The Crown and Castle wins Small Hotel of the Year

Wins the Small Hotel of the Year at  East of England Tourism Awards 

The Crown and Castle in Orford restaurant with rooms has won the East of England Small Hotel of the Year Tourism Award 2022-23.

This important regional award recognises small, serviced accommodation businesses, that provide truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrate excellence across every aspect. It was announced at a glittering black-tie event at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall Hotel on Thursday 16 March.

In association with Visit East of England, in partnership with Visit England and sponsored by Hoseasons, the annual competition sets out to champion the very best tourism and hospitality businesses, celebrating quality, innovation and best practice from across Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. 

All eligible applications are assessed and scored through two rounds of independent judging with the best in each category being shortlisted for the awards gala dinner. 

The Crown and Castle now moves on to compete with other areas of England for the national Visit England Awards for Excellence, the most coveted accolade in English tourism. 

Delighted with the award win, David Scott, CEO of The Hotel Folk who own and run The Crown and Castle in Orford said: “I am very proud of the team at The Crown and Castle to whom we owe this fantastic achievement. 

“It clearly shows their dedication and commitment to both our guests and the region’s tourism economy highlighting the importance of offering the highest possible standards throughout. My sincerest congratulations to all involved.”

The Small Hotel of the Year Award 2022-23 was sponsored by John Doe Furniture and Carpets of Diss.

On announcing The Crown and Castle had made the shortlist for The Small Hotel of the Year Award, it was noted that judges were pleased to see locally-sourced food being served at the hotel and were impressed with the “enthusiastic and knowledgeable” team members, as well as the “high standards of décor  and interesting artwork in rooms and public areas” that they said makes for “an enjoyable stay for guests.”’

New refurbished rooms celebrate local landmarks
The Crown and Castle has recently invested some £200,000 in the refurbishment of seven rooms styled in recognition of well-known local landmarks. Spread across the entire first floor of its main building, each new room features bold accent colours and decorations, which reflect and acknowledge the local area’s heritage.

The largest, deluxe sea view ‘Lighthouse’ room has been brightly revamped in red and white to mimic Orford’s once prevalent lighthouse, which was visible through the bay window prior to its decommissioning in 2013, and demolition in 2020. Adding a touch of nostalgia, a small lighthouse lamp sits on a table between two armchairs in front of the bay window to commemorate the former landmark.

With views towards Orford village including the magnificent St Bartholomew’s Church, the accent colour in the second deluxe room is an attractive fuchsia pink teamed with grey. 

Three superior sea view rooms run across the back of The Crown and Castle. ‘Florence’, features coastal colours of teal contrasted with a neutral cream, while the bright and airy ‘Watchtower’ room, which has a small view of the Orford Castle keep from its bathroom, features brick tiles to resemble an old building. 

The ‘Ness’ has been styled using a bright floral fabric acknowledging the wildflowers growing freely on the Orford Ness coastal nature reserve (National Trust), a short ferry trip across the estuary. Guests booking this room are also treated to sea views while soaking in the bathtub. 

With a nod to the past, the two standard double rooms take their names from buildings dating back to when Orford Ness was an atomic weapons research site. Themed in purple, black and grey, ‘Black Beacon’ is so called after the unusual rotating black navigation beacon, while ‘Pagoda’ takes its name from the abandoned explosion testing labs, which can still be seen today. 

A few steps from Henry II’s 12th century castle keep in the peaceful Suffolk village of Orford, The Crown and Castle is a highly rated restaurant with just 21 delightful rooms. Expect oak beams, stylish décor and interesting artwork adorning the walls. There’s a traditional bar with an open fire, which can be found burning in the cooler months, also a large terrace for alfresco dining and drinking on warmer days within sight of the keep. 

Good quality, unpretentious food is at the heart of what The Crown and Castle offers in its lively restaurant with delicious dishes created by the Head Chef, Jake Lawrence and his team. The creative British menu features a wealth of quality Suffolk produce including Orford landed seafood and locally reared meats, plus classic favourites like home battered fish and chips and beef, pork and chicken roasts for Sunday lunch. 

• To discover more about the Crown and Castle visit or call 01394 450205 

• Prices start from around £170 B&B per night for two sharing; dogs welcome at an extra charge.

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