“ Address: 50-51 North Hill / Colchester / Essex / CO1 1PY / Tel: 01206 574001 „
For his birthday I took my boyfriend away for the night, not to Paris, Prague or Amsterdam but to Colchester (last of the big romantics me) where I booked a double room at the North Hill Hotel. This 3 star hotel had excellent reviews being judged the number one hotel in Colchester on Tripadvisor and seemed to suit my requirements to a tee. This small independent 13 bedroomed hotel markets itself as a boutique style hotel without the price-tag. I paid £79 for a double room one Sunday night in May.
I found the booking process easy. You can book online but I telephoned. The gentleman who took my booking was polite, friendly and efficient and booked us into a room at the back of the hotel.
The North Hotel is situated funnily enoughon North Hill and is about 5 minutes walk to the town centre in one direction and 15 minutes to the town's main railway station in the other. We found it fairly easy. I'm not sure what the situation is with parking, as the hotel does face the street. My first impressions were good , as it is a handsome three storey Georgian building.
Finding the entrance at first was a bit tricky. We passed the entrance to the Green Room Bistro, which is within the hotel but could not find the guest's entrance. It turned out the Green Room entrance all along. The initial first impressions continued, as the bistro/reception is bright an spacious. Check in like the booking process was polite and efficient and an offer was made for them to take our bags upstairs for us. This was a nice touch but having small overnight bags we did not need this service. Throughout our stay I fond the staff at the front desk to be very helpful especially when we asked for a mp of the town. The gentleman was able to show us the best places to visit and even a nice scenic short cut to the castle alongside the river. However compared to the previous two smell hotels we have recently stayed in I found the service did not seem to have the same genuine personal touch but it was still good service nevertheless.
We had room 25, which was on the second floor along a corridor. The steps are fairly steep so it would not be suitable for those with limited mobility. On entering our room the first thing we noticed was the size. Facing me was a wardrobe and full length mirror but on the right hand side of the door was the bedroom part ,which was one of the smallest double rooms I have seen. There was a double bed with a narrow corridor to a desk with a new flat screen TV above it. You could call it cosy or bijou I suppose. The decoration of the room can not be faulted nor the cleanliness . It was simple, modern and stylish being all creams and rose pink, with a white duvet cover, chocolate brown cushions and a green blanket. I was impressed with the freebies on offer on the tea tray, as they were mostly from Jackson's of Piccadilly and were Fairtrade, certainly a cut above the Nestcafe and Typhoo I normally encounter. There were also some tasty Shrewsbury biscuits and a bottle of mineral water. In the drawer of the desk was the obligatory hairdryer.
I had a nice surprise when I entered the shower room, as it seemed nearly as big as the bedroom. The bathroom again was sparkling clean and modern, decorated in dark blue tiles. There were some nice mandarin and bergamot Duck Island shower gel and shampoo ready for my use alongside soap and a shower cap. I hopped into the shower and boy I was in for a treat. The power shower was easy to use and super powerful. I felt like I was in a spa, as the jets of water pummeled my body. I felt truly invigorated afterwards.
Once showered we settled down for the evening. If I had a lap top we could have taken advantage of the free wi-fi offered to all guests. Instead we watched a bit of tv, which had Freeview alongside the normal channels. It was nice to have a modern flat screen rather than the ancient portable I usually encounter. There was supposed to be a DVD player but I did not find it. If we had fancied it there was room service comprising of sandwiches (round about the £5 mark) or afternoon tea. Other items from the Green Room ala carte menu could have been ordered during serving times, however we decided to go into Colchester for dinner.
Nighttime arrived and and we snuggled up into the warm, cosy bed. However halfway through the night this bed seemed too warm and I found the bedroom hot and airless, affecting my sleep thus a window had to be opened before I could get back to sleep.
I was half tempted to request breakfast in bed , but instead we headed downstairs to the Green Room for a wonderful breakfast. There were a number of choices of breakfast from continental to cooked breakfasts. I ordered the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs whilst boyfriend had the full English. There is also a vegetarian English so everyone is catered for. On the side were sachets of cereal and jugs of fresh juices including pomegranate, which made a nice change, alongside the more usual orange and grapefruit ones. The food is of the highest quality with my boyfriend's sausages being free rang and rare breed (have you ever seen a free range sausage roaming the fields before?). I had a cloud of fluffy scrambled eggs with what must have been half a smoked salmon and the most heavenly buttered English muffins. This was serious foodie heaven and it came beautiful arranged on huge white plates. The only criticism I had was the stalk of parsley decorating, which seemed very pretentious and out of place on my boyfriend's full English.
If you don't want a huge bedroom but do want a powerful shower and one of the best breakfasts gong I would recommend the North Hill Hotel.
North Hill Hotel
51 North Hill
Colchester, Essex CO1 1PY
01206 574 001