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Location, location location. And a chance of a giggle!

I think carefully before I post a negative review online about a hotel I stay in while I'm away; I'm very conscious of just how much heartache a review that's even a spot or so off perfect - five crowns not six - can give.

So let me start with a positive. Six crowns out of six for the location.
For working on the Science or Business Park in Cambridge, or at the Innovation Centre, there's really only one hotel that's anywhere nearby. It's not with any of the main booking engines though.
In the past I've stayed at the Hamiliton Lodge (who, alas, closed for demolition and redevelopment last December), or if they were full at the Orchard Park Premier Inn - excellent if you're driving, and set behind suburban streets with little in the way of facilites and nothing in transport if you're using public transport.

Anyway - I searched online, by name (because I made a note of it on a previous visit) and found the Lovell Lodge. Value for money? At £93 at the lowest room rate, it felt a bit steep - it had better be good.

I took a few pictures ... take a look.


The room felt fitted out down to a price rather than up to a standard
 
Inside Lovell Lodge hotel, Cambridge. Now burned out shell.

Rooms were as large as possible because corridors were as narrow as possible
 

Perhaps a previous guest had stolen the toilet roll holder
 

The soap dish in the shower had seen better days
 

The shower compartment had been missed off the regular cleaning cycle
 

Note the choice ONE OF on the breakfast menu. Protecting customers against obesity, perhaps?
 

In a similar vein, breakfast was served with toast - a single slice of toast
 
What not to have in a hotel shower

In the room I was in, the shower and toilet had been fitted as an afterthought - but a very long time ago - and the fittings and decor was showing its age
 

The bed, and the rest of the room

Some things that only words can tell - such as the walls, which were described as "paper thin" on some of the online reviews I have read. No - they weren't; they were certainly thin and (had I been a light sleeper) I would have been disturbed - but as it is, I can be positive and offer sleep quality four crowns out of six. Fine for me.

Good staff - customer service - a feeling that you're welcome even if the facilities are a bit dated are important, and I can forgive a very great deal if that's what I find at a rundown, overpriced hotel. Alas, the staff at the Lovell Lodge didn't seem interested in their customers. It would have been very much easier for them to stop in the kitchen and chat than to have to serve breakfast, and there was no interaction from a "hello have you had a good journey" (that was replaced by a grunted "yes" through to "have you had a good stay" - I suspect the lack of the latter was because of a knowledge that the answer would not have been positive. Had there been even the slightest hint that they were interested in their customers, I wouldn't be writing this - and I would be able to give them more than one crown out of six for customer service. They do deserve 1 - breakfast was served, the room was made daily, and they weren't actually rude.

And the $64,000 questions at the end of reviews are "would you stay there again" and "would you recommend to a friend". And my answer may surprise you. Yes, I would stay again - at £53.00 per night rather than £93.00; it felt safe enough, reasonably secure (but my goodness the locks were old) and I enjoyed having a giggle at some of the things. And I would recommend it to my brother in law Phil - a now-retired manager of a Doubletree Hotel, who delighted in making sure everything was just so for his famous, and other, guests. But, Phil, don't take you wife Rachel to the Lovell Lodge. You will never hear the end of it!
(written 2015-02-01, updated 2015-02-04)

 
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