From £115
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Wivenhoe House is Britain's only hotel-based hospitality school, based just outside Colchester in a lovely location in Wivenhoe Park. Divided between a traditional main building and a contemporary wing, it has 40 large and very comfortable rooms and suites and a cosy bar and restaurant, making it an excellent base for a weekend break from London.

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Rooms available from £115 per night

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The hotel is in a large and historic park on the outskirts of Colchester, and part of the University of Essex. Surrounded by well-tended gardens, it's a peaceful place to stay and easily reached from London and parts of East Anglia. The surrounding park provides lots of nice spots for a stroll, stretching out towards the university campus and two nearby lakes.

By car: Wivenhoe House is just under 2 hours from London, 1 hour 30 mins from Cambridge and just under 3 hours from Birmingham. There is free parking at the hotel.

By train: London Liverpool Street to Colchester takes around 1 hour, after which a taxi takes 10 minutes. Book trains to Colchester.

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The hotel is split between a traditional country house with more traditional accommodation and a slick modern wing with super-contemporary rooms and suites. Despite being a hotel school, it is marketed like any other hotel, but is in part staffed by students who study everything from housekeeping to kitchen service.


Wivenhoe House has the feel of a full-service hotel, with 24-hour room service, a comfy lounge, a small bar and restaurant and several function rooms, some of which host regular weddings. Guests also get to use the university's excellent sports and leisure facilities, which include a gym, squash and tennis courts.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lounge
  • Family-friendly
  • Outdoor dining
  • Gardens
  • Free Parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


Some of the rooms are sponsored by well-known chains the hotel school works with, so you can stay in a top-end 'Hilton' or 'Exclusive' suite at a moderate overnight rate. All are good sizes, with big bathrooms and White Company toiletries, tea and coffee-making facilities, robes and slippers.

Room types: Classic Room, Superior Room, Deluxe Room, Luxury Room

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with White Company toiletries, bathrobes, hairdryer, digital TV/radio, writing desk, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi


The restaurant boasts an outside terrace, serving undemanding three-course brasserie-style menus at fixed prices, plus a bar menu (burgers, fish and chips) and stonebaked pizzas.

Brasserie Bar & Restaurant: modern European cuisine, stonebaked pizzas, classic British bar menu, Sunday roasts. Open daily. Three courses £25.

The Lounge: luxury afternoon teas, sandwiches, scones and cakes. Saturday and Sunday, 12-4pm. From £24.95 per person.

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