Relaxed grandeur at Luton Hoo
As my partner and I drove into the grounds of Luton Hoo, it felt like we’d stepped into a period drama. With the outline of the magnificent 18th-century Mansion House on the horizon, and with 1,065 acres of lush, green parklands and landscaped gardens stretching as far as the eye could see, we knew our stay was going to be something special.
The Mansion House is steeped in history, and the entrance hall, staircases, and bedroom furnishings are all in keeping with the original decorations. Our room was comfortable, spacious, and beautifully adorned with antique furnishings. Everything was of the highest possible standard, right down to the little details like the Molton Brown products in the bathroom.
The ESPA spa is housed in a stunning, oak-framed building in the historic stable courtyard. With an infinity swimming pool, vitality pool, and a heat therapy suite, this tranquil and stylish oasis is perfect for an afternoon of pampering.
There are even traditional London black cabs to take you to the doorstep of the spa and back again. It’s quirky twists like this that make the hotel stand out above the rest.
I was treated to a shoulder, neck, and scalp massage, as well as a personalised express facial. Meanwhile, my partner tried the Luton Hoo Signature Treatment. This 80-minute treatment included an exfoliating foot ritual, followed by a full-body Balinese style massage with hot stones.
All our treatments were designed exclusively for us, and they certainly worked wonders. My skin was glowing and I was so relaxed that I nearly fell asleep on one of the poolside loungers.
Eating at Luton Hoo is also a wonderful experience. The Wernher restaurant was remodeled in the 20th century by the same architects who designed the Ritz. We couldn’t stop marveling at the enormous chandeliers and exotic marble panelwork as we tucked in to our beautifully presented three-course meal.
For some afternoon grazing, the Lounge is one of the most picturesque settings imaginable for a traditional Afternoon Tea. With tier upon tier of cakes, sandwiches, scones and cream, it’s just what you need after a trip to the spa or a round of golf.
It’s fair to say that golf here is not for the faint-hearted. Off the back tees, the 18-hole course is one of the longest in the UK, and six of the holes present tricky water obstacles. But that shouldn’t put you off.
The course winds through ancient trees and glorious patches of wild flowers, and the views across the estate are just lovely. You’ll also notice the complete lack of bunkers, which is at least one less thing you’ll need to worry about!
With a setting that makes you feel like you’ve stepped straight into a Jane Austen novel, a break at Luton Hoo is an unforgettable experience.