Tag: bargain

The jurys inn but out of line

They must have had a few when drawing thisI’ve been looking at the latest planning application for a Jurys Inn in Swindon. You’d have thought that, having revised their original planning application a couple of times, they would have tired of the habit, but no. So now they are back with a new application, very similar to the first, but with 20% less restaurant space and five fewer flats apartments.

Externally, there seems to be little difference between the two applications: it remains a ten storey slab of bricks and painted concrete. However, reading through the garbage that accompanies the application (and no, I’m not just talking about the refuse disposal strategy) I did notice that whoever drew some of the illustrations in the design statement has some problems with their balance. If this bit of developer-puffery is to be believed,

The scale of buildings rises towards the town centre

and they’ve drawn a pretty picture to show how their slab will fit in at the shorter end of this rising line…. It’s a tad unfortunate that they’ve only managed to produce this rising line by having it cut through the top storeys of the proposed hotel whilst passing several floors above the buildings closer to the centre. Anyone sober with a steady hand would have drawn a line that was level.

As an aside, I’m not quite sure what a ‘superior budget hotel’ is, nor what is ‘budget’ about paying £70 for a room, but that is what Jurys Inns claim to be. Just trying to bump up their search engine ratings in these economically troubled times, methinks.

Plenty of room at the inn

I find the response from a local bed-and-breakfast hotel to a planning application for a new Jurys Inn in central Swindon a little strange.

Mark Gregson, owner of the Royston Hotel in Victoria Road, said the bigger chains could afford to squeeze local businesses out of the area. He said: “When the Travelodge opened for business I think we reached the limit of beds to customers, and if another comes along I think it will have a negative impact. The big companies have an advantage because they can afford to cut their prices by half for six months. They can run at a loss due to their financial backing and that’s something we just can’t do.”

Well… yes… that’s all true. But Jurys Inn is not really in the same market as The Royston Hotel, in which I stayed for almost a month when I first came to Swindon. Even at half-price, a room in a Jurys Inn would still be more expensive than the equivalent in The Royston. This is a little like M&S complaining of competition from Woollies — there’s a little overlap in what they offer, but not much.

Nice to see that our recently elected councillor has a good grasp of the matter.

Central ward councillor Derique Montaut said the problem was similar to the dominance of big supermarkets. “While we recognise the positive side of this for Swindon, attention has to be given to the local traders who could be forced out of existence.”

No Derique, not at the prices Jurys Inn charge. And whilst there has been a recent local casualty to increased hotel competition, that one was part of a national chain.

Oh, one other thing. The Royston Hotel does a very nice full english breakfast. I strongly recommend it.

Discount chicken

There’s nothing like a good health scare to bring down the price of food. I bought a half-priced chicken and a Gressingham guinea fowl today. I’ve not tried guinea fowl before. Yay to bird-flu!