Hotel Review: The Vineyard Hotel, Berkshire – A haven for wine lovers
Wine, vin, vino – whatever you call it, this place has it. Aptly named, The Vineyard, this 5 star hotel offers a wealth of knowledge on the elixir and holds a considerable amount of the stuff – 30,000 bottles to be exact.
The hotel celebrates its owner’s love for wine (winery owning, Sir Peter Michael) and holds a strong theme throughout the hotel, though thankfully not in an over the top way.
Upon entering the stylish reception area (all clean lines, edges and lime green accents), your attention is immediately caught by the glass corridor, which forms part of the wine cellar below – you can see to the floor below where just a fraction of the award-winning wine collection sits. This corridor leads to the crowning glory of the hotel, a large painting entitled, ‘The Judgement of Paris’ – a piece of art celebrating an iconic moment in wine history of Californian wines beating French options at a blind wine tasting.
So after checking in and arranging my massage appointment time later that day I was led to my suite and took in some of the 500 piece art collection along the way – Boris Smirnoff and Henry Martin lovers will be happy!
All of the 32 suites and 17 bedrooms are, of course, named after iconic wines! I stayed in one of the spacious split level atrium suites, fashionably designed with a large Italian marble bathroom and terrace outside. The room was elegantly decorated in natural and warm low key colours and offered plenty of light and space promoting a comforting feel.
After a quick bite to eat in the California Bar, I headed to the award-winning Vineyard Spa (awarded ‘5 Bubbles’ by the Good Spa Guide) and after a tension-relieving full body massage, I relaxed with a dip in the pool, Jacuzzi and visit to the steam room. The spa area sticks with the theme of the hotel – muted colours, stylish and comfortable. After a few more laps around the pool I returned to my suite to smarten up for my favourite part of the day – dinner!
The menu is designed by TV regular, Daniel Galmiche, a French chef who utilises local produce to dream up delightful dishes with a French/Mediterranean influence. Courses are wine matched to perfection by The Vineyard’s wine and restaurant director, Alan Holmes. After a delightful 5 course dinner – wine matched of course – I returned to the suite for a restful night’s sleep in possibly the biggest bed I have ever slept in! A full restaurant review will be available on this website very soon.
Breakfast the next day was a beefed up continental offering including smoked salmon, cheese, breads, muffins, pastries, smoothies and much more! On my way back to the suite I received many polite ‘hellos’ and ‘good mornings’ from various members of staff and enjoyed how they were not afraid of making eye contact or communicating with guests, it made me feel far more at ease than being ignored or encountering scared looking members of staff.
The Vineyard is located in Newbury and would be the perfect place to rest your head after a day at the course. Other local attractions include Highclere Castle – the setting for Downton Abbey and there is a local theatre, The Watermill Theatre.
The hotel itself offers an array of events throughout the year including wine dinners; ladies lunches hosted by designers, TV personalities, skincare experts and others; wine schools; private wine tastings and iconic wine nights. For more information on these events visit www.the-vineyard.co.uk.
In a nutshell – stylish and relaxing hotel and spa tucked away. Exquisite food and wine and the wine theme was a nice celebration as opposed to a cheesy theme.
An atrium suite can be booked for around £255 per night, for reservations call 01635 898445.
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