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Travel Blogs from Reading
... at a venue in Cardiff, to a small but excited audience. And I got to talk with the guys, as well. I got to meet so many new people, both rockers and photographers. I saw a couple of exhibitions I hadn't planned on seeing, saw plenty of places I hadn't seen before, visited a few familiar places and found at least one true gem of a hotel (Hotel One Hundred in Cardiff). My body may be quite tired, but my mind has plenty of stuff to mull over. And there are almost ...
... lost in one or more of the multiple airports I have to navigate myself around.
-Missing my flight, for any reason.
-Getting to Cape Town to find out my transfer is not there holding up sign with my name and thus leaving me stranded to panic and convince myself this was a terrible idea.
-The 24 other people I could possibly be sharing a house with for 4 weeks. They could be anyone!
I only have 16 days left until I and I am feeling more than just a bit nervous. I don't know what I'm going to do for a job or where I'm going to live and to top it off, I'm going with less money than originally planned. The past couple of weeks has been so up & down. I have literally been up to my eyeballs in my workload and plans to see my friends and family ...
... having brought blankets to sit on the lawn next to the actual theater, full of joviality eating good food and drinking whatever beverages they had brought with them. The atmosphere reminded me more of Austin than London. Eventually I made my way to my seat. The stage was nestled in a stand of trees on a green lawn. Props were lined up along it's side and in the middle was a line tree with a tire swing. The show started with cast members, sitting in the audience, one by ...
... by a glass of (free) champagne we tucked into some (free) chicken wings,(free) meatballs,(free) sandwiches and (free) veg curry and continued to repeat the process until boarding was called!
As we pondered when the free stuff might end we realised the next hotel is also a hilton...
Happy new year to everyone when it comes!
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Pentahotel Reading
Great Hotel - Well Presented
My girlfriend and i attended her winter formal ball here on the 30th and to my surprise she had booked us a room (128).
The reception staff were friendly, polite and efficient. They offered us choice of newspaper and optional wake up call, informed us off the health club and breakfast location and times.
The room overlooked the main road but was still quite quiet, decor was slightly dated but more than acceptable. The bathroom was good with a powerful shower.
Service throughout the evening at the ball was good, staff friendly and in particular the bar staff were very knowledgable about their products.
Breakfast was excellent, we were the only 2 people in there. Huge choice of hot and cold food, chef was on buffet making eggs to order. They even had things such as nutri-grain bars and actimel. We got to breakfast with about 20 mins to spare but we did not feel rushed by the staff.
Overall a great stay and we would definatly recommend this hotel to others.
I have just reurned after staying in this hotel for two nights. I arrived late, after midnight and was able to check in without any problems.
It is very clean and the rooms are a good size.
The staff are very helpful and pleasant.
During my stay I asked for additional pillows at reception and when I returned to my room they had already been delivered!
I used the leisure complex and again this was kept very clean. The pool is a good size.
Breakfast was excellant and I had a bar snack in the evening which was delicious.
The hotel is right in the centre of Reading - very convenient to the shops and only five minutes walk from the railway staton.
I will be returning on business to Reading in the near future and I will be booking into this hotel.
Convenient and Comfortable
My wife and I stayed at the Rennaisance, Reading for two nights, Friday-Saturday 28-29 October 2005, in an executive room at GBP 85 per night including breakfast.
We chose the hotel for its location, within easy walking distance of the excellent Reading shops.
The hotel was probably built in the late 70's or early 80's and the exterior architecture reflects this. The lobby lounge and bar is all open plan, and the restaurant immediately behind the lobby.
Check-in was quick and efficient and valet parking at GBP 1.50 was a bargain. The room was adequately sized, and somewhat dated in decor, but nevertheless clean and comfortable. The mini-bar held only two soft drinks and one beer, all complimentary for the executive room, as was a one litre bottle of mineral water on the work-desk, which was sufficiently large to double as a dressing table, including a wall-mounted mirror. Unusually, my wife found the bathroom amenities to be to her total satisfaction!
The restaurant breakfast was very good, with an additional a la carte menu. We did not eat lunch or dinner at the hotel, preferring to chose from the many nearby restaurants.
We didn't use the pool / health facilities.
Would we stay again? At the weekend rate, certainly! During the week we might look to the new Ibis Hotel (under construction) or the Travelodge opposite the Renaissance Hotel.
