are small and a little dated but hey this is an old railway carriage so wot do you expect.
Food was italian based, although they did advertise greek nights as well, and was ok for what we paid.
Breakfast was continental, and just about ok.
Just a shame about the leaking roof in the main eatery, and the three large pans collecting the water.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank riw9471
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2011

Booked my room at The Sidings with laterooms.com. I had a special request which was to arrive a few hours early as I was due to attend a medical conference at nearby RAF Linton-on-Ouse at 1230 and had planned to arrive at the hotel about 1145 (which was 2 1/4 hours before the earliest check-in time). The young lady that greeted me on arrival was lovely, helpful and nothing was a problem.

She showed me to my room which was pleasant, a tad cold, but everything was provided. The shower was hot, all the linen was fresh and on departure I had planned to leave without the provided breakfast but the owner, A pleasant Cypriot gentleman, insisted I have a coffee before I travel back to my home.

I would happily come here again, preferably with my partner as the experience was good! Am looking forward to the Cypriot night too.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ppacollings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2011

We have waited years to be able to stay here and was so excited when being given this trip as a gift. The staff were kind. But the lack cleanliness was something else. The Pulman carrige to dine in was dusty and cobwebs on the lamps. The corridors to the accommodation had not seen a cleaner for sometime. The toilet seat was hanging off and dirty ensuite floor. Generally very shabby . The gentleman who commented on the breakfast was correct as the breakfast was prepared the night before and even the milk left out over night. Cerials out of date. We were left to our own devices to prepare breakfast and left as soon as we could . I would not recommend this to any one . However I would have loved a stay here in the hotels hayday and Im sure the originator of this project would cringe at is current stateof decay. A tip to the owner - show this hotel some love and respect.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank parrotts5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hull
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2011

If you're looking for somewhere a little different then this is a great place to stay. It is made up of original pullman train carriages and is full of railway memorabilia and there was a lovely roaring fire to greet us and although the room facilities were a little basic, the overall experience was top notch, especially if you have a train enthusiast with you my brother-in-law could not stop smiling.
We had 3 rooms (carriages) all very individual and very clean - maybe could have done with slightly thicker curtains but not a major problem.
The dining car made you feel like you were on the orient express. We ate in the conservatory which is next to the east coast mainline, trains thundering past every few minutes might not be to everyones taste but certainly added to our experience. The food was delicious, very fresh and tasty and great value for money. The staff were so friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank lizzyn10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2010

Stayed here for one night while visiting york a couple of weeks ago. When we arrived it seemed like it was a little in the middle of nowhere, but york is actually only a short distance away. There is no reception area, which i didnt think was a problem, so we checked in at the bar. The bar/ resturant area i thought was nice, with a big conservatory type window looking out at the railway lines. Our room was small (as you would expect) but clean, the bed was really comfortable and there is tea/coffee making facilities and a tv. I can't say i'm interested in trains, my partner is, but i found the whole experiance quite novel. We asked for a veiw of the lines, which we got. You could hear the trains passing, but didn't keep either of us awake. I find it strange that people would complain about this as you are on the railway line!
We were there when there was about a foot f snow, and was a little worried it might be cold. But theres a really good fan heater in the room which kept it nice and warm.
The hotel was locked up at night, but we were given a key incase we returned late, smoked, or for emergencies i suppose. Full details on the door of doctors, the managers number incase you took ill.
Breakfast was included, but for £5 extra you could have a full engliah (served 10 - 12) So we arrived at 10 o'clock. I had the included breakfast. Help yourself to cereal and toast, tea and coffee. My partner had full english, they'd ran out of sausage so he wasn't charged, but got a full plate full anyway. Didn't eat at the resturant, or use they bar (but it seemed well stocked)
Found the staff very friendly. The only thing they could improve on is that there was condensation which had started to run down the windows by the morning.
Overall, i would definatly stay here again, very good for £49 although it's probably not everyones cup of tea so to speak.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank inksterx9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingha,
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2010

I stayed over for a night on my to Scotland with my wife and enjoyed every min. Its not the Ritz but these are train carriages. They've done a fab job in converting these in to rooms and a dining area, The meal in the restaurant was great and so was the service. The rooms are cosy but its what i expected, all in all a pleasant experience and one i would recommend.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PaulB042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sidings Hotel

Property: The Sidings Hotel
Address: Station Lane, Shipton-by-Beningbrough YO30 1BT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Shipton-by-Beningbrough
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Shipton-by-Beningbrough
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Sidings Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Sidings Hotel UK/England - Yorkshire

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