No, I don’t mean falling asleep after a few too many drinks… pub chains are increasingly getting into the hotel market: offering budget rooms in some great locations. Would you stay at one?
Whenever I stay in a hotel, I still get a little jolt of excitement sliding the keycard in the door. There’s something deliciously decadent about those plump pillows and crisp white sheets. Best of all you don’t have to remake the bed the next morning.
But what if that eager anticipation turns to horror? I’ve stayed in some pretty shocking hotel rooms in my time.
Stained sheets, lumpy mattresses, bed bugs (several times) and even a stranger already tucked up asleep – you name it, I’ve probably stumbled across it at check-in.
Consistency is king
That’s why chain hotels are so popular. You know exactly what you’re getting, with no nasty surprises along the way.
Which? Recommended Provider Premier Inn is the king of consistency, and very much-loved as a result. But we all need to change it up once in a while.
Enter the pubs chains now offering rooms. Breweries Fuller’s and Young’s have started offering accommodation at certain locations – and the ventures have proved a massive hit with members this year.
Even Wetherspoons, best known for its cheap pints and curry nights, has got in on the act. It might not be the obvious place to whisk your spouse for a romantic weekend away, but you can now bed down in 57 of its properties.
It was with trepidation that I checked into the Wetherspoon’s Swan Hotel in Leighton Buzzard. There’s no denying it’s a gorgeous building – grade II listed with a statue of a swan atop.
It’s also slap-bang in the centre – unlike many of its budget rivals, relegated to unglamorous car park locations on the edge of town.
Inside I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d taken a wrong turn past the slot machines on the way to the loo.
But at the top of the stairs, a smiley receptionist awaited. And my double room was cute and characterful, with vintage wallpaper and gilded gold frames. Best of all it was an absolute steal at under £60 a night.
Sadly there was no escaping the noise from the beer garden, and breakfast in the pub downstairs was an equally boisterous affair.
There aren’t many establishments where you’ll encounter an overexcited stag party at that time in the morning. Thankfully my tasty mini cooked breakfast and bottomless coffee (£5) hit the spot.
Fuller’s and Young’s offer a classier stay, for a steeper price of course. But these pub chains all have prime locations and characterful buildings in common – something you’ll struggle to find with the big corporate brands.
The fact that there’s only a staircase between you and your bed after a slap-up meal and a couple of glasses of wine is an added bonus.
So, are you already wise to the delights of the pub stay? What were your experiences? Perhaps you’re considering a weekend at ‘Spoons as we speak? Whatever your views, we’d love to hear them.