We stayed for two nights arriving on a Friday. I booked this hotel with some worries, since I normally find the Van de Valk hotels disappointing. However, the location of the hotel suited my purpose, plus it claimed to have a large swimming pool and other leisure facilities. It was a big mistake as it was one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in.
We booked a suite, but the room was awful. It was only 50% larger than a standard room, but cost twice as much. The lights were very dim, made worse by the fact that one bedside light couldn't be used since there was nowhere to plug it in (and the hotel could not provide an extension). Worst it stank of smoke, despite Netherlands hotels having a legally enforcable smoking ban for over a year. The staff were helpful when we complained and moved us to a newly decorated "comfort" room. Half the price and twice the quality. But that was only the start of the problems.
The bar was meant to be open until 1:00 AM on Friday, but was closed when we tried to use it at 9:30 PM. No explanation or apology was given. It remained closed on the Saturday night, which was as timetabled but not acceptable for a so-called 4* hotel.
We ate in the restaurant on Friday night. The restaurant had all the atmosphere of an office canteen, with very bright lighting. Guests can only access their rooms by walking through the restaurant, which made it feel like eating in a corridor. The food quality was reasonable, but the selection boring. Service was friendly, but very slow. On Saturday we had room service, since there are no other restuarants in the locality.
The selection of food at the breakfast buffet was reasonable. However, it has been badly arranged so that when the restaurant is more than 30% full the buffet area resembles a rugby scrum.
The swimming pool facility was disgustingly dirty and only available to hotel guests when not being used by local clubs. On the Sunday we were given incorrect times so were not able to use it at all. One the Saturday we did use it and enjoyed it as it is a large competition pool. However, while changing to leave all the lights were suddenly switched off and we had to grope our way out of the pitch black maze of changing rooms. There was no emergency lighting which surprises me given the strict regulations in the Netherlands. I will be reporting this to the relevant safety authorities, since I suspect it to be illegal.
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- Also Known As:
- Van Der Valk Hotel Groningen - Zuidbroek A7 Groningen Province, The Netherlands