Enjoyed Our Stay!
We stayed here March 30 & 31, 2007.
Ture, the property was being upgraded but we didn't find it
inconvenient. In fact, we booked in advance for only one night but once we saw our room we decided to stay a second night.
We chose this hotel because it was convenient to Stonehenge and Winchester Cathedral. It was a short drive to the village of Sutton Scotney where we found a lovely pub with good pub grub.
We found the room size adequate for the 2 of us. At bedtime we could faintly hear the television in the room next door but we had no problem sleeping. The bed was very comfortable! Loved having an iron and ironing board in the room.
The heated indoor swimming pool was lovely and very relaxing after a day of sightseeing. The sauna and steam room were great.
We found the entire staff very friendly and helpful.
We ate our evening meal in the restaurant and found the food very good and the portions adequate. The service was excellent. The breakfast buffet was outstanding.
All in all, we are happy that we chose Norton Park!
Go somewhere else until the building work is finished!
We booked here for a wedding and had problems from the start. Having been advised by the bride and groom to book rooms early as they had been given a special rate, I tried several times to ring the booking number without success, so I resorted to booking online. This was succesfully processed, but I received a complaining email from the hotel that I should have booked the room by phone and not online! As I am not from the area and in fact had no idea where Sutton Scotney was, I rang to find out if there was a hairdresser in the hotel, to be told no and to try Winchester. This was ok until I asked if the hotel had contact details for recommended hairdressers to be told that they were to busy to check for me, resulting in me have to scour yell to find a hairdresser myself, not what I was expecting from a 4 start hotel.
Then we get there (signs are for Norton Manor hotel as opposed to Norton Park by the way), and find a building site. The car park is way too small for the number of guests so we had difficulty in trying to find a car space. On checking in, we asked for a non smoking room, and when we got to the room there was a distinct smell of stale smoke in the room. When we rang and told reception we were told 'it was impossible' for the room to smell of smoke! Eventually we were given another room, and the rooms are fine, though the bathroom is small, and our shower door didn't close and the cover for the drain was missing so it hurt if you accidentally stood on the sharp exposed element of the drain. Getting to the bedroom was an adventure in itself. You have to leave the building where the reception, bar, etc. is, go outside and go up a makeshift scaffolding stairs, which was extermely slippy in the rain, and surprised that it is permitted by Health and Safety. The lift was broken so you have to use the stairs, ok for us as we did not have heavy luggage, but the key point was that nobody told us at reception what to expect in the search for our room - 'being told to go up the stairs' doesn't quite explain the obstacle course you have to go through!
Then the dining experience. We had dinner which was less than adequate. We were too tired to send back the main courses, but did send back the dessert as it was terrible. To be fair the hotel took the dessert off the bill, but overall the meal smacked of someone not tasting anything when they were cooking it. We were not the only ones who complained either. Breakfast queue was the whole way down the stairs and was caused not by a lack of tables, but by the staff not clearing the tables fast enough.
After the wedding party returned, there was only one barman on hand to look after a lot of people so the hotel cost itself money as it took so long to get served.
I tried to fill out a customer comment card in the room to discover that it had already been completed by somebody staying in the room the week before, highlighting the same issues I outline in this review, but clearly the hotel is not interested if it doesn't collect the comment cards!!
Overall, the hotel may eventually be ok, but I would not consider it a four star hotel, it needs someone to look at its operations, and its debatable whether it should be taking paying guests while it is in its current state. In fact, if you read the qhotel brochure in the rooms, it tells you that the work is completed, so definitely misleading marketing in my opinion. I would not recommend staying there until the building work is finished and the operational deficiencies resolved.
just returned from a 5 night stay at norton park.the hotel is still undergoing its refurb,which does look unsightly i agree,the rooms are finished and very comfortable,but there is still on going building work outside the hotel ,plus landscaping etc.the work is expected to be finished in 6 weeks.the health club is excellent, as is the restaurant.the best thing about this hotel is the staff,everyone we met greeted us with a smile and nothing was too much trouble.food in the restaurant was good ,as was breakfast.if you can stay for the rate of £80 per night dinner bed and breakfast its a great bargain ,stay there before the rates rise drastically !!!.the only downside is there is no air conditioning in guest rooms,the rooms were very warm during our stay ,and feel the lack of air con is a real oversight !!!
