About the hotel

I won’t name the hotel, because I wouldn’t want someone to google it and find my comments and treat them as the be-all and end-all. Older readers will know that I prefer a modern chain hotel to the traditional kind, anyway, so I’m starting from a position here where I’d rather be in a modern Novotel than something that looks like the kind of Victorian rooming house the Good Companions might stay in.

So this Hotel was on the outskirts of Southwold rather than having a sea view, etc, but it was still over £100 per night for a twin room, bed and breakfast. I would say that, on the whole, they did the basics right, but it was a bit rough around the edges. From the outside, it looks like a faded relic.

But inside, the room was clean, for example, and the beds fairly comfortable. The pillows were a bit shit. I always regret not taking my buckwheat pillow with me. There was a lovely big window with a view out to the hotel’s outdoor seating area, which looked okay but was in need of some attention. There was a pile of old timber in one corner, and several broken chairs and tables. On the other hand, it was a nice sunny spot and at least one pair of guests spent a whole afternoon out there, reading and sunning themselves.

To be fair, it was early May, so perhaps whoever owns the place hasn’t got around to all those little jobs that need doing before Whitsun.

There was a decent chair to sit in next to this lovely window, but only one in a room for two. And while the window was lovely, its paintwork was in need of attention. Some of the openable windows were painted shut, and paint was flaking elsewhere. There was a TV, which I didn’t bother much with (my OH did, and it did work) and there were enough places to put your stuff, and coathangers you could remove from the rail. The shower room made creative use of a tiny space, but the toilet was in a challenging position for a tall person. The bath was huge, the water pressure for the “rainfall” shower head was great…

But… you did wait a really long time for hot water, and when it came it came in short bursts, interspersed with longer periods of cold. So it was not possible to have a nice hot shower.

As to that toilet… lots of limescale gave it a soiled appearance. The water in Southwold is very hard, harder than round here, even. There was a kettle and tea/coffee in the room, but the scum on the cup was noticeable.

A mixed picture then. Nothing to really complain about, but there was enough wear and tear around the edges that it felt a bit seedy at times, with a smell of damp socks in the corridor. The photo above is a perfect illustration: you can see the nice view out of the window, the scum on the tea mug, the slightly cracked looking paint. Not pictured: me wishing I’d remembered my damn Kindle.

The breakfast part of the bed and breakfast was good. There was a conveyor toaster, which was exciting (though set quite low so that you had to run the bread through twice), and you could set yourself up with toast/marmalade etc, a yoghurt, some cereal, fruit juice, coffee, tea, etc., and then order a big fry up, or eggs Benedict, or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. So you could set yourself up for the day with a huge breakfast and not feel hungry till much later on. The restaurant/bar area was the best bit of the hotel really. Clean and modern, light and airy. You could forget the Victorian pile over your head while you were in there.

So it was all right. No horror stories. But a lot to pay for an okay place in a nothing town like Southwold.

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