Recently, I had to stay in Reading for work, but booking accommodation near or within the city centre turned out to be a very expensive option – there’s only so much a company can work with and I don’t think expensing a £250 hotel for the night would be considered reasonable.
I finally came across Firoz Property apartments on Booking.com, and was a bit wary due to the lower price and unclear listing (no name, just ‘1 bed 1 bath apartment’), but decided to give it a go.
Firstly, to enter the apartment, there was no reception, but a key within a key box that I just could not find for a good few minutes! However, once in, I walked through a hallway and up the small set of stairs (no lift so not accessible to all), and entered the room. I was pleased to see double doors, with a small space between and keyhole view. It felt safe when staying alone.
I couldn’t believe how big the space was for the price and went on to explore the rooms that were surprisingly stylish.
The apartment comprised of a living/dining room, full working kitchen space, a twin bedroom and a bathroom. It also had a large cupboard with a washing machine.
The living/dining room had a comfortable sofa, nice furniture (love those dining chairs), and there was a Netflix and Amazon Prime account attached to the apartment so you can watch all shows/films on a decent screen – not your laptop!
The kitchen was fully functioning, with all pots, pans, and accessories needed. I didn’t cook, but everything looked clean, including the oven. There was also a dishwasher so it was easy to keep tidy.
The beds were comfortable, and desk really nice. One complaint I saw in the reviews was no wardrobe, but the hanging space was plenty for a couple of days. There were only small bedside cabinets for drawers so you wouldn’t be able to unpack if staying for more than a day or so.
The bathroom was clean with useful drawers under the sink, plus all the usual expectations of towels, hairdryer, shampoo/conditioner/shower gel. The shower had two head options with great pressure. However, it did have tape on it that looked to be holding it together! There had to be something, right?
There were also a few noticeable things like dusty floors and a precarious curtain pole, but nothing unmanageable.
The view was onto a car park, so nothing special, but I wasn’t there to look out of the window.
I was impressed with the details, such as the kitchen finishes, comfortable yet stylish furniture, and an impressive variation of lighting levels (lighting geek moment, but there were LED strip lights, various lamps, spotlights and more). I also liked the quick access hanging space for getting ready for work, but appreciate not everybody would like that.
The cost was only £109 a night for a full apartment, so over £100 less than others in the area. I knew it was a risk as these apartments were right in the city centre and so low-priced compared to other places. However, I’ve stayed in bad places before, and unless it was really dirty and bug-infested, thought it would do for a couple of nights. Plus it was only a quick walk to the office each morning.
For what I got, it was an absolute bargain! I was so impressed and definitely got my money’s worth.
The location is perfect for a visit to Reading city centre. You could walk to all shops and restaurants within minutes, including The Oracle shopping centre. It was about a 5 minute walk from the train station, so ideal for travelling in that way. It was also positioned in a quiet street just on the edge of the centre, and next to the lovely Forbury Gardens Park so not too loud (although I was there on weekdays).
Nearby there were loads of food places, including chain restaurants like Tortilla (with the best burritos!), Coco Di Mama (excellent Italian takeaway), and an authentic Greek restaurant that I NEED to try next time! (I think it was called Tasty Greek?)
Overall, it really did feel like a home away from home and I could find no real faults considering the price. It was a great location, price and experience.
I will definitely be aiming to stay there each time I go to Reading for work and am also considering a weekend trip to explore now that I know it’s an affordable city break.