Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the spectacular newly built conference centre and hotel complete with on-site restaurant, situated on the Jubilee campus of the University of Nottingham.
Location wise this hotel is spot on and to describe it as a hidden gem is not far wrong best described as an oasis of green and water situated smack bang in the centre of a university campus with essentially what are super contemporary educational buildings surrounding it.
The view from the many windows of the new hotel; designed for both families and visitors of the students, but also open to the general public is one of beauty, overlooking a large pond with wildlife including ducks and Canadian geese amongst many others I’m sure.
A large fountain to the centre of the pond circulates the water and acts as a pretty central focal point to enjoy whilst sitting outside with a coffee from Spokes- their on-site restaurant and cafe, aptly named after the old Raleigh factory situated nearby which is a proud local heritage point.
The coffee in Spokes incidentally is particularly good- as they use 200 Degrees- a popular brand throughout Nottinghamshire, they also offer a full breakfast, lunch and evening menu, which we had the pleasure of sampling during our stay. My initial thoughts on Spokes were that it was solely a cafe, however its evening menu does offer some tasty dishes including stone-baked pizzas, mushroom stroganoff, various healthy salads served with chicken or halloumi, as well as meat and fish dishes.
They also have a bar license and so we were able to enjoy a glass of wine with our meal and the service was with a smile and friendly light chat, which always enhances any dining experience.
My dining partner and I decided to go for the mushroom stroganoff and a margherita pizza, with which we also requested a few extra topping for, including chilli’s/peppers/mushrooms and they happily obliged even though slightly off menu.
To start we also went with the soup of the day which happened to be a vegetable/tomato based broth served with bread and oil and the halloumi salad served with capers. We decided against a dessert on this occasion so as not to over- fill ourselves, but had we have done so there were several homemade cakes on the counter to choose from, so I look forward to a return visit – perhaps in the daytime to enjoy a hot chocolate and a slice of cake!
Check -in at the hotel was friendly and efficient, our room on the first floor was an impressive size- almost a suite style with a large bed, flat screen TV on the wall in the ‘living area’ with seating and a desk.
The bathroom had a bath to my delight (always a treat of mine when staying in hotels as I don’t own one myself) and miniature toiletries were provided. We were also given a kettle and drinks facilities.
The bed was super comfortable and what I really liked was that everything was brand spanking new, so it felt like we were almost experiencing it all for the very first time before anyone else.
What I noticed was the light, airy corridors to the hotel, due to the vast amount of windows in the building, all overlooking the pond view and wildlife and this is what makes for a relaxing and delightful stay in what I can only describe as a city central oasis.
Not many would think to stay in a hotel based on a University campus, but I urge all to visit this impressive hotel and would recommend it to anyone visiting Nottingham wanting a good quality and very affordable overnight escape or accommodation.
Breakfast is also a must, with a selection of continental and full cooked options, we enjoyed fresh juice, cereal with dried fruit, along with beans and egg on toast with quite possibly the nicest cooked golden hash browns I have ever eaten at a hotel breakfast.
A bit of history…
Originally the hotel operated as a teacher training centre (with accommodation) for about 10 years. The University now own the building and De Vere manage it on behalf of the University of Nottingham, which is the same as the Orchard Hotel). The University have been running the building for over 2 years and opened it to the public. Spokes opened in September of 2017 and are doing very well – continually adding more bicycle art work to the interior. If you know anyone who is looking to donate any retro bikes, they will certainly take them!
De Vere Jubilee Conference Centre – open daily with 24 hour reception.
Spokes opening hours:
Monday-Saturday 7am – 9.30pm
Sunday 7.30am – 10am (breakfast) & 6pm – 9.30pm (dinner)
Applause operate De Vere’s loyalty scheme for accommodation https://www.phcompany.com/applause/