A good option in a pleasant location
Stayed one night at this hotel and ate in the restaurant. The reception and restaurant area is spacious and decorated in a contemporary style. It benefits from picture windows which overlook the Thames - weeping willows, swans etc. which was a very nice backdrop.
They have an issued token system to enable entry and exit to the carpark which, if you don't have explained to you at check-in, can be confusing/time-wasting.
I had the set menu in the restaurant which was fine without being outstanding. The room was very clean and comfortable and had clearly benefitted from being recently refurbished. The outlook onto an internal roof was not so great, so would suggest asking for a room overlooking the river if available.
I think this is one of the best hotels in the area and would highly recommend it.
Off to a good start
I have stayed at this hotel on and off for many years when it was a Holiday Inn. I have now stayed a couple of times here now that it is a Crowne Plaza and feel that overall they are almost there.
It was always a nice hotel and had very inpressive public areas and this is still the case.
To rooms are smaller than many other UK CP hotels but the standard of finish is pretty good however it is all pretty new so you would expect it to be.
Service was good on check in, check out and the bar with the usual CP "attitude" which makes you feel at home.
So this has now become my hotel of choice when in Reading although it will be nice when the landscaping work outside is done.
Good quality Hotel after refurbishment
A group of 10 of us were booked into the Crowne Plaza 14th April for 1 night, as it was my friends 40th Birthday and we were going to the Casino which is a 5 minute walk away.
I arrived early and as a Priority Club Platinum Member I was upgraded to a room with a Balcony overlooking the Thames. Upon entering the room, I noticed immediatley that the refurbisment was worth it. The quality of the furniture and extras were noticable. Big bed, comfy Leather chair and Flat Screen TV all very nice. The best bit was the Huge Balcony that overlooked the Thames that you could easily had 20 people out on. It was a beautiful weekend weather wise, and it was great to sit out overlooking the rowers and boats going along in the water. There are a large population of Swams and ducks that live by the river bank which the Hotel is situated on so it was fun watching this as well. All in all a nice Hotel. Breakfast was good two, which you can eat outside by the river.
Clean and Comfortable
Having been in Reading on business, I spent five weeks at the Crowne Plaza in May '07 and was generally pleased with my experience. The location of the hotel was perfect, the office a mere 5 minute walk along the banks of the Thames, populated by Swans, Geese and Ducks among others. The hotel is set right on the river next to Caversham Bridge/Vastern Road, which seems to be one of the main roads in Reading.
The hotel looks as if it has undergone refurbishment recently and indeed is still without a swimming pool/gym until mid-September, this is currently under construction, however there was no noise from this outside of business hours. The lobby/bar and restaurant are all part of the same room which results in a light and airy space leading to the large terrace which backs onto the river.
I was in a club room on the first floor, which was well appointed and had a balcony facing the Thames. The bed was very large and equally as comfy, the room had a large desk and leather chair, flatscreen tv and minibar. The balcony had a table and two chairs which was great for sitting out and having some breakfast in the morning.
The staff were all very friendly and extremely competent, although some requests went unheeded, for the most part they were dealt with quickly and without fuss. Check-in/out was problematic, but this was more to do with the communication between the company and the hotel. The reception staff also didn't seem to know much about what there is to do in the local area. This is probably due to it being mainly a business hotel but some idea of what there is to do would have helped guests looking for entertainment.
The hotel seems to be used quite extensively for functions, some of which can go into the early hours, didn't really disturb too much if you shut the window and curtains, but you can still hear the music if you are in a room above the function room.
All-in-all a very pleasant experience, the only thing that prevents it from getting a five circle excellent rating is the value for money, everything is charged for, and excessively so. Internet access in the room is charged at 40p/min for wired broadband on your own laptop which seems like daylight robbery to me, and there is a £5 charge on top of the ridiculously high food prices, if you want delivery to your room. Given that the hotel is so small it wouldn't take longer than 1 minute to walk to any room, I dont know how they can justify it. I have stayed in 5-star hotels where the food is cheaper and they don't apply a tray charge, so why should this 3-star?