Hardly worth it
Reading has some terrible hotels. You'll have to stay here if you're on business but don't expect much. Staff are like robots reading scripts of what they should be saying. They have clearly been told to call guests by their names but it gets annoying when they do it twice in one sentence (which they do). If you have stayed at the Renaissance Chancery Court in London then erase that from your mind before setting foot here, as you risk being sorely disappointed.
So many annoying things that big hotels do and really should not:
- piped music in the restaurant (and totally inappropriate to boot),
- those annoying all-in-one ironing boards that get all tangled up,
- hairdryers that emit only a light breeze,
- newspapers not turning up when you've asked for them, and
- a really uninspired menu that never changes.
At £157 a night, you'd think they could do better. Having said that, there's no chance of their changing the building, which is ugly and overlooks a dual carriageway, or the location, which is the seediest part of Reading (as far as I can tell).
Parking a problem
Good sized rooms and clean with a central location.
Parking is difficult as you have to get your ticket from reception, walk through the shopping mall to the car park and stop your car near the exit to the car park, get out and walk to find an attendant to have parking validated - a bit inconvenient!
Wonderful Reading Hotel
We are temporary Reading residents and I booked the Renaissance for overflow guests from the US for the Memorial Day weekend (bank holiday weekend in the UK). While in Europe, I try to stay away from US chain hotels, hoping to capture the ambiance of the regions, sometimes with luck, other times I am disappointed. But that is the travel experience.
Anyway, the Renaissance had a great weekend rate and having seen or heard about other Reading hotels and B&B that are negative, I booked at the Renaissance.
Everything about the Renaissance was wonderful. The common areas are clean and well decorated. The room was decorated in a typical chain hotel style but it was roomy and the beds and pillows were incredibly comfortable. Bathroom was very clean and large. the room was overlooking the highway but the room was well insulated and we didn't hear any noise.
We did not eat there but took full advantage of the workout room and pool. I respectfully disagree with the reviewer who did not like the athletic facilities. There were ample varieties of machines that all worked well. The pool and Jacuzzi were clean, warm and did not have a strong chlorine odor that many public pools have. The dressing rooms ,showers, lockers etc were about the best I have seen in a hotel (I travel a great deal) and comparable to what you would get in a paid gym. The only disappointment was the gym area closed at 8 pm on the weekend and the attendant was certain that everyone was out before then. But then, he wanted to go home.
Overall, the staff was pleasant, helpful and welcoming unlike many of the UK hotels staff. This is a great hotel right in the middle of the town.
Service at its best
I have recently travelled into Reading on business from the US. This is the second hotel that I have stayed at in Reading and I must say I was pleasently supprised. The hotel staff were second to none and the food was absolutely superb. The hotel is in a prime location and boasts one of the better health clubs I have been to. A great hotel all round.
Hotel rates booked direct cheaper than the web. Hotel adequate, but getting tired in its condition. Health center ok, but changing rooms are poor. Rate includes breakfast, and it is this which that seems to attracts guests as the hotel rests on its laurels.
Boring, dull chain hotel, right in the centre of Reading (quite a boring, dull town ? so it fits quite well!). Nothing at all special ? the type of uninspired, faded, identikit four-star-going-on-three place one could find in just about any city around the world. At the same time, it's clean, comfortable enough and well-located. If you come with low expectations, they'll be fully met.
Stops me dreading Reading
I have been staying at the Renaissance for a couple of months now, up to four nights a week, on business. The Renaissance certainly seems to be the best of a pretty sorry bunch of Reading city centre hotels, but that is not to damn it with faint praise. Although the decor could definitely do with updating (one of the few places I've been where wall to wall magnolia would be an improvement), and the lifts are completely neurotic, it stands above the others for the quality, flexibility and unflagging cheerfulness of the staff. It's the only British hotel I've been to where the chef is willing to make special or low-fat dishes which aren't on the room service menu, for example. Any complaints I've had have been dealt with swiftly and professionally, and my grouchiness disarmed with a bowl of strawberries (I'm a soft touch). The gym is small and crowded, and the pool a bit too warm, but it's hard to get bored in Reading - for example, the hotel is very close to that "inexhaustible" fount of retail and comestible pleasures, the Oracle Centre. The rooms are variable - some small and dark, others huge and airy, but all seem to be the same high price... but that's what you pay for staying in the buzzing M4 corridor. All in all, the Renaissance makes Reading (just) bearable... there can be no higher praise.