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“Wedding - very mixed experience”

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St Giles House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 50 Hotels in Norwich
Certificate of Excellence
uk
Level Contributor
139 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Wedding - very mixed experience”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We had our wedding reception here at the end of April.

The hotel itself is beautiful and our guests all commented on how impressive the walnut suite is and how nice the guest rooms are.

The food at the reception was also fantastic and the service at the meal was very good. It’s an amazing setting for a wedding reception and the staircase is a great backdrop for wedding photos.

The bridal suite is also huge and stunning with a large bath, beautiful furnishings and a very comfortable bed.

It does seem that this hotel is somewhat resting on its laurels. When we were viewing wedding venues, other venues went out of their way to attract our business with various offers, food tastings etc. but the St Giles House offered none of this. In fact, my wife and I very nearly went elsewhere because we were unable to sample the food before choosing a wedding menu. None of my friends or family have ever come across a venue that makes you choose the food without trying it (other than to pay for similar dishes in their restaurant). Bizarre! Luckily the food was very good but we were taking a bit of a gamble.

We left the wedding co-ordinator a list of tasks to do on the morning of the wedding, including setting up the tables and putting out name cards etc. Unfortunately, this seemed beyond her as when I visited the venue on the way to the church with my best man and usher we had to spend about 20 minutes putting everything where it should be as she had not put out half the things we left and had put many of the names in the wrong places. The wedding co-ordinator was unavailable on the day of the wedding and was replaced by a young girl who we have only ever seen working reception. That said, she worked very hard and was obviously eager to please and impress but we were surprised that our wedding co-ordinator on the day was a receptionist considering how much money the hotel was getting from us.

We also specifically asked for non-alcoholic drinks for certain guests (and this was made very clear to the wedding planner and also on the sheet of instructions) only to find them being offered alcoholic drinks which was embarrassing for everyone.

My father-in-law stayed for two nights and had an ongoing problem with the lock on his bedroom door. The staff were not interested in this and he had to speak to the manager twice before being offered any kind of apology.

Breakfast the following morning was an utter shambles. When my wife and I arrived, we were left standing for 10 minutes waiting to be seated as the two staff on duty were run off their feet and did not have time to deal with us. We ended up having to go to reception to get the receptionist to seat us. My mother and father did manage to get a seat but were then left for 30 minutes with no-one taking their order. When they did order, the toast came first, my father’s breakfast about five minutes later and my mother’s a further ten minutes later, by which time my father had already finished. The jug or orange juice was empty and despite me asking twice, no-one re-filled it. The whole breakfast service could not have been more different to the very good service at the wedding reception the day before. And there were not even many guests at breakfast so I cannot understand what the problem was. Needless to say, a complaint to the manager fell on deaf ears. On the plus side, the breakfast, when it finally arrived, was delicious.

We were told by the manager that Alice, the wedding co-ordinator, would contact us the following week to discuss our concerns. More than three months later, we are still waiting.

All in all, I still think the St Giles House is a fantastic venue for a wedding reception. The guest rooms and public areas are great, the building itself has the wow factor and the food is top notch. Unfortunately, the hotel is seriously let down by some of the staff (but not all, some are very good and are obviously keeping this place afloat). I think if Norwich had greater competition in this sector then the St Giles House would quickly sink but as it's one of the nicest venues in town, they can get away somewhat with poor customer service. If anyone reading is considering using this venue, I would still recommend it, but be aware that you should approach with caution and you will end up having to organise most of your wedding yourself and manage events on the day. If you want a slick, seamless event then this is not the place to go but if you want a stunning venue and are willing to pay a premium and do a lot of the leg work yourself then the St Giles House can be made to work.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mideastexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
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English first
Chipping Ongar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
437 reviews
143 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

As I said in my last review its all about sleep quality wherever you stay . Large room and bathroom ,no bath , reasonably comfortable bed though the bed linen and duvet felt like cheap cotton . Its the curtains that drive me mad , no black outs and the curtains are so light in colour they barely keep the street lighting out and in the morning you get bright sunshine glaring in !
The aircon was freezing and despite turning down the fan and moving the temp gradually up to 24c nothing changed so we had to switch it off otherwise we would need threee duvets !!
Breakfast OK ,with GF bread but my poached eggs were hard !
Just a few adjustments and this hotel could be very good .

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Worldtraveller1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StGilesHouse, Duty Manager/ Restaurant Manager at St Giles House Hotel, responded to this review, 13 August 2014
Thanks for your recent review

I'm sorry you found the sleep quality a little disappointing. In regards to the curtains its something we will look into, so may i thank you for bringing this to out attention.

We do have rooms with roll top baths available, unfortunately not all of our rooms can accommodate this.

I'm sorry again that you didn't have a great stay
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

i agree with other reviewers with this one, its a great impressive building, lots of art deco interior which I really like but I think they are surfing on past glories. We stayed on the 3rd floor in a King room, nice and quiet but the room was not as 'king' as I thought, bed was small in comparison to other hotels and the small flat screen tv should really be mounted on the wall rather than on the desk. The bathroom was a big size and interiors looked modern and new.

We used the spa facitlities which were great, very relaxing and very competitive prices.

