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My experience at Opal 1 and why you should avoid it

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    So I'm coming to the end of my first year, 1 exam down and 3 to go, and I thought I would take this time to write a quick review on Opal 1, Nottingham.

    The reason I ended up staying here is because Nottingham University was my insurance, and so I didn't get the chance to be in halls. When I knew I would be studying at Nottingham, I hastily applied to Raleigh Park, but was informed that the limited places were already taken. Panicking, I booked a room at Opal 1, "Premium Student Accommodation".

    Browsing their website, the rooms looked fantastic. My desk is huge, my bed is a reasonable 3/4, and the shower room is a great convenience. I live in F Block, which was just built for this academic year along with G block, so everything was brand new and shiny. I also really like how reception will sign for packages for me, and I can collect them 24/7 after receiving a paper slip. Now the bad points...

    The first thing I noticed during my first week was that my room was insanely hot. I live on the fifth floor, so every single bit of heat rose up to my room. This usually isn't a problem, houses get hot during the summer, but the main issue was that the windows here only open a tiny bit, meaning that it's almost impossible for heat to leave the room. I wasn't able to sit in my room for more than half an hour unless I sat directly in front of my fan, it was so hot that sweat was literally dripping off me. This was only an issue during the first week, but the recently hot weather has brought the issue back, and this is extremely annoying since I am unable to revise in my room for exams.

    Since I have quite a lot to write, I'll bullet point the rest

    • The place is very much like a hotel, not in the way that it is luxury, but in the way that the place is really "shut door". There's no walking about and meeting new people who just leave their doors open like it is in halls, the place is very closed down and anti-social
    • Appliances in the kitchen are very cheap, the toaster was so small that I couldn't even fit my standard sized Warburton's Orange bread in there!
    • I have to go through 5 doors to get to my room. The outside gate; the door to the block; the second door to the block; in the lift (I don't count this as a door); my flat door; and finally my room door. Opal is billed as "very secure", but it's easy to follow someone else through the doors, and some of the gates aren't even working at the moment
    • Things break often, and when they do, it takes Opal MONTHS to repair them. For example, the D block lift was broken for 2-3 months I believe, meaning that those living on the higher floors had to walk up 3-5 flights of stairs every time they wanted to get to their room. This is okay for a week, but it took them TOO long to fix it
    • "Very secure", but they leave a side gate open, rendering all the external gates completely useless
    • Some of the staff are extremely rude, I've had someone refer to me as "that ****ing dickhead in there", after I complained that the remote to our TV didn't work (and therefore we were unable to watch any digital channels since the switch-over
    • The common room roof leaked 2-3 weeks ago, and they still haven't fixed it. Surely it doesn't take that long to get someone out to fix a roof? It's a good job the roof didn't break on an accommodation block!
    • It's relatively expensive to wash your clothes. £2.20 for a decent spin, then a quid to dry your clothes. Compared to the washing machines and dryers of other accommodation, this is expensive
    • You might not necessarily live with people like you. I was lucky to be put with 3 other lively first years, but friends have been put with Chinese students, who don't say a word to them (even when spoken to). In before "that's racist"
    • The internet is relatively slow, and you have to pay if you want to use more than one device. It's outsourced to a company called "Ask4" who provide a basic service of 4Mbit. You can upgrade to 30, 60 or 100Mbit, but it's very expensive. You also have to pay £15 or so to upgrade to use more devices, which I had to do in order to use my phone, iPad, Kindle
    • No wireless internet access in rooms, which can be quite frustrating. I purchased a router which allowed me to share my connection wirelessly
    • It's expensive for what you get. At ~£115 per week at the cheapest, you're going to be paying a lot more than your friends in other places. This really isn't justified.


    I can't think of much more at the moment, but if I do remember then I'll update the thread. I'll also put some photos up tomorrow, and do a video tour of me walking from outside of the complex right up to my room. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me. I'm also willing to answer general questions about Nottingham Uni, studying/living around JC, living out of halls, or Computer Science

    Update: Hot water has been off in my block over the weekend, didn't notice for the first couple of days due to insanely hot weather. Started to hyperventilate when I was forced to have a cold shower early in the morning before my 9am exam.
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    stop being a whinny little bitch. you can afford 115 quid a week. get a house share next year
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    (Original post by UPPSY)
    stop being a whinny little bitch. you can afford 115 quid a week. get a house share next year
    I'm warning people before they get stuck in here. Freshers come here because they have nowhere else to go, and then regret it later. If you have nothing to add then don't bother replying.
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    Pictures coming soon. Sorry for the delay, I have exams
    Edit: Forgot to take photos, since left the place
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    This is hardly a horror story, compared with some of the things I've heard about student accomodation from friends, it sounds positivity luxurious.

