When your hotel is included in a coach tour which focuses on a specific event, you don't usually expect the accommodation to be a major pleasure of the break. But the Marriott Sprowston Manor hotel and country club, just outside Norwich, was good enough for a few days break on its own. Arriving after a long drive, we were pleasantly surprised by the charming old building, set in extensive grounds. There was nothing old or dated about the interior, however, after a five million pound refurbishment five years ago. Our luggage was promptly taken care of, and we retired to find our rooms. A disabled friend had booked a ground floor room with shower, and enjoyed a giant bed to herself, complete with six really comfy pillows. Her only complaint was that the shower was not a wet-room, and did require a six-inch step to use it. A shower-chair with raised seat and handrails was provided immediately when asked for. Other double rooms for single occupancy( at a supplement) had identical facilities on other floors.
The first floor is reached by eight steps, with a handrail, but no lift, so if stairs are a problem, better to book the second floor which does have a lift. The porters will take your luggage to any room.
The twin room was spacious with king size beds, each with four pillows, and a soft mattress-topper over a firm base, a perfect combination for a good night's sleep.( Best bed in over 50 years travelling). A mini fridge held the usual soft and alcoholic drinks, but the prices were very high. Beware the tempting basket of crisps and snacks sitting near the tray of tea-making facilities! They are not free and £2.50 for an individual bag of crisps is an expensive treat.
Dining as a large group, we were not allocated tables in one area, but free to choose our places. The menu was varied, the food good and the waiters very helpful. Breakfast buffet had a wide choice of hot and cold dishes, all nicely presented, and I indulged my taste for smoked salmon and various cheeses.
The hotel boasts a spa and small swimming pool, and offers spa breaks with various health and beauty treatments. We were out of the hotel all day, sight-seeing, but I did fit in an hour in the pool before dinner. Towels are provided free, and the facilities are very clean and stylish. The pool itself, though small, is warm and attractive, set in a little tropical garden with soft lighting – very enjoyable.
The hotel has a considerable history, dating from 1559, and the concierge/butler, Mr Bernard Hagon will gladly give you printed copies of his potted history, old maps and a promise to describe the ghostly manifestations, should you be into that sort of experience!
To sum up, we would gladly return to this 4* hotel, when in th Norfolk area.