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38 St Giles Boutique Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #3 of 80 Norwich B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“No problems”
Reviewed 22 January 2012

Had a great stay. Loved the room and breakfast choice was great.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lespearsons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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316 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
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English first
Ely, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
144 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 361 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2012

I cannot believe there is a better B & B in Norwich (or maybe anywhere?) than this. It is a first class residence with service and location to match – the proprietors are friendly, attentive, and helpful throughout.

We stayed in one of the new rooms on the top floor at the rear of the house. The room was spacious and finished to a high standard as you might expect. Notable that the room did not have a bath (excellent shower though), and we had not requested one of the rooms that did have so despite the best efforts of the owner we missed out – worth asking in advance if you have a preference. Rooms were sheltered from the minimal noise at the front of the house but there were a few other minor disturbances to contend with: we stayed during a period of reasonably high winds and the original sash windows whistle when gusting in certain direction (also drafty – meant blinds and curtains down to restrict), when shower in use in room next door it does sound like the water is in the same room with you! (not great if neighbours early starters), continuous cyclic noise of boiler could be heard throughout, and finally in spite of the beautiful character of the house the bare boards and stair runners mean neighbours with heels / heavy feet can be heard from a great distance.

Breakfast as other reviewers have posted was superb, any of the choices are fantastic. Full English outstanding, the poached eggs with hollandaise on spinach also great… the warm poached plums and fresh yogurt my personal favourite. What ever choice you make you will not be disappointed.

Would recommend to anyone thinking of staying in Norwich but the few very minor gripes with regard to sound isolation of the upper rooms mean I cannot give a full 5 out of 5.

Room Tip: Ask for a bath in advance if you want one...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SMB_2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
90 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2011

This was a hard review to write. 105 reviews rating this as Excellent and interestingly the latest review rating it as very good. We heard about 38 St Giles after watching the Four In A Bed series on Channel 4. The B and B was voted as the winner and the owners came across as the most lovely people, Jan who was very organised and constantly seeking perfection and William who hated to find fault with any of the B and B's they visited and was utterly charming. The establishment came across as very efficiently run with excellent service which quite rightly would demand a high room rate. Smitten by the owners and the B and B we booked to stay there and I was most impressed again with Williams helpfulness in discussing food establishments in the area, he said he would check out a place we were considering and let us know ( He never did - I just assumed they had been overwhelmed with interest after the C4 programme and thought nothing more about it )

I called and confirmed by email twice that we would be arriving about Midday and to check it was ok to drop off our luggage as we were travelling by train and this was agreed by William, I did also ask William to make a reservation for us at a local restaurant for my Wifes birthday treat but upon checking with the restaurant prior to arrival no reservation had been made, again forgiveable.

We arrived in Norwich and made the long trek to the B and B from the Train Station and everything seemed as we expected, a lovely looking well kept building in a good area close to the heart of the city. We rang the doorbell and a couple of minutes later it was answered by William who we instantly recognised, he was unshaven and looked bewildered at our arrival, I greeted him rather than him greeting us and explained who we were, I knew which room we had booked but he insisted on flicking through his notepad to check our booking ( Now I was a little bit disappointed, I hoped he would have been prepared if warned of an early arrival ) again I just forgave it as being a little bit disorganised. On finding our booking in his book I could see our arrival time was clearly written on the top of the page. William said our room would be ready shortly and he kindly offered us a cup of tea and sat us in a lounge/dining area above the kitchen where we enjoyed the tea and some delicious tiny jam tarts. The room in which we took tea was a bit scruffy but we were happy to relax in the warmth of the house and wait for our room to be ready which it was in no time. We had booked the Green Room which is on the Ground Floor and has windows out onto the street, these have lovely wooden shutters and plush curtains. The room was nice but not luxurious, the bedding was good quality, the bathroom ( Good Shower ) was very clean but had a slight smell which I believe is from the drains and is from what I have read a regular issue in this part of Norwich ( Read St Giles house Reviews - Opposite ). The room had radiators which guests could control the heating of. There were 2 bedside lamps which as far as we could find could only be controlled by turning them off at the plug which was a little inconvenient. The Chaise Lounge was a delight and my favourite feature of the room.

We had a walk around a breezy and chilly Norwich and returned to find that some fresh milk in a jug had been delivered and 2 more tiny jam tarts and that the wooden shutters had been closed the curtains drawn and the bedside lamps lit, I was impressed with this and thought this was what we had expected, to be spoilt.

We had decided to dress up a little for dinner and so i tried to find William, there was a mobile number in the guest folder but i decided as i couldn't see him that i would just use the doorbell. He arrived and I asked if it would be possible to borrow an Iron and Board, he said that if I wanted any ironing doing the Girls would do it in the morning but I said I needed to do some ironing that evening and I confirmed I would leave the iron in the hallway. I read a little more of the guest information and learnt that the arrangement if you wanted some pressing of clothes done was to leave them on the bed each morning for the housekeepers to do when tidying the room, so we took them up on this treat the following morning to find the still heavily creased clothes simply moved from the bed to the chaise lounge, more disappointment. The website clearly states that Bathrobes are supplied for your use during your stay but instead these are ONLY ON REQUEST ( I certainly wasn't going to bother asking for one, we were there to be pampered not constantly ask for things.)

