Oh where do I begin….
Arguably the worst hotel experience I've stayed in. A hotel that could promise so much, but unfortunately let down by a number of small issues that "stand alone" would go unnoticed.
The place seemed to be a little mismatched on the art decorations around the place, the room was quite dusty in areas that are not difficult to miss, the Wi-Fi was terrible (but not a major issue).
What do you people make about walking down a dimly lit corridor and being met by this painting…
In the bathroom- the place clearly looked like it was worked on by either cowboys or a really cheap job was done. There was mould and rust on the aluminium silver pipes at the shower, the main mirror was chipped along the bottom. Not exactly a good look for an establishment that sports a four star rating, even if it is the cheapest hotel serving London STN.
Look at the tap and pipe at the Bath, and you can just make out the chips at the bottom of the mirror.
Dinner was… mediocre at the best. We ordered a meat feast pizza and cheesy garlic bread. Pretty basic food, but the pizza was overcooked and the garlic bread was left so long it was cold by the time it got to us, not ideal for a £20 purchase (with two cans of pepsi)
The quality of the food, for the paid price was pretty questionable…
I will say some positive things about the hotel. Mainly the fact I was allowed to leave my car at their establishment whilst we went away on this day trip to Dublin. Also they offered for an extra £12 a shuttle service from the Hotel to the Airport, which was efficient and quite easy to book. Also it can have an ok viewing point from just outside for arrivals (and departures by extension)
A brand new Boeing 737-8200 (B737-MAX) from Ryanair and a 24 year old McDonnell-Douglas MD-11F from FedEX.
Ah London STN- Despite being in the heart of Essex, specifically in the Saxon-era Village of Stansted Mountfitchit. It is well known for being a good 40 miles away from Central London.
My last visit here was in November 2017, marking my first visit in over 4 years! I moved from Berkshire to Dorset in May 2018, making London Stansted trips a bit more harder to justify as a stand alone day trip.
Getting into the Airport from our hotel shuttle bus, we had a short walk to departures, getting into the security area was easy enough with our boarding passes, but man- the waiting experience hadn't changed much as it took a good 20 minutes to get our bags checked over.
Once airside we got to the main area of the Terminal, "The Crucible", which was home to the half rounded big screen show casing all the Ryanair flights. Jet2 had increased its presence since my last visit, and the notable reduction by easyJet was clear to see. Tui Airways (UK) and the other charter airlines remained scattered through the list.
The heart of STN Airport when you go airside is this big curved screen!
We went to the Weatherspoon's restaurant/pub for a quick breakfast as it provided some decent views of the aircraft and runway upstairs
Keeping my camera out, I was able to get some… ok photos through the glass and distance.
The flight was to be operated by a Boeing 737-800 registered EI-DCM. The aircraft has spent its entire life at the time of writing with Ryanair having being delivered in October 2004. Making it one of the oldest B738 in the airlines fleet.
Boarding was the usual open board provided at London Stansted by Ryanair. Sitting in Row 24, Seat F I boarded the rear stairs, heading straight for my seat. Boarding towards the end of the passenger line, I had a clear run to the rear door, whilst a que was formed by the forward boarding door.
Upon entering I noticed the aircraft was still holding onto the older cabin design on majority of their Boeing 737s, however they had uprated to the newer slimline seats. This little hybrid cabin seems to be the common norm, but from recent trips taken by other flight reviewers it does appear the traditional older cabin is present on a number of Boeing 737s.
We boarded promptly as the entry requirements for Ireland from the UK at the time of this trip was solely for the Passenger Locator Form and proof of your Vaccination. Of which I had both of them. You only need to quarantine in Ireland if you don't have proof of vaccination.
We had a lovely take off out of London Stansted as there was only scattered light clouds. We powered out and began to head towards Ireland across the English Midlands.
I had pre-ordered from the Ryanair Getaway Cafe for a 10EUR (£8.50) meal deal where you get a main item, a snack item and a drink as part of a package. Something I enjoy using on Ryanair as it means I can cover a bit of their menu in two flights. The crew oddly didn't notice we'd pre-ordered until they got to our seats, so they had to rush our Panini a bit, something they could have sorted with their paperwork before the flight. Had it been a longer flight (like London to Copenhagen) it wouldn't have been much of a notice, but on an hour long London to Dublin service, it wasn't the best planning.
As you can see, I went with a cheese and ham Panini alongside a tub of paprika pringles and a Hot Cocoa. It wasn't much to rave about, but it was nice for an hour long flight if you didn't fancy in Airport dining.
After we passed Wales and began to fly across the Irish Sea, we began our descent into Dublin, passing over the tiny Isle of Man, a location I've not visited since a day trip in May 2016.
We had a direct approach into Dublin Airport, you don't take long to get to the Airport once you pass over the coastline, well by aeroplane at least!
We landed at Dublin on the southern Runway 28, we taxied around the Airport for a good 10 minutes as we made our way to the stand for our plane at "Críochfort a hAon" (Terminal One), notably passing the all-white Fokker F50 operating the PSO Dublin-Donegal route.
Upon parking and the two doors being opened up by the crew, everyone got up to leave. I sat and waited for the rush to die down and casually made my way off as one of the last passengers to exit the aircraft, it was a beautiful autumn day in Dublin, a stark contrast to some of my previous visits in the previous decade.
Ryanair were cheap and cheerful as well as reliable for my flight. Can't score them on entertainment as they don't even give out the booklets for the getaway café and Ryanair magazine anymore. The crew was good, but they didn't seem to take any urgency on this flight.
London Stansted was the same as always, despite being away nearly four years its nice to see it hasn't lost its budget charm!
My hotel experience is one that I'll leave to speak for itself....