Share this page on

violet Status violet (Level 4/10)



No member profile available. The person you are looking for is no longer a Ciao member.

Reviews written

since 25/11/2006


Premier Travel Inn, Cobham 09/08/2007

Another day, Another hotel

Premier Travel Inn, Cobham << Premier Travel Inn – Cobham >> << Location >> Portsmouth Road Fairmile Cobham Surrey KT11 1BW Next to The Fairmile Millers Kitchen << Contact details >> Tel: 0870 990 6358 URL: Hotels web page: << Parking >> Plenty of clearly marked spaces adjacent to the hotel entrance and also next to the neighbouring restaurant. << Reception & checking in >> This was well signposted and easy to find. In the reception I was greeted by what looked more like a Bureau De Change desk with a desk to ceiling glass partition containing narrow vertical slots (4 or 5 inches wide) through which all communications were undertaken including use of a credit card machine. This seemed like a very unwelcoming reception to the hotels guests, however, this was more than offset by the charming receptionist who was very friendly, efficient and more than welcoming; overall the impression was positive. Located in the reception was the usual drink / snack vending machine and a small display of hotel literature. << My room >> What can I say without fear of constantly repeating myself when stopping in Premier Travel Inn’s all over the country ? They are all basically the same, with roughly the same furniture – some in better condition than others, some better lit, some so new that you can still smell the paint on the walls. Well, this one ...

Innkeepers Lodge, Fleet 20/07/2007

Convenience for a short stay

Innkeepers Lodge, Fleet << Innkeepers Lodge - Fleet >> << Location >> Cove Road Fleet GU51 2SH Not far off Junction 4a of the M3 motorway at the junction of the A3013 and B3014 roads next to the Fleet Harvester restaurant. << Contact details >> Tel: 01252 774 600 URL: Hotels web page: << Parking >> No problem, there are plenty of parking spaces available in both the hotel and the restaurant car parks. << Reception & checking in >> The reception area is located within the nearby Harvester Restaurant with a small number of parking spots allocated for guests to check in before proceeding to the main Lodge building. Inside the restaurant, there is a position at the bar specifically for guests to check into the hotel; this is clearly marked and easily located. I was greeted by a member of the bar staff who asked me my name, checked this on a hand written list and who then attempted the check-in process. He admitted to me that he was new to the job and didn't really have a clue about what to do. He quickly got stuck and had to call for help; the first person he asked also did not know what to do, but a colleague who was busy playing a video game in the bar area advised him how to proceed. To cut a long story short, the chap eventually booked me in but was really lost doing this and had to ask for help on more than one occasion. He also failed to tell me where my room was located, ...

Holiday Inn Express, Reading 17/07/2007

A decent hotel for a short stay

Holiday Inn Express, Reading << Holiday Inn Express - Reading >> << Location >> Richfield Avenue Reading RG1 8EQ See web-site for more details. It took me about 15-20 minutes from Junction 11 of the M4 at 7PM on a Wednesday Evening. The Hotel is on Richfield Avenue, off the Caversham Road (A4155). << Contact details >> Tel: 0845 112 6142 Fax: 0845 112 6161 URL: Hotels web page: http:// << Parking >> There were plenty of spaces shared between the hotel and the adjacent Toby Carvery. Parking appeared reasonably safe, although there was an area partly surrounded by trees that felt a little more vulnerable. << Reception & checking in >> This was probably one of the most efficient check-in’s that I have ever experienced (probably helped by the fact that I hold a Priority Club Card and had pre-booked). The receptionist was helpful and friendly. << My room >> Not particularly big, but well enough laid out to prevent any real feeling of being cramped. The bed was of a good size with a good quilt, and two comfortable pillows (two others were in storage on a shelf). Bedside tables flanked the bed, each with a goose-neck type lamp above and wall mounted switches which also controlled the main room lighting. One of the bedside tables housed a telephone with direct external dialling. To one side of the bed was a very comfortable sofa which also acted as a Sofa-bed. This was overlooked by a wall mounted uplighter and a framed ...

