AD | Gifted Experience
John and I love to get away and this year we are trying to explore more of our local area. Somewhere that is only roughly an hour away by train is Ipswich and neither of us had ever been there before. Buyagift got in touch a little while back and offered us some experiences to try. We decided to go for a 2 night family break at a Novotel hotel and luckily, there was one in Ipswich.
To book a Buyagift experience with a Novotel hotel you need to email. The booking system is a bit of a pain if I’m honest because I’m sure just ringing up and talking to someone would be a lot easier. When you email you need to state that you have a voucher, the kind of stay it entitles you to and the date/s that you would like to stay. Replies can sometimes take a few days so it’s best to make sure you have plenty of time to book. Once everything was checked and the dates were okay, I got an email confirmation.
The Novotel, Ipswich is located just a 5 minute walk away from the train station so it’s in a great location. Opposite the hotel there is also a leisure complex with restaurants, McDonald’s and a Cineworld and there is also a pub with Wacky Warehouse across the road so there’s loads right on the doorstep.
We arrived at the hotel at around 1pm but check in isn’t until 2pm and our room wasn’t ready yet. The woman on reception was really helpful though and offered to store our luggage so we could go off and explore and come back a bit later on. This had been our plan anyway as there was a park Erin was desperate to see. When we arrived back at around 4pm we checked in really easily and quickly and headed up to our room.
Something we wasn’t told on check in was that there was building work being done on the 3rd floor so when I looked in our room there was a letter explaining what time the builders would be working. Now, I already knew this but only because I looked at something online which told me. It would have been nice to have been told in person though because this could be quite a big deal for some people. This is no reflection on the Buyagift voucher/ experience though as it’s something Novotel could have communicated better.
Our room was on the 2nd floor and pretty nice. I don’t think it is one of the rooms that have been refurbished as some plug sockets were a bit old looking and there was no USB sockets etc. and we have had these things in other Novotel hotels before. However, the main room was huge with a large bed for me and John and a sofa bed for Erin.
The main room also had a desk, coffee table and bench and so much free floor space. We had plenty of room to store the pushchair and luggage and for Erin to run around a bit. Small hotel rooms are awful if you have young children because they just want to spread out and have room to explore and play. We brought some games with us for Erin so the floor space was a really good thing for us.
This particular room had a separate toilet and bathroom which was really appreciated. We generally all tend to need different things at different times in the morning and it was nice to have these things separated. I don’t get a shower in peace very often so it was nice for Erin not to barge in because she needed a wee. The bathroom was plenty big enough and came stocked with a nice selection of toiletries and towels.
Additional items in the room really helped to make our stay as nice as it was. The wardrobe could have had more hangers but there was additional shelves as well as an iron and ironing board so this did make things easier for us. There was also a mini fridge (which we quickly filled with drinks) and a safe.
Overall, in terms of the room it suited us just fine and we had 2 really nice nights there. The only thing I would have liked seeing as we stayed as a family was a bath in the bathroom but it certainly wouldn’t stop me from buying this experience again through Buyagift.
Our hotel stay included breakfast, which was served between 6:30 and 10am on weekdays and between 7am and 11am on the Saturday. We were one of the first in the restaurant on the first morning at around 6:45 and everything was nicely stocked and looked very nice. We were told that it was a buffet breakfast and to help ourselves to anything we liked.
With so much on offer it was hard to know where to start. There was a whole station dedicated to hot food such as traditional full English items with vegetarian items already cooked as well! There was also hot pancakes and waffles which got me quite excited as they’re my favourites. There was both white and brown bread available to toast as well as fresh baguettes with jams, syrups and butters. Cold breakfast items included fresh fruit, cheeses, meats, cereals, pastries and yoghurts.
Between the three of us I think we had something from most of the different sections. John really enjoyed his full English breakfast the most while I was in heaven with the pancakes and waffles. I think Erin was just excited to have a really big choice and she had quite a few different things to eat.
We have had Novotel breakfasts before and always enjoyed them but this particular breakfast with especially nice. The food was really hot, fresh and delicious and on both days everything was always really well stocked. The only thing that I think could have been improved was the attention from the staff. As this is a buffet breakfast we had empty plates after different kinds of food but they weren’t cleared often enough, especially considering the restaurant was really quiet while we were eating both times.
Overall, our stay at Novotel Ipswich was wonderful. Booking was easy enough, the room was spacious and had everything we needed and the breakfast was really worth getting out of bed for.
PIN IT FOR LATER