This is the first part of my review of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Milton Keynes.
In parts two (found here) and three I’ll be covering the rooms, lounges and dining options.
The hotel is quite unusual in the fact it is built into the structure of Stadium MK, home of the MK Dons football club. It also acted as a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
How often can you say you’ve slept within a football stadium? I’ll also be reviewing a hotel built within a cricket ground – but that’s for another day.
A 360º view from outside the stadium
Also within the grounds is the MK1 Shopping Park. This was developed by The Crown Estate to the tune of £56 million in 2012.
Within this shopping and dining complex you will find:
- Marks & Spencer
- New Look
- River Island
- Pizza Express
- TGI Fridays
- Bella Italia
- Frankie & Benny’s
…and also an Odeon Multiscreen Cinema with very plush seating on the upper level of some of the screens. They call this area ‘The Gallery’ and comes with a separate pre/post film lounge with free soft drinks nachos and popcorn. Alcoholic drinks are available to purchase.
The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel Milton Keynes has 304 bedrooms. These consist of:
- Twin guest rooms
- Double guest rooms
- King corner rooms
- Twin deluxe with pitch views
- King deluxe with pitch views
- King family rooms with pitch views
- Two bedroom family rooms
- King junior suites with pitch views
- King bed suites
- Apartment suite with kitchenette
The pitch facing rooms are located on the top level of the seating and can be converted to hospitality boxes on match days should they be needed. As the name suggests they have a view of the pitch.
A 360º view of the stadium
The hotel is around a 5-10 minute taxi ride from Milton Keynes Central Station. You would expect to pay between £7-£10, including tip, each way.
Other than the stadium and MK1 Shopping Park, within the complex itself, and a ‘Bounce’ indoor trampoline centre across the road there are little other activities easily accessible within walking distance from the hotel. If you plan to explore the surrounding area you would need to rely on taxis, the bus network or have your own car.
Within the boundaries of Milton Keynes there are a number of ways to entertain yourself.
Centre:MK, a large shopping and dining complex, is home around 240 high street stores and restaurants.
The National Badminton Centre is open to members 7 days a week.
Milton Keynes Theatre showcases a diverse range of drama, musical, entertainment and pantomime.
Xscape Milton Keynes is another complex offering dining and entertainment venues, including:
- Snozone – an indoor ski and snowboarding centre with real snow where you are able to join in a range of lessons or just polish up your skills.
- iFLY – an indoor wind tunnel where you can learn the techniques of sky-diving in a safe and fun environment.
- ClimbZone – an indoor 13 metre climbing wall located inside the Ellis Brigham store.
- Casino MK – home to the UK’s second super casino.
Within the outskirts of Milton Keynes itself there are numerous galleries, theatres, stately homes, medieval abby ruins and traditional village pubs.
Bletchley Park, around 10 minutes drive from the hotel, is a place of exceptional historical importance. It costs around £5 including tip by taxi each way. It played a major role in World War 2 as the home of British codebreaking. It was also the setting for the 2014 feature film, The Imitation Game, staring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.
The Woburn Estate is also easy to visit being around 10-15 minutes drive from the hotel.
You could easily spend a few days exploring the various activities and scenery around the Duke of Bedford’s estate, including:
- Woburn Abbey and Gardens – The ancestral home of the 15th Duke of Bedford and his family. You are able to explore 22 rooms within Woburn Abbey and over 28 acres of award-winning Humphry Repton inspired gardens. This is all set within 3,000 acres of deer park, home to nine different species of deer, making it one of the largest private conservation parks in Europe.
- Woburn Safari Park – Home to over 1,000 magnificent wild animals. Enjoy safari adventures by car, animal encounters on foot and plenty of additional leisure activities to enjoy.
- Woburn Golf Club – Three champion hosting golf courses with a warm and friendly clubhouse atmosphere.