A luxury stay close to London
Lulu Townsend, friend of Further Afield and founder of www.lulusluxurylifestyle.com tells us why Great Fosters, luxury hotel in Surrey, is a dream for all seasons.
There are very few luxury hotels within easy reach of not only London Heathrow airport but the centre of London itself. In fact, if not travelling with children (I’ll explain later on), Great Fosters is so easily accessible from both you needn’t bother with a car.
Great Fosters is one of the five Alexander Hotels which opened their first hotel in 1994. The collection includes Barnett Hill, Rowhill Grange (both part of the Further Afield collection), flagship hotel Alexander House and Langshott Manor (which is now available for exclusive rental) and they’re all within an hour of London. The magnificent Tudor mansion that is now Great Fosters became part of the group in 2018.
Minutes from the M25 this small luxury hotel has been transformed into a 42-room boutique hotel that welcomes everyone including families and dogs. Surrounded by 50 acres of stunning grounds and gardens filled with sculptures, water features and beautiful listed topiary mazes it’s a summer’s delight; a magnificent Afternoon Tea is served in the gardens or on the terrace. I visited in October and the heated pool was open, the gardens looked stunning and the setting was simply glorious. I even enjoyed a few cocktails and a candlelit dinner outside on the heated terrace.
The reason I suggest travelling by car with children is that with Windsor, Legoland and Chessington World of Adventures on the doorstep there’s so much to see and do. BUT if you do prefer to stay on site to enjoy the gorgeous setting, you can take advantage of the heated pool (when I visited in late 2020 there were plans for it to be open year-round), book in some tennis coaching or send the little ones off on a treasure hunt. Family rooms at Great Fosters are large and luxurious and there are plenty of surprises and treats in store for the children.
Rooms at Great Fosters
I stayed in the Queen Anne Suite, I loved the bathroom (large walk-in shower, rolltop bath, heated towel and a welcome plethora of towels!) and the views across the gardens were spectacular.
The Panel Suite is probably my favourite with a four-poster bed draped in luscious fabrics, it’s literally fit for a king. If you’re a history boff then if budget allows book The Tapestry Suite. This is where Charlie Chaplin used to stay and his family stayed in the suite above, rumour has it there’s a secret passage connecting the two, but it’s not yet been found, I was definitely tempted to start looking while I was there!
Dining in style at Great Fosters
Great Fosters is a perfect hotel to book for a mid-week break, where you can enjoy a delicious cocktail in the bar and the perfect fillet steak in The Estate Grill. If you’re a gourmet traveller then you may prefer the more refined Michelin star experience in Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room.
All COVID-19 precautions are in place and there are hand sanitisers dotted around the building, along with a one-way system making you feel safe which nowadays is key.
During the cooler months there’s no better place to be than curled up in front of one of the fires with a frothy hot chocolate and Afternoon Tea. Ideal for a one-night winter break to feel revitalised, pampered and refreshed.