24-hour room service - Danesfield House, Buckinghamshire

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The Independent Travel

Where is it?

Forty-five minutes from central London by chauffeur-driven Rolls (optional extra). Situated on the A4155 between Marlow and Henley, Danesfield is easily accessible from the M4 or M40. Address: Danesfield House, Henley Road, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 2EY (tel: 01628 891010; fax: 01628 890408). Helicopter landing-pad grid reference 816844, Ordnance Survey Sheet No 175.

What's it like?

A turn-of-the-century Italian palazzo atop a hillock in prime Buckinghamshire countryside, with views over the Thames and the Chilterns. A luxury bolthole for jaded souls.

Ambience

>Informal. One minute you could be strolling in the 65-acre gardens, the next you could be eavesdropping on two executives cutting a mega-deal in the oak-panelled Great Hall.

Service

Unobtrusive Anglo/Gallic staff cope admirably with Danesfield's mix of guests, and were great with our children. (The resident pianist did requests and told great stories about Danesfield's ghost.)

Rooms

Eighty-seven individually furnished rooms, many with stunning views. As classy as you'd expect when a double costs £165.

Food

The Oak Room for a feast (choice of 300 fine wines - from £40). The glorious Orangerie for more frivolous fare (from £25).

Awards

One of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World; five ETB crowns; four AA stars, two rosettes.

Things to do

Explore the gardens, swim the pool or play tennis, croquet or snooker. You could visit Marlow, Henley, Oxford, Windsor, even Legoland. But, frankly, why bother when you could just relax on Danesfield's terrace, sipping Pimms, reading a book and admiring the view?

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