There is nothing like a luxury hideaway in the heart of the English countryside to make one feel rejuvenated. And a certain retreat in the home counties delivers opulent accommodation, fine dining and one of the best spa experiences in the UK, complete with a musical pool. Venture down the plush tree-lined drive and emerge at the entrance of a grand ivy-clad manor house. This lavish location is a haven of privacy, Surrey’s very own English Rose – Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa.
Set in 123 acres of lush woodland and Surrey’s rolling hills, this five-star resort has 124 bedrooms across a sprawling estate, which is both modern and traditional and hidden away from the world. Travellers can unwind in Pennyhill’s 45,000 sq ft award-winning spa, eager epicurean guests can devour delicious food at Latymer, a Michelin star gourmet dining restaurant or engage in genteel conversation at the Ascot Bar.
The very name Penny Hill Park deliciously rolls off the tongues of its well-to-do guests at dinner parties. Staying there is something special, it’s no wonder the England Rugby Team call it their second home. Oozing with five-star sophistication, the hotel offers the ideal luxury country hotel retreat for ultra-elite guests. This elegant estate is both intimate and yet expansive and at its heart is a refined 18th century manor house that presides over an ornate koi pond and the wider grounds.
Inside are chic chandeliers, splendid tapestries, and classic furniture, within 26 rooms offering a fusion of modern-day and historic touches. This Exclusive Hotels flagship property also showcases a contemporary ‘fairy-tale’ building featuring 98 more luxury bedrooms and suites within a turreted extension opposite the main house. Although there is a regal air about the resort, the ambiance is warm and friendly.
What sets this hotel apart from others is the individuality of each boutique room and suite. Some are decorated in a luxury country-cottage-style, while others exude old world glamour with four-poster beds, ceiling beams and character. Elegant beds are dressed in quality linens and there is a pillow menu to choose from, and the stellar stand-alone suites are attended by in-room dining butlers.
In the Manor House, the lavishly decorated Heywood suite on the first-floor commands stunning views from its private terrace. High-beamed ceilings tell the history of Pennyhill Park complete with its lavish royal blue and gold furnishings and ornate four poster bed carved out of dark wood. Innovative luxury can be found at The Granary, a two-storey stand-alone suite close to the spa, set within a bijou private landscaped garden. The ground floor’s dining and study area features a sofa-bed and desk. A luxury bathroom is equipped with a double basin, walk-in shower and freestanding copper bathtub.
It is easy to see why Pennyhill Park won the Best Spa in the South East award at the Good Spa Awards 2018. From the moment you step through the health retreat’s door, you’ll forget about the world outside. Slip on a bathrobe and slippers and discover 23 treatment rooms, fitness suites and thermal heaven heat experiences within a mini paradise.
A ‘zen-like’ nirvana of eight indoor and outdoor pools showcases a stunning ballroom swimming pool with underwater music. Here you can dive beneath the water swimming in rhythm to relaxing melodies, while fully immersed in your own private world. This Greco-Roman style bath area is lined with limestone pillars, statues and marble floors, all lit by soft blue and pink lighting.
Within the spa’s haven of tranquillity, Thermal Heaven serves up six experience rooms where one can bask in the warmth of a heated tepidarium tiled bed while gradually falling asleep. Then go on a warm air sequencing journey in the labyrinth of herbal steam rooms, laconicum’s and an ice cave. Spa-goers soak their tired feet in one of four footbaths then step into the indoor pool, swimming outside to the warm hot tubs. After relaxing a while, they climb out onto the decked area, find a lounger to recline on and catch some rays.
Guests sip on infused waters and herbal tea as they wait to be called in for their diamond energy facials that leave skin glowing. The spa’s own brand products are laced with honey from Pennyhill’s own bees. After treatments guests head upstairs to the candle-lit sensory room to warm up and dry off ready for dinner.
Guests can book a table at Latymer for an exclusive dining experience, which holds one star by the Michelin Guide and 4 AA Rosettes. At the helm is Steve Smith, renowned for his modern British fayre featuring the finest seasonal ingredients. Located in the oldest and grandest parts of the manor house, this decadent restaurant is surrounded by wooden panels as diners sink into plush floral chairs upholstered with bold and rich fabrics beneath a beamed ceiling. The former Brasserie is soon to reopen as the Hillfield Restaurant and Bar and is eagerly anticipated by guests. After a breakfast to set spa-goers up for the day, Thermis provides a gourmet salad bar alongside swordfish steak, chicken quinoa salad, tiger prawn noodles or a selection of sandwiches.
Walk off that food by exploring Pennyhill’s grounds in search of a 600-year-old Cedar tree, then ride a bike into Swinley Forest or jog the perimeter tracks and then find a sun-drenched terrace for a relaxing afternoon sipping a ‘G and T.’ The Ascot Bar serves incredible cocktails and one can order an exclusive Afternoon Tea, designed by Head Pastry Chef Sarah Frankland has designed a delicious menu featuring seasonal classic pastries.
Visitors join an exclusive club of travellers who enjoy being cocooned in a luxury universe in the heart of the English landscape. This exclusive heaven of exquisiteness is also well connected, perfectly close to Ascot, just seven miles from the Royal Enclosure for ticket holders who wish to combine a weekend away from the city with a trip to the races. It is also not far from Windsor and Twickenham.
Rooms can be booked from £310.
All imagery provided by Pennyhill Park.