The Crown and Castle Hotel

, Woodbridge, United Kingdom
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The Crown and Castle Hotel

, Woodbridge
2 star

Rooms: 18

Orford - Woodbridge - England - IP12 2LJ - United Kingdom Hotel Website | | 44 01394450205
221 Traveller

Reviews - The Crown and Castle Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Crown and Castle Hotel

Perfect gem

from Ecosoul
A small hotel/inn (about 20 bedrooms) on the Suffolk coast near Woodbridge with a cosy bar, small restaurant, and excellent food. Our room was tiny but beautifully done and we sneaked a look at one of the garden rooms while we were there which looked a bit like a sheds from the outside but which were much bigger than our room and looked lovely inside - fluffy towelling robes, crisp linen etc. These open onto a little garden. What really made the place really special and relaxing was the atmosphere of calm efficiency and the welcoming attitude of the staff. Every detail was perfect. We went on a special package which included dinner for 2 nights in the main restaurant and one informal dinner in the nearby pub owned by the same people which was a cool idea as 3 nights of fine dining can be a bit much. There is also an oyster bar/restaurant in the village and a castle on the doorstep which I think dates back to the C14th and is fun to wander around.

The Hotel Inspector

from EssexJoEssex
We stayed at the Crown and Castle for 2 nights, and booked solely because we watch the 'Hotel Inspector'. I can say that both Ruth and her husband David were there during our stay, and Ruth even took our order for dinner on the Saturday night. The food is lovely.

The room that we stayed in was listed is a best house double, and when we arrived £40 had been deducted from the price of the stay as the bathroom needed to be re-decorated. As we had only booked a short time before it would have been nice if this could have been mentioned before, but this did not deter from the stay.

They do have a problem with flies in the hotel which had been mentioned in earlier reviews. I do appreciate that they are near an estuary, but still surprising in November.

All in all this is a very nice hotel, with polite staff, and an welcoming feel.

You get what you pay for!

from ConradF
One of our best ever short breaks. We took their deal which included dinner at the Crown & Castle two nights and at the King's Head the other night. The menu is fantastic, making a choice difficult. Also the breakfasts are superb and most of the food is resourced locally. Our room was large and airy, with a large bathroom, with a very effect ive shower and a large bath, with super luxury toiletries. The view of the river and, beyond that to the sea, was beautiful.

The young and enthusiastc staff could not have been more helpful and pleasant, you only had to hesitate for a moment passing through and one of them would ask if they could help you.

Only two very minor faults. The car park is very tight if you have a largish car and as someone else remarked, it would be better if the small dining room at the rear of the hotel was turned into a comfortable lounge to sit and read the paper with a drink - minor problems compared with a great place to stay. Relatively expensive, but "you get what you pay for!"

Clean Hotel in a Fantastic Village

from rikrok
We planned for two nights but this was cut back to one night due to certain circumstances at the last minute.The hotel staff's response to this was admirable. The hotel is clean & well decorated. Views from the rooms in the main building out over the estuary are outstanding. Food was very good, (breakfast had more of a special quality than the evening meal. for some reason) Orford is a village with a great feel to it. There's not much going on, nothing in the way of shops which is a plus to me, just 2 pubs the quai and a teahouse. One irritating thing about the hotel was little notices and signs explaining their reasons for everything (eg we don't use security clothes hangers because....(whatever) ./.. we choose not to pour your wine because...(whatever).../ blah blah blah and many more of these). . Overall nice clean place, perhaps a bit pricey, but you feel well looked after and welcomed, and Orford is a great setting.

Wow what a breakfast!

from cambio
Just spent a night at the Crown and Castle at Orford. Had a garden room which has been recently refurbished. Just like a beach hut really, but had a charm and comfort about it. Food was fantastic as one might expect from a Ruth Watson hotel. The breakfast was definitely worth coming back for with the best porridge I have tasted - so creamy. Every element of the breakfast had been thought out - the full English, no fat just pure English taste. Orford itself was a tad disappointing with the mist covering the place, but the Norman castle keep well worth a visit.
The staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful.

