I usually stay at Cutlers, but didn't enjoy it as much this year. The beer in the hotel bar tasted a bit off, and they are trying to turn it into an Indian restaurant for some reason. I like Indian food, but it gave a weird atmosphere when having a pint in there. Premier Inn is reasonably priced, and has a nice breakfast. The Novotel is supposed to be nice, but I've never stayed.
There's not really a bad seat in The Crucible. Most arenas, you don't want to sit at the front because you're eye level to the table. But front row is raised enough to be a good view in Sheffield. Sitting in the third row this year, I got told off by Maguire for opening a bottle of pepsi whilst he was on a shot. If you sit closer to the back, it's still a decent enough view. And you don't have to be quite as quiet. Take your pick.
Also, everybody says it's smaller than they expected on their first go.