Stay the night: Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Ipswich

Ipswich's waterfront gets an injection of glitz from this revamped hotel.

The words "Ipswich" and "glamour" don't normally go together but the recently refurbished, independently owned Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Suffolk neatly makes the connection. Set on a waterfront full of shiny new yachts and the odd traditional wooden barge, the hotel forms part of the Neptune Marina, which is being smartly developed with apartments and restaurants.

Dating back to the 1800s, the redbrick building in which the hotel is set was once a merchant's warehouse and many original features such as the arched windows, and iron columns and beams have been retained. The hotel has added 27 new rooms and revamped its lobby, which is set with bright green and orange bespoke Chesterfield sofas, and has sheer glass fronting the harbour.

The hotel brims with the work of local artists, plus Vivienne Westwood rugs and Damien Hirst posters, frivolously camp suits of armour strung with pearl necklaces, and a Kalashnikov-toting version of Michelangelo's David by a French street artist. This is a hotel that confidently seeks to amuse and interest its guests.

The rooms

The new rooms continue the soothing themes of the old – pale olive walls, plush mustard carpets and curtains – but they have luxurious curved, brown leather chaises longues from which to admire the view in comfort. Some rooms have free-standing copper baths, plus rich orange chenille throws, pixellated urban night-scene wallpaper and flat-screen televisions. Bathrooms have slate grey tiles with under-floor heating, walk-in showers, natural Ren products and quirky but homely touches such as giant wooden seahorses and large windows looking from bathroom to bedroom.

The food and drink

Even on Monday nights the refurbished Eaterie bar and restaurant, which has two AA rosettes, is buzzing with locals and guests. It has elegant leather chairs, oversized curved snugs, and plenty of friendly, attentive staff. The Eaterie serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and provides a feast for the eyes with large modern art and sculpture pieces adorning the walls. The excellent menu features mainly local delicacies such as Orford smoked salmon with lemon and capers, Dedham Vale rump steak, warm salt beef with Suffolk Mud Mayo (made with lots of grainy mustard), and potato salad with pan-fried calves liver and smoked sausage, bacon and mash. Puddings are perfectly presented and some continue the humour – rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb includes a tiny thimble of jelly, a tiny mound of rhubarb crumble and a miniature glass of rhubarb and custard. About half the extensive wine list is available by the glass. Three-course dinner without wine is from £27.40 per person.

The extras

Unusually for a hotel of this calibre, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel does not have its own spa or gym. However, day membership to a nearby gym can be arranged for £5. PlayStations are available from the reception and free WiFi is offered throughout.

Nearby, the imposing Old Custom House, built in 1845, presides over the dockside with its four-columned portico. Just a 10-minute walk brings you you to Friars Street and the Unitarian Meeting House, built in 1699, which is one of Ipswich's most important historic structures. At nearby Snape Maltings, Victorian granaries and malthouses have been converted into shops, galleries and restaurants. The unspoilt Suffolk coastal towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold are about an hour's drive away, with Aldeburgh's famous Festival of Music and the Arts taking place each June (visiteastof

The access

Access for people with disabilities on the ground floor and in lifts. Four rooms have been specially modified and there are reserved parking spaces. Pets admitted. Children welcome.

The bill

Double rooms from £100 B&B. The Dine and Recline package is available when you spend £55 or more on a three-course dinner for two, pay £70 per double room per night (saving about £65). This offer is valid for Sunday nights only until 31 December, subject to availability.

The address

1 Neptune Quay, Ipswich IP4 (12A)X (01473 226 789;

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas