We stayed at the Premier Inn Hotel the night before taking the Stenaline Ferry from Harwich to Hook-of-Holland.
We had already stayed at the same hotel before during our Holiday to Holland with Center Parcs and our previous Holland holiday with Keycamp. The reason that we stayed here is that it's a low cost family friendly hotel situated very close to the Harwich Ferry terminal.
Travelling direct to the ferry would have meant leaving at about 4am which was too early especially considering how long the day would be with the ferry journey. Instead we travelled down the day before spending a day out at Clacton-on-Sea before continuing to the hotel.
There is plenty of free car parking at the hotel.
Child friendly hotel
The Premier Inn hotels are family friendly. We booked a family room and it was ready made up including two separate sofa / floor beds for our children. This was very good and meant that the children could go straight to bed after we'd finished our meal.
Evening meal at the hotel
We were not initially planning to reserve a table at the restaurant, but we did reserve at the Mayflower during check-in at the hotel. It was lucky that we had booked a table as they were operating a wait-list for tables.
It is a typical Brewer's Fayre restaurant with good food.
Breakfast and ferry timing
Stena line run ferries twice daily from Harwich to Hook of Holland. One is in the morning at 9am, the other is in the evening at 11.15pm*. We did consider the night crossing as it would be convenient arriving in the morning and whilst it would mean paying extra for a cabin it wouldn't be much more than the hotel stay. The reason we have not tried the night crossing is that it would be very late in the evening to be waking the children in the car to take them to the cabin.
We booked breakfast with the hotel booking as the children eat free and so the price was quite reasonable. As our crossing is at 9am and we needed to be at the terminal at least 1 hour before, so we would have liked to have an early breakfast. The earliest that breakfast started was 7am; we would have liked to have started a bit before then, but it did still allow enough time for breakfast before travelling to the ferry.
There was a self-service continental buffet as well as a cooked breakfast which was brought to the table.
Good night sleep
The only thing that disturbed our stay in the hotel was some noisy bikers arriving in the car park during the night. They spent some time talking right outside our hotel window. Fortunately the children slept through it and we had a good night in the hotel.
I'll certainly consider staying at the Harwich Premier Inn and Mayflower restaurant when we next sail from Harwich.
* Always check ferry times with Stenaline before making arrangements.