Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa, Bedfordshire
THE HOTEL: This magnificent five-star star Grade 1-listed mansion hotel on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire sits within formal gardens and over 1,000 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown. Elite Hotels Group opened the hotel in 2007 following a restoration programme costing over £60million. It has 228 bedrooms plus an additional 84 in Warren Weir.
THE ROOM: My room, famed for an appearance in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, was in the main Mansion House and had views across the lawns down to the lake. This traditionally decorated suite was vast and included a huge bed, sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, desk, small dining table, flat screen TV and a large ensuite bathroom with Jacuzzi bath.
THE FACILITIES: The award-winning Wernher Restaurant is excellent and offers fine dining in opulent surroundings. Business guests can enjoy facilities at the spa, gym and swimming pool or tee off for 18 holes of golf.
THE BUSINESS: This property offers a variety of meetings facilities. The mansion house has 12 different meeting rooms including the grand Romanov suite, formerly the chapel, complete with stained glass windows. Other meeting spaces are available in the Parklands building adjoining the mansion house and the Country Club, a short walk away. In contrast, the Warren Weir venue is a new, purpose built conference facility in a totally private, self-contained, tranquil setting beside the lake and River Lea. As well as 84 bedrooms and suites it has five function rooms and an indoor swimming pool. Meeting room hire starts from £300 +VAT.
THE VERDICT: In every way, a superb country house hotel with the addition of modern facilities to cater well for the needs of both business and leisure clients. The estate has much to offer guests and the friendly and efficient staff make the formal surroundings feel relaxed and welcoming.
THE DETAILS: Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, The Mansion House, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3TQ. Tel: 01582 734437. Rates start from £280 per night including breakfast. See: www.elitehotels.co.uk
Reviewed by Matt Bonner (2014)