From a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne for breakfast to fizzy cocktails on the terrace as the sun sets, the fine Mansion House and location of Bedfordshire’s 5 star Luton Hoo hotel is must visit location to indulge yourself in luxury and a glass of bubbly or two.
I was kindly invited to take a few days visit (and you need a few days to explore this venue) to review Luton Hoo hotel, golf and spa that is set within over 1,000 acres of well maintained parkland, woodlands, lakes and more with many pathways and nature trails to explore it all, and just like I did, even stop to take a well earned picnic and to open a bottle of bubbly to enjoy. Golf course, swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna and steam room are all there for you to take advantage of enabling you to further relax in the welcoming and prestigious atmosphere that this venue offers.
Arriving at Luton Hoo, just a few minutes drive from junction 10 of the M1, you enter the glorious park lands and a few minutes relaxing and calming drive takes you up the impressive mansion house of Luton Hoo that holds a history dating back to 1601. Same many recognise the property from films and television shows to include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Enigma, Eyes Wide Shut, Inspector Morse, Nicholas Nickleby, Vanity Fair and Bleak House and it is easy to see what it is chosen so frequently from its impressive appearance omitting luxury and pleasing architectural boldness.
As you park up and make your way to the Mansion House you are warmly welcomed by the staff at the door helping you with your cases and guiding you to the reception so to book in to your room. You can clearly see that great care has been taken to maintain the internal character of the building with both fine decor and furniture everywhere in a relaxing foyer area.
A sweeping stair case (that I recognise from The World Is Not Enough where James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) waits at the bottom of and is summoned up by Elektra King) will lead you upstairs to the room I was given which I was pleased to know was the Queen Mary suite which I had heard hosted film stars Johnny Depp and Judi Dench previously. The rooms are grand and most certainly luxury in style and furnishing, inviting bedrooms and bathrooms telling you that you are can to over indulge yourself in spending a few days of pure relaxation and being spoilt.
The room gives everything you’d come to expect from a five star hotel with what for me are the important extras of dressing gowns, slippers, all toiletries, tea/coffee and kettle, fridge, television, magazines, writing desk, wifi internet and high speed internet available, plenty of plugs including bedside and more. The design of the room calms you instantly and you initially take a few minutes to relax down following your drive… Then you ready to explore all the delights that Luton Hoo hotel, golf and spa has to offer you!
If you are planning to continue your relaxing mood you can take a trip over to the Country Club Grade II listed Robert Adam courtyard that holds the Spa, indoor pool with open terrace offering views onto woodlands and the saunas and steam room. Here you will relax the afternoon away if you so wish or of course, you can opt for the more physical kind of afternoon by using the gymnasium that is full of the latest in training equipment from running machines to leg presses or you can take to the weights and work on your physic. If you are slightly drained then that five minute walk back to the Mansion House can be replaced with a free taxi ride back as Luton Hoo has its very own fleet of London taxis that are there for guests to call out at anytime to move from one area to another.
Now dining and drinks will come to mind and Luton Hoo offers a fine selection of ways to indulge yourself in fine gastronomy and wines with not only a room service option, but that of the Adam’s Brasserie at the Country Club and the Mansion House’s award winning Wernher Restaurant along with the bar serving the lounge and drawing rooms plus the tables set outside on a terrace overlooking the formal gardens designed by Capability Brown. You will receive both a Lounge Menu and a Lounge Bar Menu for you to chose from if you, like me, decide to stay within the Mansion House and relax to the fine piano music in the lounge room. A comprehensive selection of drinks can be chosen from to include fine digestives to classics on the rock cocktails.
Service is friendly and prompt and you will feel well taken care of at all times, staff will usually dim the lights at around 7pm. There is a coffee and tea menu for those preferring not to have alcohol. The food selection offers sandwiches, salads, starters, main and desserts with options for vegetarians and you can still ask for a specific request or variation on what the menu offers and the staff will let you know what is possible. Over the couple of days I dined at Luton Hoo I opted for the Luton Hoo burger, their club sandwich and both the chicken and salmon Caesar salads for lunch. All were good portions and service was of high standard.
As you relax downstairs in the lounge room you can easily forget that you are only 30 minutes away from London by train and 10 minutes away from Luton airport and with a grid ref: 166 TL104185 you know you can visit by helicopter so most locations are close by how the crow flies as such! Can the airport and places be heard some may ask: If you take time to notice then you will, but nothing majorly disturbing and rarely the sound grabs your attention only if win direction and plane flight paths combine. I stood in the gardens to take note of the sounds during daytime and though planes are fairly low on the ascending flight path, the sounds were not enough to cause any concern such as when you are out on the terrace having drinks – You can not hear the planes within the bedroom.
Morning time at Luton Hoo Mansion House and you can enjoy both a hearty and healthy option within the Wernher restaurant (£21 option for non-resident guests). I must say I really enjoyed breakfast and yes you can enjoy a glass of Champagne to include Louis Roederer and rosé from Canard Duchene at £19.60 a glass – Bit too early for me, but the experience is there if you want it! A good and wide variety of options you can choose from to include fruits and yogurts, cereals, grilled kipper, Luton Hoo breakfast (vegetarian option too) and omelettes. A fine service is on offer and great windows seats available looking out onto sloping green fields, woodlands and lake in the distance.
Breakfast tea, toast, fresh fruit, cooked breakfast to my order usually took my fancy each morning though you can indulge in so many options that I am sure breakfast at Luton Hoo hotel caters from everyone!
I never tried the golf course, not been a golfer myself, but did explore some of the holes and many people were partaking in golfing on the days I stayed thanks to some warm sunny weather, the 7,107 yard long and par 73 course offers a harmonious yet sportingly competitive challenge to those enjoying the superb setting. What I would also add though, for those who like their walks and nature, that the grounds at Luton Hoo offer a fine selection of mature and well kept trees of many variety and ages, some really splendid examples can be admired.
Luton Hoo hotel, golf and spa really does require you to have a three day stay minimum in my mind to really appreciate all it has to offer and each really needs to be explored. Part of the Elite Hotels Group, my stay really must rank as one of the best in my time of reviewing hotels across Europe. I heard the price of the room I stayed in was £950 a night, but if the lifestyle people are living and work permits this expenditure, then Luton Hoo will be a fine and satisfying option for many.
Lastly and continuing with the Champagne theme we have the Afternoon Tea which takes place in the Italiante Drawing Room that overlooks the formal gardens. This is a truly stunning grand ballroom style setting to enjoy an afternoon tea and Champagne. The afternoon tea menu consists of a selection of five finger sandwiches, freshly baked raisin and plain buttermilk scone and assortment of pastries. A pot of tea or coffee is also served and of course, you can additionally order yourself a glass of Champagne with Canard Duchene Brut at £10 and rosé at £11 a glass though note you can request a glass of any of their other Champagne such as Dom Perignon or Louis Roederer Cristal.