Premier Travel Inn Southampton - North, Southampton 11/07/2007

Basic package - excellent value for money

Premier Travel Inn Southampton - North, Southampton << Premier Travel Inn – Southampton North >> << Location >> Romsey Road Nursling Southampton Hampshire SO16 0XJ Located on the A3057 which is accessed from the M271 – towards Romsey. << Contact details >> Tel: 08701 977 233 URL: Hotels web page: << Parking >> No problem, there are plenty of parking spaces available in both the hotel and the restaurant car parks which are well lit and ‘feel’ quite secure. << Reception & checking in >> The reception was located next to the main car park and was clearly signed. Inside, the reception area was well lit and provided enough space for a number of guests waiting to be checked in / out. In the area were the usual Premier Travel Inn brochures and maps as well as a snack / drink vending machine. I was greeted by a very cheerful and helpful receptionist who efficiently checked me in and booked me a table at the adjacent Beefeater restaurant. << My room >> The usual Premier Travel Inn style and quality – with magnolia painted walls and purple carpet, fairly neutral but clean and well maintained. The bed was a large double with two soft pillows (and two spare located in the clothes storage area). The quilt was adequate, and more importantly – it was clean. Above the bed were two wall mounted lamps with switches conveniently located on the beds headboard. Next to the bed ...

Best Western Royal Beach Hotel 31/05/2007

Enjoy Southsea in comfort

Best Western Royal Beach Hotel << BEST WESTERN .. ROYAL BEACH HOTEL .. SOUTHSEA >> << Location >> The hotel is located on Southsea Sea Front opposite the South Parade Pier – this is the end of Southsea farthest away from Portsmouth. It is conveniently situated, just 4 miles from M27 junction 12, which for me was about a 20 minute journey between 5.40 PM and 6PM on a busy Tuesday evening in May 2007. Southsea has plenty of tourist attractions within a very short walk of the hotel. Further on, Portsmouth has even more attractions – from Historic Dockyards to modern shopping. << Contact details >> Best Western – The Royal Beach Hotel South Parade Portsmouth PO4 0RN Tel: 023 9273 1281 Fax: 023 9281 7572 E-mail: URL: << Parking >> The hotel has 126 rooms, with just 45 parking spaces, you do the maths ! As is commonplace with older seafront hotels, parking is restricted and is located at the rear of the hotel, partly beneath the building. The limited number of spots that are available have been well thought out to make best use of the available space, with adequate room to park and actually get out of the car without either crashing your door into the next vehicle or damaging yourself contorting your body around the car door. Getting out of the car, you are faced with the rear aspect of the hotel, which in common with many Victorian buildings – is dreary and very plain. On arrival at reception, a note is ...

Travelodge, Dorking 23/05/2007

You don't always get what you pay for

Travelodge, Dorking TRAVELODGE – DORKING ++ Booking ++ I booked via the Travelodge web-site (details below) which was very easy to do and provided me with an electronic receipt for my transaction. Rooms can also be booked via telephone (see details below). ++ How to get there ++ Easy to find, located directly on the A25 Reigate Road, approximately half a mile East of Dorking. Being right next to the main road, any rooms located on that side of the building do suffer from traffic noise, although I didn’t really find it too bad during my stay. Address & contact details Travelodge Dorking A25 Reigate Road Dorking Surrey RH4 1QB Tel: 0870 191 1526 Fax: 01306 741673 Web-site: I walked into Dorking town centre which took me about 10 minutes, where I found a wide selection of Pubs, Café’s and shops. It’s a pleasant looking place with a nice atmosphere. ++ Parking ++ The car park is shared between the Travelodge and adjacent Little Chef restaurant. When I arrived at around 5.30PM there were plenty of spaces available. It may be that the hotel suffers from parking issues, as on arrival it was necessary to add my vehicles details to a sheet containing details for all Lodge guests. I can only guess that non-Lodge users occasionally use the car park on occasions. The official web-site states that there are 55 spaces available on a first come first served basis. ++ Reception ++ Located up a small flight of steps and through a ...

