With the understated elegance of its classical townhouse façade, Poets House proudly stands overlooking the home of Oliver Cromwell and Ely Cathedral – fitting splendidly into the historic atmosphere of one of the UK’s smallest cities (beaten only by Wells in Somerset, fact lovers!)
Just a short walk from many of Ely’s city centre attractions, Poets House is a modern and super stylish hotel, while still retaining the townhouse’s most beautiful original features such as its columns, fireplaces and staircases.
Happily surprised by a tray of pastries and sweets welcoming us to our room, Poets House made me wish I had some tiny speck of interior design aptitude, as I absolutely loved how our beautiful suite was decorated in decadent shades of silver, grey and black and was desperate to copy its luxurious style in my own home (sadly, probably never to happen)!
Instead I focused on enjoying the opulence of our room for the length of our stay. The suite itself is grand in size, with a soft, inviting bed, chaise lounge, lots of open space and its impressive centrepiece – a freestanding copper bath. The bathroom was also surprisingly large; with a roomy rain shower for those times you want a quick wash rather than a long soak.
The room came with a smart TV on the wall, which you could watch comfortably from the bed or the bath, and with our suite being at the front of the hotel we also had a wonderful view of the cathedral, making the location feel even more special.
When it comes to amenities, oddly the room didn’t have a minibar, but it did have a kettle and so I was more than content. For those that prefer a cold beverage however, the hotel’s bar is just a short walk away, so it’s not too much of an ordeal! I did feel though, that the storage space was quite sparse for a room of this size, with just one wardrobe. But to be fair, this was more than enough for us to store everything we’d packed for our two-night stay, which is about the right length of time needed to see the city’s main sights.
Eager to try out the bath, which wouldn’t be out of place in a Game of Thrones palace, within an hour of arriving at our room I had the hot water running.
Filling quicker than my own bath at home, I discovered it surprisingly easy to get in and out of, and was the most comfortable, and deepest, bath I’d ever had. In a nutshell, it was bathing bliss and I’d recommend a stay at Poets House for this alone!
Dining at Poets House
Invited for pre-dinner drinks in the bar, we found some cosy looking chairs looking out over the courtyard and perused the cocktail menu. Poet’s House has its own mixologist in the bar, so Justin had to try out the ‘cocktail of the month’ while I went for my favourite, a kir royale.
Open to the public, in the day the bar was bustling with people partaking in its popular afternoon tea, however, in the evening, it was much more peaceful, with just a few guests enjoying drinks whilst listening to the perfect lounge music – Postmodern Jukebox.
After enjoying our drinks we were then ushered into the dining room, where the beautiful grey and silver styling continues, and began to choose what we wanted to eat.
Poets House offers some great affordable luxury dining options, with a great à la carte menu on offer for a set price of £20, £25 or £30 depending on how many courses you choose. The food itself was both beautifully cooked and presented, with highlights including the seared cod and warm rabbit terrine.
Breakfast was equally enjoyable, with a good continental spread (including Parma ham – win!). But the best part had to be the hot food cooked to order, which included a full English, eggs benedict and the pièce de résistance – smoked salmon and scrambled egg on toasted brioche! A great start to the day.
Service at Poets House is impeccable. The front desk staff are always happy to help, and if there’s anything you need in your room, a member of staff will quickly bring it to you. This level of quality continued in the bar and dining room, with attentive and knowledgeable staff happy to answer questions or help with any dietary requirements. Everyone we interacted with at the hotel was courteous and welcoming.
Poets House – what we thought
If you’re after a quiet, relaxing break in a luxurious setting, Poets House should definitely be on your list. The service – and my beautiful suite – left me feeling like a classic Hollywood star escaping the limelight for a weekend of relaxation and good food.
Perfectly placed to walk into the city centre, the Cathedral or down to the river (all less than a 10 minute walk away), the hotel manages to balance being in the heart of the city whilst feeling like you’re out in the country. Plus once you’ve had your fill of Ely, it’s an easy drive to take a day trip to another beautiful British city, Cambridge, just 17 miles away.
Of course few places are perfect – here the lack of on-site parking lets it down, but if you don’t want to pay the £15 valet fee, it has a small car park stuck away a few streets from the hotel and there’s many free city car parks very close by. But this aside, Poets House offers luxurious accommodation at a price that doesn’t break the bank and is perfect for a special break, such as a birthday or anniversary.
Bed and breakfast at Poets House starts at £160, with our suite (room 12) costing £280 per night.
My stay at Poets House was complimentary for the purposes of review but as ever, all views are my own.