I always think there’s not much reason just to stay one night in a hotel, so I suggested we add a second night to our recent Chicheley Hall break, and look for another hotel nearby to stay in. I’d suggested Milton Keynes – not the best place for a city break – with the idea that we were near enough to Whipsnade and other Bedfordshire attractions as well as having plenty of choice for eating out near the hotel. It turns out there’s not many city centre hotels, but I decided that the Doubletree Hilton Milton Keynes would be a good option.
N gets excited enough about staying in a hotel, but even for a non-football fan, he was so excited when he found out we would have a room that overlooked the MK Dons football pitch.
The welcome when we arrived was friendly, and we were both given a complimentary cookie when we checked in. The hotel isn’t football themed, so if you don’t choose a pitch side room, you might be non the wiser (apart from having breakfast in the restaurant)
The hotel rooms go around the pitch, and our room (on match days) would open up to the seating area. I’m not sure how that works, whether you just get to go out, or whether you have to have tickets. But it was quite exciting just to be able to look over and see what was going on. Not a lot when we were there, but if you’re lucky you can see the team training.
Our room was a good size, and the bed was comfortable with good pillows. I did think the duvet was a bit thin but the room was hot until we put the air con on, so overnight it was fine. The only thing that was a shame was that there were no windows to open and the doors were locked on non-pitch days.
There was the usual tea and coffee, and an empty fridge which is always handy is you’re a family who always have food with you, just in case. for the children or to keep drinks cool.
The tv was a bit annoying as so many hotel tvs are. Channels were all over the place, it was a nightmare getting to the tv guide which still wasn’t helpful for finding what was on, and N couldn’t cope with it at all, so I ended up having to work it out everytime he wanted it on.
The bathroom was nicely decorated, the complimentary toiletries were plentiful and included some of the more unusual things you don’t always get. The shower head was lovely and large and had reasonable water pressure which I was pleased about.
The only disappointment was the horrible table in the room. While I’m not expecting fancy with a Hilton hotel, I would expect better than Travelodge quality, but the table was like the sort I’d imagine in a Travelodge (if they have tables in their rooms, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one), horrible wood with a glass top. There were plenty of plug sockets though close enough to the dressing table and normal table, so it was good for working at if needed.
N slept really well (despite him moaning about my snoring), while I was a bit hot and didn’t. But a first night away is never that good for my sleep annoyingly. We did have lots of people (I presume staying for business) chatting right outside our door, then footsteps and doors going quite late.
The next morning we went down to breakfast. N was pleased because staying in the week means you don’t have to hang around waiting for breakfast to start. Going down just after 7.30, the restaurant was quite busy – it’s obviously a busy hotel for business men and women. We only saw 2 other families but the restaurant staff were lovely to N, showing secret packs of more fun cereal in their pockets, hidden away from adults taking them. N stuck with a cooked breakfast though and said it was really tasty.
The choice at breakfast was excellent, with bread, crumpets and muffins for toasting, fried, poached and scrambled eggs (the latter, and the hash browns were delicious), along with a good choice of continental meat, cheese and fruit, and the usual full English breakfast. What was impressive was having a chef out at the buffet – you could ask him to make you a boiled egg or omelette while you waited.
The waitress also offered to open the balcony door next to our table so N could go out and look at the football pitch out there rather than from behind glass. For a non-football fan he was keen, and was watching the workmen sorting out the big screen. We also spotted and learnt about the 2 peregrine falcons that they have at the stadium to scare off the pigeons.
N was excited to watch 2 groundsmen brushing over the grass and guessing if the guys coming into breakfast in football kit were actually players coming for training. We decided they were.
Check out was a quick process too. It was a seemless stay and having enjoyed our second stay in a Doubletree Hilton, it’s good to know we’ve a safe option to choose for future breaks.
If you’re looking for a city location that’s easily accessible for heading out into Bedfordshire (or for a leisure break – with Bounce Trampolining, the Odeon Imax and great choice of restaurants about 2 minutes walk away, the theatre a short drive away, and an Ikea nearly next door), then this hotel is a good choice for football or non-football fans. Just watch out for match days if you don’t want parking issues or crowds.
Have you stayed in a similar hotel with interesting views?
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