Princess Royal Lodge 14/05/2007

Try an independant hotel for a change

Princess Royal Lodge PRINCESS ROYAL LODGE – RUNFOLD, FARNHAM --------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- ------------ This is a regular stopover for me – I keep on coming back so it must be good ! I have stayed at the hotel on a number of occasions so will base this review on my overall impression of it and it’s facilities over the period of these stays. The hotel is purpose built with 21 en-suite bedrooms located in a building which is separate to an associated pub / restaurant. Being an independent, the hotel has a character of it’s own despite it’s relative youth. ~~ LOCATION ~~ The location is excellent, being in a fairly quiet area but close enough to major towns and roads (most importantly the M3 motorway). Princess Royal Lodge Guildford Road Runfold Farnham Surrey GU10 1NX Telephone: 01252 782243 Fax: 01252 78490 E-mail: Web: The hotel has more than adequate parking to the front, side and rear of the buildings. ~~ RECEPTION ~~ On arrival at the hotel it is necessary to park near to the pub/restaurant building where the check in counter is located. Checking in is quick and efficient with a simple form to complete (usual info – car registration number, request for newspaper, early morning call etc). At this point a key card is allocated which opens both the front door to the Lodge (the building housing the bedrooms) and your own room. ~~BEDROOM~~ The rooms ...

Best Western The Connaught Hotel, Bournemouth 04/05/2007

Excellent value for money in a lovely location

Best Western The Connaught Hotel, Bournemouth CONNAUGHT HOTEL - BOURNEMOUTH --------------- --------------- --------------- ----------- This hotel is a member of the Best Western Group and has a 3 star rating with the AA. It was constructed in 1901 but has an older, elegant earlier Victorian appearance. Note – that the hotel is completely no-smoking. Some facts and figures: 88 en-suite rooms (56 in the Main Hotel and 27 in the adjacent Lodge) Various sized conference and function rooms for meetings / events Restaurant with an AA Rosette 2 swimming pools (one outside) Jacuzzi, steam rooms, saunas, Gymnasium ~~ LOCATION ~~ Within 5 minutes walking distance of Bournemouth Sea Front on a relatively quiet road surrounded by other hotels. The Connaught Hotel West Hill Road West Cliff Bournemouth Dorset BH2 5PH Telephone: 01202 298020 Fax: 01202 298028 E-mail: Web: There are 66 parking spaces available at the hotel, with a note to guests to double park if spaces are all taken (with keys left at reception in case cars have to be moved) – this suggests that the hotel lacks the optimum number of parking spaces. However, it must be said that during my visit at the start of May 2007 there was no problem at all with parking. ~~ RECEPTION ~~ Bright and airy with the usual leaflet stands. Checking in was simple and quick by a reasonably friendly and professional member of the hotel staff. ~~BEDROOM~~ My first ...

Everything that starts with B ... 19/12/2006

Going for BLUE........

Everything that starts with B ... ## Going for Blue ## In order to avoid any unnecessary confusion - this is my barefaced attempt at gaining Community Points, because I want to go BLUE………….. Now there are various ways of doing this, but in the end they all rely on ratings and comments from the Ciao user community. So what do I do ? ~~ I could write another product review ~~ Good idea, and the added advantage is the opportunity to earn money. However, when I look around the house what do I see: * In the kitchen there are loads of electrical appliances, but most have been there for years (I've already written about my nice new Food Processor) and have probably long been superseded by more modern gizmos with digital displays and remote controls. I guess I could write about one or other of the food or drink products, but do you really want my description of a can of Heinz Beans (actually that's an idea - put this one on the back burner). I read a fantastic description of bananas last week - inspired, but I've had a long day at work and I'm tired - the creative juices have turned to a syrupy consistency (help, I'm drying up !). * The living room & dining room (currently doubling as my office). Well, I've written a pretty basic piece about my TV (my first review, done at about a thousand miles per hour, and I've never felt the urge to go back and improve it). The surround sound system is steam powered now and weighs about as much as the new TV, you really don't want to know about that. The ...

