I prefer to stay in places that have a unique charm about them rather than the sterile environment found in the multi-national chains that cater primarily for the business user. But this has its drawbacks when you expect business style service. With a self appointed four star rating I was expecting either opulence through high quality decor, fixture and fittings etc. or high quality and service, sadly neither were the case.
That said, there is character in the building that makes the decor, which was fine but on the brink of being tired, seem strangely appealing. The welcome I received was pleasant and the service received during my stay perfectly adequate.
Travelling on my own, it was disappointing that having booked and paid for a twin room (the only one allegedly available) to find that I was apparently only entitled to one mug, one spoon and one chocolate sachet, rather petty I thought given the £59 paid against £38 rate advertised for single occupancy, although there were two or three coffee/tea sachets, but no decaff. On the last two nights I received none at all, but was told on checking out that they had run out of chocolate sachets, hardly a good advertisement.
On my arrival I discovered that breakfast was only served between 8am and 9am which is far too late for most business users, and definitely for me; and most probably too early for tourists, and without doubt not in keeping with its ‘4 star’ status. When I mentioned that I would need to be on the road by 7am I was told I could ask after 7:30am and they might do me some toast and a coffee, pretty useless I thought.
My room (No.2 on the first floor looking out onto the main street) was comfy enough, but one of the wardrobe doors was on its last legs and the radiator had to be ‘bled’ during my stay as it packed up and the room was cold. There was also a power failure of some sort during my stay, as all the lights went out on my first night during the evening. I was already relaxing in my PJ’s and couldn’t be bothered to explore the corridors in the dark so I retired for the night earlier than I had planned – but they were working again by the morning. My bathroom was on the small side, the basin was so small I couldn't put my arm in it to wash (always a good test) and with no shelf to put anything on so I had to go back and forth for my toiletries that had to be left in the bedroom; no shelf also meant no glass/cup provided to rinse my teeth after brushing.
The lounge bar was supposed to be open from 8pm till 11pm, but I never saw the shutters raised during my four night stay. But there are three good traditional pubs within 100 yards of the front door so no worries on that score.
The Sydney House Hotel is a good ten minute walk from the main town centre, where parking is not so easy, so consider this if you are specifically visiting Shrewsbury and you decide to stay here. On the plus side the free WiFi worked well in my room; the towels were of good quality and the bed was very comfortable.
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- Also Known As:
- Sydney Hotel Shrewsbury