Basildon – Premier Inn Basildon Festival Park

This Premier Inn at Festival Park was keenly priced and isn’t too far away from the beating heart of Basildon town centre. I say beating heart because it’s nice to be polite.

The welcome at the hotel was friendly and the room was clean and well-equipped. I liked that they had a large fan, although this is because there’s no air conditioning of note. Everything was well maintained in the room, although the fan in the bathroom sounded like an Airbus A380 taking off.

The problem Premier Inn have, or as far as I’m concerned, is that they’ve skimped on the construction costs of their hotels. I’ve experienced before the problems they have with internal noise, and this hotel suffered badly from noise from all sides, let alone guests shouting. A lot of this problem is cheapness of the internal fit-out, a shame given that the room itself feels like it’s had some money spent on it.

Internal noise in hotels annoys me far more than external noise, as I like the sound of roads and city outside the window. But creaking doors from other rooms and it sounding like people are rearranging furniture above can feel a bit intrusive. I’m probably one of the few people who is excited by a room next a busy road or railway station, so I’m not that demanding in this regard. In other regards, I’m a nightmare, but that’s a different matter.

Anyway, all was OK with the stay overall, but buildings like this could perhaps do with being knocked down and rebuilt. I suspect that Premier Inn and Whitbread might not be sure of that sort of strategy though. But, for the first time I’d say in the best part of a decade, I do get the impression that Travelodge are moving back ahead of Premier Inn. That’s not borne out by customer reviews on-line, but the difference between the two is now very narrow and a few years ago, Travelodge was a country mile behind.

I struggle not to think of Alan Partridge and his big plate, but that might just be because I live in Norwich….