First look at Carrow Road hotel
The new £9m Holiday Inn overlooking Norwich City’s football pitch in Carrow Road has opened, giving fans a view of the gound from their rooms. However, strict security is in place to stop guests smuggling extra people into their rooms.
The new £9m hotel overlooking the hallowed Carrow Road turf at Norwich City Football Club has opened.
Holiday Inn Norwich City, which is between the Jarrold Stand and the Barclay End, offers 150 air-conditioned bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, a fitness suite, a meeting room for up to 20 delegates, wi-fi internet access in all public areas and complementary car parking.
But for football fans, the main advantage is that the 72 rooms at the back of the hotel have a view of the pitch.
However, a series of stringent rules have been laid down by police to make sure guests do not sneak people in to watch games for free.
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No more than two adults are allowed in guest rooms overlooking the football pitch on match days for a period of one hour before or one hour after a home match.
No banners or signs can be displayed at or hung from windows facing the football pitch at any time.
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And for security reasons, no person subjected to a Football Banning Order can be admitted to into the hotel on a day when Norwich City are scheduled to play a home football match.
Special brackets will be placed on the windows overlooking the pitch to prevent objects from being thrown towards the pitch or stands. Two Security Industry Authority (SIA) door staff will also be on duty at the hotel for a period starting at least one hour before kick-off and one hour after.
Neil Sewell, general manager of the Holiday Inn Norwich City, said “We can issue guests with recommendations on how to behave on match days, and we will expect guests to keep to the regulations laid down by the police. We can also restrict the number of people per bedroom through our booking system.
“But I don't see our location as having a big impact on the number of guests at any particular times. I don't think we will be busier or less busy on match days. We are only talking about 22 match days a year, anyway.
“Guests in rooms overlooking the pitch will also not be able to be seen drinking from the pitch, just like people watching the game from the stands.”
Introductory accommodation rates for the first month starts from £105 per room, per night inclusive of vat, or £115 per room, per night, inclusive of full breakfast and vat. Rates are the same whether Norwich are playing or not.
A 150-year lease was granted to the hotel company in return for a payment of £1.1m to the club, which has negotiated a 30pc stake in the business.
t Are you one of the hotel's first guests? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org