Watching the amazing “Mike & the Mechanics” in Sheffield’s beautiful City Hall, I chose the Novotel Sheffield Centre as my overnight in mid March 2019. The key argument to select this Accor Hotel was the price and the nice location to the venue, central Sheffield attractions and the train station. Here is my review.
Novotel Sheffield Centre – Location
The hotel is located on the Eastern edge of Sheffield city center. The train station is just a short walk away (which is quite uphill from there). Due to the hilly area, the hotel in fact has two entrances. When you arrive by train or car, you will arrive on the lower entrance, from where you need to take a (separate) elevator or staircase to reception level on 1st floor. On that level, you can exit directly to the city center. It was a some ten minute walk to two attractions I visited there, the National Videogame Museum and the National Emergency Services Museum.
Novotel Sheffield Centre – Rooms
I had a pre-paid rate of 80.75 GBP, including breakfast. The room was on the fifth floor and had standard Novotel equipment, including the very comfortable movable workdesk. I am not sure whether I have been upgraded in any way as a Gold Member, see Services. The fridge covers a mini bar, which just features, apart from milk for the coffee/tea making, just two bottles of water, charged with 2.50 GBP each. The room was not overwhelmingly clean. For example I could see the marks of the glasses of the (hopefully) previous guest on the bed stand. No free drinks and snacks as recently offered at Novotel Zurich Airport Messe in Switzerland…
The bathroom was quite nice, having separate shower and bathtub. However, there were some lacks in housekeeping here as well. For example, the tapware of the bathtub was broken and lacking a cover. Compared to Novotel Glasgow Centre, there were also significantly less in-room amenities. I especially missed body lotion. The toilet is separate from the bathroom and located right at the entrance door – which is quite a walk to wash your hands after returning from sanitary business.
Novotel Sheffield Centre – Breakfast / Food
The breakfast area is close to reception. It felt a bit dull in there. However, the breakfast was quite fine. I felt that the hot breakfast part felt a bit too dried out. On the other hand, you have a nice selection of juices and fruit. There is a decent bread selection. It is fully self-service, including hot drinks.
There is also a nice bar area, where you can have a drink and relax or watch some sports. The bar also has a quite nice menu.
Novotel Sheffield Centre – Services
I was not happy with the staff in the hotel, in addition to the housekeeping I mentioned already. When I reached the hotel quite early in the morning, the reception staff at desk spoke very quickly using a very strong slang. I would call myself rather fluent in English (and I even get around in Scotland), but I had no chance to understand the guy. He refused to speak more clearly, though I politely asked him to slow down. Finally, he just grabbed my suitcase for left luggage without talking to me. He also did not check my name.
The check-in was more friendly, but still, I was lacking information like breakfast times. I have also not being welcomed as an Accor Gold member, which is nothing more than a nice gesture, but I still like that. The breakfast staff was also more on the restrained side.
The non-human services are more pleasing, though I honestly felt that the WiFi is more on the slow side. Close to the bottom entrance, there is a nice pool and steam room area (with view on the car park) and a fitness room on the other side of the aisle. The hotel also features a business corner, which is located right across the elevators and thus not too cozy.
Novotel Sheffield Centre – My View
Novotel Sheffield Centre is a typical example for an accomodation, which has a lot of potential to give you a great stay – but fails due to the lack of management and organisation. Just very minor things, especially by training and controlling your staff, would turn this hotel into a very good one. The location is nice, the rooms would be fine after some maintenance and you even have a nice pool. Finally, I had an average time, feeling rather on the disappointed side. You may explore differently if you focus on other factors or just have more luck with the people you are meeting in there.
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