12th November 2017
The Thistle Express Swindon
About a month ago I posted this blog about the launch of the Thistle Express on Fleming Way in Swindon: https://swindonian.me/2017/10/04/thistle-express-swindon-launches/
But I’ve now had a chance to spend a night there so can share my impressions of the Thistle Express Swindon with you. And they are favourable!
I think the thing that impressed me most – or at least impressed me a great deal – was the free Wi-Fi. Now before you shrug your shoulders and say ‘Oh, big deal, free Wi-Fi is everywhere now’ let me clarify. This is free Wi-Fi that you can connect your device straight to. No need to register. No need to have to give your name, DOB, marital status, bra size and inside leg measurement. And even then every single time you want to use it you have to log on and accept terms and conditions. GWR, Southwest trains and Thamesdown Transport take note.
I’ve only experienced easy access Wi-Fi like this sur le continent so well done Thistle! Market research told them that people wanted this and they’ve listened.
Now – my room.
It had everything you could need: iron and ironing board, TV, safe, plenty of storage, a desk/dressing table – you get the idea. There was lots of versatile lighting and – lots of easy to access sockets. I’ve stayed in hotels where there’s been a dearth of sockets and what there was has been well hidden. So good work there. One wee niggle: I was disappointed there was no kettle and hospitality tray in the room. I do love a coffee before I do ANYTHING. Still, I guess if you’re that desperate for a cuppa you could chuck on a robe, get in the lift and grab one from the hot drink station near reception and in the eating area.
That quibble aside my room was what you’d expect: smart, modern, comfortable. The bed was super comfortable and dressed with only one cushion. Hurrah! I’m not a fan of this trend for piling the bed up with tons of cushions. Where do you put the blasted things when it’s sleep time? On the floor probably – where outside shoes have been. Yuk.
I didn’t actually have the best night’s sleep but that was to do with too much red wine that evening and no reflection on the room or comfort of the bed!
Downstairs: eating area and bar area
Like an nellie I forgot to take some pictures downstairs. But there’s plenty on the Thistle Express Swindon website or on the other post.
What there is downstairs is ample long/counter with sockets space for plugging in your devices. You don’t have to be a guest to go in for breakfast or coffee. The breakfast is included in your rate if you’re a guest. If you’re coming in off the street it’s round £9 including tea/coffee – a decent deal I reckon. And a coffee is £1.50.
Pleasingly it’s neither Starmucks nor Costa Lotta and it’s okay. I take my coffee black and find it hard to get a reasonable black Americano. This was. I’m not talking Brazilian beans crushed between a maiden’s thighs here – but a drinkable coffee (I had two so it can’t be that bad) at a sensible price point. I’ll definitely bear this place in mind next time I need a meeting with a client where we need Wi-Fi and a coffee that doesn’t require a small mortgage. It’s comfortable enough and it does the job.
The Bottomless Breakfast
I didn’t plan this trip at all well. The night I stayed I’d been out for dinner and eaten a mound of antipasto and pasta. Ergo I wasn’t hungry enough the next morning to take full advantage of the breakfast. I did though have some scrambled eggs and they were rather tasty actually. Suffice it to say there’s cereals, fruit and yoghurt and pastries. Water and juice and all the coffee and tea you can drink. You serve yourself with that from the drink station.
So all things considered I’d recommend this place for business accommodation and for a casual business meeting. I won’t lie – it’s nice to have an alternative to the Jury’s Inn. Not that there’s anything wrong with that place. Far from it – it’s comfy and nice. But it’s the ubiquitous Costa coffee. I’m fed up with it.
And this place has easy-peasy Wi-Fi. And it’s dead handy for Debenhams! That’s a big thumbs up from me!