Everything that starts with M ... 14/12/2006

Belles Money Challenge

Everything that starts with M ... +++++++++++++++ +++++++++ Ciao member, Belle, set a money challenge to all Ciao members, based on the questions set out below, here is my response: +++++++++++++++ +++++++++ ** How good would you say you are with money from 1 - 10 (10 being amazingly great, 1 being a bit pants) ** This is a good question, as generally I would think that we would all like to think that we are better with money than we actually are, and in all probability, if our ratings are taken and then reduced by 1 or 2 marks - this would be nearer the truth. I would rate myself as a 7 as I generally have a handle on my finances and definitely think twice before spending my hard earned cash. On the other hand, if I was to rate myself in conjunction with my wife, I'd change the rating to 9 - she keeps our accounts well under control and is an excellent 'shall we buy this ?' filter. If I was left totally to my own devices, i.e. no 'Wife filter' then I'd probably tend towards a 5 until the end of the month when I'd suddenly shoot up to a 9 (panic mode). ** It's the desert Island question! What five things would you take? ** Before getting to the detail, it's amazing how many of my items require a power source, we are so used to this being available to us, that we lose sight of the fact that electricity has only relatively recently been widely available to us. What would we do without it now ? 1. A 42" Plasma TV set (I'm not too greedy, I could easy have said a 60" !) with direct live ...

The Bartley Lodge Hotel, Cadnam 07/12/2006

A wonderful place to relax

The Bartley Lodge Hotel, Cadnam BARTLEY LODGE HOTEL --------------- --------------- ------ I've stayed at this hotel dozens of times over the last 5 or 6 years, when I've been working in Hampshire. I've probably stayed in every room, eaten every item off the menu, outstayed most of the staff and taken up every space in the car parks. If I tell you that I get to choose where I stay (within reason) and that there is plenty of choice of fine hotels in this area, then you will realise that I've developed a strong affection for the Bartley Lodge. ~~ LOCATION ~~ The hotel is located on the edge of the New Forest at Cadnam near Southampton, off the A337 near Junction 1 on the M27. Full location and contact details are as shown below: The Bartley Lodge Hotel Cadnam Nr Southampton Hampshire SO40 2NR Telephone: 023 8081 2248 Fax: 023 8081 2075 E-mail: Web: Apparently the hotel used to be a hunting lodge with the oldest parts dating back to 1759. The front of the hotel shows it's age and it's Georgian heritage. It's a beautiful hotel sitting in beautiful grounds in a fantastic location. The hotel is part of the New Forest Hotels group which includes hotels at 4 locations in the Forest: Bartley Lodge Hotel - Cadnam Forest Lodge Hotel - Lyndhurst Moorhill House Hotel - Burley The Beaulieu Hotel - Beaulieu I've stayed at all 4 hotels in the group, and all are pretty unique, friendly and cosy ...

Boots Intellisense Blood Pressure Arm Monitor 05/12/2006

Simple Blood Pressure Monitoring

Boots Intellisense Blood Pressure Arm Monitor BOOTS INTELLISENSE BLOOD PRESSURE ARM MONITOR --------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- -------- BLOOD PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ I've included this bit as I hope it may be of interest to those of us (and I include myself in this category) who have had their blood pressure measured by their GP, but at really taken much notice of what the measurements meant - after all, I sure that for many of us, our feelings would be - 'the Doctor is there to tell you if there is a problem, isn't he ?' The simplest explanation that I can find of what Blood Pressure actually is states that it is the force required for your heart to push blood through your arteries. This explanation could be compared to a situation like a central heating system pumping hot water through radiators. However, in general these kinds of mechanical systems (i.e. the central heating system) produce a stable, constant pressure, unlike the heart which beats producing two pressure levels, these are referred to as: Systolic Blood Pressure - The pressure created when the heart contracts and produces the highest pressure level, this is the first figure given by your GP or indicated by the Blood Pressure Monitor. Diastolic Blood Pressure - The pressure created when the heart relaxes between contractions. This is the lowest pressure level, and is the second figure given by your GP or indicated on the Blood Pressure Monitor. So, when ...

