Andover House

Our Story

Our 7 New Rooms for Great Yarmouth


The renovations are over and 7 brand new, contemporary rooms are keeping us busier than ever. After 7 months of building work and interior design decisions, the rooms have been receiving great comments from those that have already tried them out. If you’ve already tried one out, don’t forget to let everyone else know your thoughts at TripAdvisor.

Renovated hotel

Proud Award Winners

This one goes out to our Guests, the source of peace of mind that we are getting it right. Thank you.

I could blame many people for putting me in a mood of total gratitude and appreciation. When we discovered that we had been nominated as Finalists at the EDP Visit Norfolk Tourism Awards, 2015, we entered the biggest gratification ride of all.

Because so many guests took time out to vote for us, Andover House received a couple of visits from some super lovely people. We met judges, Richard Turvill, Camplings Linen and Mark Durrant, Kelling Heath Holiday Park for the Customer Care Award in full honour of our very own Kris Coutigan. We also met Lannassir Lawes, Swank Interiors and Anna Stevenson, Norfolk Food & Drink Ltd for the Best Independent Hotel Award.

To be invited as Finalists for both categories at Potters Leisure Resort, and be recognised amongst so many fabulous Norfolk tourism businesses was inspiring. Kris was a very worthy winner of the Customer Care award, a great boost for the entire team. Sorry I cried, Kris! It was emotional to say the least.

I am so privileged to have the opportunity to work with people that really do give a toot about guest’s wants and wishes.

They know we love them all!

These names should be in lights…Isabel. Maria. Jessica. Soraia. Vania. Sandra. Honorata. Dave. Sintija. Mandy. Vilma. Kris.

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Educated in the land of William Wordsworth for 10 years, a Mallory Towers experience through and through, I was a Royal Air Force kid – never in one place, always going home for the holidays to a new house!

School was all about sailing, jumping off jetties, fell walking, camping under cobbled together shelters in the rain, musicals, dance and midnight feasting. When it was time to pop the bubble and join the real world, Norfolk became my sanctuary. I dabbled in many jobs while completing my degree in English Literature. Eventually, marketing and live events would hold my full attention.

Phil and I met at work, an Experiential Marketing Agency, creating brand experiences on the road. Dad was in Saudi, training fighter pilots, when we got the call. He was about to purchase a rundown hotel in Great Yarmouth. Over 20 years as a fighter pilot may have sent him slightly wild! At this point, we casually got on with our own plans.

Dad’s new purchase was in a great location for the sandy beach and town of Great Yarmouth. Slap bang in the middle of a tree lined avenue at the right end of town, dating back to the 1800’s, it was quite fabulous. The only problem was, the interior was dreadful, to put it mildly! The decor was not for the faint hearted. 20 years as an untouched hotel had not been kind. But the original building was just stunning, if you could see past the threadbare carpets and peeling wallpaper.

hotel renovation

But would you believe it! Phil had a natural talent for property renovation so the doors swiftly closed and project Andover House was underway. Albeit 9 months of incredibly hard graft, baby no. 2 and still trying to find a new home.

I took on the interior and opening plans, Phil took on the build, Dad took on the finances, Mum was an essential support at home (most important job of all). We each brought our talents to the table and stuck to them.

As the project took shape, ideas started to flow for the ‘type’ of hotel we wanted to open. We knew we wanted a stylish place for our guests, offering a more unique and personal experience but at the same time being attractive to those that are cost conscious.

Not only did we want to revamp a 20 bedroom hotel, we also wanted to incorporate a restaurant into the plans. A whole new ball game but a very exciting one!

Most new restaurateurs want to serve the food they love cooking at home; we just wanted to increase the experience for our future guests! But most importantly, we are not the sort of family to ponder over things for too long. Once we have an idea, we roll with it!

Weeks away from completing, we were sourcing a Manager, housekeepers, waiting staff and kitchen staff to join our adventures. An intense cook off took place in Norwich and we selected our Head Chef to lead our gleaming, new commercial kitchen.

We started to pull together the AH brand, a website, newspaper adverts, a launch party, booking systems, telephones, computers, fire alarms, staff responsibilities, purchasing plates, cutlery, beds, lights, toilets, carpets, towel rails, napkins, key fobs… you name it, we were doing it! I’m not going to lie, it was great fun!

May 15th, 2008 – the doors opened complete with chocolate dipping strawberries on your way in! Not sure what happened to ‘time’ actually, it all seemed to escape by in a haze. But this was just the beginning.

At least being an individual, family run hotel we could be more flexible than chain hotels when it came to adapting service style and the business model. We just seemed to get better and better at recognising what our guests want from us and how to keep the business secure.

The end result is that we are 7 years in, more wiser, more excited about the future and have made many unexpected friendships!

Always learning, always beginning something new.

Renovated hotel

You’re more than just a hotel check-in.

After months of designing, building, transforming and planning, my husband and I – along with the folks, opened the doors to Andover House with titanic anticipation.

With interior design in mind, the ‘home front’ was an imperative element. When looking after guests that are working away from home so often or entertaining those that are escaping the kids for the night, this impressive Victorian building lent itself to delivering a touch of homely charm and style.

Not only did the building receive full cosmetic treatment with a little non-intrusive surgery, we also had a mountain of ideas and processes to climb. So we went back to basics – we had to ask ourselves, what are our own expectations when we check into a hotel and did our guests want the same level of standards?

Like us, today’s guests are looking for a unique and personal experience when staying away from home. They value variety, choice and individuality. They are cost conscious. Small family run hotels and guests houses bring the valuable benefits of common values, strong commitment and loyalty which in turn creates a warm and welcoming environment.

So, the drive to deliver authentic hospitality and excellent guest service began! We created a restaurant that now serves “contemporary, bold and innovative” food (Trip Advisor, Chris W, London). We trained up a small team of dedicated people who now provide a “service above and beyond all expectations” (Trip Advisor, Natasha B, London). We also ensure every room is “always kept extremely clean” (Mitchell, Banff in Scotland).

However, it really boils down to the smaller details – a warm welcome with your bags carried to your room, your usual favourite peppermint tea on the bedside or being upgraded because we appreciate your choice to return to us again – makes you feel appreciated.

We like ‘creatures of habit’ at Andover House! By those I mean, the guests who return every year like clockwork. We suddenly have all the answers before they arrive… extra pillows, the wine of personal choice ready on offer, favourite room, early risers and those that like to stay out to the early hours!

We can answer them all. We even welcome back those that are part of the ‘Andover House family’.

You instantly become more than just a ‘check-in’ at Andover House and we very much hope that you feel very welcome until the moment you check out.

We like to feel appreciated when we stay in a hotel, so why shouldn’t you.