Have just returned from a bargain girls' weekend away in this great hotel. Only paid £30 each per night for B&B, which included use of the amazing new leisure club. The room was so quiet and comfortable, and incredibly clean. Breakfast was top notch, both in quality and quantity. There was a huge works' do on, so lots of people (think it was a Christmas party, judging by the number of Santas, snowmen and girl dressed like a giant Christmas pudding!!), but there were more than enough staff to cope with the numbers. Staff were among some of the politest I have come across in the hotel world. It was so relaxing and I wouldn't hesitate to go again, but I imagine prices will rocket once the development is complete.
Only downsides - bar prices - 2 glasses of wine cost £15, which was a shock - and there's no jacuzzi in the pool area (but the steam room, fragranced shower and heated sunbeds went some way to making up for this!). The exterior of the hotel does still look like a bombsite, and was pretty muddy as it rained a lot, but these are very minor niggles. Go before the prices go up!!
Yep it's nice, but it's a building/bomb site!
But, it is remarkable value for money at £60 a night for 2 people inc breakfast. The staff are all friendly and helpful, check in was seamless, checkout required a 15 minute queue. Full English buffet breakfast was superb despite having to order coffee and toast twice. The spa facilities are good though the gym lacks adequate air con making any exercise really exhausting. The rooms are very comfortable and well decorated, but I must agree with other comments about the lack of air con in the rooms, this will cause problems during the summer months. The grounds are in the process of being landscaped, but I am not sure how much difference it will make, the 50 something acres are neither ornamental or particularly attractive, they are mainly just grassy fields.
All in all it is very good value for money right now, but I wonder how I would feel when it goes to full price when the works are completed. Guess we will have to wait and see what the price is!
For a great dinner we found a restaurant called "The Chesil Rectory" in Winchester, not cheap but stunning food!
Black Boy pub, Winchester, UK.
Wolvesey Castle (that's me on the far left!)
Where you can find it.........
City Mill, behind the bridge
I am looking to find a teacher who would be interested in a teaching exchange to Australia.I teach lower primary (K-2) and live on the beautiful North coast of NSW in what has just been voted the best town in Australia, Yamba. Wondering if anyone knows of anyone who might be interested, who school in the the area which I can approach. Thanks in advance. :)
Re: teaching exchange
I'm afraid you won't be able to do this on a teacher to teacher basis, however much many of us would enjoy the idea of a job swap.
State school teachers in the UK are basically employed by the local authority, although it is slightly more complicated than that. You could contact the local authority through its online contact form here:
or, better, write to them using snail mail (more formal, carries more 'weight')and ask how best you could proceed.
The local authority would have to be involved in your employment, so I think it is best to first find out what they feel about teacher exchanges and what procedures they would expect to be followed.
It would then be up to individual headteachers to decide whether they were willing to allow an exchange of staff. In the present target-driven and pressurised climate of English education, many might feel that taking on a teacher from another education culture might be too big a risk.
I do feel that contacting the local authority for advice should be your first step.
Re: teaching exchange
I'm afraid things have indeed changed, Ranger. In far too many wways, many of which are not for the better. :-(
Re: teaching exchange
Hello Leics understand your reservations about exchanges, however as Ranger has mentioned many exchanges do take place and it is one like Rangers niece that I too am applying for. The NSW Dept of Ed, who I am employed by, offers exchanges with teachers in UK, USA, Canada and a few other European countries. Basically the teacher I exchange with comes to my school and lives in my home as I would in their school and home. I have been in contact with the D of Ed and was hoping to find my own exchange location rather than be matched with someone from the data base, and then follow thru with the appropriate paperwork thru the dept exchange program. My reasons being that i have 3 children who will all be attending school and and like to reside in a town outside of London and Winchester looks PERFECT!
Re: teaching exchange
You did not make it clear that you had already sought official advice about this.
Of course exchanges do take place, but no longer on an individually organised teacher>teacher basis. And opportunities are far fewer because of the contraints put upon schools.
I suggest you write individually to the heads of all Winchester primary and junior schools (I assume you are qualified to teach roughly age 7-11?). They can bring your letter to the attention of their staff.
You'll find schools and addresses here:
I still think it would be a good idea to first write directly to Hampshire Education Authority and ask their advice about how best to proceed. Individual education authorities (and heads) do still have some autonomy: the DFES does not control all aspects of education (yet).