Why should I go now?
English summers: you can’t beat them. Especially when you’re staying in a luxury treehouse, overhanging a lush, sun-bathed valley. Right now, the grounds are at their most verdant, buzzing with bees and butterflies, but unlike the manicured lawns of the main hotel, which are pretty in an orderly kind of way, the treehouses are hidden deep within the wild woods. This is the land of barking deers, swooping owls, fairytales.
What’s the lowdown?
The main house dates back to the early eighteenth century and much has been done to preserve an air of old-school elegance; think mahogany antiques, classic paintings, a grand piano, plush carpets, conservatories, and croquet lawns.
The Dining Room restaurant is smart without being fussy both in terms of the interiors and the menu. Dishes are seasonal, fresh and delicately flavoured making the most of local produce. There are – rather intimidatingly – over 1900 wines to choose from, but fortunately, the sommelier is well used to guests’ bewilderment and gently guides us through the menu. For a more relaxed atmosphere, The Kitchen (a short buggy ride away) serves wood fired pizzas, salads and burgers; this is also where guests can take cookery lessons.
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The Spa is an extravagant expanse encompassing an ozone-treated indoor pool surrounded by Grecian columns, hydrotherapy pools, aromatherapy saunas, crystal steam rooms, an outdoor terrace lined with sun-beds and its own restaurant where spa-goers munch salads in robes and slippers – even the changing rooms are impressive with piles of fluffy white towels, REN toiletries and their own hot tubs. The 60minute facial using Natura Bissé products is deeply relaxing, leaving my skin as soft and bright as if it were new, which, after multiple rounds of exfoliation, masks, and massaging, it practically is. My partner emerges in a dream-like state from a full-body massage, claiming that he’s “never felt so calm!” A statement, which does well to sum up the hotel’s general seduction.
When the weather’s hot it would be a shame not to make the most of the hotel’s 130-acre grounds. There’s an extremely pretty outdoor swimming pool, a golf course, tennis courts, archery, falconry and plenty of walking routes, some of which meander along the coastline.
We’re in a treehouse loft suite – a short walk or buggy ride away from the main house with its own check-in and carpark. The style is contemporary, but homely with a kitchen area (well stocked with free snacks, soft drinks and on arrival, a half bottle of Taittinger champagne), a wood-burner, sofa, and large windows all along the front which open out onto the balcony and fill the space with natural light.
Upstairs, there’s a twin loft for kids whilst the master bedroom on the ground floor connects to a spacious bathroom complete with shower and bathtub. The balcony overhangs a wild valley with outdoor furnishing and a hot tub which really comes into its own when the sunsets. It has the same kind of romance as a luxury safari camp in Africa – without the wild animals.
The treehouses are designed as secluded retreats, and in the summer when the branches of the trees are lush with leaves you really do feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere (at most, you might catch a glimpse of a rosy face through the steam of a hot tub on a neighbouring balcony), but it may be a different story come autumn. That said, we rather like the idea of snuggling up in front of the fire with a mug of homemade hot chocolate…
Rates: From £850 for a Treehouse Studio Suite (approx. €950 / $1,100)
To book your stay visit: chewtonglen.com