I've used buyagift before, including booking a super car driving experience for my husband and a Zombie experience in an abandoned shopping mall in Reading for my son's 16th birthday. Both experiences were absolutely fantastic, you can read a little about them in my previous post. This time though I wanted a more relaxing experience so I though the two night hotel stay would be perfect.
The Village hotel, Swansea
Booking was easy with the voucher, you just log onto the buyagift website, put your voucher code in, search through the hotel options and then ring the number that you are given to book.
The Village Hotels group are a range of 28 contemporary hotels in the UK. I would say the quality of the hotels in the chain are rated as 3 star, with a restaurant and gym facilities are standard.
Swansea is a short drive from where we live, but we love staying in local hotels and exploring locally so we decided we would stay here.
First impressions of the hotel was good. The modern hotel looked busy but welcoming. We noticed the Starbucks in the lobby as well as a pub, a separate restaurant and just off reception the health club. Unfortunately our room wasn't ready (we were an hour early) so the gentleman on reception took our details and asked us to come back shortly. We decided in this time to have lunch at the hotel pub.
A great burger in the pub
Then we checked in. The room was a decent size with a sofa bed, king sized bed, desk with chair, a small flat screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities. There was free wi-fi which I feel is important in this day and age too. The decor was play safe beige, which I guess doesn't offend anyone but a splash of colour wouldn't have gone amiss.
The bathroom had an over the bath shower, not a power shower and toiletries were dispensed from containers attached to the wall. Although I prefer smaller toiletries, giving a more luxurious feel, the products did smell lovely, and probably cut down on waste. The bathroom was in slightly worse condition than the bedroom with the grouting looking brown in places. The floor was sticky by the toilet and sink. Although the bathroom was not dirty a touch up of the grouting would make it look bright white and give the impression of it being cleaner.
Great choice on the set menu
Later we ate in the Verve Grill restaurant. In our package from buyagift was a three course dinner for two on one night. Now sometimes in a set package the food isn't always the best, so it was with a bit of trepidation we sat down. We were presented with the set menu which had a decent choice of dishes. My husband doesn't eat red meat so to see a vegetarian and two chicken dishes on the menu was a welcome relief. So often these days restaurants use a lot of red meat. I ordered Chicken Kiev which was very good and tasted homemade, proper chicken breast, not reformed mear, with an excellent breadcrumb coasting and oozing garlic butter. My husband had a chick pea, spinach and sweet potato curry which was packed full of flavour with a slight spice.
The waiting staff who served us were young but professional and were obviously well trained. They thought we were on a slightly different set package and offered us a two course meal with a glass of Prosecco, instead of a three course meal, but as we preferred this they let us keep to this deal - great customer service in my opinion.
That night we slept well as the bed was very comfortable.
In the morning we had breakfast which was included, in the Verve restaurant where we ate dinner the night before. They had a good selection of food, from pastries, cereal and fresh fruit to a full cooked breakfast. Well worth having breakfast in the package I feel, especially as there aren't many place on your doorstep for breakfast.
The next day we explored Swansea including Mumbles and the Gower coast. It was a good 20 minute walk into the town centre so you may need to consider this if you have mobility problems but it was an easy walk along the marina.
The lobby has a pub, a restaurant and a Starbucks cafe
On the second night we did have a problem. At approximately two o'clock in the morning there was a lot of noise on our floor, which consisted of a group of women shouting and swearing and banging doors. It was a Saturday night, which we normally try to avoid if we can due to the potential for parties, people getting drunk and generally being loud. We were at the point of complaining as this was going on for a while but suddenly it got quieter. The next morning staff were aware of the problem when we checked out and apologised. They had sent their night staff to ask the guests to be quieter in the night.
So to sum up, the question is - would we stay again?
The Village hotel in Swansea is a modern hotel with good facilities including a restaurant, pub, Starbucks cafe and health club. The staff were good and the food for a 3 star hotel chain was very good. It is a 20 minute pleasant walk into Swansea. The bathroom could be slightly better. We did have noise one night from a group of drunk women. Unfortunately that is the chance you take when you book a Saturday night in a city centre location. We booked this through a voucher with buyagift. The two night break with dinner is available in over 120 locations all around the country and includes breakfast every morning and dinner on the first night. For £179 I think it is excellent value for money and a great gift.
We would certainly stay in a Village hotel again. The hotel chain is better quality than a budget hotel like a Travelodge, but still a reasonable price. Overall recommended.