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“Extremely dated, dingy and noisy”

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Best Western Reading Calcot Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Calcot
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 28, 2013

We thought we were getting a known brand with this chain hotel, but it felt like it had been forgotten in 1950. Extremely dated décor and fittings with stained carpets and dingy rooms.
We had to ask to move after the first night after not sleeping at all, due to the noise from adjoining rooms and an extremely busy A-road. The first receptionist said we couldn't move, but a second arranged it with a smile. The second room was admittedly much quieter being at the rear of the hotel, but it smelt extremely damp, due I think to the fact that the bathroom flooded every time you had a shower (splashback from the shower onto the wall behind the taps, then onto the floor causing a large puddle. At least the bathroom wasn't visibly mouldy, just very small and with a hairdryer probably not manufactured since 1949.
I had to ask to change the pillows due to them smelling musty, which housekeeping want very happy about, so much for customer service.
The breakfast was ok, though not with much choice for a vegetarian, plus it was marred by the frantic rushing around by staff setting up for lunch - please do that once the breakfast guests have cleared, it makes us feel like we are in the way! One member of staff was very attentive remembering my drink and toast choice from one day to another, plus she put marmite (requested on day 2) on my table each subsequent day. My partner had to request room service due to breakfast due starting too late for him to attend, he was glad of the opportunity of this (since breakfast had been paid for) however being diabetic he could only eat the yoghurt, all other items being extremely sugary - why not offer a choice of cereal, a piece of fruit and a bread roll instead of the current croissant and three cakes.
The bar was a pleasant enough space to sit in, though drinks were rather expensive.
Its more of a meeting room and dinner dance/events venue rather than a hotel. Would not recommend it other than for one nights stay. The hotel was also extremely pricey, which we thought was a clue to its quality, how wrong we were.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Genuine_Reviews2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew_MacLachlan, General Manager at Best Western Reading Calcot Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2013

Thank you for your comments on our Hotel.

With regards to your room, I’m glad we were able to accommodate your requests.

With your comments regarding the shower - if this had been reported at the time, maintenance could have taken action.

I apologise if the staff made you feel uncomfortable at breakfast, however they were simply doing their jobs, and I was extremely pleased to read that the attention to detail of your daily requirements were anticipated by the staff.

We cater for all types of dietary requirements if made aware, and if this had been the case we would have been able to offer alternative items for your partner.

Our prices are competitive with in the local area for a 3 star hotel.

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432 - 438 of 588 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2013

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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Review collected in partnership with Best Western GB
3  Thank Suzanne E
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed October 25, 2013

I stayed here for business reasons in early October 2013. Located on a very busy through-road (A4, near to M4 highway) it's naturally not very quiet, but easy to find. Not very much to do or tosee nearby, so do your wining & dining before you get there.
There is a hotel restaurant, which is very much "English-style": small menu, price level 10-15 GBP, "OK" category, but I wouldn't really travel long distance to visit the place.
Access to the rooms is via a service door, past the kitchen. Steep, narrow wooden staircases, no lift. Not a place for wheelchairs or bulky baggages.
Rooms are rather simple, cheap wooden doors with extremely basic locks. Looks all a bit like leftovers from 1960's , but maybe that's just British style, not sure.
Bathroom is functional, no thrills, but workable.
At first sight, I thought the place to be quite run down, but after seeing other similar hotels in Reading, I upped my ranking by one notch.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Markus U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I met an old colleague for lunch as the venue is equidistant from our offices. It was good to see Mark again after so long, and that is where the good stopped.
The lounge is shabby dated and really quite grubby.
Lunch is a small menu of sandwiches, nothing wrong with that smaller the better, there were only two other people in the "lounge".
I asked for a mix and match toasted ham which was offered only as a sandwich. Same with a beef and cheese. The waitress said she would ask chef if that was OK. I suggested it should be, as there is no difference between the two and the ingredients are the same in both. Chef does not like doing things like that. Well can I advise you that chef should do what the customer wants. I enquired if we could have a pot of strong tea, the waitress said that is no problem, it is my area, I do that. I thought good. Well the sandwiches were disgusting, hardly been any where near the toasting machine, cheap plant loaf only good for toasting if that. Really awful inedible. My tea was cold, yes I mean cold, not just luke warm beyond that.

I have had some really bad service in my time and some memorable bad food, however I now feel as though I can only recommend that people go here to witness the most drab, unmotivated, lost in time hotel. It is on the front line of the best example you could find. It is a Best Western and whilst they are never the top dollar, normally you know you are getting just above mediocrity with them. I even have one of their loyalty cards, just because in the absence of any alternative they are just tenable. Well The Calcot gang take the biscuit, I would take the signs down brand mangers at Best Western they do an injustice to your already very average brand. Please visit the place and agree my findings are quite kind actually. Lots of love Simon xxxx

Room Tip: Just give it a go so you can see how bad things can get.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank simondunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew_MacLachlan, General Manager at Best Western Reading Calcot Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Thank you so much for your comments Simon.

We strongly disagree with your views regarding the decor and cleanliness of our lounge. This hotel has been trading very successfully for the past 40 years and will continue to do so.

You ordered from our bar snack menu and received exactly what you asked for - the sandwiches were made from very well known and loved branded bread which is supplied to us fresh daily.
It is a shame that it is rather easier to complain using social media after the event rather than speaking to us at the time.
I was on duty that day and would have been happy to speak to you if you had made a complaint regarding the food or the tea to the bar staff. I would than have been able to rectify any problems you may have experienced.
We have many regular guests who would take issue with your description of our hotel and staff and would suggest that people do "give us a go" so we can show them exactly how good we are.

