Born of aristocracy, the luxury five-star Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa is a destination where you can revel in playing at Lady Grantham. Actually forget that, the Luton Hoo mansion house experience knocks Downton Abbey into a cocked hat. You see its rich history spans the 3rd Earl of Bute, Tsar Nicholas I and Winston Churchill. Royalty has been entertained here. And since it is now a charming hotel, you can be too. Live like a king (or queen for that matter); arrive conveniently by helicopter if it suits? Whatever your preference, this stately home appears to be able to accommodate every request, no matter how bespoke.
Half an hour out of central London, Luton Hoo has great transport links and is within easy reach of anywhere. There’s a place for work and play here. It is the perfect location to bring the family (like I did) to relax and reconnect after all the hustle and bustle that daily life presents, but it also appears to be the perfect location for all manner of corporate events, with conference facilities, a management suite and a choice of fabulous rooms for business meetings, after which you can relax in style. Did I mention the 18-hole golf course and the pool and spa set in over 1,000 acres of stunning parkland and gardens?
The elegant and traditional mansion house with much of its surrounding estate designed by Capability Brown, plus its hidden gem of a secret garden neatly tucked away - which my girls spent an age discovering, mean there’s a vast amount of space here for children to run and play. Meaning, for all its grandeur, Luton Hoo works incredibly well as a five star family hotel, accommodating children with their own playroom and kid-friendly activities - my two tried their hand at golf.
The beautifully converted stable courtyard houses both a relaxed bar and dining facilities. Adam's Brasserie is the place to eat with young children at Luton Hoo, where you can enjoy five stars with toddlers at the table. The menu is organic, allergy-friendly and varied.
However, like us you may prefer dining formally in the main house, sampling the Wernher Restaurant and its award-winning food in the state dining room - an equally sumptuous experience. Much like the entire hotel, it is draped in decadence, with floor to ceiling marble and original chandeliers.
Opulence is everywhere - take the great hall with its incredible fireplace or the stunning sweeping staircase. Yes, Luton Hoo is a very special place that offers all its guests an opportunity to feel at home while experiencing the surrounds of a beautiful bygone era – something that so many other hotel destinations could only dream about, and yet for Luton Hoo, continues to exist.
What: 5* Grade I-listed Mansion House Hotel
Where: Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3TQ
Phone: 01582 734437
Price: The State Suite is priced at £1,200 per night. There are many other suites and bedrooms at various prices, some with adjoining rooms for children/parents/nanny
Breakfast included: Yes
Disabled friendly: Yes
Facilities: Indoor swimming pool, vitality pool, gymnasium, 18-hole golf course, club house, spa, cycling, conference facilities, tennis courts.
Family friendly: Yes
Nice touch: The welcome goody bags for children.