In terms of sheer diversity, character and concentration of quality hotels, few counties in Britain can compete with the cosmopolitan county of Essex
From top notch luxury city centre accommodation and popular international hotel chains, to independently run boutique hotels and character, country style establishments, Essex can certainly deliver where all types of hotel accommodation are concerned.All Year Round Deals
Whether you're visiting the area on business or for pleasure, or simply searching for a value for money base from which to explore the sights of Essex, East Anglia or London and the regions, you're bound to be impressed by the wide range of excellent hotels in Essex
which, incidentally, offer great all-year-round deals.Recent Developments in the Hotel Industry Grading System
Until fairly recently, knowing what to expect in terms of facilities, services, quality and value for money when choosing an hotel could often prove a bit of a hit and miss affair for even the most experienced of travellers and regular hotel accommodation users, in the UK.
With various official hotel rating systems in existence, all using slightly different independent assessment criteria and a range of symbols for rating hotel accommodation, it's fair to say that, previously, confusion was rife.
What this meant, in practice, was a lack of cohesion and consistency amongst different independent hotel accommodation assessors, such as the AA, RAC and National Tourist Boards (NTBs). As a result, comparing like with like was nigh impossible where hotel ratings were concerned.
But, fortunately, all that has now changed, with the introduction, in 2008, of a national, standardised system called The National Quality Assurance Standards which is co-ordinated by Visit Britain
.Hotel Ratings at a Glance
All the major tourist associations and hospitality industry related organisations, such as the English Tourism Council (ETC), the AA and Enjoy England, for example, now apply the same uniform assessment criteria. This, of course, removes the guesswork from finding a suitable hotel that exactly matches with your individual requirements and budget.
In other words, if you're looking for a budget bed and breakfast
for the night or, at the other end of the spectrum, a swanky hotel for that special occasion celebration, the current hotel star rating system will definitely point you in the right direction. Otherwise, if you are still not sure you can take a look at a portal like www.holidaycheck.com
and find some tips about the hotel you have targeted for your holidays.Hotel Star Ratings Explained
Based on a simple 1 to 5 star grading, the new rating system has managed to simplify and streamline the task of finding the perfect hotel for your purposes.
In summary, The National Quality Assurance Standards star ratings offer the following guaranteed standards:• 1 Star:
refers to no-frills, basic en-suite accommodation with consistently good standards of cleanliness, throughout;• 2 Star:
indicates that the hotel is well-run and well-serviced, with comfortable and well-equipped accommodation and facilities such as a restaurant / breakfast room, bar, etc.;• 3 Star:
ensures consistently high levels of service, comfort, quality accommodation and presentation and usually includes limited room service;• 4 Star:
offers excellent standards of accommodation throughout, attentive service, high-end facilities such as a gym and/or spa and a wider range of in-room facilities and services, including 24-hour room service, etc.;• 5 Star:
meets with the highest international standards, offers exceptional comfort and luxury, higher levels of guest care with a more individual style of service, sophisticated ambience, luxury accommodation, with all rooms or suites particularly well-appointed, a range of additional 'pampering' style services and indulgent touches are generally available, e.g. concierge service, turn-round laundry service, afternoon tea, etc.Difference between Hotel and Guest House Accommodation Ratings
Both types of accommodation are assessed using The National Quality Assurance Standards star rating system. However, hotels are typically rated according to the range of facilities and levels of service available, whereas the emphasis with guest house accommodation is primarily on personalised service, quality and comfort, as well as unique features and distinguishing individual touches.Green Tourism Hotels in Essex
The trend for environmental awareness and adopting green practices is becoming increasingly evident, not only in the day to day running of many hotels in East England, including Essex and East Anglia, but throughout the UK hospitality industry, in general.
Guests who prefer to book into an eco-friendly, 'green' hotel might wish to check, first, to see if the hotel of their choice is signed up to one of the Green Tourism Accreditation schemes such as The Green Tourism Business Scheme
Businesses, including hotels, are rated for sustainability as 'Gold', 'Silver' or 'Bronze', according to their level of 'green' participation and performance.
Originally developed in Scotland, this green accreditation scheme is now being rolled out across the UK and is aimed primarily at businesses that meet specific eco-oriented criteria. Accreditation criteria include the application of sustainable working practices, e.g. energy and water efficiency, the purchase of local, organically grown produce and the use of environmentally friendly transport.
Alternatively, why not look out for hotels participating in the Green Start Programme which indicates that these enterprises are working towards green accreditation?Hotels with a Fine Local Reputation
If you're looking for a unique and stylish hotel that combines luxury accommodation with an intimate gourmet dining experience, but is also geared up to catering for larger groups such as wedding parties or business meetings that require state of the art conference facilities
... look no further.
If this is your remit, the county of Essex can deliver on all counts, with a tempting array of hotels in stunning rural or prestigious semi-urban settings, yet within easy access of the M25, A12, Stansted Airport
and an approximately 30-minute drive from Central London.
A few examples of hotels in Essex that exactly fit the bill include Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa
, which offers 80 luxury hotel rooms, two 18 hole championship golf courses, function rooms for weddings, receptions, Christmas party nights, business or corporate meetings, conferences and team building. The hotel also has a fully featured spa, gym and fitness facilities and is the perfect venue for spa treatments, pamper days or spa breaks, or simply an idyllic place to relax and explore the surrounding stunning Constable Country and the many local places of historic interest and charm.The County Hotel
in Chelmsford has 50 comfortably designed bedrooms with a range of double, twin and single rooms, all with Flat Screen TV, WI-FI internet, trouser press, direct dial telephones, and complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits. As part of their 2009 major refurbishment project they now also have a stunning suite with a total of 16 Superior and Premium Rooms at standards that you would expect from a 4 Star quality hotel.Prested Hall
is an intimate country house hotel discreetly hidden down a long drive in 75 acres of parkland. The Hall is ideally situated just off the A12, south of Colchester, half an hour from Stansted Airport and 5 minutes from Kelvedon Railway Station with direct trains to London. Prested is also one of the most special wedding venues in Essex, offering exclusive use of the whole manor house with its 12 beautiful bedrooms. Next door, Prested has a large well-equipped health club, an Elemis spa, sports massage and holistic treatment rooms and courts for the ancient game of real tennis.
Then, there's Orsett Hall Hotel
, situated in a glorious countryside setting; the perfect location for that special celebration, wedding party or business gathering. The hotel boasts 35 luxurious bedrooms including 3 bridal suites, elegant function and conference rooms, a spa, a gym and a hair and beauty salon. The Orsett Hall also offers delicious Sunday Lunches, Afternoon Teas and Fine Dining in their new Garden Restaurant.
The above selection is just a small example of hotels in Essex that offer an abundance of services and comfort for travellers, and with resources available from sites such as Booked.net
, you'll be able to find a hotel that will satisfy all your needs instantly.© EssexTouristGuide.com