    This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my GT-I9100
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    (Original post by oddsox)
    This is hardly a horror story, compared with some of the things I've heard about student accomodation from friends, it sounds positivity luxurious.

    This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my GT-I9100
    I never claimed it was a horror story. If you read through what I've written, would you want to stay here?
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    What about the location? Is it in a safe place?How far is it from Jubilee and UP?
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    (Original post by Daniel Cooper)
    That seems a crazy amount to be spending on rent. Did you not see if you could get Broadgate Park or Raleigh?
    Broadgate Park is already full. Raleigh does not offer en suite for undergraduates. So there is opal, SPC or riverside point.
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    (Original post by Tot0)
    What about the location? Is it in a safe place?How far is it from Jubilee and UP?
    It's close to JC, about 5-8 minutes walk I'd say depending on how fast you walk. There's a free hopper bus from JC to UP that comes every 15 minutes during the week, and it takes about 30-45 minutes to walk to UP from Opal.

    It's not in a safe place in general (Radford, quite a rough part of Nottingham) but because the area is a student area, it's nice and safe. You'll learn where the rough areas are and where to avoid. There are thousands of students in the vicinity (Manor Villages, Riverside Point, Raleigh Park, Opal and St. Peter's Court) are all pretty close.
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    (Original post by Daniel Cooper)
    That seems a crazy amount to be spending on rent. Did you not see if you could get Broadgate Park or Raleigh?
    Nottingham was my insurance, just like pretty much everyone else in Opal I've met. When I got my results, there were still places in Raleigh and St Peter's Court, but I didn't get in because they filled up with insurance applicants.
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    (Original post by Coda)
    It's close to JC, about 5-8 minutes walk I'd say depending on how fast you walk. There's a free hopper bus from JC to UP that comes every 15 minutes during the week, and it takes about 30-45 minutes to walk to UP from Opal.

    It's not in a safe place in general (Radford, quite a rough part of Nottingham) but because the area is a student area, it's nice and safe. You'll learn where the rough areas are and where to avoid. There are thousands of students in the vicinity (Manor Villages, Riverside Point, Raleigh Park, Opal and St. Peter's Court) are all pretty close.
    Between Riverside Point and Opal which do you think is the best? I will be studying Civil eng and most of the time I will be at UP.
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    So which could be the best option for JB? I am going to study MSc in occupational psychology and opal really seems to attract me due to its studio rooms.. do u knw any other place with studios?
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    (Original post by vaidehi.c)
    So which could be the best option for JB? I am going to study MSc in occupational psychology and opal really seems to attract me due to its studio rooms.. do u knw any other place with studios?
    Sorry I'm not sure what JB means. Do you really need a studio room? Couldn't you just get a house with other people? They're insanely over priced for what you get. A house is much bigger and much cheaper per person, and you won't have to deal with having a "microwave oven" instead
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    (Original post by Tot0)
    Between Riverside Point and Opal which do you think is the best? I will be studying Civil eng and most of the time I will be at UP.
    Riverside is full of Trent students but I would still prefer it. Opal just isn't student-like, the place feels like a cheap hotel. Can I ask, how come you're not staying in halls?
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    pictures and youtube video please
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    (Original post by Coda)
    Riverside is full of Trent students but I would still prefer it. Opal just isn't student-like, the place feels like a cheap hotel. Can I ask, how come you're not staying in halls?
    I wanted a self catered hall. BGP would have been the best but it was already full. Are most of the student at opal 1 from uni of Nottingham? and do you share the kitchen with 1 st year students only or with other students also?
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    So what would you recommend us do? Notts is my insurance too and I wanted to be in self catered and right now Opal1 is the only place I know about that always has spaces left...
    Do you reckon I should just apply for catered?
    Amidst everything you have said what worries me the most is the 'shut door' feeling you described...that sucks
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    The issue with the heat will happen anywhere that there's a multi-storey building like that. The windows don't open in most accommodation nationwide as a security and safety feature. The laundry costs exactly the same in St. Peter's Court (actually states from £2.20, so can be more) and probably Riverside Point and other halls won't be far from the same amount. Your friend in the flat with all chinese residents is to blame because it's up to him/her to go and complain and asked to be moved.

