March 3, 2024

De Vere Wokefield Estate

THE HOTEL: This mansion house hotel, originally built in the 1560s as a private family home, is set in 250 acres of peaceful Berkshire countryside so feels a million miles from urban life but is actually a mere 15 minutes’ drive from Reading town centre and 40 minutes from Heathrow.

THE CHECK-IN: Although a fair walk from the car park to reception, the check-in was efficient and friendly and I was soon in my room, one of 12 luxury suites and 87 guestrooms in the Mansion House itself, all of which were refreshed as part of a £20 million refurbishment in 2018.

THE ROOM: With another 222 rooms in Wokefield Place and 40 in Wellington Lodge, there are 376 rooms in all. As part of the £20 million spend, 248 rooms were refurbished and the others had a soft refurb. My room was very spacious with far-reaching views over the hotel’s sports pitches and countryside beyond. It had a very comfortable king-size bed, desk, leather sofa, large LCD TV, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities, fridge and a Roberts radio. The bathroom had double sinks, a bath tub (some suites have roll-top baths) and a separate rain shower. 

THE BUSINESS: The estate boasts an impressive 39 event spaces, from intimate meeting rooms for six to the 500-capacity Wokefield Suite. A dedicated conference centre at Wokefield Place has been kitted out with the latest tech. 

THE FACILITIES Breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner is served in the bright and airy 1560 Restaurant & Bar. The adjoining terrace is perfect for al fresco dining or drinks looking out over the estate. The View restaurant and bar at Wokefield Place is open every evening until 9pm and for sports fans Benedict’s has large screens. There’s also a fully-equipped gym and indoor pool and, last but not least, a par 72 championship golf course (play mid-week for £35) and a Golf Academy where you can hit some balls in the floodlit range or take a golf lesson with a PGA Professional. 

THE VERDICT: This hotel has a real sense of grandeur in a tranquil setting (you can borrow Hunter wellies and explore the grounds). The refurb and the high-tech conference facilities make it a firm favourite for corporate gatherings.

THE DETAILS: De Vere Wokefield Estate, Goodboys Lane, Reading RG7 3AE. Double rooms from £119 including breakfast.