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Reviewed October 12, 2013

stayed at this hotel 05/10/2013.hotel nice and clean,rooms ok bar efficient.but not cheap ,great buffet breakfast,overall better than a lot of chain hotels noisy air conditioning let it down as was very near motorway.and main a 4 less traffic noise than expected ,bur air conditioning made up for this shame

Room Tip: maybe rooms at rear of hotel have less traffic noise
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank brian a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

I have just returned from a 3 night weekend at this hotel and, after reading some of the negative reviews, felt I should add my own.
There was a wedding and another celebration on the same weekend but at no point did I feel my needs were placed second to the functions.
At all times I found the staff pleasant and friendly and wasn't kept waiting any length of time either at reception or in the dining area. Breakfast was buffet style with tea or coffee and toast delivered to your table. There was a varied cold buffet with fruit cereal etc and a cooked buffet (bacon eggs etc). I was visiting friends so only ate one evening meal but had no complaints about that. I had braised sirloin in red wine jus, potatoes and veg. All well cooked and piping hot. After having Sunday lunch out, I ordered a sandwich via the bar staff. This was served with fresh, crispy salad and crisps and was more than I expected.
The interior is not ultra modern but is bright and well maintained. The bar area has comfortable seating with daily newspapers on the tables. There is wifi available with a free voucher from reception. This can also be accessed in your room. My room was spacious with dressing table and large mirror, wall mounted TV and iron/ironing board. Towels were clean and hot water was on good supply.
At no point was I disturbed by noise from the hotel. I did worry about traffic noise from the road but I slept like a log all 3 nights.
I booked the weekend at discounted prices and would certainly recommend it as value for money. I would also return for a second visit.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Flo-of-Ayrabia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Reading some of the reviews I wonder if we went to the same hotel or a lot of people don't know what good food is.

We arrived early afternoon and received a good welcome from a very efficient and friendly receptionist. We said how do we get a sandwich and she directed us to the bar. The barwoman said no we can't do a sandwich as we are doing two weddings today. We pressed the point so she went to the kitchens and came back with the same answer: NO.

As we left the bar we met the receptionist and told her. She said, yes you CAN have a sandwich. She must have spoken to the kitchen as she then came back, took our order and it subsequently arrived. What a great asset she is to this hotel!

We sat in the bar to eat it and were inundated with out of control children, screaming and running around, banging a door to the side (which could easily be made to close quietly) as they ran in and out together with the wedding guests every single minute. We hurriedly finished the food and went to the room. The room was good, clean and of a good size.

Dinner was in what we took to be the breakfast room, harshly lit and a bit barren however, the food was adequate although charging more than £4 for a cappuccino is coming it. The best I can say is that the food was mediocre, the worst - straight out of a packet.

The next day we were at a lunch with 100 others. This lunch, dear reader, was virtually inedible. Gross. Horrid. So called crayfish were little more than over frozen and defrosted shrimps with a few bits of shredded (undressed) lettuce and 2 slices of tomato. The main course was horrendous.

You could smell the beef before it arrived. Thinly sliced, grey coloured beef stank and smelled of the worst a greasyspoon could offer, together with inedible Yorkshire pudding which we noted, was left by virtually everyone. Indifferent carrots and French beans with collapsible 'roast' potatoes: the only decent piece of food were the boiled new potatoes.

To add insult to injury we were then served up with a curdled cheesecake, plonked onto a wet base of crushed biscuit and a huge dollop of raspberry sauce. How on earth can a 'cook' get a cheesecake so wrong? Even the after dinner mints tasted of cheap, highly inferior quality chocolate.

Where is this hotel getting its food supplies from? Cardboard City?

If an hotel is dealing with two weddings, then people not part of the group should be told about the disruption both to the kitchens and about the noise in the bar and corridors so they can make a choice on whether or not to risk booking it.

The cost for the room was £51 which was well worth it as no noise was experienced during the night. However, this hotel's restaurant should be avoided, at all costs - the food is abysmal. There is a Beefeater some 6 miles away which would serve better, and that's saying something.

The one bright spot was the excellent staff, all very friendly and efficient. I admire their bravery.

Room Tip: Well away from the kitchens or you might smell the beef.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Travelwise207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew_MacLachlan, General Manager at Best Western Reading Calcot Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2013

I was disappointed to hear of your experience whilst staying at the hotel. On the day the hotel was extremely busy however you should have been able to order sandwiches without any problem, and apologise for any inconvenience caused. With respect to your comments regarding food served and suppliers, all meat is sourced and supplied daily from a local butcher, and all other food is supplied to us from reputable food providers. I was surprised to hear of your dissatisfaction as no comments were made from you on the day and if the manager had been made aware, would have been able to arrange an alternative meal. Positive feedback has been received from other guests attending.
Thank you for your positive comments regarding the Receptionist and bedroom accommodation provided.

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Additional Information about Best Western Reading Calcot Hotel

Address: 98 Bath Road, Calcot, Reading RG31 7QN, England (Formerly Best Western Calcot Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Berkshire > Reading > Calcot
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Calcot
Price Range: $63 - $145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Reading Calcot Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Best Western Calcot Hotel is the perfect location for business or leisure in Reading and the surrounding Thames Valley area. Ideally located less than a mile from Junction 12 of the M4 motorway, on the A4 leading into Reading. Reading town centre is within 3 miles and access to the town centre is probably one of the least congested routes available. Very easy and quick to find and most importantly for a Reading hotel...an onsite FREE, floodlit car park for over 150 vehicles! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Reading
Reading Best Western

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