Premier Inn Norwich Nelson City Centre

THE HOTEL: The Premier Inn Norwich Nelson City Centre is one of two Premier Inns in central Norwich, with a further three in the surrounding area. It is located on the banks of the River Wensum, a stone's throw from Norwich train station.

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THE CHECK-IN: I'd called ahead to warn of my late arrival, heeding a colleague's recent experience (with a different hotel chain) of their room being sold on the assumption they were a late night no-show. Locating the hotel was simple enough and there were plenty of spaces in the hotel's own car park. Check-in was swift and friendly and I was directed to my room on the first floor, down an interminably long corridor.

THE ROOM: The family room was surprisingly large and had a balcony overlooking leafy gardens and the adjacent river. There was floral artwork and cushions and flashes of the group's trademark purple, plus excellent Hypnos double bed, sofa bed, blackout curtains, reasonable desk and wall mounted TV with PC, HDMI and USB connectivity panel. Further facilities included a kettle, hairdryer, plenty of hanging space and additional pillows. Iron/ironing boards were available on request

THE FACILITIES: Premier Inn has two hotels in central Norwich but I opted for this one by virtue of the convenient and free on-site parking. The riverside Table Table restaurant and bar serves a good breakfast buffet (included in my particular visit; otherwise £8.75), as well as lunch and dinner. Caffeine addicts can get their hit at the adjacent Costa Coffee shop (both Costa and Premier Inn are owned by Whitbread). Private meeting/dining spaces can be booked in the restaurant and there's unlimited free wifi access which was perfectly good for checking emails and browsing the internet. Guests can upgrade to a premium wifi service for more demanding tasks.

THE VERDICT: A quality budget hotel experience with generous room size – and the novelty of a balcony – and cheerful staff. The hotel as a whole was clean, smart and nicely designed.

THE DETAILS: The group now has over 700 hotels, making it the biggest group in the UK. Premier Inn Norwich Nelson City Centre, Prince Of Wales Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 1DX. Rates start from £57 per room per night. See: www.premierinn.com.

Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2015)