Sod it!

"Sod it!"

"Sod it!"

I’ve just submitted a review to TripAdvisor about our stay earlier this week at Ruth Watson’s Crown & Castle Hotel in Orford, Suffolk. I’ll add a link to the published review when it appears on their website.

Reading between the lines of earlier [TripAdvisor] reviews, a pretty high bar was set for our stay. We were keen to find out about the IKEA furnishings and the apparent idiosyncracies of the hotel’s well-known co-proprietor. What transpired, however, was that many thoughtful touches really set this establishment apart from its contemporaries, and in combination provide an exceptional ‘visitor experience’ that I’ve yet to encounter elsewhere.

Yes, the IKEA furniture was present in our rooms, but it was for entirely practical reasons. There’s nothing worse than staying in an upmarket hotel with tired or frayed-at-the-edges furniture. The Crown & Castle solves this perennial issue by furnishing with highly functional, well-designed IKEA furniture that can so easily (and inexpensively) replaced as often as may be required to maintain an excellent standard of room decoration and contemporary appeal.

I had booked one of the pet-friendly garden rooms, and my companion was in the main house with a lovely view of Orford Ness. My room had a delightful personal note written for my dog about hotel facilities with a note at the top that it should be passed to me “to read also”. Nearby was a towel, a bat and ball for garden games and a doggy bedcover to save the duvet from damp paws. Molly said that the complimentary hand-made dog biscuits were very tasty.

We had pre-booked table 30 for dinner which meant that Molly was able to join us for our evening meal. She was pampered and fussed over by staff and customers alike, and enjoyed sitting on a chair next to the table where (tut tut) she politely accepted the odd titbit from our delicious meals.

Next morning Molly had a lie-in whilst we enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast in the restaurant with tasty local Suffolk cure bacon, awesome marmalade and fabulous bread.

What really sets this hotel apart from others is the no-nonsense approach to providing hotel facilities or information for customers. Ruth Watson’s TV persona shone through just about everywhere!

Whether it was the down-to-earth menu (we both heartily recommend the diet-defying delightfully named “Sod it!” hot chocolate mousse, the best either of us had ever tasted) or the breakfast menu that declared that the fresh squeezed orange juice was fresh squeezed in the ‘as in whole oranges freshly squeezed in our kitchen this morning’ but that the grapefruit juice was ‘freshly squeezed in the supermarket sense’!

Everything about this hotel just shrieks: ‘we want you to have a great time and feel like a valued customer.

Nothing was too much trouble for the staff who were very competent and highly professional yet friendly and unstuffy. We took our leave with much regret and a firm intention to return again in the future.

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12 thoughts on “Sod it!

  1. my pleasure mr 4x–i stayed in the “balavil Arms” at the time don’t know if its still therexxx

  2. The one on the Laggan road taddoe…. went their in 2001 between surgery and radiotherapy. Okay okay, I’ll give you that it wasnt exactly plush, not so much as an Ikea lightbulb in sight, but the service was fantastic, and they do like their dugs

  3. THE LODGE IN NEWTONMORE??? If its the same place i knew in newtonmopre whilst working for 6 weeks as young trainee district nurse in 1973,it has come up in the world

  4. sheese louise, whit would Kim, Aggy and heaven forefend Annemaurice have to say about mutts in the rooms, never mind on the bed. But then, Molly aint no mutt, she dobedobedo a princess!! This establishment sounds very similar to The Lodge Hotel Newtonmore, there is a review for same on Dogs Trust, I’m sure they would appreciate your comments over there too. By the by, grannys is open again, however on a very shakey coatpeg, (windows98…eeek)

  5. Do your pets have to be sympathetically gender-orientated Mister Fourex?😯I’m sure landlady would happily forego the…er…orientation for a good feed and a completely shag-free evening on the shag-pile! I could be wrong…it has been known..

  6. It sounds like you humans were just there on sufferance. I’m lying here imagining a cat-friendly hotel where I could do the rounds of all the diners until stuffed to the gills, then recline in front of a roaring fire on a fluffy rug…mmmmmmmmmm. Some hounds don’t know they’re born!

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