We arrived at the Hotel de Paris after a particularly arduous late Friday night drive to find the tiny exterior car park rammed with cars. As most of inner Cromer is a playground for double yellow line artists, we finally found an all night stay space about a mile from our intended location and proceeded to walk through rain lashed streets to book back into to the grand old pile
. By the time we got to the hotel de Paris, we were exhausted and thoroughly soaked and simply wanted to encounter a modicum of hospitality. No chance. After walking through reception like a couple of drowned rats we were confronted by a somewhat po faced receptionist who proceeded to ask, in a dry condescending manner, why we had not bothered to simply park outside the Hotel to avoid the rain. Finding her question somewhat subversive (as the carpark outside was the size of postage stamp and visibly packed), we ignored her and proceeded to sign in. As we were tired and wet, we were snappy with each other, so naturally we were then quite alarmed to see that the receptionist appeared to be cracking a smile at our discomfort!
Now thoroughly perturbed and realizing that we may have inadvertently entered some kind of bizarre Shinning style horror film, we were led up to our room by one of the hotel assistants. The interior of the hotel was pleasantly archaic and very clean with strong original architectural features. The atmosphere was one of charming otherworldly creepiness. On being finally introduced to our room, we found a clean if not somewhat spartan arrangement consisting of a historic creaky old bed, a bathroom with hints of limescale and a few bits of pre-war furniture that looked like it had been donated by a somewhat senile elderly widow.
Duly unpacking, I took a bath and spent time soaking and listening to the creaks and clumps of the other ghosts - er - guests that may or may not have been sharing the adjacent rooms. On finally settling for the night, we spent the best part of the next 4 hours trying to insulate our ears against the incessant groaning of the floorboards above us while trying to avoid permanent spinal damage on the concrete hard bed.
After surviving the night, we made good our preparations for breakfast. The serving staff in the dining hall were actually very friendly and found us a table promptly and courteously. I did observe at this point that the cutlery looked in very port state. Holding up my cornflakes spoon I was somewhat shocked to see that the metal looked like it had been slashed and scratched by a million dentures which kind of put me off breakfast. Having said that, breakfast, when it was served was good, with the waiting staff constantly on call to answer and serve almost any whim.
To summarize, the Hotel de Paris is a magnificent structure that is in desperate need of internal modification. Wifi anyone? The younger staff at the hotel were great, but the older ones clearly need to be sent on an NVQ hospitality course.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel De Paris - Cromer [3 Alpha & AA Three Star]. A delightful and unique hotel, occupying the finest position in Cromer, close to the shops and historic parish church and directly overlooking the pier and beach. Superb reception lounge, cocktail bar, games room and TV lounge. Delightful restaurant with small dance floor and entertainment most evenings. All 61 bedrooms have central heating and private bath or shower and WC, most with excellent views. All rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, hair dryer and TV with radio channels. Lift (few stairs to some rooms). Limited car parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel De Paris Cromer, Norfolk