“ Address: Prince Of Wales Road / Norwich NR1 1DX / Norfolk / Tel: 0871 527 8842 „
Due to being up in Norwich recently for a friend's wedding my husband and I decided to stay in Norwich Nelson Premier Inn for a couple of nights. Most of the other hotels near to the church and wedding venue were considerably more expensive (well over £100 per night) and what with the Premier Inn costing just £39 a night we felt we couldn't go wrong. The hotel was just 5 miles from the venue and with taxis there and back costing just £10 we thought it would make good sense to stay at the Premier Inn.
We found the hotel easily enough before we even turned into Prince of Wales Road as it's right next to a river and as we past the train station on our right on our left was the hotel. We had to turn left into Prince of Wales and drive a few 100m and turn left again to access the car park and entrance to the hotel.
Approaching reception we were greeted with big smiles and the chirpy receptionist asked us if we'd stayed at Norwich Nelson Premier Inn previously. As we hadn't she explained breakfast times, how to access the corridor to get to the rooms (i.e. using our room key to ensure only hotel guests ventured to where guests were staying) and how to get to our room. Handing over a credit card, the cost of £78 for 2 nights was deducted and I was asked if I wanted a printout of my receipt or an email. I opted for an email receipt. We felt at the time that the check in process was very thorough.
Walking down the corridor and waiting for the lift to take us up to our second floor room we exclaimed at the lovely view of the river just through the windows.
Our room was very close to the lift and as we went in we were pleased to see how clean and modern the room appeared.
Jus looking at the bed we knew it was going to be comfortable. On reading the little brochure in the room I discovered that the hotel offers a "good night" guarantee whereby they will refund the cost of your room if you don't have a good night's sleep. Now if there's anyone out there who thinks they could pretend not to have had a good night's sleep, I can tell you now, you WILL have such a good night's sleep in the oh so comfortable bed that you wouldn't even dream of pretending not to have slept like a baby! I usually use at least two pillows at home and here at Premier Inn one pillow was sufficient for me on both nights. I have a real problem with sleeping in general and when I stay in a hotel it's imperative that the bed should be comfortable and the sound-proofing in the room should be good - this is why I can't stress enough how wonderful it felt to have a fabulously comfortable bed to sleep in with no noise coming in from either outside the window or from the corridor!
What also adds to a good night's sleep is that the curtains completely black out the daylight when pulled to properly and the sound-proofing is excellent. Whilst inside our room we heard absolutely no noise from the corridor or from the car park outside our window. The room temperature in general was fine but it was the hottest weekend in June and we found ourselves switching on the air conditioning (which I might add was extremely easy to figure out how to use) and this provided the perfect levels of temperature for our liking.
Another thing I thought was very thoughtful of the hotel (on reading their small brochure in the room) was that they never put single female guests on the ground floor or near exits for their safety which I thought was a very considerate thing for a hotel to do. Other hotels might do this but I've never actually seen it stated anywhere in their literature that they do this.
For the business guest who might want to work in their room there's a desk in each room with a chair and wireless internet available. We also had an armchair and a coffee table by the window.
The bathroom was probably the only thing that disappointed us during our weekend stay as there was no shampoo or conditioner available (luckily I just happened to have some with me in my toiletry bag) and the Imperial Leather shower gel dispenser on the wall was not working so we had to detach the bottle from the dispenser to use it. My other gripe with the shower was that the shower head was not adjustable and it was angled such that when you stood directly under the water you kept bashing your arm or elbow against the shower gel dispenser - I ended up with several bruises on my arms as did hubby! This was a definite downer considering everything else with the hotel was so well organised. As opposed to having small bars of soap to use there was a hand Carex soap dispenser by the sink. Both the shower gel and hand soap were of good quality so no complaints on that front. The toilet roll dispenser was also very well designed in that you could just pull out sheets of toilet paper from a well very stocked unit so there was no chance of running out over a weekend stay should you not require the room to be made up during your stay. There were ample towels available for both of us.
The wardrobe had about 8 hangers which was an ample quantity for our needs but as I had a long dress to wear on the Saturday evening I was bit wary about hanging this in the wardrobe as it wasn't tall enough (and I'd spent hours ironing it the day before) but luckily on the wall opposite the bathroom were 4 hooks high up enough to hang long items of clothing. Inside the wardrobe were extra pillows too.
There was a decent sized flat screen TV with over well over 30 channels available (which we flicked through but didn't really have time to watch during our stay). A hairdryer was available by the well lit dressing table area and as expected there was a kettle with sachets of tea, coffee, sugar, etc.