    Most of the issues you have had can and will be experienced anywhere and part of me feels you reacted in this way because you had no choice but to go there, which is what happens at an insurance choice. I mean, your bread not fitting in the toaster is a bit petty...laugh it off and move on. You're putting people off and forcing them into an even trickier situation due to your bad experience.
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    (Original post by Coda)
    So I'm coming to the end of my first year, 1 exam down and 3 to go, and I thought I would take this time to write a quick review on Opal 1, Nottingham.

    The reason I ended up staying here is because Nottingham University was my insurance, and so I didn't get the chance to be in halls. When I knew I would be studying at Nottingham, I hastily applied to Raleigh Park, but was informed that the limited places were already taken. Panicking, I booked a room at Opal 1, "Premium Student Accommodation".

    Browsing their website, the rooms looked fantastic. My desk is huge, my bed is a reasonable 3/4, and the shower room is a great convenience. I live in F Block, which was just built for this academic year along with G block, so everything was brand new and shiny. I also really like how reception will sign for packages for me, and I can collect them 24/7 after receiving a paper slip. Now the bad points...

    The first thing I noticed during my first week was that my room was insanely hot. I live on the fifth floor, so every single bit of heat rose up to my room. This usually isn't a problem, houses get hot during the summer, but the main issue was that the windows here only open a tiny bit, meaning that it's almost impossible for heat to leave the room. I wasn't able to sit in my room for more than half an hour unless I sat directly in front of my fan, it was so hot that sweat was literally dripping off me. This was only an issue during the first week, but the recently hot weather has brought the issue back, and this is extremely annoying since I am unable to revise in my room for exams.

    Since I have quite a lot to write, I'll bullet point the rest

    • The place is very much like a hotel, not in the way that it is luxury, but in the way that the place is really "shut door". There's no walking about and meeting new people who just leave their doors open like it is in halls, the place is very closed down and anti-social
    • Appliances in the kitchen are very cheap, the toaster was so small that I couldn't even fit my standard sized Warburton's Orange bread in there!
    • I have to go through 5 doors to get to my room. The outside gate; the door to the block; the second door to the block; in the lift (I don't count this as a door); my flat door; and finally my room door. Opal is billed as "very secure", but it's easy to follow someone else through the doors, and some of the gates aren't even working at the moment
    • Things break often, and when they do, it takes Opal MONTHS to repair them. For example, the D block lift was broken for 2-3 months I believe, meaning that those living on the higher floors had to walk up 3-5 flights of stairs every time they wanted to get to their room. This is okay for a week, but it took them TOO long to fix it
    • "Very secure", but they leave a side gate open, rendering all the external gates completely useless
    • Some of the staff are extremely rude, I've had someone refer to me as "that ****ing dickhead in there", after I complained that the remote to our TV didn't work (and therefore we were unable to watch any digital channels since the switch-over
    • The common room roof leaked 2-3 weeks ago, and they still haven't fixed it. Surely it doesn't take that long to get someone out to fix a roof? It's a good job the roof didn't break on an accommodation block!
    • It's relatively expensive to wash your clothes. £2.20 for a decent spin, then a quid to dry your clothes. Compared to the washing machines and dryers of other accommodation, this is expensive
    • You might not necessarily live with people like you. I was lucky to be put with 3 other lively first years, but friends have been put with Chinese students, who don't say a word to them (even when spoken to). In before "that's racist"
    • The internet is relatively slow, and you have to pay if you want to use more than one device. It's outsourced to a company called "Ask4" who provide a basic service of 4Mbit. You can upgrade to 30, 60 or 100Mbit, but it's very expensive. You also have to pay £15 or so to upgrade to use more devices, which I had to do in order to use my phone, iPad, Kindle
    • No wireless internet access in rooms, which can be quite frustrating. I purchased a router which allowed me to share my connection wirelessly
    • It's expensive for what you get. At ~£115 per week at the cheapest, you're going to be paying a lot more than your friends in other places. This really isn't justified.