Anyway, thats a small issue when compared against the hotels plus points. My next trip to Reading is in September and I will definitely be staying at the Crowne Plaza, hopefully testing out its new leisure centre!
Situated in a superb location near the centre of Reading on the banks of the River Thames, the views from the hotel are quite a contrast depending on which aspect one is facing: towards the back, the tranquil river and woodland views are superb and yet to the front is the hustle and bustle of the city centre with shops, restaurants and the railway station all within walking distance. A footpath in both directions along the riverside caters for those wanting to simultaneously stretch their legs and savour the ambience while river cruises run in the summer (mostly weekends only) a few steps from the hotel's terrace for those wanting to explore the area less energetically.
The hotel has recently been refurnished as part of its transformation from a Holiday Inn to the more upmarket Crowne Plaza brand though the health club will not be open until the autumn - arrangements have been made for guests to use facilities nearby in the meantime. There is complimentary parking very close by in what in our experience must be one of the most secure hotel carparks in the United Kingdom with controlled pedestrian access and vehicular exit by tokens obtainable from reception.
The two suites and many of the club rooms have balconies almost overhanging the riverbank within the proverbial stone's throw of the river and these are well recommended to those who value looking out onto beautiful scenery. The suites have separate sitting rooms and bedroom both of a good size with a spacious bathroom (separate bathtub and shower cubicle) and huge balcony completing the picture. Ours was every bit as good or even better as those we've enjoyed at the top hotel chains around the world and we were very pleased with it. It's the only place in the world where we've seen a TV screen built into wall by the bathtub and this is in addition to the TVs in the bedroom and living room. Working facilities are also excellent with a good sized writing desk.
The food at dinner was excellent and competitively priced while the service, in the restaurant and in other parts of the hotel, was very good. In fact, some members of staff were of a calibre commensurate with those in top class establishments and their professionalism contributed to the satisfaction of our stay. On our final evening, we dined on the balcony of our suite from the restaurant menu which attracted a small additional room service charge but this was worth every penny such was our enjoyment of the view.
Reading may not be a destination that immediately springs to mind for those looking for a short break but this hotel is eminently suitable for this purpose at extremely reasonable weekend rates. In addition to the attractions described earlier, Caversham on the opposite bank of the river and accessible by foot over the nearby bridge, is a world apart from Reading and is worth a visit for a change of scenery. Also there are a few pretty villages within a short drive beyond Caversham while the picturesque Cotswolds are an easy car journey away.
Stayed for one night in July and can honestly say that the hotel which has I understand recently been renovated met all my expectations. Customer service at check in was prompt and friendly, the lobby area impressive and sleek and large with views overlooking the water. The rooms were of a good size and refurb'd in a contemporary manner. Breakfast was usual hotel standard - buffet style. The hotel was a great location which is situated on the River Thames. I thoroughly recommend it.
Hospitality at it's Best
My Partner and I held our Civil Partnership Ceremony and reception at the Forbury Hotel in Reading. After putting up with their severe lack of warmth and hospitality, we cancelled our room there for the night and booked at the Crowne Plaza.
They were so accomodating. (a welcome change from what we had been dealing with at the Forbury) We were assured by the General Manager that we would have a room at 12:00... and we did. He also upgraded us to a River Facing Executive room and when we arrived in the room there was a bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us.
The room was very nicely decorated and the bed was very comfortable. The Executive lounge was also a very nice place to grab a quick drink and relax.
It is service like this that makes a hotel memorable. I can very highly recommend this hotel to anyone staying in the Reading area.
Stayed in this hotel in September, booked a last minute break and got a fabulous rate for the accommodation we were given, the hotel has a great location and the restaurant, although quiet was quite stunning. We were really pleasantly suprised and will definitely return when the spa opens as this was the only thing the hotel was lacking. would definitely recommend