Friday, 12 May 2017

10 Reasons To Visit The Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel | UK Luxury Breaks

I’m a big believer in taking a break, the wonders it does for the body, mind and soul are impeccable! Whilst we’d all love to jump on an aeroplane to somewhere exotic, I’m making a conscious effort this year to explore my home turf. There are so many beautiful places right here in the UK, which can offer you a stunning, luxury break, for just a short drive in the car. When I was offered the chance to review the Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel, I was completely over excited. Macdonald Hotels are a luxury chain of UK hotels, who offer the complete luxury experience, so I was really excited to try one out first hand.

So this weekend we jumped in the car and took a short drive to the Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel, which is based in Marlow. It’s only about a 50 minute drive from where we are in Hertfordshire, but we could have easily been a million miles away from home. As soon as we drove over the Marlow Bridge, I knew I was going to love this hotel. We had the most gorgeous stay and I wanted to share with you 10 reasons why you should check it out too!

#1 - The Location
As I briefly mentioned, this hotel is based in Marlow, which is just a short drive from our home in Hertfordshire. We loved that we could hop in the car and be in the heart of this village in no time at all. Driving to your minibreak really takes a lot of stress away – you can pack as much as you need and the hotel parking was just outside our room!

#2 - The Setting
As soon as we drove over the Marlow Bridge and I spotted the hotel, I was totally in awe. The Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel is set right on the river, with big grounds and private views over the river. The gardens were well kept and the cherry blossoms outside the white building just framed everything beautifully. The hotel is split over a large complex, with the reception, bar, rooms, lounge and restaurants in one half of the hotel – plus a newer subset of rooms just across the courtyard.

#3 – The Riverside Restaurant
The highlight of our stay had to be the dinner in the Riverside Restaurant. The restaurant itself feels very small and very intimate, we were even treated to a table looking out over the river. As the sun set, the church across the river lit up and reflected over the water, it was just utterly beautiful. As we sat and watched the boats pass, we were treated to lots of lovely food. The restaurant proudly holds three AA-rosettes, so you can tell already that the food is going to be exquisite! We were treated to champagne and dined a selection of food from salmon and duck starters, steak mains and really incredible desserts – Chris’ Bakewell Tart had gold in the middle! The service there was absolutely impeccable, I have never ever been looked after so well, the Riverside team are a credit to the Macdonald team!

#4 – Take A Boat For A Spin
The second highlight of the whole trip was the boat rental, which can be organised by the concierge onsite. The Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel have two boat rental options – there is huge skipper boat, which can hold 12 people or you can rent a smaller boat, which is perfect for 4-6 people. We opted for the smaller boat, as it meant we could drive ourselves down the river. It cost us £60 for one hour and we had so much fun driving the boat along the stunning Thames backdrop. The best bit was hopping on and off at the hotel, it was so convenient and something we’ve never done before!

#5 - The Hospitality
I touched on this briefly before, but the hospitality at the Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel was incredible! Nothing was ever too much trouble, the team were very kind, attentive and really looked after us well. From the minute you arrive you feel welcome – from being  invited to sit down for check in (which I’ve never seen before) to being served impeccably at dinner – they do it all!

#6 - The Little Touches
We stayed in a Double Executive Room which had all you could ever need from a hotel room! The bed felt enormous, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much room in my life! There was a sofa, two arm chairs, two tables, a generous double bathroom and so much more. I squealed with excitement when I saw that we had Molton Brown toiletries in the bathroom, plus two sinks, so I didn’t have to share the space! There was a little teddy bear sitting proudly on the bed, some chocolates on the side, and we even had the cosiest robes and slippers! The room had a Nespresso machine, which is perfect for us as we’re addicted, but if you’re more of a tea fan, there was also a kettle with a huge array of tea flavours!

#7 - Breakfast In Bed
When we arrived in our room we had a little note inviting us to take breakfast in bed, instead of in the restaurant. We fancied a bit of a lay in, so the idea of having breakfast in the room was really appealing! If you have breakfast included in your stay, the tray charge is only £5 and the breakfast was delivered perfectly on time. As you can see in the pictures, the selection available was huge and we really indulged in all things naughty!

#8 - Afternoon Tea
As well as a three AA-rosette restaurant and an impeccable breakfast offering, the Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel also serve Afternoon Tea from 14:30 to 17:30 everyday. You are once again seated in the Riverside Restaurant, positioned to watch the boats pass you on the river. You can choose to have just scones, or you can go the whole hog and enjoy Afternoon Tea with all the trimmings! We were served fresh warm scones with jam and cream, a selection of sandwhiches and a large array of pastries, which were actually some of the best I’ve ever had! The tea was served on stunning blue crockery and it just felt so elegant from start to finish!

#9 – Things To Do
We opted for the Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel as we just fancied a calm relaxing break, but we were pleasantly surprised at all the things around to do! On Friday we took a long stroll through the town centre and explored all the shops on offer! There was everything you could need, from supermarkets, to Boots/Superdrug, to independent boutiques and more fancy shops (including SpaceNK). In the reception of the hotel, we spotted a discount card for Bicester Village, which is just 30 minutes away from the hotel. So we popped up there for a couple of hours in the afternoon – I ended up making a sneaky bag purchase which was definitely not on the cards!

#10 - A Picture On Every Corner

As well as shopping and indulging yourself in cake, there’s the Thames Walk, which we checked out on Saturday morning. This is a pretty walk which stretches along the river, we wondered up to the Marlow Lock and enjoyed watching the boats making their way through. Everyone was so friendly and the Lock Operator enjoyed teaching us about the mechanics of the Lock. If you don’t want to grab a bench by the river, there is a lovely park which is lovely to sit in, or countless independent cafes to enjoy. There was honestly a beautiful picture to be taken on every corner, I really enjoyed snapping away for the entire weekend!

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