AD | Gifted experience
Every now and again I need some time away to do something for myself and the Ultimate Time Together Smartbox from buyagift came just at the right time! The great thing about buyagift’s experience vouchers is that there are so many different things to choose from. With the Ultimate Time Together Smartbox you are able to choose from nearly 1000 experiences for 2 people and there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Something I really love about buyagift vouchers is how easy I have found them to use in the past. Initially, you have to go onto the website to validate your voucher. At this point, you are also able to change your voucher if you want to, paying a difference if the new one is more expensive. This really gives you the freedom to get the experience you really want.
I chose to book a stay at a London hotel. We have had such a good experience with the Novotel chain in the past so this was my immediate choice. Having never stayed at the Novotel London Paddington before this was the location I chose to go for. Booking is a little bit of a pain but as I already knew the way to do it I didn’t mind so much. To book, you need to email the Novotel hotel of your choice and explain that you have a voucher (state which one) and what date you are looking to book for. It turned out that my first choice of date wasn’t available but they offered me options of what was available either side and I found this really helpful. Email replies are sometimes slow so be patient but after 2 days I had confirmation of my booking and it wasn’t stressful or hard at all.
Novotel London Paddington
We didn’t arrive at the hotel until about 8:30pm as we’d been to the theatre in the afternoon and then out for a meal. When we arrived I showed my booking reference and we were sorted within a couple of minutes. Not only was check in an absolute breeze but we were actually upgraded to an executive room. After a really long day this was wonderful news. I always find that Novotel staff are super helpful, polite and really do their jobs very well.
Our room was really lovely and we were both really happy with it. I asked at reception if the sofa bed had been made up already and even though it hadn’t, someone came up from housekeeping immediately and got it sorted within a couple of minutes. Again, the customer service here was excellent.
The room was really quite large and spacious which I appreciated. We had a large double bed along with the sofa bed which suited me and Mum perfectly. The second I sat down on the double bed I knew it was going to be comfortable to sleep on. After a very long day of travelling and walking all over London, that was exactly what I needed.
Our room also had a desk area with coffee machine and hairdryer as well as a large television in the main area of the room. As our room had been upgraded we also had a complimentary minibar which was a nice touch. This had a couple of cans of coke, diet coke and lager as well as 4 bottles of water. I really needed a nice cold drink after a long day so it was a really nice extra for us.
Something else I really appreciated was having a separate bathroom and toilet. The bathroom had a bath with low down showerhead as well as a separate shower. I took my own toiletries but there was shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel, shower cap, vanity set and even a comb in the bathroom! This is definitely more than you get in other hotels!
In the morning the shower was exactly what I needed and I could have stayed in there for hours. If I had been visiting with John and Erin then this set up would have been idea for us. Erin could have had a bath while either me or John got a shower and it would have minimised our time taken to get ready for the day.
Overall, the room was really good. However, the room was really warm and I struggled with that a little bit. Our house is pretty cold though so any room with some kind of good heating is too warm for me. I imagine most people wouldn’t have an issue with this. Even so, I had a fantastic night’s sleep and the bed really was incredibly comfortable.
One thing I love about staying in a hotel is the breakfast and this one did not disappoint. We headed downstairs at around 8am and it wasn’t very busy. We had a lovely quiet table and were able to help ourselves to anything we wanted. I really liked that there was 2 stations for hot drinks and one for cold drinks. I know hotel breakfasts can get quite busy so this was a great thing to do.
I was really impressed with the food options that were on offer. There was plenty of hot food such as sausages, bacon, hash browns and beans as well as vegetarian options. Everything was cooked really well and absolutely delicious. The hash browns and bacon were so good and I really wish I’d gone back to have some more.
What really impressed me about the breakfast though was the cold options. I love a croissant and pan au chocolate for breakfast and the smaller sizes are great so you don’t get too full (but can go back for more if you want to). If you travel with young children they might not be as excited as a hot breakfast as you so these easier options are a great idea.
Not only was there the usual pastries and muffins but there was various granola cups, cereals, yoghurts and fresh fruits along with cheeses and meats. There was plenty of choices for spreads like Nutella, jam and marmalade and I loved that there was french toast sticks with syrup! I’ve never seen this done at a hotel breakfast before.
I definitely made the most of breakfast and had 3 plates of food. I wanted to try a bit of everything that I thought looked good. Everything I had was really nice and I definitely made the most of it. I do think Novotel hotels do one of the best breakfasts in a hotel and that’s partially why I like staying in them!
Booking our stay at the Novotel London Paddington with buyagift was so easy and I was really happy with the whole process. We couldn’t have asked for better service or a more comfortable bed and the amazing breakfast really topped it all off.
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