|Mandy Ames Head Housekeeper and Erwin Mullari Housekeeping Assistant with the Loo of the Year Awards|
In addition to winning the National Award for Hotels in England, the Maids Head’s toilets received top Platinum grading and a special Attendant of the Year Award for cleanliness.
The Loo of the Year Awards have been identifying the best in Britain since 1987, and are recognised as standard setters for all those who provide ‘away from home’ facilities for staff, customers and visitors.
Over the last year the Maids Head has invested £140,000 in fully refurbishing all public toilets at the historic hotel, including the addition of an accessible toilet near the Wine Press Restaurant and new gents’ toilets close to the Minstrel Suite, the hotel’s man function room. The completed refurbishment reflects the heritage of the hotel with a contemporary twist.
The Maids Head received an unannounced visit from a Loo of the Year Awards inspector and was assessed against 100 judging criteria including signage, décor, fixtures and fittings and overall standards of cleanliness and management.
Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel said: “We are very proud of our refurbished toilets. It is fantastic to have received this endorsement of their quality, with a national English Loo of the Year Award. I am particularly pleased for our hard working housekeeping team, led by Mandy Ames and specifically Erwin Mullari, who has overall responsibility for keeping the toilets looking at their best.”
The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich claims to be the oldest hotel in Britain, based on the hotel’s site being used continuously for hospitality since the early 12th century.
Now privately owned by the Chaplin family, who also run The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge, the Maids Head has 84 bedrooms and caters for a wide range of corporate events in its historic meeting and reception rooms. An ongoing programme of refurbishment and renovation has included the installation of a hi-tech capillary heating and cooling system in the oldest part of the hotel – a first for Norfolk.
Private ownership has also meant a return to a policy of local purchasing for food and drink. Visitors to the bar and restaurant can sample Maids Head Ale from Woodfordes and Winbirri wines from Surlingham.
Norwich historian Walter Rye, who also owned the Maids Head from 1889 to 1895 considered it to be: “the oldest Norman site in the city after the Castle”.
Historian Rev. Francis Blomfield explained that the hotel was built on the site of a house owned by the early Norman bishops. It was this house that became a guest house for visitors to the Cathedral. This eventually became the Murtel Fish or Molde Fish Tavern, the predecessor of The Maids Head. The tavern is first mentioned in Norwich records in 1287. John Paston recommended the Maids Head as good place to stable a horse in a letter dated 2nd November 1472, confirming the change of name.
For more information about the Maids Head Hotel see www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk, t. 01603 209955.