Smart and Simple Hotel
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It would appear that the naff end of the British hotel market have cottoned on to the idea of painting the walls white and sticking in some cheap and vulgar furnishings. Voila, the "Smart and Simple" Hotel.
It's difficult to know where to begin in cataloguing the faults of this hotel. Perhaps the "welcome pack", two pages of typos and grammatical errors of which one third explains why you cannot reasonably expect to have tea and coffee making facilities in a hotel that ONLY costs £85 per night. In fairness though, a jug of tepid filtered water did appear in our room whilst we were out for the evening, a gesture that somehow made my privacy feel violated.
Our room was stuffy and drab. There was a hole in the wall leading to the corridor through which were stuffed a number of exposed electrical cables. Fixtures and fittings ranged from the dirty to the simply broken and the trendy LCD TV was barely audible at full volume. The hotel lift made such a terrible rendering metal sound that we were afraid to use it. However, there proved little choice as it was impossible to find the (seemingly unsigned) staircase.
Staff varied from the indifferent to the rude. At checkout, I noticed that three of the four couples before us all made complaints of one kind or another, each dismissively brushed aside. On arriving home, to top off the whole sorry experience, we had been charged twice.
The Smart and Simple hotel has to have the most misleading name in the whole of the U.K. tourism industry; it is shoddy, cheap and unappealing. As for the "simple" part, take a look at the hotel's room pricing policy and see if it makes sense to you, it didn't to us.
Cheap and cheerful
I stayed at the SSH for 1 night and paid a rate of £65 inc the much discussed breakfast. Initial impressions of the hotel were good, the location is excellent, the public areas were clean and modern, and the staff that I encountered were all polite and helpful. I stayed in Room 9 on the first floor overlooking the gardens so it was nice and quiet.
The hotel is like a Travelinn/Hi Express but with a more contemporary look and feel. This means that whilst you get nice decor and an LCD TV in your room you get a very small bathroom, limited clothes space, and rather surpisingly no tea/coffee making facilities which seems a cost-cutting measure too far.
Like some others I also stumbled across building work in progress on the staircases and in the basement and there really should have been some safety notices warning of this. The breakfast is basic but similar to other Lodge-type hotels so at the price you can't really complain. In summary I would use this hotel again for an overnight stop, but for longer stays I would personally look elsewhere.
We attended a wedding at High rocks and chose to stay at Smart and Simple for a couple of nights before and after(4 in Total)
All in all we where very impressed a truly Smart and Simple Hotel. Not perfect but very good, We enjoyed the peace and quiet in the gardens, the big showers and the helpful staff.
We didn't like the building works going on alothough they look almost done.
Unlike some of the other reviwers we had a very positive experience with all the staff we encountered, I do agree about the Croissants need improving upon. We breakfasted in garden that was lovely.
During our stay we visited The Royal Spa( the hotel and Spa work together), This was superb, we only hope our own towns Therme Spa is as welcoming
A nice place to stop if travelling around the coast or shopping in the town.
Dreadful, dreadful, dreadful
I booked to stay at this hotel as a bit of a treat to myself. I have pretty basic needs, so am happy with a Travelodge or suchlike. In retrospect I wish I'd not bothered.
For a whopping £85, I got a room with wires hanging out everywhere, a rickety toilet, a light switch that didn't work and a boiling hot room.
Breakfast was vile. If you're going to offer croissants, at least heat them up a bit! Who on earth eats them straight from the pack when they're all doughy? Two cereals, cold toast, some wet ham and cheap cheese and that's your lot.
This hotel is all flash and no bang. They've decided that a 90s makeover with whitewashed walls justifies a price hike, while sticking to 1950s service. The person on reception was surly, and when we complained about the dreadful room and awful breakfast, didn't seem to care.
More like shoddy and simple
We stayed at the SSH for one night, traveling to Sussex for a wedding. The hotel looks smart and contempory from the website, but our room had yet to be renovated. It was in the basement and smelt of damp and stale cigarettes.
While I am sure the renovated rooms are better, when we suggested that our room did not merit the £72.50 rate that we were signed up for the staff were uapologetic and unhelpful. Eventually after further complaint and another trip from the receptionist to the manager they offered to charge knock £7.50 off the bill - hardly compensation for a room that looked like it came from a 1950s B&B.
The other rooms may well be better, but the staff will be the same for anyone - steer clear.
No nonsense business accommodation
The rooms are crisp, clean and white with a big comfy bed, smart flat-screen tv, thoughtful jug of water - a necessity rarely provided in b&bs.
The bathroom was small, and lacked shelf space, but the shower was very spacious. The main problem was that the bathroom door was see-through in the double room. It assumes that you and you partner are comfortable with that kind of thing, but its not for everyone and it certainly made us uncomfortable.
Due to the noisy street front the windows were double glazed creating a biscuit tin effect that made the air stifling.
