I was looking forward to staying at Heacham Manor in Hunstanston. We have accommodation on-site at work so the chances of escape at slim. Many years ago I worked on-site Monday to Wednesday and the days you were told it was fully booked were cause for celebration – the bid for freedom.
And so I thought the stars were aligned, there was no room at the inn, and Heacham Manor popped up on the booking system. It wasn’t somewhere I had stayed before, and the name implied it would be a good stay.
As it was I didn’t get to really enjoy it. This is the photo I took as I was leaving:I had need to work until 5pm which meant the drive on South Wales would mean a late arrival. I contacted the hotel in advance to let them know. When I arrived, slightly ahead of time I was warmly greeted. After the long, non-stop drive I was of course at my most conversant:
Hotelier: “Please could I take your car registration number?”
Me: “Oh. I’m sorry. I don’t know it. I’ve taken my husband’s car. It’s silver.”
Hotelier: (Nodding understandingly) “That’s fine.” (Reads notes) “Oh, and you’ve arrived in good time.”
Me: “I know. I didn’t hit anything on the way here.”
Of course I was referring to traffic.
Obviously appreciating who they were dealing with, they kindly offered to show me to my room.
I guess this was the bit where I was caught off guard. Heacham Manor has a wide range of accommodation. I think (from talking to colleagues) all their deluxe rooms are within the main building, standard rooms (mine) are a short walk from the hotel itself, and they also have pet friendly accommodation as well as self-catering. I was really impressed with the diversity.
I wasn’t as impressed with my room- although it was perfectly fine and more than for the budget. It had a smell to it- again, nothing offensive, but I had come to think of it as the ‘Bircham’ smell (the next day colleagues nodded, for the first time the acknowledgement that that was what it was), I thought the ‘Bircham’ smell was solely restricted to our on-site accommodation, and it made me uneasy. I did appreciate, it’s the little things, that along with a good range of teas, that there were biscuits. I sense budget constraints have meant a lot of hotels have stopped, having missed an evening meal for the non-stop journey, I was overjoyed and allowed them to represent my well-balanced diet.I was really impressed with the bathroom. If you know me you know I don’t function without a shower. I was really happy to find, despite any initial misgivings, that the bathroom was wonderfully kitted out. With a shower and a bath, and a really good shower. Well I was happy.And whilst I had brought my new camera in the hope of visiting the beach the next morning, which I understand to be a short walk across the golf course, it was absolutely weeing it down. Which was around the point I realised I had left the house without a coat.
Again, colleagues who have stayed have commented on how good it is to leave the office and enjoy the fresh air and views. I believe them. Criticism comes easier than a compliment.