The Forbury Hotel, Reading, and unexpected pleasure right in the heart of the town

For those who don’t know where Reading is, you have probably flown over it on the way in to (or out of) Heathrow, or passed it on the train to the West Country, Bristol or Bath. It is a commercial city, full of shops, offices and home to a number of large IT companies. Oracle and Microsoft are nearby.

It was a visit to a conference at the Microsoft Campus nearby that led me to stay at the Forbury this week. The hotel was paid for by the software company whose event I was attending, and they had taken over the whole hotel, all 23 rooms.

Located a five minute walk from the Rail Station I am not sure what I was expecting at the Forbury. It’s a converted local authority building. This picture (from their web site):

a building with lights onMy room turned out to be the middle three windows on the top floor (not the little bit on top).

Upon arrival it was up the stairs and left in to a Reception, where they were waiting to greet meet. Genuine and friendly, the staff could not have been more helpful. Escoring me to my room they explained how everything worked.

The Room


Spectacular – even by the standards of boutique hotels:

a room with a bed and a tableThe room was well designed with the bed, a large sofa, two other chairs and desk/chair with plenty of space to walk around the room. The large roll-top bath was in the room, on the way to the bathroom.

a room with a fireplace and a tub

Slighly strange I thought, but actually it worked as both a feature, and a good place to bathe whilst watching the Bang & Olufsen TV.

All the room design features were nicely done. There was even fresh milk in the fridge for tea and coffee. The coffee was instant which I though a bit out of place, but was fine for my coffee-in-the-bath hotel ritual.

There were some nice design features including this sculpture on the table:

a statue of a tiger


The bathroom was nice, with a large walk-in rain shower:

a shower with a glass doorand two wash hand basins:

a bathroom with a mirror


View from the Room

a view of a park with trees and buildings

The park across the road.


It really is a lovely hotel, right in the middle of the town. No air conditioning, nor opening windows made it bit hard on the first couple of days of summer we have had in the UK!

Rooms seem to run from about £145 to £205 mid-week.

If you were a company based in Reading and wanted somewhere other than the usual chains to stay I could heartily recommend this property.

Some of the other design features I captured:

a chandelier in a building

Main Staircase

a long hallway with lights


a room with a picture of a bull

Outside the lift


  1. Your room is actualy classified as a suite and is not a standard room in this excellent hotel.

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