7th wedding anniversary, hooray, so we booked a room at Caldecott hall. The lovely manager Paul and I exchanged emails prior to our stay and he gave us a free upgrade to the bridal/honeymoon suite as it was our special occasion! We were very excited after not ever having a child free night in the past 8 years, and for the past three years we've been sharing a double bed with a toddler and a labrador.
We arrived alongside another couple (who we didn't know, for those of you with dirty minds!), and went to the reception to check in. Nobody there....ring bell....nothing....15 minutes of waiting, bell ringing and exchanging awkward small talk with other couple, lady comes to check us in, offers no apology for the wait despite the male of the other couple literally dragging her out of the staff area. Checked in. Went to room, excited, feels ice cold but that's a minor issue (we are still wearing coats!!!). Light on, SHOCK!! TWO single beds! Not the romantic room we were promised. Back to reception, wait 10 minutes, lady comes, all rooms taken and although she was lovely, her only advise was to push both beds together!! Ok, well we're an easy couple and not much bothers us, and not to let the minor issue of single beds put us off, we venture back to the room. Heck it was COLD!!! Heating on full blast but never took off the edge (main thermostat for the entire building must be on so low to save money)...Push beds together, easy, they're on wheels. No hook to put them together and once you're anywhere near the crack they separate resulting in husband falling through (was my highlight of the stay)! Ok so cold, we'll have a hot drink, 2 tea bags, lots of sugar, couple of sachets of coffee and 2, yes TWO little pots of milk and a pack of biscuits which looked like they had been stampled over by a herd of elephants. OK neither of us like black tea/coffee so we heads/tails it to see who can have the hot drink as neither of us fancy lingering around the reception area for another 10-15 minutes. He won. I run bath. Water pressure so low, water trickles but hallelujah, after 12 minutes, the water begins to get lukewarm. Half an hour later I was sitting in a half filled bath admiring the dirty soil pipes of the toilet when my husband joined me producing the complementary Molton Brown shower gel (was impressed!) and he offered to scrub my back. Knock on the door (several times) - not sure who/what they wanted? Very cold, run to our separate beds wrapped in our towels and thought we'd take full advantage of having no toddler or labradors in our bed, and went straight to sleep. Not quite the romantic evening we wanted!
After a bad sleep (not the hotel's fault, except the coldness), I thought I'd have a shower, ran the bloody thing for 15 minutes and never any heat. Had a cold wash in the sink. Breakfast: sat down in the cold room, wasn't given an option of breakfast, just asked whether we'd like mushrooms and tomatoes with our fry up! Breakfast was greasy but the bacon and sausage was lovely. Then I went into shock. INSTANT COFFEE at breakfast? Come on guys? It's 2013, I seriously believe that fresh coffee is compulsory in hotels, no? We left almost immediately - the coffee was the deal breaker!
This place has so much potential to be a wonderful place, but the coldness, the lac of hot water and the scrimping and saving on the room sundries and the coffee at breakfast just make this hotel, which could potentially be amazing seem more like a youth hostel.
In all seriousness, we could have got over the bed/room situation despite the disappointment, but the little things and attention to detail are overlooked, this place has so much potential but the way it is currently being run is just driving it into the ground. Such a shame and thanks for ruining our anniversary (joking); you're just lucky we aren't fussy customers as I think most other couples in our situation would have complained so much or demanded their money back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in 400 acres of rural countryside with easy access to nearby golf course and spa facilities. Set away from the main road. Restaurant and Bar for guests or non residents. All 8 bedrooms are en-suite and all have tea, coffee, biscuits complimentary. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Caldecott Hall Hotel Fritton
- Caldecott Hotel Fritton, Norfolk