Intempo PG-01 30/11/2006

DAB radio - made to last

Intempo PG-01 INTEMPO PG-01 DAB RADIO """"""""""""""" """"""""""""""" """""""""" If you are looking for a value for money stereo DAB radio that looks like it could give long service, this could be the one to buy. I recently wrote a review about another DAB radio that I own, one that my wife chose and purchased for us in our kitchen, I concluded that her choice turned out to be justified. This review is about the first DAB Digital radio that I bought, the Intempo PG-01. In this instance it was ME who chose the radio, this time it was for use in our bedroom. I'm glad to say that I feel that I also made a good choice, so the honours are even ! A BRIEF BACKGROUND TO DAB TRANSMISSIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ If you have already read this section from my previous review, I suggest you skip it - it's the 'tecchy' bit, but if you are interested in a bit of background info, then please read on………… Most of used have grown up listening to radio stations transmitted on three wavebands: AM Transmissions *************** ****** Short for Analogue Modulation (the method used for converting sound waves to radio signals in a format suitable for transmission). AM radio signals are suitable for fairly long wave transmission, but suffer from fairly narrow bandwidth - this presents itself to the listener as a sound that seems to lack the higher frequencies (treble) that you would get form playing a CD through your Hi Fi. FM Transmissions *************** ...

Alba TRDAB2820 27/11/2006

Affordable DAB Radio

Alba TRDAB2820 ALBA TRDAB2820 DAB RADIO --------------- --------------- ------------- My wife bought this radio to replace a fairly modern non-DAB receiver that we have in our kitchen. She was desperate to receive the same channels that we listened to on the DAB radio in our bedroom that were not available locally on the analogue FM and AM networks. So my wife's main reason for change was based on channel selection (Kerrang and Planet Rock). For me, apart from the advantage of receiving more channels, I was just as interested in improved sound reproduction and a reduction in interference. I am glad to say that this very attractively priced DAB radio achieved both objectives and has been used for at least 3 or 4 hours per day since its purchase. A BRIEF BACKGROUND TO DAB TRANSMISSIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ Most of used have grown up listening to radio stations transmitted on three wavebands: AM *** Short for Analogue Modulation (the method used for converting sound waves to radio signals in a format suitable for transmission). AM radio signals are suitable for fairly long wave transmission, but suffer from fairly narrow bandwidth - this presents itself to the listener as a sound that seems to lack the higher frequencies (treble) that you would get form playing a CD through your Hi Fi. FM *** Short for Frequency Modulation (another method used for converting sound waves to radio signals in a format suitable for ...

Kenwood FP 110 27/11/2006

Value for money food processing

Kenwood FP 110 KENWOOD FP110 FOOD PROCESSOR --------------- --------------- --------------- ----------- This is the first Food Processor that I've owned or used and my experiences so far beg the question - 'why did I leave it so long to get one ?' I would recommend this appliance to anyone who is looking for value for money. More expensive devices may have more capacity and more features, but for basic food processing the FP110 is more than adequate. FIRST IMPRESSIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ Why did I choose this Manufacturer and Model ? Well, Kenwood has a good name for kitchen appliances and in my home we have owned a number of their named appliances in the past - always with satisfactory performance and longevity. The particular model appealed to me for two prime reasons: 1. It came with quite a few attachments, many of which looked like they may be useful. 2. The price was extremely competitive compared to similar appliances by other manufacturers (excluding 'home' brands). Once purchased and in my kitchen, it was time to open the box to get at the goodies. As is usual, there was quite a lot of packaging material which had to be disposed of - is it really necessary to use this much ? Some of the material was easily recyclable, but inevitably there were polythene bags and some polystyrene. The appliance looks pretty good with it's metallic finish and simple control; it is also relatively compact and goes easily back into it's box with all of it's ...
See more reviews Back to top