The Maids Head Hotel has been named the winner of the Large Hotel of the Year award, sponsored by Ensors Chartered Accountants, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022.

Located in the Cathedral Quarter in Norwich, Norfolk, The Maids Head Hotel has been in the hospitality industry for over 800 years.

It boasts 84 contemporary bedrooms and was awarded AA 4-star silver in 2019, providing a special offering for city locals and tourists alike.

The Maids Head Hotel has been privately owned since 2012 and has embarked on an extensive multi-million-pound programme of refurbishment. This includes the WinePress Restaurant, which now offers a contemporary dining space that sympathetically maintains all the original features while meeting the expectations of today’s guests.

The restaurant has been awarded two AA rosettes and head chef Marcin ‘Magic’ Pomierny was named a finalist in the 2020 Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year competition.

The judges said that they felt very welcomed to the historic building, adding that the staff were warm and friendly and the food was “absolutely delicious”.

Georgina Postlethwaite, sales and marketing manager at the Maids Head Hotel, said: “We won this award three years ago, so honestly, didn’t expect it at all, especially after the two years we’ve had.

“We are so incredibly proud of such an amazing team. It really is all about the team. We have a fantastic owner who loves the hotel and is happy to just see us grow and grow, and we are proud to have been part of that journey.

“To be recognised amongst our peers is amazing. We really are humbled.”

About the sponsor

Experienced in working with leisure and tourism businesses of all sizes, Ensors Chartered Accountants takes a proactive approach to drive business transformation.

As well as preparing end-of-year accounts and audit, the firm also provides services including tax planning, maximising capital allowances for fixtures and refurbishment, sourcing refinancing and preparing forecasts, fraud reviews and bookkeeping support.

Working from regional offices, the Ensors Chartered Accountants team understands challenges from a local, national and global perspective, including the financial pressures of the seasonal nature of many business models.

The finalists

Salthouse Harbour Hotel – Highly Commended

Located on Ipswich Waterfront in Suffolk, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel is a 4-star boutique hotel with a two AA rosette restaurant. The judges praised the service and professionalism of the team and said that each member seemed genuinely interested in ensuring a splendid visit.

Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa – Highly Commended

A family business in Melton, Suffolk, Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa offers a relaxing getaway set in 120 acres of historic parkland. The judges said that the welcoming and friendly nature of all team members was what made their experience great.

Seckford Hall Hotel & Spa

Seckford Hall Hotel & Spa is an independently-owned, 4-star hotel and popular wedding venue near Woodbridge, Suffolk. The hotel’s 34 acres of grounds really added to the judge’s experience and they were impressed by the restaurant’s use of fresh, local produce.

Wivenhoe House Hotel

Wivenhoe House is a 40-bedroom hotel in rural Essex with a brasserie bar and restaurant serving fresh, local produce. The judges said they felt relaxed and comfortable in the hotel and praised the attractiveness of the surroundings as a definite “wow factor”.