There’s something rather wonderful about country house hotels that are just outside of cities where you can travel just a short distance and yet feel as if you’re in the middle of nowhere. That combination of convenience and the feeling of getting away from it all is just magical. We experienced exactly this recently at the stunning Oatlands Park Hotel, which is set in beautiful English parkland and can be found just a 20-minute drive from Heathrow Airport.
Why We Love This Hotel
Oatlands Park Hotel manages to feel both classically English but with a contemporary style. We fell in love with the place instantly upon walking into the statement lobby, and despite the grand welcome, the rest of our stay more than continued to impress.
The location of Oatlands Park is just excellent. The hotel can be found on the outskirts of the charming town of Weybridge in the heart of the county of Surrey in Southern England. So, for visitors or residents of London who wish to escape the confines of the city and breathe country air for a change, this hotel is just perfect. Surrounded by 10 acres of parkland with the stunning Broadwater Lake as its masterpiece, it soothes the soul and gives you a chance to pause life for a moment.
There is so much to entertain in the surrounding area that we struggled to narrow down what we wanted to do! The well-known car museum, Brooklands, and Mercedes-Benz World are a very short drive away, with Sandown Park and Kempton Park racecourses and Wisley Gardens, Painshill Park, and Hampton Court Palace all within five miles. Both the Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures theme parks are also nearby if your party includes the young or young at heart.
Best Time To Visit
There’s really not a bad time to visit, we stayed in early spring just as the landscaped gardens were starting to wake up, but the surrounding countryside would really be beautiful in all seasons.
How To Get There
If you are driving, it couldn’t be easier to get to the hotel; you are only 2 miles from the M25, 9 miles from Heathrow Airport, and 30 miles from Gatwick Airport. If you are traveling by train, Weybridge station is literally 1 mile away, so hop in a taxi, and you’ll be relaxing at the hotel in no time at all.
Style & Character
The independently-owned hotel is housed in a spectacular listed country house. That entrance is quite something; a large square, the open-plan lobby is topped with an impressive glass-domed roof that floods the place with light. The entire room oozes class and style; there’s a small check-in desk to one side, plants and foliage everywhere, and seating scattered lightly around the room leads you to Bar 1509 and invites you to rest awhile with a chilled beverage soaking up the ambiance.
The hotel is undergoing an impressive refurbishment. The lobby has clearly already had this treatment already, as have most of the communal areas. We were lucky enough to stay in one of the newly decorated rooms, and it was beautiful, contemporary, and chic while not being too far removed from the classic English country house vibe.
Service & Facilities
The service was lovely and personal; we were greeted with a smile, and none of the staff could do enough for us. The attention to detail at dinner was evident, and come the next morning. We found the breakfast buffet to be one of the best stocked we’d come across; the food was always hot and instantly refreshed, which is not always a guarantee!
Tucked down a winding staircase, you’ll find a surprisingly well-equipped gymnasium in the stone basement so you can keep up your usual fitness regime in an interesting space. There’s a large car park on-site, and the hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi (which our devices remembered, avoiding that annoying need to keep re-registering!). The hotel also has several meeting and event spaces. It can cater for between 8 to 420 delegates as well as being a rather special wedding venue, for which you can even arrange exclusive use of the entire hotel to make your wedding day truly spectacular.
There are 144 rooms with four categories of room; Superior, Executive, Deluxe, and Feature. All the rooms have private en-suite bathrooms where you can make use of the luxurious Oatlands Park branded toiletries. They also all feature gorgeous countryside views across the gardens or wooded parkland and have a desk or side table with bucket chairs as well as tea and coffee-making facilities. The rooms get larger as you move up through the categories, so opt for Executive if you are traveling for business reasons and would like to make use of the larger desk area. If you are traveling with the family, the Deluxe Rooms are ideal as they have that bit more space to spread out and can sleep up to four guests. For a special occasion or for discerning luxury travelers, the Feature Rooms are vast with original features, beautiful bay windows, and high ceilings; they have a feeling of grandeur, and beautiful antiques and accessories add the finishing touches.
The best room for you really depends on the reasons for travel and your party’s size, but I would definitely recommend that you request one of the stunning refurbished rooms. They have really thought of everything when enhancing the guest rooms, with USB ports by the bed, sockets next to mirrors to make hairstyling that bit easier, and a feeling of light, calm, and luxury.
Food & Drink
As well as the rather fabulous Bar 1509, the hotel is home to the Mulberry Restaurant and Terrace. The restaurant enjoys panoramic views across the lake and gardens and is a light, spacious, and stylish space to dine. Feast on a seasonal, traditionally British menu with locally-sourced ingredients that are organic where possible. We thoroughly enjoyed all our meals; I can strongly recommend the Goat’s Cheese starter, and the chicken was just exquisitely cooked. They also had a wide children’s menu with all the usual suspects and some more unusual options too, which were lapped up by my children.
Come Sundays, the Mulberry Restaurant hosts the very popular Sunday Carvery Jazz sessions, where a delectable three-course Sunday lunch (choose from four roasts!) comes accompanied by the hotel’s resident Jazz trio.
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