We visited the Kings Head and Queen Jules for an overnight stay on a Saturday, as we were attending a Christening the next morning. We decided to splash out for the 4 poster room, and were surprised when a £20 surcharge was added for a Saturday night stay in October ... I used to live in the area and Bungay is not a top tourist destination!
When we arrived the Hotel (which I could remember from 35 years ago) turned out to be a typical old English coaching Inn that had seen better days. The carpets are worn, plaster is missing and wires are exposed on the walls. The carpets are worn, stained and have definitely seen better days. Having arrived at 16.00 on a Saturday we expected some life in the place, but not a bit of it. The Bar was closed, and we only gained access to the Hotel by luck. We were told that nothing opened until 7pm.
The room itself was a good size, but so many little touches that don't need money to get right were missing/wrong. For example, glasses had been left out for use but the insides were encrusted with dishwasher salt - we couldn't believe that the person putting them out had missed how dirty they were. The shower room was small, and the shower had a note on it saying that it was a cold feed and to make it warmer turn it towards the off position ... when we actually used it the opposite proved to be the case, with the effect of making me very wet and cold. The complimentary tea and coffee was provided in tupperware tubs and milk was provided in a jug, to sit all night unrefridgerated. Whats wrong with using the usual sachets? The furniture had seen better days except for the new flat screen TV.
The bed proved a disappointment. Although it had a very good quality mattress (very deep) it was a soft style and was uncomfortable. Furthermore the sheets were just a bit too small and subsequently I awoke in the middle of the night with the sheet having ridden up and me lying directly on the mattress. I hate that in a hotel! The curtains were also hopeless. The Hotel faces onto the market square, directly opposite some sodium streetlights. Consequently the room was not in darkness all night. If the owners tries sleeping in the rooms they would ensure that proper blackout curtains were installed.
Breakfast was pre-ordered the night before by completing a form. We spoke to the chap and emphasised (as well as writing on our sheet) that we needed breakfast promptly at 8am (the earliest it was available) so that we were at church on time. The next morning we went downstairs to find the Hotel in darkness. No lights were on, doors were locked and there was no table set for breakfast. After waiting 15 minutes I rang both owners mobiles (no reply) and knocked on the door marked private (again no reply). Finally the chap arrived puffing saying he had failed to set his alarm. I cant believe that any place that aspires to be a hotel can have no one on duty at all by 8am.
Breakfast when it arrived was very tasty, but ruined for us because we had to eat quickly and go straight on - we arrived at Church with precisely 1 minute to spare. Not the start to the day that we had hoped for - we should have stayed at home, driven up on the morning and saved £105!
The theme of the Hotel being a bit of an abandoned Marie Celeste continued on Saturday evening. Returning at 10.30 pm we found the Hotel bar again locked and only the music venue at the back open - all we wanted was a quiet nightcap so more disappointment. Clearly this Hotel will be a huge project for the owners to lick into shape, some of which will cost a lot of money and will take time. There is a lot they could do now in terms of organisation etc that would make it much more acceptable. We wont stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Kings Head and Queens Jules is a 17th-century coaching inn and 19th-century ballroom and entertainments centre offering 13 rooms on a bed and breakfast basis. As well as a bar, restaurant and snug it has regular entertainment at weekends and some weekdays. All rooms are en suite with flat screen digital tv and some are character rooms with original 17th-century features. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Kings Head Hotel Bungay, Suffolk