The Fun Cons have a long tradition of picking hotels which are more or less in the middle of nowhere and highly inconvenient to get to. Both Incon V and Lazlar Lyricon II were held at the Scotch Corner Hotel near Darlington. With the third convention in the offing, we were determined to find a hotel that was well connected by road and rail, and Emma found a super hotel, just right for our needs, in Stoke-on-Trent, with a management team who understand and have a history with conventions, and who were welcoming.
Quality Hotel, Stoke-on-Trent
66 Trinity Street, Hanley, Stoke On Trent, ST1 5NB
The Quality Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent has many things to recommend it. As well as being convenient to get to by public transport or by car (see the Travel Page) and good access (see the Access FAQ), it is a nice old building with lots of pleasant features including a cosy bar with lots of wood panelling, good chill-out spaces in the foyer and elsewhere, and good sized bedrooms which are, on the whole, somewhat more generous than you find in more modern buildings. Admittedly it's a bit rough around the edges in places, though the new general manager, who has been there about two years at the time of writing, has started refurbishments and made some great improvements since he took over, with more on the cards before we turn up in 2017.
Stoke-on-Trent is a good location for the convention, the hotel is a short walk from the town centre and Potteries Shopping Centre, very close to Festival Park which has further shopping and leisure facilities including an Odeon cinema, tenpin bowling, water park and dry ski slope, and there's lots more info about local attractions, including Potteries factories and museums, on the Visit Stoke website. And of course it's very close to Alton Towers, which is just over half an hour's drive from the hotel.
The hotel also has a very lovely leisure centre which guests are welcome to use, including swimming pool, sauna, steam room, spa & gym. Though of course we'll all be far too busy having fun at the convention to be swanning about in the pool! Still, saunas can be great hangover cures, which may be relevant for some.
And of course, importantly, it has great convention space, with a number of rooms which can be used in various ways to provide the space we need for all the fun and frolics we intend to get up to!
Oh, and it's very good value.... Room rates are very reasonable, with a double room being just £60 for the night including breakfast, pints look set to be a good price at the bar, and on top of all that the staff are friendly and quite keen to have a somewhat peculiar convention turn up and do strange things in their space. Which is nice.
So what are you waiting for?