I stayed at the hotel with my wife for 3 nights.
Overlooking the beach and the sea, this 4-star hotel was named Hotel of the Year in the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority Awards and offers a high standard of accommodation, food and service. The Imperial Hotel is an independent luxury hotel, managed by the owners.
We arrived on Friday afternoon and our first impression was not good. The Car Park at the side of the hotel is not large and the turning circles are tight. When busy you have to back out the way you have come. The entrance on street level is at the side of the building, off a small patio area, under a canopy and has the feeling of being an ‘afterthought’ after they built a dining area out on to the street at first floor level out to the street frontage which dominates the front of the building. You are then confronted with a small ‘roundabout’ door that is very small – I got our case stuck twice! You are then confronted with a flight of stairs up to the reception area. They have helpfully provided a stair lift for those guests who have difficulty climbing stairs. In fairness, on their website they do alert you to this – ‘For people with disabilities, please call the hotel first to discuss particular needs, especially with regard to access. There is a stair lift to reception and stepped access to all levels.’
Then you turn into the Reception area which is darkly furnished and cramped to the Reception Desk. The welcome was good and efficient. And very positively, when we returned to the hotel after our first walk out, the receptionist remembered who we were and without asking our name presented us with our key – well done! To access your room you are faced with stairs, quite steep and narrow, or an old fashioned self-operated lift. To access that, there are 3 stairs up from the Reception area. The lift is cramped – my wife and I and one case filled it and it is slow.
Our room was on the first floor at the side of the hotel with a glimpse of the sea and the local recreation ground by craning our necks out of the bedroom window. Access stairs and corridors are very a little cramped, wood clad, with pale carpets and a ‘old fashioned’ feeling.
Our room was 5m x 4m with a tiny access corridor, containing the wardrobe into the Bathroom which was 2m x 2m. The room was darkly decorated with a very high ceiling, and what appeared to be a very new dark green carpet. The Bathroom was tiled in the lower part with pale green tiles. The Bedroom contained a double bed with a single bed, dressing table with chair, occasional armchair, trouser press and luggage stand. The hospitality tray was located in the luggage stand. The television was flat screen (freeview). My wife found the mirror a bit small, and was agitated that the hair dryer was fixed in a dressing table draw. The Bathroom had a shower over the bath, a small wash hand basin, but lovely fluffy white towels and plentiful good quality toiletries.
Overall we thought the room was very clean (one stray hair in the wash hand basin on our arrival), and it was well serviced (however, it is a bit boring to be provided with the same biscuits every day!), the bed was very comfortable and we slept very well, the alarm call was spot on time, the curtains provided a good level of black out, but I thought the lighting levels were poor and needed improvement.
We breakfasted at the hotel each day. This is taken in the dining room off the Reception area and you can eat in the sea facing extension, the weather was great while we there and so we took advantage of this, at one stage it was so hot we had to move into the stage. Unusually this hotel retains service for all breakfast courses. The menu offers a choice of 6 starters including fruit juice, cereals or a fruit bowl. We choose a Breakfast Sundae – a cocktail of fruit compote, yoghurt, muesli and drizzled honey – which was excellent. The hot choices included Yarmouth Bloater (ordered 24 hours in advance, an ‘Imperial’ Breakfast and Kippers, Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs or Eggs Benedict. You can also choose bespoke items. Also croissants or toast are offered.
We found all of our food well prepared and tasty. Coffee was served in a cafeteria though I chose a cappuccino that was disappointing The service was generally good though we couldn’t help but notice a difference on Monday when a different Manageress was on duty with some different staff. Service was noticeably slower and tables were being cleared while some guests waited to be served. One thing I found charming and considerate was member of staff wore a badge explaining she was hard of hearing and requesting guests to speak clearly. Well done!!!
To gain access to the internet wi-fi you have to get access codes from Reception.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Imperial Hotel is Great Yarmouth's only 4 Star hotel. We are an independent hotel managed by the 3rd generation of the family that have owned this hotel since the 1930s. We have stunning seaviews and provide an excellent location for both the business and leisure traveller and can assure you of a warm professional welcome. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Imperial Hotel Great Yarmouth, Norfolk