If like me you’re missing watching football in person and not just through the TV, perhaps there is another way. I’d heard of a hotel in Milton Keynes where you can watch MK Dons play – the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Milton Keynes is rather unique, built into Stadium MK and offering views of the pitch from some of its rooms.
A Room with a View
Visiting on Halloween night in 2020, rivals MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon were due to meet in an EFL League One fixture and I couldn’t believe pitch side rooms were available for just £56. I thought there must of been some kind of catch but accessing the bedroom soon put my doubts to rest, with the room offering a great view of the pitch as the players were just starting the warm-up.
The rooms aren’t necessarily catered for watching the match so I was on my feet throughout the whole 90 minutes. A bar stool could of been useful, as the near side of the pitch was partially blocked by the seating and the door to the outside locked. However apart from the odd missed corner, I really couldn’t complain.
The match itself was entertaining, AFC Wimbledon taking an early lead before MK Dons pegged them back soon after. MK Dons enjoyed most of the play but Wimbledon had the best of the chances. The Dons goalkeeper had to make two fantastic saves in the second half as the 1-1 draw was probably a fair result.
It seemed pitchside rooms were only available on the dugout side of the pitch on the 3rd and 4th floors, with the majority of the other rooms facing the retail park. You can walk around the whole stadium on the 4th floor enjoying the views, however it did appear anyone who lingered out of the window to watch the match for too long was soon moved on by a steward.
Everything you need on site
I’d read some reviews of the hotel beforehand complaining it was too far from the town. However, Stadium MK is part of the MK1 Shopping & Leisure Park, which as well as shops such as Primark, Marks and Spencers and H&M offers restaurants including TGI Fridays, Bella Italia and Nandos, as well as fast food joints McDonalds and KFC. There is also a huge ASDA nearby. The stadium complex also has a Marco Pierre Restaurant, as well as the Marshall Arena – which hosts events such as Darts, Snooker and Netball.
It was quite a novelty going to sleep and waking up with a view of the pitch. The next morning I had the buffet breakfast in the Pitchside Restaurant, once again offering views of the pitch – you really couldn’t get away from it!
A different way of watching Football
Staying in a pitch side room is a unique and novel way of watching the football, or even just catching a glimpse of Stadium MK on a non-matchday. I felt the £56 I’d paid at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Milton Keynes was an absolute steal. In the current Covid world we find ourselves in, perhaps this is the only way most of us will be able to enjoy live football up close.