“ Address: Duke Street / Norwich / Norfolk / NR3 3AP / Telephone: 0870 990 6632 „
It's sometimes a little difficult to review a particular hotel in a chain such as Premier Inn, as the whole chain is designed to be uniform and consistent. However, I did find the experience of his hotel to be very positive and thought it might be helpful to share that.
The Premier Inn in Duke Street in Norwich opened in mid 2007, being the second of the chain's to open, as the old Hotel Nelson near the River Wensum was rebranded as a Premier Inn at the same time. The Duke Street hotel seems to have rooms available much more frequently than the old Hotel Nelson site.
Duke Street is very near the City Centre, just a five minute walk to the market place. The hotel is clean and well-organised and the set-up seems very smooth with the staff polite and helpful. Room prices are generally the same, although they can be obtained cheaper occasionally if booked in advance and sometimes rise for special occasions, but generally the price seems to be around 61 pounds for the night. The price is for the room, regardless of the number of guests who stay.
One advantage of Premier Inn is that you can book the room on their web-site, over the phone or in person, in advance. If it transpires that you then don't need the room or want to change the details of the booking, then you can do this for free as long as you do by 1pm of the day of booking. That flexibility is very helpful and is more generous than some other similar chains.
You pay for the room on arrival, so although you need a card to reserve a room in advance, the card is never charged unless you don't turn up. I did experience a minor quirk when I was paying. I had wanted to use my card ideally but was waiting for a new chip and pin number. I was told that if I wanted to use the card, I would in theory need to walk outside the hotel and phone them up to provide the number. They did realise that this wasn't a very sensible option and processed the card anyway. To be fair though, the problem in not having a pin number was mine, so it wouldn't be fair to criticise them for this.
There is a restaurant attached to the hotel, which is also licensed to sell alcoholic products. However given the central location of the hotel there are many other food outlets nearby, and two pubs within just one minute's walk. The restaurant is also where breakfast is served if required, although this is additional to the room payment.
The hotel is new and so possibly inevitably the state of the rooms is good. However they are clearly well-cleaned and effort is made to keep the hotel to a high standard. It is certainly one of the better Premier Inns they have, as some of their older hotels do feel a little worse for wear.
The hotel therefore might not be the cheapest option, but it isn't far off if there are two people in the room. It is though one of the easiest to book and flexible in its arrangements. They also offer a guarantee that if you're not satisified that your night's stay has been relaxed, then they will refund all the money that you've paid.
Norwich recently has had a little bit of a hotel boom. A Travelodge has been built next to the bus station, which has been re-developed. A Holiday Inn has been built next to Carrow Road, Norwich City's football club, and some other smaller hotels have also started to open and be developed.
Overall however, a very positive stay.