When I found out that Pennyhill Park was only 45 minutes away from London by car, I couldn’t believe it could offer me all it claims on its website so close to the capital. I was wrong. Pennyhill Park is indeed set in 123 acres of rolling parkland with everything you could need right on its doorstep. With a nine hole golf course, tennis court, clay pigeon shooting, archery a vast spa and two restaurants it is the ideal place for a weekend getaway.
We arrived and were greeted by the first of many delightful staff and were shown to our room, a huge junior suite with a bathroom almost matching its size. After much excitement about the sideways jet shower we headed downstairs, almost tempted to leave a trail to remember our way back. We had a quick tour, learning about the history (the main part of the hotel dates back to 1849) and some of the amazing weddings which take place here: there is a new stunning pavilion where you can now be married outside.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the spa, which covers a massive 45,00sq ft. I was lucky enough to be booked in for a massage with the lovely Natasha and the new Elemental Herbology range. This is an exciting new addition to the menu at the Spa and incorporates aromatherapy infusions with skilful therapeutic techniques. I left floating on air and so relaxed I found it hard to string a sentence together.
We then went to try the other facilities. There are eight in-door and outdoor ozone treated pools and hot tubs. The Thermal Heaven includes one of the most advanced thermal sequencing experiences in the UK with herbal saunas, aromatic laconium, tepidarium, ice cave, schnapps steam room and foot massage thrones. I was forced to try the ice-cold plunge pool, an invigorating experience made even nicer by warming up afterwards. A highlight for us was the huge indoor/outdoor Jacuzzi, which is the biggest I’ve seen.
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Of the two restaurants dinner for the evening was at the Brasserie. (the other restaurant is The Latymer which has recently been awarded 5 AA rosettes). We had a lovely table by the window and were served delicious food including crab, grouse and steak. The staff, as throughout the weekend, were attentive and chatty without being overbearing.
Feeling full and pampered we made for bed and the pillow menu – you can choose just how fluffy, air filled, mouldable or springy you like your pillows to be: we found the ones they’d provided to be perfect.
Breakfast was a feast of homemade treats, which definitely called for a session on the tennis court to burn off some calories.
We were also booked in for afternoon tea, which was a classic selection of sandwiches, scones and exquisitely decorated cakes, tarts and macaroons. Accompanied by a subtle pianist, this experience gave some of the more famous establishments in London a run for their money.
Pennyhill Park offers guests a perfect weekend for a special treat, or is the ideal place if you’re simply in need of some relaxation and top-notch pampering.
Bed and breakfast from £295 inclusive of spa entry.
Dinner from £35 per head
The Elemental Massage (60 mins) £95
Afternoon tea from £28
For reservations call 01276 486156; www.exclusivehotels.co.uk