During our stay we had the need to order taxis twice to take us to the church and later to the wedding reception venue, the reception staff were very helpful in arranging this for us and pointed out that if we went out onto the street to order taxis that it would cost more money. When we were leaving for the wedding and later for the reception; the staff on reception were very complimentary about how nice we looked which came across as so sincere that we were quite chuffed!
The hotel was formerly known as the Nelson and the bar/restaurant is still known by that name. We found the bar staff to be as friendly and helpful as the reception staff and nothing was too much trouble for them. We sat outside the bar when we arrived on the Friday afternoon as it was a lovely sunny day and the view of the river outside was delightful with boats going past. The bar offered a good selection of meals to suit all budgets and had a deal of 2 meals for £11 available till about 6pm. One thing I'd say about the bar is that it's not cheap. The bar seemed to be fairly busy (but not so much so that you couldn't find tables to sit at) and it seems popular with non-residents. My only issue with the bar is that it shuts at 12 which for a hotel bar seems quite early.
We didn't book breakfast when we booked our rooms but I was quite hungry on the Sunday morning and decided to go for the breakfast which at £8 was very well priced considering the amount of food that was available (and considering other hotels I've stayed at in the last 12 months charge £12-15 for the same standard of breakfast). Another family I know was staying at the hotel and they'd gone down quite late for breakfast (around 9.40 when it was finishing at 10) and said nothing had run out and everything was still well stocked. The service at breakfast again like everywhere else I experienced in the hotel was exemplary - I kept thinking that a hotel that charges from £29 a night could teach other much more expensive hotels a thing or two about customer service! If you need more convincing about the breakfast it included eat as much as you like of: premium pork sausages, veggie sausages, eggs (poached, fried, scrambled or omelette), back bacon, tomatoes, button mushrooms, baked beans, Costa coffee, tea and fruit juices. The continental breakfast includes: cereals, porridge, brown and white bread, croissants, fruit salad, yoghurts and muffins.
As an example of the meal prices: you could order Ham and Piccalilli or Cheddar Cheese and Ham or Prawn & Marie Rose Sauce sandwiches between £4.25 and £4.50 with side order of chips or soup just £1.25 extra, Beef Lasagne for £6.99, Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni £7.50, Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad £8.25.
I noted that the hotel caters very well for disabled guests, there are enough rooms on the ground floor for wheelchair users and even if they need to use other floors the lift is wide enough for a wheelchair to access easily. From reception to the bar/restaurant and all communal areas I noticed there were slopes rather than stairs so the comfort and accessibility of all guests has been considered and catered for by Premier Inn Norwich and from what I know all other branches of this hotel chain.
On checking out we were asked if we had had a pleasant stay and if there were any issues, so we explained our particular issue with the bathroom and we were advised that they would get maintenance onto it as soon as possible. We were thanked for staying with Premier Inn, again a nice touch and done with sincerity.
The day after I returned home I received an email questionnaire from Premier Inn asking about my stay and I was happy to recommend pretty much all aspects of the hotel, having pointed out the awkward positioning of the soap dispenser and the fact that the shower head is not adjustable. One of the questions in the survey asked if we had had the good night guarantee explained on arrival which to be honest we didn't (I only knew about it as I read the brochure in the room), I also were we asked if we had been asked on arrival if we wanted dinner, again this we weren't, although we did have breakfast explained, where it was, what time and how much it was, etc.
To leave the hotel with your car you need to get your parking ticket validated so you can exit the barrier without paying, we very cleverly managed to lose my ticket between reception and putting our luggage in the car so I sheepishly went back to reception and explained what I did - they were very understanding and didn't make me feel foolish, stating that it was a common occurrence and to just press the help buzzer at the exit barrier and they'd let us out!
I would highly recommend Norwich Nelson Premier Inn as it's in the city centre, it's comfortable, it's very well priced and the customer service is faultless. Oh and did I mention there's a vending machine which sells tubs of ice cream for about £2.50? What more could an ice cream addict ask for? Just watch out for the soap dispenser in the shower/bath tub and hopefully you won't come away with bruises as I did!
A strong 4 out of 5 from me and a promise that I will be happy to look for a Premier Inn when next staying away from home for a weekend, unless we're looking for a luxury hotel break with spa facilities.
Premier Inn Norwich Nelson City Centre
Prince Of Wales Road
Tel: 0871 527 8842 (or 01582 567890)
Fax: 0871 527 8843
The hotel is directly opposite Norwich train station. With ample free parking available for guests, there's also a Costa Coffee shop. The hotel is right next to local shops and amenities with lovely views of the River Wensum from the hotel itself. There are also conference facilities available in the hotel for up to 50 delegates. For an additional £22 per head you can get a three course meal from the restaurant's favourites menu with a drink and full breakfast.
p.s. Did I tell you how comfy the beds were? I did? Well, it's certainly worth repeating yet again!