THE HOTEL: Location is one of the big advantages of this property – right by the junction between the M1 and M69. The 227-bedroom hotel is just 10 minutes from the city centre, and is close to the King Power Stadium (Leicester City FC), Leicester Cricket Ground, the giant Fosse Park retail park and the National Space Centre. It has recently undergone extensive refurbishment encompassing new bedrooms, meeting room and events space, restaurant, executive lounge and atrium.
THE CHECK-IN: I was early, but the staff quickly changed my allocated room so I could check in without delay. The reception desk was friendly and efficient.
THE ROOM: My room on the fifth floor was attractive, spacious and comfortable, with two single armchairs and coffee table as well as a work desk and chair. The super king-sized bed was a pleasure. There were no bathrobes, but there were coffee and tea-making facilities, a fridge, hairdryer, Smart TV and more than enough drawers and wardrobe space. The view through the window was of the atrium and open lounge area on the ground floor. Hooking up to the wifi was something of a fiddle, but reception staff were keen to help and soon had it sorted.
THE FACILITIES: The hotel has 20 meeting rooms, the Market Kitchen restaurant, swimming pool, fitness centre and off-site parking. Interestingly, an innovative 3D virtual reality tour is being launched, allowing event bookers to experience first-hand any one of the conference and event spaces without stepping into the building. The restaurant layout is fine, if not elaborate, and you can see the chefs at work. The menu is uncomplicated and diverse. Each meal I had here was excellent and sensibly priced.
THE VERDICT: This is a great business and conference centre that suited me equally well for leisure needs. I was thoroughly impressed at every turn. The only minor fly in the ointment is the parking. It’s only £5 per night (or £2.50 at weekends) but if like me you are in and out many times then the requirement to get an exit card each time is annoying – although you do only get charged once a day.
THE DETAILS: Smith Way, Grove Park, Enderby, Leicester LE19 1SW. Tel: 0116 282 0100. Rates start from around £90 room only. Breakfast at £13pp is good value. leicestermarriott.co.uk.
Reviewed by Martin Steady (2019)