AOL Travel reviews luxury country house hotel Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa in Bedfordshire
Written by: Ruth Doherty
Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa
Date published: 08/10/2011
5 / 5 stars
What's to love?
A majestic country house hotel steeped in history (it dates back to 1767) and sat in the midst of 1,000 acres of glorious countryside. A beautiful oak-framed swimming pool, a top-notch spa, and afternoon teas on the terrace overlooking a lake also had us falling head over heels.
After driving up the long and beautiful tree-lined entrance, you'll be greeted by staff at the car park, who'll direct you through to the stunning Mansion House, where more staff will be waiting to whisk away your luggage and show you through the Great Hall to reception. The splendour of the arrival gives you the feeling of entering a glamorous bygone era.
Best room in the house?
The bedrooms here boast a very traditional decor (think floral prints, curtain pelmets, swags and tails, huge old portrait paintings, dark wood...), so don't expect contemporary sleek. They're sumptuous and spacious, with wonderful views over the gardens and lake beyond. Bathrooms are luxurious, all sheeny-shiny marble tiles, and you can listen to in-built radio speakers while you bathe with yummy Molton Brown goodies. There are nine room types, starting from Deluxe Bedrooms, going all the way through to Mansion State Suites.
The Great Hall, Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa
Where to eat
Breakfast and fine-dining are served in the impressive Wernher Restaurant, which - taking the Palace of Versailles as design inspiration - is the definition of grandiose. Its walls boast huge tapestries, the ceilings are dripping with outsized chandeliers, and the fabrics and trimmings are intricate and rich. But service is super-friendly, and while this is definitely decadent, it's also accommodating. For something more informal (think contemporary with walls boasting pics of the films shot on location at Luton Hoo), try the Adam's Brasserie over at the Stables building, which also houses the spa.
This place is perfect if you're...
Celebrating a special occasion, like an anniversary or birthday; looking for a spa break with a splash of history thrown in; wanting a stylish quintessentially British getaway for a couple or the whole family (even dogs welcome).
Don't leave without...
Visiting the pool and spa. Situated five minutes away in the old stables courtyard, the outside is as picturesque as the inside is relaxing. The swimming area is one of our favourite spa pools ever, with its pretty oak-framed structure and position in charming woodland. Plus, the room's really warm (the pool not so much), so you can fully relax on the comfy poolside chairs. The massages are to-die-for (we recommend the Luton Hoo Spa 5 Senses Body Signature Treatment, 1hr 20mins, £120), and there's even a pre or post-treatment roof terrace to sit out on during summer. And, when you need to go back to the Mansion House? You tell reception, who swiftly call one of the estate's green London taxis (number plates: L Hoo 1, 2, 3 or 4), who immediately come and pick you up. Cool.
Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa
Take a cycling trip around the grounds (bikes on site), and ride down to the lake, past the rock gardens - it's a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. Also, do be aware that internet service is not free (a bugbear at any hotel), and costs £5 an hour. Although you do get 15 complimentary minutes a day.
Things to do, places to see...
We'll happily bet you won't fancy leaving the estate once you get there, but if tennis, golf, swimming, cycling, the spa and afternoon tea leave you still wanting more, there's plenty of shops, theme parks and historical sites to visit nearby. Whipsnade Zoo and Gulliver's Land are brilliant for the kids, Woburn Safari Park is a short drive, and St Albans makes for a lovely afternoon out - don't miss the Cathedral. In short, do not be put off by the word 'Luton' in the address!
Deluxe Bedrooms start from £230 a night.
Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, The Mansion House, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3TQ, 01582 698888, lutonhoo.co.uk