Perfect getaway!

from GSissens
My husband, dog and I have just returned from the Crown & Castle at Orford where we stayed for one very enjoyable night. We arrived early at lunchtime and luckily our room was ready. We had a Garden Room and I can confirm that the renovations are now complete - they look much less like Butlins chalets now! We found our room very comfortable, clean and welcoming. The bed was gorgeous and the linen and towels new and excellent quality. The food in the restaurant is also excellent - if you are there with your dog make sure you ring and reserve the 'Doggy Table' in the bar as understandably dogs are not allowed in the restaurant. We found the staff to be very friendly and were attentive but not overbearing. They made us and our dog very welcome. The hotel is not cheap, but when compared to some soulless chains we found it worth it. Orford is a charming village and the hotel is very well situated with plenty of good walks along the river and in the nearby (vast!) forests. It is also near to Snape, Walberswick, Aldburgh etc so plenty to see and do. Would I change anything there? Possibly the chairs in the bar as they are a bit modern and not conducive to settling down for a good relaxing read in front of the beautiful fire. Something bigger and more comfy would have been welcome! We can recommend a stay at the Crown & Castle and will be returning for a few days in the Spring.

Make sure that the Watsons are at home

from Shellfire
A friend and I booked two rooms in this hotel for a night so that we could investigate Orford and the surrounding area. We paid a supplement to be in the main building with a view of the estuary - well worth it. Our first few hours in the hotel were totally dismal - from the non-greeting from a rather sour young woman in reception to the graceless introduction to our rooms from yet another charmless young woman tottering on 4 inch stilettos, who made no attempt whatsoever to help us with our bags - I guess that she was unable to help owing to her rather inappropriate dress - she could barely move. In between, we returned from a 10 mile walk at 4.30 gasping for a cup of tea and something to eat - a biscuit would have done - but we were told that there was no food to be had except maybe some nuts from the bar. Extraordinary. Very irritated, we discovered a delightful General Store within 50 yards of the hotel selling wonderful W.I. style homemade cakes and shortbread, which we bought and distributed to the other rather disgruntled guests who were also having their somewhat spartan teas. This was all very discouraging. Then things began to perk up. The bedrooms were simple but comfortable - excellent linen and a choice of pillows, fresh milk on the tea tray, very good bathroom products and plenty of hot water. It is probably best not to look down in the bathroom since the floor covering is absolutely hideous - an attempt at wit that misses by a mile and is truly ghastly .

The food was delicious - simple, a good choice and beautifully presented. Both dinner and breakfast could not be faulted - the yoghurt and berries at breakfast were sensational, as was the toast and coffee. My intention had been to have a continental breakfast in my room since the sun was slanting in and the view a delight. Not a good idea. You are warned that this may take some time but after 55 minutes of waiting, I simply gave up.

To sum up - all rather hit and miss - the food, when you could get it, was first rate, the service indifferent apart from two charming young men in the restaurant and we felt that the fact that the owners were away in London for a couple of days was probably the reason that things were decidedly slack. So if you are thinking of visiting Orford, do stay here but make sure that the Watsons are at home.

A lovely get away

from anonymousuk
We stayed in one of the rooms in the main building of the hotel. It was well presented and clean with nice toiletries, fluffy towels, books of local interest and tea and coffee making facilities.

The staff were really friendly and helpful. I was also impressed to see the owner of the hotel, Ruth Watson there in the evening overseeing things, and found her husband just as friendly the following day when we checked out.

It goes without saying that the food was great with the menu offering a fine selection.

If a were to quibble, I woud say that it is quite expensive but we did enjoy our stay and found the whole experience to be 'a treat just a little out of the ordinary!'

If anyone at The Crown and Castle reads this, thank you.

A great place for a weekend

from Brian-SK
We have stayed here twice now in the last year and have already booked a third weekend. The hotel and food are excellent in every respect and Orford is a great spot for a long weekend.