Breakfast was fine, a welcome break from usual greasy fare offered in standard hotels/b&bs.
The tone of this hotel is executive and as a result it lacks any warmth or local charm - it could be anywhere in the world and makes no attempt to relate to the setting.
Overall high qaulity accommodation for a reasonable price.
Cheap, shoddy, terrible customer service
SSH bills itself as a boutique hotel, and at first glance it looks promising. Clean painted walls, plain carpets, chrome fittings; it appears to be a smart choice of hotel.
This is not a cheap hotel - £85 for a provincial non-chain hotel that offers only basic amenities is steep, so you expect quality.
However it particularly becomes clear that the whole operation is done on the cheap. Our bathroom on arrival was rather grubby, with the toilet looking particularly neglected. The cistern was broken, meaning we had to lift the lid and fix it after each flush. The shower head emitted what appeared to be brown mucus.
Breakfast was a sorry affair, with stale croissants, damp toast, and a limited range of cereals.
To finish off, it became clear that the reception staff, having taken prior "authorisation" for the bill from our card, were keen to see us pay in full before releasing the "authorisation". When we asked to see the paper receipt of this "authorisation" they refused and became very defensive, insisting that if we so concerned, we could leave without any further payment.
I cannot recommend this hotel. The staff are surly, the fittings are dirty and the breakfast is cheap and nasty.
A smart and simple contemporary hotel
We stayed at the Smart and Simple Hotel for 2 nights in August 2006. We were staying in Tunbridge Wells for a friends wedding, therefore we didn't require a large hotel with lots of facilities as we wouldn't have had the opportunity to use them. This is a very clean hotel and I am in agreement with the other people who have reviewed this in previous posts. It is exactly what it says "Smart and Simple." There's no fuss and frills but contemporary clean lines and very comfortable beds! The hotel parking is a bit of an issue but then where can you stay in the heart of Tunbridge Wells where they offer a large car park! We parked in the centre of Tunbridge Wells in a long stay car park and it only cost £3.60 a day! This was only a short 10 minute walk from the hotel. The hotel breakfast was just a continental breakfast so if you are after a large fry up or hot food you won't get it here. However, the cereal and toast/croissants etc that were on offer were more than adequate.
The tv's in our room didn't work that well and they looked rather dated; they could do with sorting that out as customers expect a certain standard these days. However, over all, I would stay at this hotel again and would recommend it to anyone. For £65 a night in the heart of Tunbridge Wells, you can't beat it!
You get what it says - Smart & Simple
My husband & I stayed here in June 2006. This is a great no frills hotel at a great price. The decor is fashionably smart, our room was large but simply furnished. The concept of this hotel is to keep charges to a minimum (£65 standard double, £85.00 queen) by only providing the basics so don't expect hairdryers, mini bars or snack trays; however you do get wonderfully immaculate rooms, great showers & excellent service. If you want tea/coffee in your room it is only £2.00 & Internet access is £5.00 for the whole of the duration of your stay. The restaurant is a tapas menu in the evening but the food was extremely fresh & tasty & reasonably priced. There is an option to dine on the small & very pleasant patio/garden area at ther rear of the hotel. The breakfast was an extended Continental included in our room rate. This may be a 'no frills' hotel but do not be misled into thinking it is Travelodge/motel standard - it is far superior & more like a 'boutique' hotel ambience. You get what it says in its title - smart & simple. Ideal for business or vacation traveller - if you've got kids, you may like a more family orientated hotel.
A promising start
I stayed in this hotel for a couple of nights at the end of April 2006. It is a new concept according to the owners, offering reasonable price accomodation with everything you need in a hotel but without all the extras that add to the costs. The price is certainly good (£65 for a double including breakfast). The hotel opened earlier this year, it has been converted from some Victorian properties opposite the common, on the London Road, so close to the station and the Pantiles etc. The windows are double glazed do there is no traffic noise, but there are lovely views of the common - especially with the blossom out. The place is well decorated, in a minimalist way. The building work on the hotel has not been finished yet eg the staircase next to my room was a mass of cables and undecorated, but this was not a problem for me as I was out all day. The telephone system was having problems, but wifi access is available for £5 for the duration of your stay.
My bedroom was enormous - I understand the rooms at the back of the hotel are much smaller, as was the shower (no bath, but there is a water shortage in the south east of England so cannot complain there), but the washbasin a little on the small side. The soap and shampoos come from liquid dispensers rather than fiddly little bars or bottles. . As the name suggest, the hotel is very smart but simply firnished - a wardrobe but no drawers, a flat screen televison on the wall which provided channels 1-5 (and radios 1-4 + classic). There is room service available, but no minibar or tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel is strictly non smoking, but has a delighful garden where smoking is allowed.
The staff are all young and enthusiastic, and helpul. Breakfast during my stay was a continental buffet, but cooked breakfasts were due to be offered the following week, as well as a cafe open for lunch/evening meals.
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