Hotel of the Week
Hartwell House Hotel
Monday 06 November 2000
Where is it?
Where is it?
Set in its own walled grounds in rural Buckinghamshire, just a mile outside Aylesbury off the A418. Address: Hartwell House Hotel, Oxford Road, near Aylesbury, Bucks HP17 8NL (tel: 01296 747444, web: www.hartwell-house.com).
What's it like?
Large, handsome Grade I listed Jacobean-cum-Georgian stately home in 90 acres of landscaped park. Adopted by Louis XVIII for five years during his exile, it has since had a varied history including being home to American soldiers in the Second World War. Historic House Hotels took it on and restored the main house and grounds. The 18th-century stables are now separate living areas which welcome dogs (great idea), and the Spa and Health Centre includes a swimming pool designed as an orangery in the style of Sir John Soane.
More evocative of an intimate, aristo retreat than a posh hotel, due largely to the immaculate restoration which has vast flickering log fires in the Rococo main reception rooms casting shadows on the walls and ceilings. Ideal for retreating couples on luxurious weekends.
Comely Bucks maidens in smart uniforms, discreet and relaxed in the restaurant. Prompt and friendly room service. In the spa and health centre a refreshingly down-to-earth helpfulness reigns.
Thirty-three bedrooms and 13 suites, all reasonably large and individually decorated, for the most part, in understated elegance Some have original antiques. From £135 for a single and £175 for a double to £400 for the beautiful Duc de Berri Suite and £600 for the Lee Suite. Weekend breaks available.
Definitely haute cuisine, even the room service food which arrived piping hot, with ceremonial flourish.
Voted 10th Best UK Leisure Hotel and fifth Best UK Spa Hotel by CondÃ© Nast this year. Good Hotel Guide Cesar Award 1997. Four red stars from the AA. Bill Clinton and the Emperor of Japan are recent (and impressed) visitors. Relais et ChÃ¢teaux affiliated.
During the weekend many London escapees, of which 50 per cent are repeat guests. During the week many Americans base themselves here for sightseeing.
Things to do?
Leisurely hotel pursuits include full-day or half-day spa and beauty treatments (inquire for Spa Weekend Breaks); well-equipped gym, handsome pool, sauna and all-weather tennis courts set in a porticoed pavilion. Waddesdon Manor, home of the Rothschild family, is around the corner as are Woburn Abbey and Blenheim Palace.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...