When I visited Shrewsbury recently, I stayed overnight at the 3-star Prince Rupert Hotel in Fish Street. I had wanted to stay in the town rather than getting a taxi home, and so location was my main concern – I wanted to be sure that I could walk back to the hotel after dinner.
I found that most of the hotels were on the outskirts of town, too far to walk so I booked a double room at the Prince Rupert Hotel, which is located in the former home of Prince Rupert, grandson of King James I. Fish Street is a tiny side street off Wyle Cop in the centre of Shrewsbury, and the hotel is in an ideal location if you are going shopping, to the theatre or just out for a meal. I managed to miss the turning the first time around, and then spent another 20 minutes driving around the one way system in an attempt to get back to Wyle Cop. Note to self: using the sat nav is not an admission of defeat.
The hotel operates a valet parking service, so I left my car parked askew in the street and went to check in. I wasn’t expecting to travel back in time as I went through the main door…
The Prince Rupert Hotel has an old-fashioned charm about it: you are greeted in reception as a valued guest, the porter offers to bring your luggage to your room, and the tiny lift has adverts in which look like they may have been there at the turn of the century. I walked down the crooked corridors to my room, opened the door and nearly fell right into bed. Literally.
This was my double room, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I was standing just inside the door when I took this photograph. The furniture looks a little tired, and the bathroom could certainly do with renovation (avocado bathroom suite, anyone?). Apparently most of the rooms have an attractive view of the courtyard garden or over St Alklands Square, but my room looked out onto a brick wall. However, there was a flat screen TV on the wall, and the bed was incredibly comfortable with beautifully clean and soft bedlinen. I wasn’t planning on spending too much time in the room, so that was good enough for me.
I slept well, although the room was a little cool and I couldn’t see any means of raising the temperature. The next morning I went down for breakfast in the Royalist Restaurant which had the same kind of old-fashioned elegance. There was a well supplied continental buffet, as well as the option of porridge, kippers or a full English, which I decided to try out.
A small pot of coffee and some toast were brought out to my table and the breakfast followed soon afterwards. The sausage and bacon were both good quality, and the fried egg was cooked perfectly: I do hate an overcooked yolk. The only criticism I would have about breakfast was that the lighting in the restaurant was incredibly harsh – you can see the shadows in the photograph above. I am not sure if they dim the lighting in the evening, but I certainly wouldn’t choose to sit in that lighting for long.
A double room at the Prince Rupert normally costs £115, although I paid £85 for my room. The downsides to the hotel were the tired décor, the lack of free wifi (a pet hate of mine in this price bracket) and the slight chilly temperature in the bedroom. However I think that these were compensated for by the very comfortable bed, and the excellent service that I received from every member of staff at the hotel.
Would I visit again? I have asked myself this a few times since I left the hotel, and I came to the decision that I might book again at the lower price if I was visiting with Mark, if we were planning to spend the day shopping and then go out for dinner afterwards. I have stayed in better equipped hotels in this price range, but many of them lacked the personal touch and charm that the Prince Rupert has.
I visited: Prince Rupert Hotel, Butcher Row, Shrewsbury, SY1 1UQ. Tel: 01743 499955