Large Hotel of the Year winner is proud of its history

The Maids Head Hotel team in Norwich with their awards

The Maids Head Hotel team with their awards - Credit: Georgina Postlethwaite

The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich’s historic Tombland was recently named Large Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Ensors Chartered Accountants, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022.

Since being purchased by the Chaplin family in 2012, the hotel has seen a great deal of investment and undergone a range of refurbishment and renovation projects, but its rich history has continued to be embraced throughout the building.

“We’re very proud of the history of the hotel,” said Georgina Postlethwaite, sales and marketing manager at the Maids Head Hotel. “We do have a history that dates back to 1094 when the first Norman Bishop of Norwich had his first palace here.”

The hotel also aims to celebrate the history of Norwich, with references to historical local figures found throughout the building, murals of Norwich in each bathroom and handouts on the Maids Head’s history for guests.

A replica of the original Paston letter of 1472, which contains the first mention of the name The Maids Head Hotel, can also be found just outside the entrance to the hotel’s WinePress Restaurant.

“It gives the guests that unique experience that will make them want to come back,” said Georgina.

She added that the friendly team of staff at the Maids Head Hotel – led by general manager Christine Malcolm - also play an essential role ensuring that guests have a memorable stay.

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“Because we’re independent, our staff are key to our success,” she explained, “and a lot of our staff have been here for many, many years.” 

Georgina said that the business’ independence also allows the team to have a voice and they are empowered to make decisions always with the guest’s best interest at heart.

The Maids Head holds a quarterly ‘Vision and Values’ awards ceremony which celebrates staff achievements and won Best Employer in 2018's Norfolk Business Awards, in recognition of its commitment to the development of the team. 

Commenting on being named the East of England’s Large Hotel of the Year, Georgina said: “We have been very fortunate and blessed to have won several awards now, but I think this one was just extra special – to win it for the East of England and to bring it home to Norwich.

“We were up against some incredible competition, so we felt very humbled to have been amongst them.”

The Maids Head Hotel was also recognised for its food and drink offering, and was Highly Commended in the Taste of East of England Award.

The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, displays its awards in reception

The Maids Head Hotel won the Large Hotel of the Year award and was Highly Commended in the Taste of East of England Award - Credit: Georgina Postlethwaite

The entire hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, but Georgina said that winning the award has helped to cement the Maids Head as a great place to stay in Norwich.

“I think the key thing for us winning this award was the guest experience,” she said. “We’ve had the massive investment, we’ve got the beautiful bedrooms, we’ve got a two AA Rosette restaurant, along with our vintage Bentleys and Bobbin bikes and our passionate staff, which are all key elements to our success.

“It all adds up to giving the guests that little bit extra; that experience that they can go away and talk about with friends and family.”

And the team is keen to continue adding to the guest experience with continued refurbishment and new offerings.

It has recently made improvements to the entrance, adding a showroom which gives visitors a view of the hotel’s two Bentleys, and has opened its courtyard space, which was never used before the pandemic and has just had its spring makeover, providing guests with a relaxed outdoor space for dining and drinks.

The Maids Head has also acquired an Edwardian-style Frolic 31 electric launch, which Georgina said will hopefully be available to hire next year for guided river tours, afternoon teas, wedding receptions, business away days and more.

For more information, please visit www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk

Archant organise and host the annual East of England Tourism Awards to recognise and celebrate those businesses and individuals that contribute to the regional visitor economy. To register for more information on the 2022/23 competition please visit https://www.tourismawards.co.uk/live/en/page/contact-us