Slightly disappointing

from Ravensett
We stayed in one of the mid-priced, Garden Rooms, at the Crown and Castle. These are marketed as "Conran meets Ikea". The Ikea is obvious, Conran escapes me!
First impressions are that the main building and surroundings are in need of a little TLC. The outside of "The Garden Rooms" resembles nothing so much as Butlins circa 1960!
Inside aspires to chic and minimal, but is actually sparse and unimaginative. The walls are uninterupted cream emulsioned lining paper, the furniture cheap and cheerful Ikea, as are the metrallic window blinds and lighting. The flooring is fitted rush matting, freying by the doors. (I find the choice of floor covering slightly worrying, as I can't see how it can be properly cleaned between one lot of guests and their pets, and the next)! The walls and furnishings are embellished with absolutely nothing. Not a book,(except for room information), plant, picture or scrap of fabric, (except the very comfortable bed), in sight. The wardrobe is a metal hanging rack, and there is not even a mirror above the Ikea chest of drawers which serves as a dressing table. The room is just about acceptable for those travelling with pets. For those looking for a bit of luxury, look elsewhere!.
The bathroom was uninspiring, though it had a nice wide bath with lovely toiletries and lots of hot water. The towels were a little tired and there were NO bathrobes!
Breakfast was nicely cooked, if a bit stingy. Bacon and poached eggs was interpreted as bacon and 1 egg, whilst a full breakfast with field mushrooms came with 1 egg and 1/2 a not very large mushroom! The freshly squeezed juice was just that, but on the warm side of tepid, there was no fresh fruit on offer, and only one jam!! The toast though was the best I have ever had in a hotel.
Interestingly, during the whole of our stay we were not once asked if we needed more of anything. No extra coffee, butter, toast was offered, everything had to be asked for. The staff were polite, yet reasonably efficient and nicely informal, but I suspect had been trained to offer absolutely nothing extra!
Dinner was very good, although not as exceptional as some reviews suggest. The soups were superb, as were the puddings, but I felt that the main courses were a bit lacking. Again, the restaurant aspired to chic minimal but I felt missed by quite a long way, and the fly papers in the restaurant windows full of large black flies were a little off-putting. They did have a fly problem, but even so......
Overall, I felt that the owners have cut costs to a minimum and the Crown and Castle needs some major investment and re-furbishment. They seem to be spinning off the restaurant and the owners reputation, but their accommodation is not up to scratch for the prices charged. It is advertised as "modestly priced", but £500 for two nights Dinner B&B, I feel is more than modest, and I was expecting a greated degree of luxury and attention to detail!
Management Response from Davidthescot
Your visitor from Belper weas clearly expecting a luxury country house hotel rather than a 2 star hotel/restaurant with rooms - which is what we are. We do not like instrusive service when travelling and most of our customers appreciate that. This means that we are not constantly interrupting conversations to ask silly questions. If your traveller wanted more toast, eggs, drinks etc all he had to do was ask.

The garden rooms are simple, clean and comfortable and they work. They do look like Butlins 1960 and we are doing some work this Winter to improve the appearance. Internally all floor coverings and the blinds are being replaced this Autumn.

£500 for two for two nights including excellent food and wine (by their admission) is not expensive nowadays - but then it depends what your standards are and whether appearance matters more than quality, comfort and friendly service.
Management Response from Davidthescot
Your visitor from Belper weas clearly expecting a luxury country house hotel rather than a 2 star hotel/restaurant with rooms - which is what we are. We do not like instrusive service when travelling and most of our customers appreciate that. This means that we are not constantly interrupting conversations to ask silly questions. If your traveller wanted more toast, eggs, drinks etc all he had to do was ask.

The garden rooms are simple, clean and comfortable and they work. They do look like Butlins 1960 and we are doing some work this Winter to improve the appearance. Internally all floor coverings and the blinds are being replaced this Autumn.

£500 for two for two nights including excellent food and wine (by their admission) is not expensive nowadays - but then it depends what your standards are and whether appearance matters more than quality, comfort and friendly service.

Top Local Tips for Woodbridge

Norman Castle Keep Make sure you pay the entrance and receive an audio guide. Brilliantly done and very interesting for all ages.

Orford Ness visit orford ness to see the decommissioned military testing areas. (or for birdwatching if thats your thing)

Walks Great walks around the hotel

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Other names for The Crown and Castle Hotel

  • the crown castle
  • crown castle woodbridge
  • Address: Orford - Woodbridge - England - IP12 2LJ - United Kingdom
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