Inside the eco-friendly motel that was named among best hotels in the country
- Credit: Keiron Tovell
A Norfolk motel has been named among the best hotels in the UK by the Sunday Times – and now the owners have opened their doors to show what it is like to stay there.
The Pig Shed Motel is owned by Lena Parker and her husband, who set up the eco-friendly site in September 2018.
The site near Castle Acre is environmentally friendly thanks to a rainwater recovery system which means the toilets are flushed with recycled water, as well as hot water and partial electricity provided by solar panels.
MORE: How brothers built business from selling Argos stock in shed to £2m turnoverThe rooms are also kept warm with underfloor heating, however this is provided via an air-sourced heat pump.
"There's nowhere really like us in the surrounding area," said Mrs Parker. "That's part of the reason we decided to be eco-friendly, but also because we designed it ourselves it meant we could be."
Mrs Parker, who is from New Zealand, added: "We called it a motel because of where it is next to the George and Dragon pub. It's not like a motel like you would see in the States, but more like what you see in New Zealand where there's a nice place to stay around every corner."
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Currently there are 10 rooms on site and are 25 square metres each.
The motel is also unusual in that it has no front desk, which Mrs Parker says can make the experience more relaxing for guests.
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"Some people don't like the kerfuffle of getting there and checking in," she said. "Sometimes people just want to park up and head into their rooms - they have access through virtual keys on their phones.
"But that doesn't work for everyone, so we have keys cut and ready at the George and Dragon for people to pick up if they would prefer."
Mr and Mrs Parker own the freehold to the pub and live in Fakenham.
"I've had to pop out at 1am before when a guest couldn't get in for various reasons," she said. "We're really pleased to have made the list, I think it's partly due to the big spacious rooms at a reasonable price."