Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa and Spa, part of the Relais Chateaux group of hotels, is a country house hotel near the beautiful city of Bath, on the edge of the Cotswolds, set in acres of listed parkland.
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This hotel is less than half an hour’s drive from central Bath.
Style & Character
You approach this impressive hotel up a long treelined driveway. In the Spring, carpets of yellow daffodils run down either side of the driveway in the spring – magic! Upon entering Lucknam Park Hotel through the double doors, you are met by a large elegant room with wooden-clad walls and a reception desk in the corner. To your left, you pass through a beautiful library to reach a pastel-pink cream tea room and bar. To your right is the Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant. Straight on leads through the courtyard and to the swimming pool.
Our room, a “Grand Suite” called Apricot, was one of 42 rooms on offer and was situated at the front of the building, with a vista that included the driveway and ran across the entire front of the property. These views are breathtaking, especially when the dew catches the sun first thing in the morning. I peered into a few more rooms and found the ones to the back of the building to be much darker and less appealing, hence would recommend booking a “Grande Suite” and requesting a view of the driveway.
The room was finished in a very traditional style with a pastel carpet, a hotchpotch of old antique drawer sets, and old-fashioned antique furniture, all sympathetic to the style and feel of the property. Large windows offered wonderful views, and the cream palette gave the whole suite a bright and airy feel. The room also had a fireplace that the hotel staff would light for you on a cold evening and a large well-appointed marble bathroom. Without the television placed between the windows, I would have felt like I’d stepped back in time.
Service & Facilities
After breakfast, we explored a tiny portion of 500 acres of grounds which are just gorgeous and seem mainly used for numerous equestrian activities on a beautiful array of horses. Most guests spend the day visiting the nearby National Trust properties or head straight over to the excellent pool area, a huge modern pool with an indoor-outdoor spa pool that overlooks the gardens. This pool is an absolute highlight of this country house hotel. Light, modern, large, and immaculate, just a great place to swim and sunbathe. There is also a separate Spa house beyond the pool and to the back of the main house, which I didn’t try.
Food & Drink
In the evening, we enjoyed a few beers in the bar/lounge area, which doubled as the cream tea lounge during the day. This lounge was decorated ornately in pastel pinks with old-fashioned armchairs for seating. It again boasted beautiful views across the parkland and was very large and quiet. It was so quiet that I could hear the wind whistle in through the crack in the window frame next to me. There were other guests in this lounge playing cards and speaking in muted tones, but it was almost as if no one group of guests wanted to disturb the other guests. All a bit too formal for my taste.
For food, we tried the Bistro, which was connected to the spa and pool area with a wood-burning pizza oven and a large terrace for the summer months. The food here really was rather good. I loved the handmade pasta and the pigeon dishes. If I had a criticism, it would be that the modern feel and decor of the brasserie didn’t befit the style and mood already set by such a traditional and historic hotel. The hotel’s main restaurant holds a Michelin star, but the formal dress code kept us out.
In the morning, we took breakfast in the main restaurant. This huge room with chandeliers and high ceilings was populated with the same guests, almost whispering in the same muted tones as in the bar the night before, I can’t fault the staff, and the breakfast itself was good, but the formal atmosphere persisted.
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa is certainly a beautiful hotel in a beautiful setting. The food was good, and I dare say the main restaurant’s food would have been excellent. However, for me, little touches were missing. A pretty courtyard window just along from our room was being used as a storage area for an old Hoover, which I passed every time I left the room. A real shame when such an effort had been made across the same corridor with just stunning flower arrangements that left the whole hotel smelling wonderful.
I am left with fond memories of sweetly scented flowers, elegant surroundings, and immense views from the Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa. For me, the hotel felt overly stuffy, but with the addition of a tinkling piano player into the evening and the attention to detail that turns a good hotel into a great hotel, a good stay could be turned into a great one.
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