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Welcome to Sunny Bournemouth
Norfolk Royale Hotel (Bournemouth)
Member Name: SRowlands
Norfolk Royale Hotel (Bournemouth)
Advantages: Very central location
Disadvantages: Old building that is prone to squeaks and bumps in the night !
I recently had to attend a course for work, which involved several overnight stays in Bournemouth. I opted to stay in the RAC rated **** Norfolk Royale Hotel, located in the central town area of Bournemouth. Arriving at the hotel, there is an area at the front where you can drive in and park whilst you check in. (You can also park in this area overnight, or in the underground carpark - each charged at £9 per night).
Checking in is straightforward - although you will need to leave credit / debit card details, but this is standard practice. Reception is in the lobby area - a plush, well furbished area with comfortable chairs, an open fire and a bar.
You will be given a keycard, and told where your room is. (On my visits, a porter service was not visable, although may have been available on request).
The hotel itself is quite old, but is currently being updated. The front of the hotel is the original building, which whilst is attractive, has one or two drawbacks. The biggest problem is that the floorboards are probably around 100 years old - hence they are very squeaky ! This is not too much of a problem during the day, but at night can be a huge problem !
At the rear of the hotel, a large extension has been built. The rooms in this section are slightly smaller, but without the annoyance of the squeaky floors !
During my visits, I stayed in two different rooms - the first at the front of the hotel was very large and comfortable. The room had just been refurbished, and the bathroom was very big. One of the two drawbacks of this room were the aforementioned squeaky floors. The other was that the toilet was positioned directly in front of the window in the bathroom. I actually didn't notice this at first, until I needed to use the toilet. I "dropped trou'" and sat down to do my business, and realised that as the window was open, I was looking out onto the busy street outside !!
My second stay saw me in a room at the back of the hotel. This was much quieter, and slightly smaller, but was very comfortable. Rooms all have a televison (with a selection of Sky channels), Playstation (charged at £4.50 / hour), telephone (very expensive... do not use !!) and en-suite facillities. Rooms also have a minibar, which in line with most other hotels, is very expensive. Typical charges are £2.50 for a 33cl bottle of water, £1.85 for a small tub of Pringles, with charges for wine and beer around £4.00 a bottle.
My stay also included breakfast. This was served in the resturant next to the lobby, and consisted of a buffett style breakfast of Tea and Toast, Cereal, Fruit and Yoghurt and a full english breakfast. The food was very good, and the service in the resturant was excellent.
The hotel has an onsite indoor swimming pool, sauna, jacuuzi and steamroom. The pool, sauna and steam rooms are very nice and very clean, however despite visiting the hotel twice over four weeks, the jacuuzi was not working. The changing rooms are clean and are currently undergoing refurbishment, and resemble changing rooms in an expensive gym ! Unfortunately the refurbishments were not complete on my visit, and things such as door handles and signage were not in place - hence I originally walked into the wrong sex changing room (which was fortunately unoccupied).
There is no gym on site, however the hotel has a local agreement with the gymnasium across the road, and allows free access for hotel guests.
The hotel is perfectly located for tourists and business visitors alike. You are
situated right in the heart of town, with shops, bars and resturants all within a
very short stroll. Although I didn't have much interaction with the staff (I wasn't in the hotel for long !), they seemed friendly and helpful.
Overall I would recommend the hotel, although their standard rates of between £130 and £190 per night is a bit on the expensive side !
(I originally published this review on youstayuk.co.uk, under my username BAW123)
Summary: A nice and comfortable hotel ideally located in the heart of the town.