Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa – The Perfect Berkshire Countryside Escape
August 15, 2018
When the heat is too much in London, an escape to the Berkshire countryside to the beautiful Donnington Valley in Newbury, is the perfect plan for a weekend away.
With an impressive 18 hole golf course, which is something of a hidden gem, Donnington Valley boasts rolling hillside and plenty of outdoor seating areas, making it a great retreat when the sun is shining.
In addition to the 2AA Rosette award-winning restaurant The Winepress, overseen by Head Chef Darren Booker-Wilson, there’s also a beautiful spa which comes with 18 metre long swimming pool, aromatherapy room, jacuzzi, steam room and gym with studios and full class timetable!
We checked into our beautiful executive room and were impressed by the spacious layout which included an open plan lounge and sofa, huge marble bathroom including bath and separate shower and an abundance of The White Company products. Free wifi, plenty of desk space and a huge bed featuring Egyptian cotton made our stay all the more comfortable.
Eager to explore the expansive hotel, we loved the bar area complete with mezzanine seating, and an outdoor terrace. The staff were wonderful and ensuring we didn’t miss any of the World Cup (England’s semi-final game!), we even had a TV out on the terrace whilst we kicked back in the sunshine with some local Renegade beer, surrounded by the pretty greenery. The lunch menu is definitely worth trying and we devoured fresh fish finger wraps with chunky chips and lashings of mayo.
Whilst wandering around, we noticed lots of interesting sculptures and art works – a really nice touch. From the bronze statue ‘At First Light’ (Maurice Blik) occupying a prime spot on the golf course where it catches the first light of dawn, to the ‘Fairway’ next to the spa – a 9′ high sculpture by Philomena Davidson Davis, we felt this added another dimension to the hotel.
A pre-dinner massage was the perfect wind down, and with a full treatment menu, the Donnington Valley spa offers something for everyone – from Hydration Wraps to Decléor Facials and Exfoliations. I had originally booked in for the relaxing Hot Stone Massage, but with the temperatures soaring, I opted for a rejuvenating Sonama Aromatherapy full body massage which instantly made me forget the stresses of the past week during 55 minutes of pure bliss. With beautiful smelling essential oils and a combination of massage to both soothe and revitalise, I felt amazing afterwards!
A cool off in the expansive pool is also recommended, encased in glass, it’s beautiful and airy and with the sun shining in, it really felt like we were on holiday! There’s also plenty of space around the pool to enjoy some quiet time on the comfy loungers, along with another outdoor area to enjoy lunch or indulge in a post-workout glass of wine.
The Winepress Restaurant is beautiful with a large dining room and another wonderful outdoor patio if you prefer dinner with a view. With an impressive wine list featuring 200 wines (30 of which are available by the glass), the a la carte menu offers everything from pigeon to salmon gravlax starters and mains like rib eye, monkfish, venison and sole amongst the many choices. We loved the Crispy Thai Squid with shaved tumeric cucumber, candy peanuts, coriander and sesame oil (£8.75) which had plenty of taste and texture, while the Grilled Cote de Boeuf for two (£58.00) is the one to go for if you’re feeling really hungry and feel like splashing out. The Roasted Gold Pineapple dessert (£7.50) was a great way to finish dinner complete with hazelnuts and a delicious coconut ice cream.
After dinner, we were impressed by the laid back atmosphere in the bar area, the friendliness of the staff and the late opening times – some hotel bars like to close early, but there was no rush here at all!
If you’re looking for a hotel which offers everything you could need all in one place, then Donnington Valley is a great choice. From the immaculate spa, to the stunning views and wonderful staff, look no further…
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield