Pennyhill Park Hotel and Span, Surrey
THE HOTEL: Part of the Exclusive Hotels group, Pennyhill Park offers 123 rooms and suites set in 120 acres of Surrey parkland. It is close to J3 of the M3 and is 50 minutes from central London by train and 20 minutes drive from Heathrow.
THE CHECK-IN: My room wasn't ready on arrival but the concierge took my bags and the receptionist registered me and invited me to make use of all the facilities. Later, I was shown to my room by the concierge who talked me through its various facilities.
THE ROOM: I had a duplex apartment suite with tasteful lounge and toilet downstairs, and bedroom and large bathroom above. A Samsung tablet provided information on the hotel, the in-room dining, DVD selection, spa and internet access. The spacious bedroom had two armchairs, a super king-sized bed, TV, safe, fridge and dressing table. There were tea and coffeemaking facilities and a Bose sound system. The bathroom had a heated floor, free-standing bath, TV, twin basins and a rainforest shower.
THE BUSINESS: There was wifi throughout the property, 22 meeting spaces – many with garden terraces – and two business centres. Videoconferencing is available on request. Corporate packages include spa treatments, golf, archery, wine tasting, team games and cocktail making. Bookings are for a minimum of 10 people. DDR rates from £85 plus VAT or 24 hours from £290.
THE FACILITIES: The hotel's facilities include a nine-hole golf course, shooting range, tennis court, sports pitch and 45,000sqft spa with eight indoor and outdoor pools, 22 treatment rooms and a 3,000sqft gym. The Latymer restaurant is one of only eight UK restaurants to carry five AA Rosettes while the brasserie was good for informal dining. The Ascot Bar served cocktails, light meals and afternoon tea.
THE VERDICT: A quite stunning property in extensive grounds which provides the perfect country retreat while still being close enough to the motorway and rail networks serving London. The staff were extremely attentive and made for a relaxed stay.
THE DETAILS: Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa, London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU. Rates start from £365 for a traditional guest room and the apartment suites start from £695 per night, room only. Both rates are inclusive of VAT. www.pennyhillpark.co.uk.
Reviewed by David Clare (2014)