Me and my husband went to the oaklands for our 1st yr wedding anniversary 1st may 09. i must add this was our third visit to the hotel so we know that it is nice but still need's work and staff training is a must. (i think!)
i will say that Norwich is a lovely place and people seem very nice and friendly, the town is full of lots of shops and markets and 2 big shopping center's with cinema and all the shop's you can manage and a pleasant food court. ( food ok but nice view and not to crowded) there is big retail park with cinema and football ground just across the way all on the waterfront.
we always stay in the lodges when we visit as i feel its more of a treat and your own space. the lodges are all the same inside, wooden under heated floors, flat screen tv + dvd, small kitcken-ette with toaster and kettle ( no cutlery of any kind) bedroom nice with tv and wardobes and bathroom shower, wc, shower (very powerful) mini bar and bathrobe are supposed to be there but missing in action! so overall very good standard of room and clean. you also have a room service option which was one of the reasons i like the the oaklands hotel as this was hard to find anywhere else.
always check the sheets have been changed as our first trip consisted of chasing staff to change our sheets that had clearly been slept in and it was very late by the time we went to bed so it was annoying to say the least at 1am waiting for someone to come. they corrected this problem and gave us wine as a sorry which was nice but i feel its not improved a lot since then as its the little thing YOU have to do when it should have been done! so overall go for the food and maybe take a chance you'll get someone nice to help you.
so as you would image this being our third trip we know the drill and were hoping for a nice romantic getaway without our kids. (dont expect any frills)
the first two years we came we booked the sensual package or romance packages and this was included in the price with your deal and you got wine, chocolate and candles the first year and last year you got wine, a gift of aromatherapy candles and incense but no matches! this year i tried to book it and although its on the site its not included anymore (so take the deals off the site then!) so i rang to ask why i couldn't book it to be told im not sure i think you have to add it on now as an extra at the end. so i looked for this and they now have a long list of extra's you can pay for. the romance pk is £35 for wine, petals and 3 candles and a box of lindt chocolates. the choc's were nice.
the other thing i will add about booking online as you get the discount and they cant for what ever reason do this over the phone. if you can open to tabs and do it on both (dont complete the whole process but just before) and double check as they use a provider to do this and i had two pages open and got two different prices but when i rang and asked about this she just said one price and i felt abit annoyed that the end price was always the same when you got to pay but kicked out 2 different ones online so just keep an eye for that. also sometimes you'll try and book the lodge's and it says nothing's free and then you try again and there free so just keep trying as this is what it said a few time's when i tried booking.
the bad side of the hotel is staff i think quite a few are not very welcoming and helpful although you may get someone who will try, but on the whole poor is the standard generally (that we have experienced!). we used to be greeted and then shown to your room which i feel is a nice touch as it shows they are professional and care what they are doing but none of that any more just "out there to the left" now which sets the tone! we got in our room quite easily as the key cards do play up at times and make it hard work to get inside your foyer door. so were in and my husband has phoned a head and ordered flowers for me and told them its our 1st wedding anniversary and i knew nothing of this and so he was a little disappointed when he entered to find a bunch of CLOSED lilles and no more effort than that really. the last time we came we got engaged here and it was pretty much the same treatment then! we got in unpacked and had just traveled in the heat for 3hrs and so wanted to chill get a drink out the mini bar and relax, nothing in the mini bar(although it was on just empty!) and no room menu's so my hubby has to go down and ask and for them and was given a dinner menu and then had to go back, anyway i wont bore you with all the details but you go and ask for something and someone says i get one to your room in a minute and no one comes to your room so you ring and no one answers the phone so again you have to go down and ask again and on and on it goes, the dvd broke and so we had to wait for some one to fix it and they did but its all waiting and getting annoyed. they did have a wedding on and they were busy according to the staff but dont have other PAYING guests if they dont have the staff to accommodate what they offer in the brochure!
so no mini bar, no menu's which they said they dont do anymore but they still do room service so what the?? how do you choose without a menu? no robes anymore?
i think if they added more staff and had separate staff for the 12 lodges then they would have sufficient staff for all. some more training for the staff and front of house seems to be in there own world talking among them selfs and then " oh can i help help you?" like what else would i be here for? attentive staff im sure it wont take much to deliver a menu or check the rooms are set up right. in my opinion!
they had two weddings while we were there and the noise was not an issue for us, only issue with this was in the morning after the wedding we order breakfast to be delivered( if you do this circle everything and put x's 2 and you'll be glad you did!) we ordered it for 9am and 9.20 came and went and then 9.40 and so i rang and no answer and then gave it 10 more minutes and rang back and got through and was told its been reall busy as all the wedding party turned up for breakfast at the same time and so well get yours done now. there was no sorry just ok im on it! 10.30 comes and please bear in mind i have worked in public service so i do know the drill well!! we ordered toast and cereals and juice and coffee hardly difficult stuff. the waitress brought our tray and apologized for the delay but you could tell looking at the tray there had be no extra care taken to say sorry for the delay, just slightly toasted bread (white virtually) not in the nice basket like it should just quickly chucked on a plate with 1 small pot of milk for 2 bowls of cereals and 2 coffee's. so again you feel annoyed with the start of the day much like the end of the last one.
FOOD in the hotel is always top notch and maybe this is there forte and thats why everything else slips beside the waist ! from sandwich's and crisps and lasagne to duck and full roast dinners all top class cooking and cant fault anything with the food at all 10/10 we only had room service this time but still top class even for that.
i dont think we'll be going back there again now as it's just the same every time you go and you think ok, maybe today was a bad day and we'll see next time but it's not any different just the same again but different things.
so go at your own risk and make your own mind up and hopefully you'll get staff on a good day, and dont expect any special treatment for your anniversary or birthday as your just another customer no more no less!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A warm welcome awaits you as we invite you to join us at the Oaklands Hotel Norwich and enjoy the charm of a family owned hotel combining a modern style with a great location. The hotel has recently completed a major refurbishment of their dining room and bar including an extension featuring a sky line and byfold doors leading onto the stunning new terrace. All bedrooms have also been refurbished offering an array of modern and stylish rooms with a unique finish. Situated on the outskirts of Norwich (just over one mile from the City centre), the Oaklands Hotel provides a unique and relaxed atmosphere. Comfortable and relaxed surroundings, a variety of bedrooms to suit all guests, chilled out bar and terrace, beautiful grounds overlooking the Yare River Valley and ample parking all combine to offer the perfect backdrop whether you are visitng for a leisure break, business or a wedding. A visit to the Oaklands Hotel is always a memorable one whether your stay is for business or pleasure, for a formal occasion or one of our fantastic breaks. A friendly welcome and attentive customer service, comfortable and uniquely decorated bedrooms and delicious food is what we offer our guests - and the reason why they return time and time again. And, you don't have to be staying the night to enjoy our charm - join us for breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch or dinner - or just take time out to chill out in our stunning bar or beautiful terrace with an ice-cold drink. Breakfast is included in our bedroom rates and we also offer guests free car parking and free internet access. We're sure you'll want to come back for more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Oaklands Hotel Norwich
- Best Western Plus Oaklands Hotel Norwich, Norfolk