Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa – Bagshot, Surrey

Luxurious British Hotel Spas.  When you want countryside luxury and tranquility in a beautiful setting, friends of yours will all tell you that they know the best one to go to….

They are all wrong. Every last one of them… Unless they say Pennyhill.

Frankly, unless their suggestion is also a 123 acre, Ivy covered 19th-century country paradise, complete with a 45,000sq ft spa and a 2 Michelin Star restaurant, then you should question why they even offered an opinion on the matter.

The Rooms:

No two are the same. Having stayed there a number of times, I can confirm that this is in fact true.

In keeping with the style of the building that they are in, the suites range from two floor apartment suites, to their Wentworth suite which is far more focussed on design.

Other particularly luxurious features are the private balcony overlooking their vast acres of countryside in The Heywood suite and the bathroom hot-tub in the “Twickenham Suite” which are big enough to fit 10 normal sized people or half a Rugby team… This is lucky as the hotel is the Official hotel and training base for the England Rugby Team.

The Food:

The Latymer has not one but two Michelin stars and has earned both of them with ease in my opinion.

Awarded its first in 2009, in 2011 it also became one of only eight UK restaurants to be awarded the highly prestigious accolade of five AA Rosettes. 2012 saw it awarded its 2nd Michelin star, cementing it as one of Britains rarities in culinary peerage.

Why? Well it could be the chef Michael Wignall. HIs career has seen him cooking at restaurants like Broughton Park, L’Ortolan, The Cliveden, Michael’s Nook (where he took over as head chef after William Drabble) and The Devonshire Arms. Impressive CV.

He has created a 7 or 10 course tasting menu which include, “Loire valley rabbit, girolles, wet polenta, compressed apple, puffed quinoa; and desserts such as iced lime mousse, crispy coconut and sorbet, poached pineapple.”

Personal favourites include dishes such as; Milk fed lamb with oyster root puree, white & red chicory, braised chard and roasted ceps. Also, warm Anjou squab pastrami with onion gel, duck tongue chargrilled spring onion, spiced shallots, Jerez reduction and nigella seeds. If you have more of a sweet tooth, puddings such as Yorkshire rhubarb, with caramelized white chocolate, nitro ginger and buerre noisette crumble will change you for the better.

Should you fancy something a little lighter and want to enjoy their gardens, then they do and afternoon tea complete with scones, sandwiches and pastries… Whats that you say? Made in their very own Bakery? Mais Oui. This is all true.

Should it be your birthday, then they will make you your very own birthday cake. If you prefer your tea served with champagne (who doesnt) then you can have a few glasses of bubbles while taking in the surroundings.

After tea or pre/post dinner, you can take in a couple of cocktails either al fresco by the Spa or in the Ascot bar by the Brasserie.

The spa:

It is 45,000 square feet.

Suffice it to say that this spa is one of the most spectacular when you consider its combination of treatments, steam rooms, EIGHT indoor and outdoor hottubs and swimming pools (one with the standard underwater music, I am sure you have all come to expect from your dreams), plunge pools and all round fabulous designs.

In particular, should you be partial to your skin feeling like a piece of silk (assuming that you are), then I would recommend one of their signature facials. I personally like the Chakra Facial, which uses chakra crystals with this “deeply cleansing and balancing facial”. If you are not a fan of spiritual chakras et al, I can assure you, you will be a convert after you leave with your skin feeling as good as this.

Should you have some sort of strange allergy to spas, or have some strange burning desire to exert yourself (No judgement), then they also have a Tennis Court and a Golf Course.

So, if you want to be totally spoiled for a celebration, a special gift or because frankly you just deserve it, then book the first of your many return trips to Pennyhill. Then dissown all your friends that reccomended other Spa Hotels.

Pennyhill Park – London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU, England, UK