A mere 1.5 miles from Ascot Racecourse and its hat-wearing clientele, Macdonald Berystede is not only a convenient bolthole for equine enthusiasts, it is a place that also knows how to get you looking and feeling picture perfect for a day at the races …
The first indication that this is a somewhat sizeable venue is that the satnav tells me I have arrived at my destination on the right hand side a good mile before the gates actually appear … during which time the rather picturesque country road is leading me past the intriguing latticework of mock Tudor architecture and a proliferation of Rhododendrons.
The main body of the hotel is that of a historic manor house – with a large staircase, densely coloured wooden bookshelves, an enormous chandelier and richly coloured interiors. The 126 bedrooms however, are spread across this original structure and a more contemporary wing which houses the executive rooms (ideal for families as extra beds can be added) as well as the conference area which caters for up to 250 in the largest room and can be separated from the rest of the hotel for big events, complete with its own car park and bar.
Also in a contemporary extension to the main building, the spa looks out onto the modestly sized by amply planted gardens, not least of all from the pool which is surrounded on two sides by glass, and from which you can swim into an outdoor area. Although it also functions as a leisure club for people in the local area, the spa has a full range of pampering facilities in addition to the gym, in the form of a heat and ice experience, relaxation area, and six treatment rooms including a double room. In the reception area there is also space set aside for lunch, which on a spa day consists of a bento box, and where tea is always readily available. Working closely with Decleor, the Macdonald Hotels group offer treatments that have been tailored to the brand, as well as using Jessica Nails products for manicures and pedicures.
If you are on a spa day as part of a big group the venue does provide the option to have lunch in a private dining room in the main hotel, and guests are always invited to eat in the main restaurant – the Hyperion, which enjoys the approval of an AA Rosette, and also has an outdoor terrace for meals or simply a cup of coffee in the sunshine. For more casual meals, there is also the Diadem Bar or Oak Lounge.
Bagshot is a particularly picturesque part of Berkshire, and being so close to Ascot is a serious plus at this time of the year when the main events are in full swing. Happily, it is also easily accessible by road, one mile from Ascot Rail Station, and only ten miles from Heathrow airport – all very convenient.
Macdonald Berystede looks like a grand manor house from the outside, but it is extremely accessible on the inside. It is relaxed, and is something of a chameleon in that it caters to a sweeping range of requirements – popular for conferences in the week and families at the weekends, and always a popular place to pop in and chill out for a couple of hours, whatever day of the week it is.
– If you are going to the races in Ascot, the spa are offering mini treatments bookable in advance or on the day (depending on availability)!
– It is a particularly good place to go in the summer months as you can swim from the indoor pool into the gardens.
– There are children’s swimming times from 9-11 am and 4-7 pm, so depending on your spa day requirements you may wish to take those into consideration.
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