Coastal hotel with big aspirations wins tourism award

The bar at The Hog Hotel, Pakefield

The Hog Hotel's restaurant champions local produce and serves handpicked wines and a selection of gins and cocktails - Credit: Holly Hambling Photography/The Hog Hotel

The Hog Hotel in Pakefield, Lowestoft has strived to become the place to eat and stay within the area since opening three years ago, and recently won the Small Hotel of the Year award, sponsored by John Doe Carpets & Furniture, at the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022.

Nathan and Sally Jones purchased the boutique hotel in August 2018 having driven past it for a number of years and dreamed about its potential. The couple worked to fully renovate and refurbish the 150-year-old building over a number of months, updating wiring and plumbing, addressing structural issues and ensuring the hotel met all requirements. It finally reopened in June 2019 with a new look and a new name.

“The name is in honour of mine and my late father’s favourite animal, the hedgehog,” said owner and director Nathan Jones, “and the rather cheeky hedgehog found in our logo – and in real-life wooden form outside the hotel – is called Dave, after my dad.”

With 16 en-suite bedrooms and a restaurant that champions local produce and serves handpicked wines and a selection of gins and cocktails, the hotel is going all out to offer a touch of luxury away from home.

This commitment to quality is certainly seeing results, as the Hog Hotel has recently been awarded 4 AA Stars and 2 AA Rosettes and guests are visiting the hotel from across the UK, Europe and even the USA.

Nathan added that he hopes the Hog Hotel has contributed to the continued regeneration of Lowestoft, along with development of the town’s third crossing over Lake Lothing, increased funding to the region and the return of events like the First Light Festival.

Left to right: Sally Jones, Nathan Jones, John King, Agata Swidowska, Terry Balme, Katherine Balme

The Hog Hotel team at the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022. Left to right: Sally Jones, Nathan Jones, John King, Agata Swidowska, Terry Balme, Katherine Balme - Credit: Matt Brasnett, I Do Photography

Winning Small Hotel of the Year at this year’s East of England Tourism Awards was a surprise for Nathan, Sally and the team, but one that left them feeling “absolutely incredible”.

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“We totally did not expect it at all, especially as we had spent some time researching the other finalists and thought they all looked worthy winners,” said Nathan. “Actually, Sally and I just wanted to take the team for a special evening out to thank them for all their hard work.

“Truthfully, it’s a verification for us that all the hard work to date, plus the setbacks, have been so worth it. There have been times over the last couple of years where we have had doubts about whether we did the right thing, but this was the boost we needed.”

Nathan added that the award is a “terrific accolade” for the senior management team who, along with the rest of #teamHOG, have worked tirelessly to create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for guests.

Moving forward, Nathan and Sally are eager to gain more recognition for the team at the Hog Hotel, striving for more specialist awards for accessibility and food. They are even looking at expansion within the east of England.

“Never resting on our laurels, we will continue to grow and train the team, develop the food and drinks menu, and further enhance standards in the bedrooms,” said Nathan.

“In addition, we have just launched an excellent afternoon tea, and we look forward to being able to use our garden a lot more over the warmer months. With that will come an al fresco dining menu, which we think our customers will love.”

For more information, please visit thehoghotel.co.uk

Archant organise and host the annual East of England Tourism Awards to recognise and celebrate those businesses and individuals that contribute to the regional visitor economy. To register for more information on the 2022/23 competition please visit https://www.tourismawards.co.uk/live/en/page/contact-us