Just before Christmas I spoke about Buy A Gift in the gift guide for travel lovers. We were lucky enough to receive two complimentary experiences through Buy A Gift, one of which was one night stay a the The Links Country Park Hotel in West Runton, Norfolk.
When you order an experience through Buy A Gift you are sent a lovely presentation card with information about the experience as well as a code to redeem online. The great thing about Buy A Gift experiences is that you can exchange a lot of them online if it isn’t quite suitable for you. I love this because a lot of people get this kind of thing as a present and they might want something else so I think it’s a great idea to be able to exchange online.
John and I have been to The Links Country Park Hotel before a couple of years ago for his work’s Christmas meal and ever since then I have wanted to go back. The Links Country Park Hotel is easily accessibly as there is a train station just at the bottom of the road and there is a bus stop pretty close by as well. John and I don’t drive so these kinds of things I always pay a lot of attention to.
The hotel is absolutely massive and stunning to see as you walk up to it. There is a short walk from the train station but we all loved this because we could really take in where we were about to stay for the night.
Check in was so quick and easy and the staff were incredibly helpful. We had our room key within minutes and all there was to do was to sign a form and hand over our voucher. What was quite strange that we were given a real key. I haven’t stayed in a hotel without electronic room keys for years and years now.
Finding our room was unfortunately not quite as easy. The lift we were told to use was actually out of order and the room numbers are a complete maze. Our room was on the first floor but was number 263 and rooms on the second floor also began with a 2. Luckily we found staff member Igor roaming around and he helped us. On the journey to find our room we got to see a bit of the hotel. We managed to see a lion’s head on the wall, both antique and modern furniture as well as a Christmas tree. The decor in the hotel is quite confusing as things just don’t match everywhere. While it is a really lovely hotel, it would have been nice to see the same kind of decor throughout.
We were all pretty impressed as soon as we walked into our room. It was quite large with lots of space and it was modern. The room had lovely wooden furniture which included a proper wardrobe, desk/ dressing table and bedside tables as well as a large mirror. We also had an armchair, large bed and a travel cot that we requested when we booked. Unfortunately, having a travel cot for the night cost us £15 which I think is a bit ridiculous. At around £100 a night for the room, I would expect something like his to be included if needed. We didn’t really have much choice though other than have Erin sleep in bed with us.
We were also really impressed with our bathroom. It was decorated to a really high standard and it was great to have a big walk in shower, heated towel rail and a large mirror with lights above. Erin had a blast with the walk in shower as she’s not seen or been in anything like this before so it was a lot of fun for her.
During our stay at the Links Country Park Hotel we decided to make use of the facilities. There is a swimming pool available for guests to use as well as a gym and these are free for anyone staying in the hotel. The changing rooms were again, lovely and modern but there was no baby changing table and I think this is something that could have easily been put in there. When we arrived at the pool there was only one other person swimming and they didn’t stay long. We ended up having the whole pool to ourselves for about 30-40 minutes. The pool is quite deep at one end so obviously children need to be supervised as there is no lifeguard. There is also a small spa pool but this wasn’t turned on at the time. This was pretty perfect for us though as Erin was able to stand in it and play with her toys and do some good splashing.
The hotel has a restaurant inside and there is also a sports bar which connects to the golf course. We decided to eat dinner at the Hole In One sports bar as there was a lot more choice for us as a family even though there didn’t seem to be a children’s menu anywhere. If there was, it wasn’t on the tables with the regular menu.
I went for the Hunter’s Chicken while John had Curried Butternut Squash and Erin had some chips. For these three meals and two drinks we paid £27 which was really very reasonable. Unfortunately, after we ordered we saw another couple eating one of the pizzas and it looked AMAZING! Both me and John wished we’d ordered that instead. However, our meals were really very tasty and there wasn’t really anything left on our plates at the end of our meal.
I would be lying if I said we had a good night’s sleep but this wasn’t actually the fault of the hotel or our room. Erin hadn’t napped all day then fell asleep about 6pm. She then woke up about 7pm and was wide away so then wanted to stay up. Between a very warm room and a sweaty Erin refusing to leave my side, we finally got to sleep at some point in the night but it wasn’t ideal. The bed was really very comfortable though and I think I would have had a great sleep if it hadn’t been for the little person invading my space.
Breakfast was included with our stay and was served in the hotel restaurant. We were able to help ourselves to a cold breakfast buffet and also order from the hot menu too. We had toast and yogurts before our pancakes and smoked haddock with poached egg. Breakfast costs £9.95 if you have to pay for it and it was really very good for the price. The hotel menu included things like a full English breakfast or kippers so there was a lot of choice. Erin loved having as many breakfasts as she wanted and loved pretending to drink tea out of the cups!
We stayed at the Links Country Park Hotel on a Saturday evening and check out was at 11am on the Sunday. We got the train home quite early that morning as they were only every 2 hours back to home and we didn’t want to be stuck after checking out with not a lot to do. There is plenty to do in the surrounding area but without a car, it makes it a little bit more difficult to get around.
Take a look at our stay and watch the video below!
Overall, we had a wonderful night away as a family and the process of getting our voucher through Buy A Gift was really simple and booking though the hotel was really easy. I would definitely recommend buying experiences though Buy A Gift as presents and I know I will be doing again in the future.
Disclaimer: We received this experience through Buy A Gift for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.