    I can't think of much more at the moment, but if I do remember then I'll update the thread. I'll also put some photos up tomorrow, and do a video tour of me walking from outside of the complex right up to my room. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me. I'm also willing to answer general questions about Nottingham Uni, studying/living around JC, living out of halls, or Computer Science

    Update: Hot water has been off in my block over the weekend, didn't notice for the first couple of days due to insanely hot weather. Started to hyperventilate when I was forced to have a cold shower early in the morning before my 9am exam.
    Most of those problems you have listed sound relatively minor and in fact normal in student halls.
    Most uni halls dont have wifi, most charge a lot at the launderette- I had to pay £2.20 per wash and 50p per 10 mins spin when I was in halls. And most dont have lifts so people have to walk up flights of stairs all the time.
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    [*]The place is very much like a hotel, not in the way that it is luxury, but in the way that the place is really "shut door". There's no walking about and meeting new people who just leave their doors open like it is in halls, the place is very closed down and anti-social
    This is exactly the same in halls. The halls of Nottingham Uni are all in that style. It's only if you live at Raleigh Park, SPC, BGP etc that you get to live in a proper flat but all on campus accommodation is the same 'hotel' style.

    [*]Appliances in the kitchen are very cheap, the toaster was so small that I couldn't even fit my standard sized Warburton's Orange bread in there!
    I've seen their kitchens and the appliances certainly aren't cheap. If you look at the likes of catered halls (pantries) or Raleigh Park and St Peter's Court, you should be glad you have the best appliances in terms of ovens, microwave + you have a TV (!) which none of the others have.

    [*]I have to go through 5 doors to get to my room. The outside gate; the door to the block; the second door to the block; in the lift (I don't count this as a door); my flat door; and finally my room door. Opal is billed as "very secure", but it's easy to follow someone else through the doors, and some of the gates aren't even working at the moment
    I don't see how going through 5 doors is a big of a problem. Others have even more at times, especially Broadgate Park. In the catered hall I was living (Cavendish) I had to get through 4 doors to get to my room but never even though about it as being a problem.

    [*]Things break often, and when they do, it takes Opal MONTHS to repair them. For example, the D block lift was broken for 2-3 months I believe, meaning that those living on the higher floors had to walk up 3-5 flights of stairs every time they wanted to get to their room. This is okay for a week, but it took them TOO long to fix it
    Fair enough. That's a valid point. My hall was really good with getting things fixed (replaced my fridge the following day because it wasn't working properly).

    [*]"Very secure", but they leave a side gate open, rendering all the external gates completely useless
    I also wondered about that when going past Opal to SPC why they had that door always open.

    [*]Some of the staff are extremely rude, I've had someone refer to me as "that ****ing dickhead in there", after I complained that the remote to our TV didn't work (and therefore we were unable to watch any digital channels since the switch-over
    They seriously called you that? It's unbelievable! Fair point!
    [*]The common room roof leaked 2-3 weeks ago, and they still haven't fixed it. Surely it doesn't take that long to get someone out to fix a roof? It's a good job the roof didn't break on an accommodation block!

    Same as #4

    [*]It's relatively expensive to wash your clothes. £2.20 for a decent spin, then a quid to dry your clothes. Compared to the washing machines and dryers of other accommodation, this is expensive
    Again fair point

    [*]You might not necessarily live with people like you. I was lucky to be put with 3 other lively first years, but friends have been put with Chinese students, who don't say a word to them (even when spoken to). In before "that's racist"
    Seriously? That problem is literally EVERYWHERE. No matter where you live unless you know people beforehand and apply together, it will always be like that.

    [*]The internet is relatively slow, and you have to pay if you want to use more than one device. It's outsourced to a company called "Ask4" who provide a basic service of 4Mbit. You can upgrade to 30, 60 or 100Mbit, but it's very expensive. You also have to pay £15 or so to upgrade to use more devices, which I had to do in order to use my phone, iPad, Kindle
    [*]No wireless internet access in rooms, which can be quite frustrating. I purchased a router which allowed me to share my connection wirelessly
    The Internet everywhere else is very similar to Opal. And Wifi is not available in most of the university halls. And you should be glad they even offer you a service to use Internet on your Kindle, iPhone and iPad. In catered halls you can't even do that.

    [*]It's expensive for what you get. At ~£115 per week at the cheapest, you're going to be paying a lot more than your friends in other places. This really isn't justified.
    Well, you pay for what you get.

    * The rooms are far more larger and room furniture is of much higher quality than in other halls.
    * The building looks very nice and you'd love living there
    * You have a free gym inside the building.
    * Its location is perfect: So many other student accommodations within 5min walk, Lidl, Dominos, Greggs, Noodle Bar, and a new bar opening this year all right next door
    * You have a TV in your kitchen
    * 24/7 Package collection (I had only certain hours a day)

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