I planned to take my parents, my sister and her partner out for lunch to mark my 60th birthday, in Reading, so I looked for a good hotel for a Friday and Saturday night. That’s when I found The Roseate, one of a small chain of Indian owned hotels, which looked pretty nice. I found it odd that I didn’t know how to pronounce ‘Roseate’; was it ‘rose ate’, as in “Rose ate a cake”, or was it ‘rosie at’, as in “I saw Rosie at the cinema”? It was only when we checked in just before 8pm that I gathered it was the latter, though varying pronunciations were acceptable. The Roseate hotel Reading has 55 rooms and suites, which, according to their website, each room has “a perfect mixture of art, lighting, sound and comfort”. Another pice refers to “plush fabrics and swanky wallpapers”. I booked a House Premium Suite through my travel club PK’s List, for £364 B&B total for 2 nights and was wait-listed for an upgrade to their top room category, an Executive Suite.
When we entered the 1911-built former Berkshire County Council offices building it did indeed look like the stylish sexy townhouse hotel the London Evening Standard raved about.
After checking in we were escorted along a corridor, down one flight in the lift, through the restaurant, and outside into a small carpark, where we found what they called their “House” building. The lady then left us to go up to our 8th floor suite (No.804) on our own, which seemed unusual, but it might have been a covid thing (to avoid 3 people together in the lift).
This second building had a very different vibe to the first one; it was just a modern office block without any of the stylish design we saw in the first building, looking more like a Premier Inn than a luxury townhouse hotel!
Our suite had a good sized combined bedroom and sitting room, a good wide super-king bed and a spacious bathroom, but plain white was the dominating colour and there was no sign of “plush fabrics and swanky wallpapers”, nor any colourful artwork. It was a little disappointing, but for me space is the most important factor for a suite, and this room at least delivered on that. The bedroom floor was a good quality wood laminate, the sofa was beige and quite ugly, but we had aircon (reviews on TripAdvisor suggest rooms in the old block do not). Probably the worst aspect of the room was the view of an apartment block across the street.
Our wardrobe and drawers didn’t have handles and were very hard to open, which was a pain, so we just left them open through the weekend. Once opened we found no clothes hangers which I found astonishing. I checked with reception and was told that’s “normal”, but they sent me up a few. There was only one drawer for clothes, but we that was fine for our 2 night stay.
We had a mini fridge containing comp filtered water, a kettle and some tea/coffee things including a few coffee pods – but there wasn’t an espresso machine! Their website states that all suites have an espresso machine.
The bathroom was spacious, with twin basins, a free standing bath tub, toilet and step-free shower cubicle. But because everything was white, this room lacked warmth. Small samples of toiletries were by Penhaligon. The toilet was one of those with too wide a seat, meaning the hole was too small.
Roseate Reading has a restaurant called The Reading Room, where breakfast is served daily, and where guests and non guests can eat lunch and dinner.
Breakfast featured a small buffet, from where I grabbed muesli and pretty good quality apple juice (much better than the rubbish served at most breakfast buffets). Coffee/Tea was brought to the table (my cappuccino tasted like it was from a vending machine) and certain items were available a la carte. From the latter I requested Eggs Benedict.
My eggs Benedict had a horrible custard-like Hollandaise which lacked acidity, the muffin was stale, the ham was prosciutto, but the eggs were still runny. Service was pretty good, even though I could see the waitresses were under pressure.
Overall we had a comfortable stay at Roseate Reading, but it has to be noted that the hotel has a split personality across its 2 buildings, with the House side being much less luxurious than the original front building. (For ‘less luxurious’ read ‘drab’). But we had space. 7/10