The four star sister hotel of Alexander House Hotel and Utopia Spa, Rowhill Grange Hotel is a little more understated, but no less tranquil than its counterpart. A retreat from the world, but an easy train or car ride from London, the country house retreat has a relaxed vibe that offers the kind of time out most of us crave, most of the time. Little wonder then, that it’s been a favourite spa retreat since 1987, but its history goes back much further than that…
Rowhill Grange has a tendency to feel like home from the moment you walk in. Although it has no doubt changed over the years, that is perhaps in part because it was originally built in 1868 as a summer home for Alice Alexander (marking the very first chapter of the Alexander Hotels story). It was then bought by Sir George Cole, Lord Mayor of London and a keen breeder of Shetland ponies, in 1916. It went through a couple of loving owners before landing in the hands of Michael Feasey, a local butcher, who transformed it into a country house hotel. In 1994 the hotel was bought by its current owners, and was refurbished to become the four star hotel it is now.
Today the style of Rowhill Grange is still very much plush country house hotel. Decor in the bedrooms in particular is pure but modern with rich fabrics and jewel tones peppered throughput. There is a seductive kind of lighting in this hotel that inspires you to indulge. Afternoon teas, leisurely strolls around the garden and cuddling up by the fire with a book are all superbly tempting. Meanwhile, details such as 24-hour room service point to its high levels of customer service.
Fine dining in RG’s Restaurant at Rowhill Grange has two AA Rosettes to its name, so this is very much at the heart of the dining experience. However, taste buds are also most definitely tickled in the Elements Bar & Lounge where their cocktail menu in particular causes a buzz of excitement. While the menu is extensive, inspired and entertaining bartenders are ripe for a challenge, making them a particular hit for celebrations such as genteel hen parties and birthdays. That said, this is a place to relax. So the hotel also makes superb use of its numerous lounges, where you can sink into an armchair for a more casual meal. Tuck into breakfast, afternoon tea or simply a coffee and the morning paper while you soak up the views across the gardens.
The setting on the hotel, in beautiful 15 acre gardens, means that there’s plenty of space to potter about and do during the day. Harping back to the days when Alice spent her summers there, there’s still a sense of country house charm – as if you’re staying in another era with rather grand friends. Enjoy croquet if weather allows, or simply go for a stroll. It’s all about having a little time to slow down and feel free to do absolutely nothing at all.
The adult only spa continues this sense of blissful luxe laziness with a rather decadent Neo Classical aesthetic and an intimate journey through water-based therapies taking centre stage. Set over two floors, the pool is grand and dreamy to swim in and sit by, while there’s also a large hydro pool, monsoon shower, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. There are 19 treatment rooms in the spa, which again makes it perfect for groups of friends, alongside a convivial mani/pedi area. The relaxation room is a contemporary space, and is perfect for a post treatment snooze.
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