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‘We’re dreading reopening’: Couple put award-winning hotel up for sale

PUBLISHED: 11:22 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:39 01 July 2020

Elsa Phillips on getting the AA five stars at 3, Norfolk Square. Pic: Archant

Elsa Phillips on getting the AA five stars at 3, Norfolk Square. Pic: Archant

Archant

An adult-only hotel in Norfolk is for sale for £425,000 because the owners say it is “too busy”.

The beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & BradyThe beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & Brady

Keith and Elsa Phillips, who transformed 3 Norfolk Square, in Great Yarmouth, when they took it over in 2008, are struggling to cope because it gets so packed in the summer.

Mr Phillips has a medical condition that is making it difficult to keep the business going.

And although they are currently hosting key workers and NHS staff which they can manage, they couple say they are “dreading” reopening to the public after lockdown on July 4.

The beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & BradyThe beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & Brady

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Rather than overstretch themselves, they are planning to reduce the amount of bedrooms open for bookings.

The beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & BradyThe beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & Brady

The hotel, situated in a beautiful Victorian building, which was originally a wine merchant’s home with underground wine cellars, had been open for families but the couple took the bold decision to ban children.

But the decision paid off and the hotel went on to huge success, being awarded five AA stars, one of the few in the area, as well as being ranked second in the UK’s top bed and breakfast hotels. It is currently rated 16th out of 103 reviews on TripAdvisor and one of Booking.com’s top picks.

But managing the business has become too much.

Mr Phillips, a property developer, said: “We are dreading July 4. It’s got too much, when we reopen to the public, we’ll be full so we’re cutting back on the rooms we are offering.

The beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & BradyThe beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & Brady

“A lot of the key workers have been room only so we’ve managed. Making it adult-only really worked as there are so many family hotels in the area. It’s not the kids we didn’t like, it was the parents. They used to put the children to bed at 7pm and go down for dinner and wonder why they were crying at 9pm.

“My wife had worked in children’s nurseries and that’s why we decided to go adult-only.”

The couple took over the hotel originally with 14 bedrooms but reduced them to create plush en suites and reception rooms for guests on each of its four floors including the basement. One of its most striking features is an original ironwork staircase.

Agents Minors & Brady, selling the property, describe it by saying: ”Seldom do homes with this much character and potential come to the market.”

The beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & BradyThe beautiful 3, Norfolk Square, with sea views, is for sale. Pic: Minors & Brady

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