Reception staff were 'okay', I phoned in earlier to see if we could check in early and it was like I said a rude word to them lol. They could also benefit from having greater knowledge of Norwich as I asked them where the 'Plantation Garden' was and they never heard of it. It was only a 3 min walk from the hotel and is listed on TA as a top tip... I would definitely recommend it as a place to have a picnic or just to 'wind down'.

Breakfast..agree with other reviewers was far from amazing, It wasn't busy and yet I had to ask the waitress to fill up the OJ and apple juice jugs...i'm sure I saw 2 waitresses just walk pass them several times without a glance at the 'buffet table'. Fresh fruit was sparse, I opted for the yoghurt instead. Had the English breakfast but nothing special, on the small side, I certainly wouldn't pay for it as an extra.

In conclusion, I was probably looking for a bit more as is such a fantastic building...staff/management need to bring it up a few notches with regards to customer service/attentiveness etc.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StGilesHouse, Duty Manager/ Restaurant Manager at St Giles House Hotel, responded to this review, 30 July 2014
Thanks for taking the time to leave us feedback regarding your recent stay.

I'm sorry your experience wasn't as grand as the Hotels Apperance

Great to see that you made use our beautiful Spa area and the treatments we have to offer here.

There also a few areas that you've brought to our attention that we will look to improve. I have spoken to our Head Chef and he is going to include more items onto the Breakfast Buffet including a Fresh Fruit Salad, Fresh Pastries and a Meat and Cheese Platter.

Further staff training needed to make them more aware of whats going on around them

So i'd like to thank you for bringing these issues to our attention and look forward to welcoming you back
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

My husband and I got married at St Giles House Hotel on 4th July, with afternoon tea and evening reception following the ceremony. Our day was absolutely perfect and we highly recommend St Giles both as a wedding venue and a hotel. The staff, led by Alice, were fantastic from the first meeting and throughout the wedding day, we could not have asked for more and we could relax knowing we were in safe hands. The Walnut Suite is amazing and such a special place to say our vows. The hotel rooms are a high standard; the bridal suite is more like a luxury apartment, and our guests were completemantary about their rooms also. The food was excellent and they were very accomodating for dietry requirements and tailoring our reception menu to our wishes. All in all we have been delighted in our experience and are grateful to the staff for making our day perfect. They even ordered sunshine for us!

Room Tip: All rooms are spacious, the suites are amazing if you fancy a treat.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Abi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014 via mobile

I would definitely stay here again. Beautiful hotel, lovely room, friendly staff. However, the thing that let me down (gently!) was breakfast; better ingredients and more attentive waiting staff would have improved my impression that this hotel is resting on the laurels of it's good location and setting.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Hywelgriff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StGilesHouse, Duty Manager/ Restaurant Manager at St Giles House Hotel, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Thanks for your recent review...its so important we receive feedback as it helps us fix where we may be going wrong.

I can assure you we are certainly not resting on our laurels, every effort is made for you to have a great stay with us

I have spoken to the Head Chef today and he is looking into some of the products we use...but ideally i need more information to what you found disappointing

Next time you stay please ask for either myself Chris or the Head Chef Ellery


Thanks again
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
526 reviews
206 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014 via mobile

I stay in many hotels for business and this has to rate as wave rage I am afraid. From the outside you think you are in for a treat, and the staff on reception are very friendly and efficient.
However, the rooms are a let down. Old fashioned and in need of some updating. My room was clean but lacked any character and was like stepping back 20 years.
Breakfast was ok but not great. Tinned grapefruit, cheap bread for toast, poor pastries. I didn't have a cooked option so I can't comment on this.
Wifi wasn't fantastic and I couldn't find the car park, so used the public one down the road.
Don't get me wrong it was ok and Norwich isn't exactly over supplied with top notch hotels, but don't expect too much

Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank lisasplaces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StGilesHouse, Duty Manager/ Restaurant Manager at St Giles House Hotel, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Thanks for your recent review...its a shame you found us average. Great that you found the reception staff fantastic.

The bread and pastries we use are baked fresh by the bakery each morning and is not some generic household brand...so i'm surprised you found it cheap. I'm sorry you couldn't find the Car park ( Which is situated behind the Hotel) being a listed building i'm afraid we aren't allowed any signage to direct you. On numerous occasions a member of the staff jumps into the car with you and directs you round.

Thanks again
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

We booked this very last minute and couldn't have been more delighted with our choice! The location is fantastic; about 2 mins walk from Norwich market place. The building itself is delightful and our room was really nicely furnished and there was a roll top bath in the en suite :-) The staff were really friendly, the breakfast options more than enough to satisfy and off road, secure parking was included, which was the icing on the cake.

Would definitely stay here on future trips to Norwich.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank StarsForEyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StGilesHouse, Duty Manager/ Restaurant Manager at St Giles House Hotel, responded to this review, 22 July 2014
Its great to read you had such an enjoyable stay with us....thanks for taking the to leave us a review
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about St Giles House Hotel

Property: St Giles House Hotel
Address: 41-45 St. Giles Street, Norwich NR2 1JR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Norwich
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Norwich
#7 Romantic Hotel in Norwich
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — St Giles House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
St Giles Hotel
St Giles Norwich
St Giles House Hotel Norwich, Norfolk

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