Our Accommodations -reviews

The following post is about the hotels we visited while in Surrey and it’s surroundings. Before this though I would like to tell you that I always try to find accommodation which is close to the 100 per night for the whole family. I don’t know why I do it but, it helps me control the budget. In our last travels we had over 15 days of hotels to stay in and Christmas time is one of the most expensive times to travel. It was very difficult to keep to my normal budget but it was also super important to keep it. The article is split into two; accommodations during Christmas and accommodations during New Year’s Eve.

The pick up of our pre-booked car hire went very smooth

Accommodation during Christmas week

First thing that you must remember when thinking of budget is buying your tickets as soon as possible. At first we were thinking of getting Easy Jet to and from London South End as they were the cheapest but then we found the timings were not the best. From my experience with other flights this is important to me, check out my tips on what to look out for here. I’m not familiar with South End airport and the drive from there to Surrey was a bit too long.

we like booking our seats 3 + 1 by the aisle

So we tried other dates and ended up with traveling via Ryan Air through Stansted. It seemed like a good idea and since prices were on the rise we had to just take the risk. Stansted, we found out to be a very good sized airport. Not too much walking but still big enough to have some good shops and restaurants which we found useful on our way back home. The only negative thing was that when we arrived in the UK late. The drive after arriving to a new airport and getting your hired car, on an empty stomach is not a good idea, especially with kids. So, we decided that our first accommodation was to be next to the airport!

Accommodation number 1: Days Inn Stansted €60 per night no breakfast

The location was perfect, just 5 min away from the airport. Our little one, Andrew, got a high temperature on the plane and was a mess poor thing. Fortunately I had my temperature reader to check if he had fever and he did. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my medicine bag (look up these tips especially if travelling with little children, read more here) with me so all I had were Jamie’s lip first aid kit (he gets cold sores quickly) and paracetamols for us adults. Fortunately the hotel is in a service brand called ‘Welcome Break’ and they offered a good amount of shops and restaurants that were still open. I stayed with my little one in the hotel while my big boys went to find snacks and medicine and were triumphant.

Just arrived at the airport, Andy had fever.

The rooms in the Days Inn are a bit small but we only needed it for one night. Basic rooms do not have a fridge or minibar although if you put any refrigerated item outside it would do the trick. We did have tea making facilities and we bought some water for the night so I was sorted. There was a microwave in the lobby and some vending machines too. The first night we slept with the window slightly open as central heating is not our favourite as it gets too dry for us. All in all it was a good idea to stop here for the night and gather our energies for the next day especially with our little one feeling so dull. We booked this through booking.com

warwick castle Stratford upon avon
Warwick Castle at Christmas time

Accommodation number 2: Thatcher’s Hotel: varied price per night between €70 – €90

The gardens of Thatchers Hotel

This place was chosen for being close to our friends’ house and also for the look it had from the outside. It is a real treasure trove! Such a pretty place. It is an authentic Tudor home and because it is an old building they do not have modern luxuries like lifts, it felt right though, as it formed part of it’s character. Somethings could be fixed, like the carpet in the room was torn and the bathroom was on the old style but, the beds were comfortable, the breakfast was always a warm one, the car was safe in the onsite free parking spaces and the staff were the best! They don’t have amenities like an indoor pool or a games room for kids but they do have a beautiful garden around the premises and a beautiful field with horses that run freely right next to it.

We loved staying here. Andy and I stayed in the hotel one afternoon because he was so poorly. We tried to go for a walk outside and see what the area could offer but although Andy gave me a few smiles I knew he was stretching it. When we stayed in the room Andy slept for at least 2 hours I decorated the room and made use of the free wifi. In the evening we tried their restaurant as we didn’t want Andy to get out of the room. The food and service was just what we wanted; British, warm, comfort food.

The restaurant at the Thatchers Hotel

I must mention that Jeff of reception was of great service; he helped us in getting in touch with the NHS to find a doctor for Andrew and really made it a personal issue to make sure Andrew had a good birthday and Christmas. We are always scared to need the doctor in England as it is a bit complicated but we had no need to worry with Jeff’s help and the European Health Insurance Card, we had nothing to worry about. Andy’s birthday is Christmas Eve check out what we did for him.

Andy trying to do his best even if he had fever

We were very sad to leave Thatcher’s Hotel as it felt like home, I mean the elves did fill up our stockings here on Christmas day! We booked this through Expedia, through TRVL.com

Drive to Stratford was longer than expected due to traffic

We then left to head up to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a few days, after headed to Glouchester and then back to Surrey. Check out the next post to know where we stayed and what we thought of the places we stayed in.

Where did you stay in Surrey? How do you book your accommodations? Little Big Explorers would love to know of any special place you found…get in touch here

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