Nestled among 200 acres of rolling Hertfordshire countryside, the Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club is an idyllic and ideal setting for those wanting to escape city living. Breathtaking views surround the five-star, stately manor: rural countryside; fragrant, walled gardens; winding paths; and flowerbeds boasting a myriad of colours. Impeccable service, the building’s polished aesthetic and the aforementioned, picturesque exteriors undoubtedly make it an experience of an unparalleled measure.
Built in 1730 the building was once home to the Hanbury family, later to be converted into a Roman Catholic Boarding School known as Poles Convent. It was then rebuilt as a magnificent hotel in the late 19th century, which today welcomes guests from all over the world as well as serving the local community. The hotel is one of very few luxury hotels in the area, set among 200 acres of parkland featuring a magnificent 18-hole, championship-golf course.
There are two restaurants in situ. Oakes Grill is one of them. Executive Chef Raj Chakraborty curated the menu and it evolves with the seasons: for example, during our winter visit, it included East Coast Scottish Scallops, Carpaccio of Beef, an array of grilled steaks such as Lancashire sirloin and Hereford rib-eye steak, lemon sole and local pork served with braised belly and cheek. Chakraborty was trained under the expert guidance of Andy Jeff and joined Hanbury Manor from a sister Marriot Hotel, the St. Pancras Renaissance in London.
We thought the were sumptuous, complete with everything you might expect from a five-star retreat. Sleep-deprived city dwellers are in for a particular treat: luxury Swedish bed-maker, Duxiana, has teamed up with Hanbury to offer ‘The Ultimate Sleep Experience’. An average of 10% more deep-sleep is boasted, featuring a ‘Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500’ aromatherapy lamp that uses soothing oils to coerce guests to slumber, and wakes them with natural, sunrise-effect lighting.
In addition, the hotel’s spa features a pool, steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi, and offers treatments for both men and women. Elsewhere, Hanbury Manor comprises a lavish parlour ideal for quintessential afternoon-tea, a games room with a pool table and state-of-the-art golf simulator. (In better weather, the estate often plays host to open-air cinema evenings and vintage fairs.)
As London’s time-honoured ‘Original Country Retreat’, Hanbury Manor provides an unforgettable experience in intimate, considered surroundings, complemented by a top-class menu and friendly, extremely competent staff. It was just what the doctor ordered. And we returned to the city fully rejuvenated.
Rooms at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club cost from £119 per night.
Words by Harry Seymour