NEXT time you check in at a hotel, try asking for an extra balcony suite – decked out as your own private restaurant, with room-service and a minibar chock-full of free booze.
Best-case scenario, you would be checking out with a charge for two rooms and a hefty dining bill.
Not at the Potters Resort in Norfolk — where this celebrity-style extra is exactly what they are offering guests, for FREE.
In one of the most creative travel innovations to come out of the Covid crisis, the holiday park has transformed 50 large en-suite hotel rooms into Covid-safe and completely self-contained en-suite restaurants.
The new concept is aimed at parties who want to get away together on a five-star, all-inclusive short break by the coast but do not want to share restaurant space with strangers.
Each en-suite restaurant takes six to 18 guests on socially distanced tables, and is available for either a three-night weekend or four-night mid-week break. They include all-day menus and a fridge full of complimentary alcoholic and soft drinks to get the party started.
Dinner is served nightly to guests in their restaurant suite and the resort’s bill of entertainment is streamed live to your accommodation on the Potters TV channel, with comedy, music, quizzes and shout-outs. Or pop out for live performances at the new South Terrace outdoor entertainment area.
Whether you opt for in-room dining or the resort’s dining hall, and watch entertainment in person, you are in for an evening of West End-standard treats.
The resort has been entertaining holidaymakers since the 1920s and is still the only privately owned holiday village of its type, having been run by four generations of the Potter family.
It has come a long way since the Hi-de-Hi!-style experience on offer in the 1970s. Now the entertainment, activities and food are on a par with luxury cruise liners, which is why Potters attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
The resort has its very own talent pool, The Potters Theatre Company made up of 70 cast and crew, which has been a breeding ground for the West End over the past decade, spawning stars including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat leading man Lee Mead and Leanne Mitchell, who won the first series of The Voice in 2012.
Every night the performers lay on shows in the resort’s own two-storey auditorium, with music from all generations. The spectacles include Broadway and Beyond, Battle of the Boy Bands, Girl Power and Legends — each featuring the latest light, sound and visual technology.
It is no wonder some of the biggest stars in UK music, theatre and comedy, including Michael Ball, Brian Conley, Lulu and Jon Culshaw perform one-off gigs here. Not that the Atlas Theatre is short of laughs by any means.
Each night, and throughout the day, the entertainment at Potters is directed by the resort’s famed comedy team including Mark Brewer, James R. Hearn and Buzby Allen, who have their audience in stitches with their unique hosting.
Indeed, which other show presenters squirt their audience with water guns when they do not get involved in the pre-show “pom-pom” routine to the sound of Carmina Burana? For those unfamiliar, it’s the music X Factor judges walked out to, and the soundtrack for Rodney clapping eyes on “devil” nephew Damien in Only Fools and Horses.
Throughout the year, Potters offers various breaks suitable for families and get-togethers with friends — including Sixties-music themed getaways which are scheduled for early next year. Adult-only weekends are drinks- inclusive from 7pm, while the family breaks run to three or four days.
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There are plenty of pre-bookable activities — adhering to social distancing and cleanliness rules — to keep your clan entertained. Assault courses, climbing walls, football, golf, tennis, badminton, a spa and swimming pool is just some of the fun on offer.
And for the less physical, or the hungover, there are quizzes and games led by the comedy team in the Terrace Bar. This is also the venue for post-show entertainment, where more late-night food is served.
You can see the talents of Potters Theatre Company during lockdown by visiting the resort’s Facebook page, as they are belting out live performances from their homes. Just imagine how good they will sound in a state-of-the-art theatre — or even better, your own en-suite restaurant.
GO: POTTERS RESORT, HOPTON-ON-SEA
STAYING THERE: Three nights’ at the resort is fromstarts from £349 per adult and £219 per child starting from July 24 and running throughout the summer.
Find more details at pottersholidays.com/new-breaks-for-a-new-normal.
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