From Great Yarmouth to the Broads National Park, luxury hotels abound in Norfolk. Stroll along the windswept beaches of Wells-next-the-Sea, indulge in a spa retreat on the River Bure or book a boutique bolthole in Norwich for an upscale holiday with friends or family.
You don’t need to hunt far to find a high-end stay in Norfolk. With sugar-soft beaches, 125 miles of lock-free waterways, busy market towns and field-fresh menus, there are dozens of things to do, see and eat. Upgrade your holiday or mini break by booking one of these plush hotels, featuring Michelin-star grub, opulent spas and top golf courses. All are available through Culture Trip.
Fancy your own boat for the day? Cruise the Broads in the Norfolk Mead’s open-topped yacht, available for day or half-day hire from the hotel’s own river launch. Throw in a hamper for the ultimate treat. Back at the Mead, named after the Coltishall country house’s wild flower meadow, stop by the spa for a seasonal treatment, based around Natural Spa Factory products. For River Bure views, book the Chanterelle room. Alternatively, the summer house suite has a top private terrace.
Flip open the Noble Isle bath gel and slide into your William Holland copper bateau tub for the ultimate soak. Every room has one of these standalone baths, you might even be able to spy the towers of the 1,000-year-old Ely Cathedral beyond the soap suds. Need any more reasons to be lured into this Grade II-listed hotel across the border in Cambridgeshire? Once you’ve dried off, ponder that question in the smart charcoal-and-ivory dining room over brined and roasted Norfolk pork chop or sunblush tomato and olive paella. Tip: One of the bar’s 34 whiskies may help you find the answer.
Pack your clubs for a stay at the Pheasant in Holt – Norfolk’s Golf Coast is calling your name. With the county’s five top championship courses all within 35 miles, keen golfers can perfect their pars while enjoying eye-popping views along the coast. Sheringham’s cliff-top greens are the nearest. Relax back at the Pheasant afterwards; each room features White Company toiletries and Nespresso coffee machines, or upgrade to a deluxe for an added Dyson hairdryer. Later, mull over your golf course victories with game terrine from the surrounding Kelling Estate and Morston mussels.
Plunge yourself into a vintage feast at this classy pub-with-rooms in Hingham. Shrewdly mixing antique and reclaimed furniture while savouring medieval charm, the themed rooms at the White Hart embrace a plum-padded ornate bed, bare stone brickwork, a beam from an old sea vessel and oversized gnarled-framed mirrors. On the flip side, welcome modern touches include fresh daily milk for the Nespresso machine, a Roberts radio and iPhone charging dock.
On the fringes of cool Norwich, this grand mock-Elizabethan mansion is crying out to serve you afternoon tea in its enticingly named Snug Bar. Choose from green, black, white and herbal teas to wash down a tiered tranche of tasty treats. Refreshingly, there’s a vegan option, where you swap English salted cucumber and apple crème fraiche sandwiches for roasted onion and smoked hummus wraps, followed by dark chocolate and morello cherry tart. Afterwards, shift the extra pounds with a Shrinking Violet Inch Loss Wrap at the Lilac Room spa. It sounds almost good enough to eat.
Window seats perched over Holt’s Shirehall Plain, battered leather armchairs, carved timber headboards and a sunken bath create a shabby-chic feel at this winsome Grade II-listed B&B. The homemade biscuits next to the kettle help too. You’re perfectly placed to explore the coast here, but make sure you’re back in time for dinner in the laid-back cafe. Go for homemade breads or Byfords’ own Scotch egg on the tapas menu, or share a cheese board made up of local favourites, Norfolk Dapple and Binham Blue.
It’s all about food at this country house near Blakeney, the bearer of a much-desired Michelin star. Go easy on the pre-dinner canapes served in the lounge as you’ll need plenty of tummy space for the daily-changing, seven-course tasting menu, overseen by chef-patron Galton Blackiston. Don’t expect choices – although dietary requirements are catered for – and there’s only one sitting, but what you will get is wild sea bass from nearby Stiffkey and middle white suckling pig. Don’t you wish you hadn’t eaten that extra mushroom vol-au-vent?
You’ll go wild over your own private lodge with a decked terrace at the Norfolk Garden Rooms, each stylishly decorated around its Bee, Fox or Owl title. They are huddled under Fleggburgh’s thatched church, deep in Broads country. Luxe perks include use of a shared hot tub. Next door, the Kings Arms, owned by the same people, will lure you in for an AA-rosette meal. Resist executive chef Mark Dixon’s Cromer crab risotto, followed by roasted Suffolk lamb rump, at your peril.
Arrive early at the non-bookable AA-rosette restaurant and grab a window-side seat. The views out to Blakeney Point over the eerie salt marshes and boat-bobbing estuary are as sublime as the seared cod in ham hock and crab chowder. Children are welcome and have their own menus or half portions. They’ll love the board games, indoor pool and the popular locals’ pastime of mud-slinging in the quay. Try for a room with a sea view and balcony then, if the sun is out, head to the waterside terrace where you can lunch on local mussels or Blakeney fish soup.
These recommendations were updated on May 7, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.