I've stayed at Q-hotels before, and today I've enjoyed everyone of them.
It's not that I didn't enjoy this hotel, it was comfortable enough; it just seemed a bit....odd.
Reception was warm and welcoming. My check in was efficient. The hotel has a spacious area just inside the doors which is nice with various business rooms and conference facilities branching off to the side.
Beyond the reception is a long quite wide area which the reception referred to as "The Boulevard" off which are the bar and the restaurant. It's quite a nice public area to sit out in, and guests can eat in (on?) The Boulevard from the bar menu. Unusual in that it reminded me of some atriums in US shopping malls, but nonetheless nice.
I was sent up to my room via the lifts, which were a bit tricky to find. Once in I pressed floor "3" as instructed, but the lift delivered me to floor 2 - turns out the buttons align with the room numbers (301, 302, 303), but the lift display aligns with the floor level (ground, first, second).
So slightly confused, I followed signs to my room. The hotel is laid out in a large grid with a cross roads in corridors at various points. However, I kept being directed down sparse corridors with very little lights. I was beginning to wonder if I was going the wrong way and at any moment I would emerge in the kitchens, or somewhere similar. In parts it almost felt disused, as if no one had been that way for years.
Eventually though I found my way into a well lit corridor off which was my room.
The room was warm. The air conditioning was effective (both for warming and cooling) which makes a change from a lot of hotels I've stayed in.
I couldn't make my mind up if the decor was dated or stylish. Yet the room was clean and quite spacious - my room was in the corner of one of the courtyards formed from the grid style layout, which gave it a bit of extra room at one end of the room. Rooms along the middle of the courtyards looked somewhat smaller from the fire escape route drawing on the back of the door. Had my room not had the extra bit, I might have felt a little cramped.
The bathroom was really nice. Very clean and smart with a nice selection of toiletries, towels, etc.
I didn't eat in the restaurant. I did though have food in the bar. I had the steak, which was nicely cooked, although nothing memorable. More what I would call standard pub fayre. Nice, well cooked but nothing special; but then I don't think the bar was intending on being special - simply social. The restaurant was there for "special".
I slept quite well, better than I often do on single night stays.
Breakfast was nice, though busy and I while a waitress occasionally came and offered guests tea or coffee, they were generally too busy clearing tables, and in the end I had to ask.
The english breakfast was nice but from a buffet rather than cooked fresh.
I attended a meeting in a conference room. The room was a bit small for the number of people, but I have no way of knowing if that was the hotel's fault or the fault of the organisers.
The food supplied to the room during the day, though, was excellent and for that I give the hotel a lot of credit. A good job.
Check out was efficient.
In summary, the stay was nice and I enjoyed the room. I would give this hotel a Very Good if it wasn't for the confusing and slightly odd experience of finding the room, and if the hotel had given a bit more thought to the bar area. So it fell down on a couple of areas, otherwise it would have had a four rating.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ashford International Hotel is located close to J9 of the M20 motorway and minutes from the Eurostar terminal, Channel Tunnel and only 36 minutes from London. The hotel boasts 19 state-of-the-art conference rooms and 179 sumptuous bedrooms. The hotel has a contemporary brasserie style restaurant Horizon, Costa Coffee and the more informal sports bar with pool table, Quench. Leisure and Spa facilities feature a 20m indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, Technogym, relaxation suite and six beauty treatment rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ashford Hotel International
- Ashford International Hotel Kent