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All reviews mayflower suite fish kesgrave hall main building scallops scottish lady complimentary soft drinks shipping forecast first floor no elevator waiting staff watch the world deluxe room the ground floor lovely hotel duck evening meal
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Reviewed 27 October 2018 via mobile

We booked the Deluxe Ginspired deal direct on the hotel website. At £230 per couple you get a large deluxe room, a double and three single gins each, full choice from the a la carte menu including lobster or steak for dinner and a full breakfast. Our only extras were a couple of glasses of excellent Petit Chablis with dinner. So, all in all, excellent value.
I last ate here about 35 years ago so was not sure what to expect, but the hotel has clearly been updated and modernised in all respects in the intervening period. The addition of the former Angel pub next door gives guests a quiet respite from the bustle of the main hotel. Situated prominently on the harbour side overlooking Ha’penny Pier and with stunning views of the harbour and both the Stour and Orwell estuaries the hotel is very well placed even if it’s coastal location makes it slightly remote. There is nearby rail access and Harwich is linked by foot ferry to both Felixstowe and Shotley. The Harwich Society has worked hard to provide a number of attractions in the town, particularly the restored Harwich Redoubt Napeoleonic fort, which gives you plenty to do and see on a weekend break.
Having found a space in the smallish private car park, we were greeted pleasantly and efficiently at reception. (The vast majority of staff at the hotel appear to be British and all were unfailingly cheerful, friendly and helpful throughout our stay although they are clearly stretched at busy times.)
We were shown to our deluxe room on the ground floor of the former pub next door (Room 8). This spacious room has a queen size bed, generous sitting area with sofa and armchair and large, well fitted bathroom with underfloor heating.
Only three minor niggles - access between the door and bed is tight, the lock was iffy (which the receptionist already knew about) and getting the ironing board out of the wardrobe required a degree in origami (I didn’t even try and put it back). I was slightly concerned that, being on the ground floor and next door to a working dock, it would be noisy but beyond a bit of footfall upstairs we were not disturbed. The room is nicely appointed and in pretty good condition. The DAB radio is a nice touch but ABSOLUTELY TOP MARKS for the refreshments. The room has a cafetière, fresh coffee, nice teas and real milk in the fridge that also contains complimentary water and soft drinks. All hotels at 4* and above should be doing this.
The main Victorian hotel building has been internally refurbished in a slightly faux industrial style and feels modern and fresh. The ground floor bar was busy and noisy while the 1st floor restaurant has the stunning river views.
In the Navyard bar the knowledgeable staff set us off on our pre-booked gin flight, expertly navigating us through the library of 130 gins and numerous mixers - two each before dinner and two more after.
So, dinner. The restaurant is not haut cuisine. It is however, generally good food, well prepared. The menu, of course, majors on fish and seafood but it is not huge. In the inclusive price and with lobster and steak offered at half price it represents good value. If we were paying full price I may have felt short changed. That said, there were no major disappointments. The gravadlax starter was very fresh tasting and the duck taco went down ok. They were obviously short of large lobsters so I got three smaller half lobsters for my Thermidor. The lobster was slightly rubbery and the cheese sauce could have had more flavour. The new potatoes were just that and pretty boring. My wife enjoyed her fish pie which came loaded with scallops and prawns. Both desserts (blackberry pavlova and trio of apple creme brûlée) also hit the spot.
There was good (if loud) solo live music in the bar after dinner and it was very full so we took our post dinner gins back to the peace of the (empty but) well furnished residents lounge next door and subsequently back to our comfortable room.
After a good night of “ginduced” sleep in the very comfortable bed (excellent pillows comment from the Mrs) we were not disappointed by the full breakfast. Top quality local ingredients and plenty of good coffee (all supplied by the lovely Scots waitress) overlooking the sparkling sunny waters of the harbour rounded off a lovely Anniversary stay.

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Phil M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2018 via mobile

We were made to feel welcome from the moment we checked in, and we were even upgraded for free.

The room was finished to a high standard and was really comfortable. We ate in the restaurant and the food was delicious. Good quality steaks. The staff were quite slow and we did have to wait a while for our mains and chase a waitress for more drinks but it wasn't a huge issue.

We then went down to the well stocked bar with a knowledgeable barman. My only criticism is that it was very cold in the bar. Big windows and no heating.

Breakfast was delicious and the lovely Scottish waitress went out of her way to set the table up so we could both enjoy the view.

The receptionist that checked us out did make us feel like we were inconveniencing her but on the whole a lovely stay.

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Fred F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2018 via mobile

Stayed for the third year in a row for the Shanty Festival. Lovely public areas, but the rooms are starting to look at little tired. Nice breakfast, made even better by Caroline, the waitress. What a lovely lady, and such an asset to the hotel. Great location which is probably reflected in the price.

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank scuba_steve1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2018 via mobile

Very nice visit staff always very helpful and friendly. Food was excellent and very well presented. My only complaint would be that when they did the refurbishment they had put the restaurant on the ground floor, there were several people having quite a lot of trouble getting around the restaurant but it is great to have a lift

Date of stay: October 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank 647marianu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2018 via mobile

Excellent all around ...very clean, stylishly remodeled but keeping with the mood and history, great service and pleasant staff, great location and views. The whole of Harwich is looking a bit shabby, but there are interesting things to see. The food is very good. I would gladly book The Pier again.

Date of stay: September 2018
Trip type: Travelled solo
Thank Fern H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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