Guildford Harbour Hotel
What We Love
- The spa features a petite pool and an herbal-infused steam room
- Theatrical design flourishes throughout
- Within walking distance of Guildford's historic center and canal
- It's a 35-minute train ride from London
- Free WiFi
What To Know
- Deluxe Room (and above) rates include a $23 (£15) voucher per night to spend on food and drink (excluding breakfast and room service breakfast)
- On weekends guests pay $15 (£10) per person to use the spa; advance booking for treatments is recommended
- The pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation areas will be closed for refurbishment between November 4 2015 and January 1 2016
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In the historic market town of Guildford, an hour’s drive (or a 35-minute train ride) south of London, the Radisson Blu Edwardian is a contemporary glass-fronted hotel that contrasts with the surrounding cobblestone streets and quaint vibe. The striking lobby features huge red stag sculptures, colorful mismatched armchairs and a giant wall of books. A large stage curtain frames the scene and the fairy-tale-style abstract ladder wall feature is a nod to former Guildford resident Lewis Caroll. A wooden cube dominates the entrance and doubles as the business center, with a hidden staircase leading to an office platform.
Bed and Bath
All the minimalist rooms feature modern dark wood furniture, a sultry color scheme in either red (Superior Rooms) or purple (Deluxe Rooms) and comfy beds topped with heavy brocaded throws. The bathrooms (which feature both a separate shower and a soaking tub) are decked out in slate gray and come with spa-worthy Essential Elements toiletries. Black-and-white prints of temple scenes dot the wall and create a sense of calm.
The hotel’s focal point is its huge outdoor terrace, where you can grab a drink from the bar and relax (a retractable roof makes this an all-weather option). Enjoy dinner at Steak & Lobster, followed by a visit to the zinc-topped MKB bar for cocktails or live music at one of the regular acoustic nights. The petite spa is tucked behind the main reception area and features a small pool, a relaxation area, two steam rooms and a sauna. If you’re looking for something more energetic, hit the well-equipped gym.
In the Area
This historic town of around 60,000 people has plenty of shops, boutiques and restaurants to keep visitors busy. Stroll along the high street for a spot of retail therapy before heading up to visit ancient Guildford Castle. A walk along the picturesque canal is suitably relaxing; watch the boats chug by before stopping for a tipple at the waterfront Weyside pub. Dine at the popular local restaurant Positano, which serves delicious Italian dishes in a historic wood beam house. The hotel is about a 20-minute walk from the train station; fast trains to London take around 35 minutes.
How to Get There
We stayed here for my wife’s birthday, opting for a deluxe room including breakfast. Couldn’t really fault the room: clean etc. Being really picky I would’ve expected a mini fridge, but none was fitted, despite what looked like a fridge compartment in the dresser.
Anyway, all was well until we arrived for breakfast. A very ordinary buffet, the sort i would expect at a budget/ cheaper hotel. I would have liked to have been offered fresh eggs cooked to order, or a menu with eggs benedict etc. Very ordinary filter coffee, again no fresh coffee available to order (I like a flat white). Given we paid £200 (Thursday night), I would have expected a lot more
My friend and I booked a one night stay and were so looking forward to our visit.
Check in was good, and the lady advised us that we would find paperwork in our room if we wanted breakfast in our room.
The room was a decent size, but had no room service menu or breakfast paperwork so we mentioned this to Front Desk when we went back downstairs who said it would be brought to the room. (We had to ring down to Front Desk again about 2 hours later however, as this was still missing.)
We went to the Harbar bar for something to eat and drink. We ordered a cocktail each and food. And then waited, and waited...
35 minutes later our drinks arrived and after another 10 minutes our food arrived. I had a burger, which was decidedly average, and my friend had the chicken which she enjoyed.
However, the burger was due to reappear about 7hrs later when I was violently ill, symptomatic of food poisoning.
On checking out we informed the Front of House manager of our concerns, and I have also notified Environmental Health of the suspected food poisoning.
Overall our stay was poor, and service, food and drinks were more reflective of a 2 star establishment.
I cannot recommend a stay at this hotel. I am sure you will get a better experience elsewhere.
We have visited some of the chain Harbour Hotels and thought we would give the Guildford one a try, and was left quite disappointed. However, checking in was very quick and easy, the bar and reception area very nice and clean also - looks very nice upon arrival and the location is as good as it seemed to get.
Most of the room and bathroom was very nice, the furniture however was a bit worn and could do with a refresh, red is very hard to upkeep but it did make the room look very tired, there were also stains on the carpet, but nothing that bothered us too much at all! A slight annoyance was that the hairdryer was installed inside the wardrobe, meaning that you weren’t able to use in front of a mirror, so you just looked into a wardrobe and hoped for the best! Bathroom was absolutely fantastic, very clean and easy to use.
We visited the spa, we paid £10 (as it was a weekend) and that was quite small and disappointing, indoor pool was near enough same size as jacuzzi, so very small and not enough room for everybody that had paid.
However our biggest gripe was the sound insulation. Thumping music until gone 1am from nearby bar, shouting in the street, alarms going off for 2 hours straight and old pipe works that would groan every 2 minutes or so. Sleep was impossible until about 2am, not what you expect when you have paid more than £100 for a night. Even tried to use the complimentary cotton wool balls as earplugs! As we were awake majority of the night we thought we would try watching the television - TV only had one channel which we weren’t allowed to change on the remote or on the TV, so that was turned back off. Very disappointing.
I’m sure other rooms were better as we were on the first floor, but we won’t be back again!