The first time I visited Danesfield House Hotel there was snow on the ground and daffodils simultaneously peeking their (no doubt rather surprised) buds through the frozen earth. It was exactly the kind of ethereal seasonal quirk to offset the white castle-like proportions of the main house to its best advantage as we made our way up the winding driveway.
A Victorian country house that was converted into a hotel in 1991, you drive up to the white confection that is Danesfield House Hotel and into a courtyard before entering the hotel which is characterised by high ceilings, original wooden panelling, and featured family crests. Having been named because of the site’s ancient history as a camp for Danish adventurers, it was a base for RAF officers during the war as well. Now it has a rather more peaceful occupation as a luxurious hotel, but the history of the house remains evident at every turn; just another one of its many assets.
A short stroll across the grounds and you will find yourself in the spa and leisure centre at Danesfield House. A contemporary building, the gym is small but has everything you need and there is a juice bar, fitness classes, eight treatment rooms and a manicure and pedicure station. My favourite part of the spa however is the pool, which has floor-to-ceiling windows on one side looking out over the Chiltern Hills as you swim, a site that is really something to behold as the grounds seem to drop away at perilous angles into the distance.
The Oak Room restaurant is renowned not only for its award-winning menu, but also for its design, courtesy of Anouska Hempel. With a view of the Thames, The Orangery is also rather special, particularly as a location to tuck into afternoon tea.
Surrounded by 65 acres of gardens as well as the countryside beyond, Danesfield House Hotel is in a little scenic bubble all of its own. You arrive through a tunnel of tree-lined roads and go up a steep driveway to find yourself perched at the top of a hill with a view for miles and miles.
The beauty of the hotel means that it would be a shame to visit Danesfield House and not stay overnight, drinking in the scenery, history and atmosphere that it has to offer. It is this part of the experience that is romantic and ideal for couples looking for a weekend away, but as far as the spa goes it is equally suited to a day with friends or a girly getaway for mums and daughters.
– Have afternoon tea in The Orangery – cake with a view of the Thames – need we say more?
– Go outside and explore the grounds, even if there is snow on the ground, it’s beautiful.
– If you’re on a romantic break, upgrade to an Executive room for that extra sense of luxury.
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