Review: The Links Country Park Hotel
Accommodation - Hotel
Sandy Lane, West Runton Nr Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9QH, United Kingdom
A comfortable hotel that didn’t quite make 5-star
At the end of the C19th West Runton was a very popular health resort with ‘salubrous and bracing’ sea air. It was very select attracting the great and good of British society who arrived with their families and servants for the season.
In 1899 a local landowner opened a 34 bedroom hotel close to the railway station which brought most of the visitors. Over the years this has been extended and is now a large rabbit warren of place with a lot of character.
On the edge of the common, The Links is a big black and white building is next to its own golf course, swimming pool, sauna and fitness suite. and on the edge of the common. West Runton is an old fashioned sort of place complete with a teddy bear repair shop.
I was in room 253, through several doors and at the end of a long corridor on the first floor. It overlooked the roofs of the back of the hotel, with no view. My main criticism was the room was very cold when I arrived. There was just a small heater under the window which was set on the highest setting. The room didn’t really get warm until the following morning when I checked out. When I talked to reception on leaving I was told the heating was on a time switch. I felt it should have been turned on well before I arrived to make sure the room was warm.
The room could be best described as a small double with a 4’6” bed. It was fine for one person but would have been a bit snug for a couple, especially if stopping for more than one night. There was just one arm chair which restricted access to the wardrobe and one side of the bed. There was a small flat screen TV, trouser press, suitcase rack, hair dryer, tea and coffee making facilities and a small desk.
The bed was firm but comfortable but the pillows were very unforgiving. The duvet was thin but very warm.
There was only one bedside lamp and the main light was above the door so the rest of the room wasn’t that well lit.
The en-suite bathroom was large with a big walk in shower. The overhead shower was good with plenty of hot water. Toiletries were provided and towels were good and fluffy. However the bath towel wasn’t that generous, especially if you were ‘well proportioned’… I appreciated the towelling bath mat. A rubber shower mat was provided too. There was no extractor fan so the bathroom mirror steamed up badly. The tile floor was also very cold on the feet. The toilet roll holder was very loose on the wall and looked as if it had been like that for some time.
There were fire instructions on the back of the door, with the instruction that fire routes were situated by room 210 and between 218 and 250. There was no map to show you were to go.
We ate in the In2 Blu restaurant. Being a coach tour, we were given a three course menu when we arrived to make our choice. There was a good choice of four different starters, mains and deserts. The In2 Blu restaurant has two rooms and there is plenty of space around the tables. It was a good meal but I felt that service was very slow, particularly as we had placed our orders when we arrived. It took nearly two hours for the meal.
I began with ham hock and pea terrine which was served with a few mixed leaves, small dollop of apple puree and a dollop of pureed piccalilli garnish. The apple helped cut the saltiness of the ham. This was followed by braised beef rillette with horseradish mash, braised red cabbage and roasted shallot. A bowl of new potatoes and carrot and swede mash arrived when we were half way through the main course. Te beef was very tender and tasty although I found it was a bit too slaty for me. I wasn’t aware of any horseradish flavour in the mash and felt the red cabbage clashed with the beef. The desert was lemon and lime posset topped with fresh raspberries and served with two small rounds of shortbread. This was delicious.
Breakfast next morning was self service. There was a choice of tinned grapefruit, prunes, or fruit salad. There was a choice of apple or orange juice. The orange juice did taste a bit watery. There was fruit yogurt but no plain yogurt. Cereals were muesli, weetabix or cornflakes.
The cooked breakfast was kept warm under heat lamps. A chef served you and also cooked the fried eggs, so there could be quite a wait for these. I wasn’t quite sure what would happen if you asked for poached eggs. The bacon and sausage were excellent both good quality and tasty. So often sausages let a breakfast down, but not here. Add on hash browns, tomato, mushroom and baked beans and it was a good breakfast.
There was a selection of white and brown bread for you to make your own toast, but no rolls or croissants. Tea and coffee was served to your table.
This is a lovely part of North Norfolk and the hotel is well situated to enjoy the attractions of the area.
The website makes little mention of disabled access although there is a lift. They have a garden room on the ground floor which is suitable for disabled guests. It can be a long walk to the different rooms down corridors with uneven floors and doors to negotiate. This would be something to check out before booking.
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.