This is a review of two halves, starting with the good and ending with the terrible. I stayed for two nights in August on business, and I'm used to being put in the room round the back with a view of the bins and kitchen extractors - it goes with the territory (public sector, very restrictive expenses).
This hotel seems to have a good reputation in the area, and from what I could see the reception, bar and dining area were all well-presented and very clean, the only negative being the wall of heat that greets you as you ascend the stairs - probably trapped there by the fire door, as it would originally have been an open staircase.
Of course - locals don't stay in local hotels.
I'll start with the breakfast - absolutely fine, in fact one of the better ones in the many that I've had throughout the UK (until you've had a Travelodge breakfast you haven't lived).
Now, I stayed two nights midweek in room 15. This is at the back of the hotel, overlooking the car park. You can also see the snooker club with its neon lights, which are on all night and clearly visible because the curtains hang a foot from the sloping wall..... I sleep with earplugs so I can't say if there was much noise, I certainly didn't notice any. There's a busy railway line behind the trees but it's not particularly noisy.
The room was 'OK' - just very dated, with woodchip on the walls. It was pretty clean (though the shower knob could do with a proper clean - another reviewer has posted a picture of this or another room with this problem). The bed I found to be excessively firm but I suppose that's a matter of taste. I would have given the room three stars if it weren't for that fact that the shower is hopeless - a feeble dribble comes out, barely enough to wash your hair and certainly inadequate for a proper wash. The temperature was also too hot unless it was at its lowest setting. I have no idea why it was so bad - the pressure in the taps is absolutely fine, so maybe it's lack of maintenance (blocked filter?).
All in all - pretty much what I've come to expect from a budget hotel in an older building (though £60 per night is at the higher end of 'budget', but there's not much choice around Kirkcaldy.)
Now the really bad bit.
When I checked in I was allocated room 19.
I made my way to the room and I was shocked by what I saw. First, it was in a terrible state - the same woodchip, but battered on the corners and bashed and scraped elsewhere.
The paint on the windows (1 in the ensuite, 1 in the room) was flaking off, and the glass in BOTH windows covered with a 'frosted' effect. It was soon apparent why. The bedroom window opens onto a dark, dank, damp 'void', with drain pipes and an extractor vent opening onto it. Very little natural light, probably never fully dries out and no fresh air to speak of. It looks like the hotel was extended at some time (probably in the 70's) by building a row of rooms looking out over the back (of which 15 is one), as a result enclosing this and another void.
As well as this deeply unpleasant outlook (it was like sitting in a damp basement), the hotel WiFi was very weak and my mobile was getting hardly any signal - so there was no chance of me doing any work in there.
Finally, and the straw that broke the camel's back - the shower was in a disgusting state. The shower head was held on with cable ties, and the hose was thick with black mould - not just in the crevices, but all over it. It looked like months or even years of build-up, clearly the hose wasn't even wiped down.
I don't normally complain but on this occasion I felt I had no choice - the receptionist was I think a little embarrassed, and she re-allocated me to room 15. I have to question why the hotel thought it was acceptable to put me in room 19 in the first place, it is by far the worst room I have seen in any hotel in the UK.
Unfortunately this hotel's room reviews are swamped by those reviewing the restaurant and functions, hence the overall four stars. I don't know if it's complacency or greed, I find it hard to believe that anyone who calls themselves a hotelier can present rooms like this, especially in the Tripadvisor age!
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- Also Known As:
- Victoria Hotel Kirkcaldy
- Kirkcaldy Victoria Hotel