Hi my lovely readers!
When you think of England, the first thing that comes to mind is the beautiful landscape and the grand manor houses that often appear in movies such as Pride and Prejudice and TV shows for instance Miss Marple.
These old beautiful and historic mansions can be found all across the country. Plenty have been converted into hotels, which allows many of us to experience what a stay might have been like back in the days when only the rich and influential class was able to afford to stay in these beautiful buildings.
I visited Norfolk back in 2019 during the August Bank Holiday and stayed at Dunston Hall run by The QHotels Group. The hotel is set in 150 acres of woodland and was built in 1859.
WHERE IS DUNSTON HALL AND HOW TO GET THERE
The hotel is nestled in a tranquil countryside setting close to Norwich city centre (in Norfolk), which is a short drive away about 15 min. If you’re coming by car, it can be easily reached.
When visiting by train, it’s about 4 miles away from Norwich station. You can either take a cab or the local bus to reach the hotel.
Address: Dunston Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR14 8PQ
ROOMS AND SUITES
Dunston Hall offers a variety of rooms that are full of personality. All rooms are unique and accentuated with period features. You can find family rooms, rooms that cater for short and long stays and suites for more special occasions. Many of the rooms have views of the grounds and the golf course.
Below you can find a list of all the different types of rooms and suites bookable.
- Dunston Hall Classic Rooms
- Dunston Hall Deluxe Rooms
- Dunston Hall Superior Rooms
- Dunston Hall Suites
- Dunston Hall Family
Some of the rooms have interconnecting doors, which is great for bigger families. These rooms would have to be requested in advance if this is important for you.
The hotel is dog friendly, which means you can take your pooch with you. Dog friendly rooms are limited and are available on request, too.
STAYING IN THE DUNSTON HALL DELUXE ROOM
My partner and I stayed in the Dunston Hall Deluxe Room for our two nights, which are located in the executive wing of the hotel. The rooms are very spacious and ours came with two double beds, which of course isn’t really needed for two people, but great for when you’re staying with kids. Well, having said that it’s actually really nice to be able to spread out when you’re watching TV and are relaxing and have a bed to yourself 😉
The room was a short walk from the reception and close to the car park. There are several side doors that lead to the car park, which is nice if you need to go back to the car quickly or if you have forgotten something in the car. There is no need to walk all the way back to reception. The room was also close to the pool, so not a bad location at all in my opinion.
The room itself is pretty standard I would say and the decor was a bit more old school, which isn’t a bad thing at all though considering the character of the hotel.
What I particularly liked was the space we had in the room and that it had a small sitting area with chairs and a table. It felt very cozy and homely.
When we arrived at Dunston Hall we treated ourselves to some coffee, tea and biscuits that are complimentary. Apart from tea and coffee, still and sparkling water are also included in the price, which is a bonus.
That Bank Holiday weekend was really hot, but luckily the Deluxe Rooms come with air conditioning. So we set the temperature to our liking and enjoyed our tea and coffee and relaxed a little.
The room comes with standard amenities such as Freeview TV, Wi-Fi, access to the Leisure Club, an en-suite bathroom with a bath and shower and even a personal safe to store any valuables.
Overall we were very happy with our room and had a good night sleep and actually spend some time in the room to relax and recover from a busy sightseeing day.
RESTAURANT AND BARS
Dunstan Hall offers three dining venues for guests to chose from. There is the Brasserie Restaurant, which offers buffet breakfast in the morning and an a la carte menu for dinner. The second venue is the Garden Terrace Bar that serves light snacks and bites as well as drinks with beautiful views of the garden. And last but not least there is the Bunkers Bar offering light meals and views over the golf course in a more informal setting.
Of course, Dunston Hall also serves traditional Afternoon Tea with all the goodness including finger sandwiches, homemade scones and plenty more served in the Snug Bar, again offering views of the gardens. A perfect setting for Afternoon Tea in my opinion.
The selling point for eating at Dunston Hall no matter if you’re staying in one of their rooms or not are the beautiful views, the rural and majestic setting of the hall and possibly the terrace that allows outside dining for when the weather plays along.
For anyone wanting to host an event, a party or even a wedding, Dunston Hall could be a good choice. The hotel has several function rooms and can accommodate between 20 to 300 guests.
Guests have access to the Health Club and are able to make full use of the gym and the indoor heated swimming pool with whirlpool. There is also a sauna and steam room.
Anyone who wants to be pampered can make their way to the Lilac Room, the spa at Dunston Hall. Treatments include anything from the standard facials, manicure and massage to more specialist treatments such as Oxygen Facial or Shrinking Inch Loss Wrap.
Apart from the Health Club, guests are also able to enjoy a game of golf. I don’t know much about golf, but Dunston Hall has a 6179-yards, 18-hole, par 71 USPGA-rated golf course around the estate. The gold course from what I saw is really well maintained and has some water features. Not just guests play at Dunston Hall, but also the local golf enthusiasts.
Anyone who is new to the game can book a training session with their PGA Qualified professional, which can be booked at the reception. A golf shop offering clubs and golfing equipment is available onsite, too. It really has everything a golfer would need and want.
My partner and I made sure we had enough time on our second day to make full use of the swimming pool, the whirlpool as well as the sauna and steam room. It was a lovely ending to another busy day of sightseeing and very relaxing.
ATTRACTIONS CLOSE BY
Dunston Hall is ideally located close to many attractions in the area. One can spend a full day exploring Norwich and visiting its many sights such as Norwich Castle and Cathedral and the market, just to name a few. Then there are the many stunning country walks and moors and of course the seal spotting tours.
And again Dunston Hall could be seen as a destination in itself if you like playing golf, indulging in some Afternoon Tea or getting pampered in the Spa.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Dunston Hall. I absolutely love staying in these old manor hotels as they are always set in beautiful surroundings and they are full of character. The close proximity to many sights and attractions of Dunston Hall made this a great location to explore the area from and retire to at night.
A decisive factor for me booking this hotel, apart from the location and character, was the Health Club access. I love swimming and going to the sauna. Not many hotels from my experience offer this.
The staff was very friendly and welcoming throughout our stay, as well as helpful when I was looking for the pool. Some of the decor might be a bit dated, but then again it could be argued that it fits the hotel. I guess this might be personal preference, but some of the corridors in my opinion could use a little face lift. But as long as everything is looked after and clean, which it was, I am happy.
There was only one occasion where I thought there is room for improvement and this was during breakfast. As it was Bank Holiday, the hotel was booked well.
The Brasserie Restaurant, where breakfast is served, was very busy and the waiters looked like they were all over the place. It took a little while for us to get a table and when we were seated the waiters forgot to place cutlery on our table and we had to nick it from the table next to us. We also had to waive a waitress over to get some tea and coffee. Apart from that, we had a very nice stay.