Breakfast was another major appeal of 38 St Giles and had been bigged up both on Tripadvisor, Four In a Bed and ther own website which I quote "Breakfast is a feast of Jan and William’s freshly baked croissants, pastries, bread, fresh fruit, cereals and yoghurts but, if you prefer a bigger start to the day, please ask for our fantastic Norfolk full cooked breakfast" There was 2 preserving jars one with Granola and the other with muesli a nice selction of what looked like homemade preserves and 1 small sugar bowl for the entire breakfast room which was meant to suffice for Tea and Coffee as well as cereal toppings, it was pretty much empty on both mornings and so had to ask for it to be topped up. The Croissants and pastries were not available when I asked but I could have some Lithuanian Bread or Homemade white loaf which I chose which was nicer as bread than it was as toast. The cooked Norfolk breakfast was nice with good fresh tomatoes, superb bacon but anaemic sausages with minimal flavour ( These may have been Middle Whites ) Coffee and Tea were very good and the Juice was excellent, absolutely excellent. We had pancakes one morning and according to William nobody had ever asked for The Pancakes with maple Syrup bacon and Banana but as this was a favourite of ours from Recipease ( Jamie Oliver Cookery School and cafe in Brighton ) thats what we wanted after all it was Victorias birthday, these were very nice.

William never made any attempt at conversation other than the servicing of requests over the 48 hours we spent there and this seemed so different to the William we had seen on C4, Jan's welcome which had been so obvious in the programme was very much missed and it felt throughout our stay that a crucial part of 38 St Giles was missing.

The young lady that appeared to be helping cook the breakfast and then service the rooms was however very pleasant and if she had been more involved in the 48 hours we were there we may have been more satisfied.

I had asked for a slightly later departure which William had agreed and this was no problem, but once we were ready to leave at Midday it was difficult once again to find him. He took our payment ( After much fluffing with the card machine which he was struggling with ) asked if we wanted a receipt and said nothing convivial for instance to enquire how our stay was or what our plans were etc, I then enquired as to where Jan was and was given an awkward answer that she would be back later.

Other niggles were a lack of any tissues in the room, surely a standard feature.

The turndown service featured so strongly on Four In a Bed never truly materialised, we were looking forward to chocolates on our pillow and the covers pulled down and hopefully more fresh milk, as by the morning the milk left at 4pm had curdled destroying the hope of early morning tea ( I learnt it was easier to buy a pint of milk from the local Tesco and store this between the shutters and window where it stayed cool.)

Overall this was a good bed and breakfast but not a special place that anticipates your needs before you, and certainly not worth £140 per night for a 2 night midweek break in winter. I only hope that we were just unlucky and that you won't experience the disappointment we felt.

Room Tip: As mentioned many times before in previous reviews, there is considerable noise from the road both f...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank ryansdelight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2011

Not only is this extra special B&B in my second favourite city (only surpassed by our capital city London !) on a lovely city centre street but it is a beautifully restored and modernised Georgian house so unlike any B&B I have ever stayed in that it is hardly the correct name for it. However the breakfast is the significant bit of this name...it is the best. Best local ingredients, delicious home made bread, porridge with stewed apple, pancakes from heaven, home made jam, smoked salmon and scrambeld eggs.....I could go on. If you like to eat a good breakfast and want to miss lunch..stay here!

Room Tip: Best not to be off the street side rooms in the summer if you like an open window as it is in the ci...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EmilyReadettBayley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colchester, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2011

Excellent place to stay ,clean , lovely rooms and fantastic service.overall a splendid place to
STay! Would definitely recommend

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hattie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 38 St Giles Boutique Bed & Breakfast

Property: 38 St Giles Boutique Bed & Breakfast
Address: 38 St. Giles Street, Norwich NR2 1LL, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Norwich
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 80 B&Bs / Inns in Norwich
Price range (per night): $217 - $507
Hotel Class:5 star — 38 St Giles Boutique Bed & Breakfast 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
38 St Giles is a grand house with a long and interesting history. It was built in 1700 for the Gurney family and became home to the former Lord Mayor of Norwich. Its neatly tucked-away entrance just off St Giles Street creates an intimacy and privacy that is unrivalled. We are the most centrally located boutique accommodation in Norwich, a stone's throw from the largest outdoor covered marketplace in the UK and adjacent to 'the lanes' - one of the oldest parts of this fine city and an area of national repute boasting well over 200 independent retailers of fashion, food and just about anything else that you might wish to buy. Inside the main entrance we have a grand staircase from which most of the bedrooms are accessed. From our wonderful double rooms to our two large suites you will be surrounded in comfort and a sense of history. We have chosen an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary pieces of furniture & artefacts, sumptuous throws, cushions and rugs. Our bathrooms feature oversized walk-in showers and rain shower heads, several rooms also have baths. White, fluffy towels and a range of quality toiletries help ensure that your morning ablutions are a positive experience! In selecting our bedding we have chosen simply embroidered 400 thread count white Egyptian cotton (not easy to iron but wonderful next to the skin) with goose down and feather pillows and duvets. Homemade cakes are served on arrival with a choice of teas or our specially blended and locally roasted coffee. We bake our own bread, make our own preserves and source all of our ingredients from the best local suppliers. No corners are cut in attempting to provide you with a relaxing, comfortable and memorable stay. We are happy to cater for small wedding parties, birthdays, anniversaries and other group bookings. We can even create a special meal with fine wines and champagne on arrival for that extra special treat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
38 St Giles Hotel Norwich

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