One massive advantage that non-London hotels have over their capital city rivals is space, and our suite at Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge, Surrey, was certainly one of the largest I’ve stayed in.
The vast central lounge in our ‘super suite’ had a large, glass dining table, a huge sofa, a separate study area with a desk, a bank of fitted wardrobes surrounding another desk, a bathroom with a bath and walk-in shower, and a massive balcony running the length of the suite. Oh yes, and a double bedroom with yet more chairs and desks. It was extremely roomy.
The Brooklands Hotel is a four-star, 131 bedroom art deco-style hotel built on the site of the original Brooklands racetrack. Opened in 1907, the Brooklands track was the scene of the earliest motor-racing in the UK during the 1920s and 1930s (remember those racing scenes in Downton Abbey? They were filmed at Brooklands). While the original track closed in 1939, guests at the hotel have a great view of cars zooming round the Mercedes-Benz track which is at the front of the hotel.
For those who are looking for a rather more relaxing break than driving on skid pans, there’s a hotel spa which has nice balcony with a hot tub so you can enjoy an al fresco jacuzzi to the distant roar of car engines.
There’s no pool but there is a sauna, steam room and relaxation room and a whole variety of pampering treatments on offer – I had a very nice 80 minute Jane Scrivner signature treatment which included body-brushing, firming serum, a facial and a hot stone massage.
Being in the same building meant we could pad back from the spa to our room in slippers and fluffy robes which felt very civilised.
Surprisingly for a hotel room named after a woman – Kay Petre, one of the first female stars of motor-racing – the room felt incredibly masculine, with dark colours and minimalist-style decoration (except for the occasional model plane) but it was slick and smart and clean.
Dinner downstairs at the 1907 restaurant downstairs was perfectly adequate if not especially memorable – the scallops were good as was the fillet steak, and there were flashes of invention such as the ‘lobster bagel benedict’ but the stark decor did make it feel like a business hotel. However things picked up at the bar for post-dinner cocktails which were excellently served by friendly staff.
Having an early morning coffee the next morning while relaxing in the sun on our private balcony was a great start to the day. Breakfast was a buffet and judging by the other guests, the hotel is very popular with business travellers, being a few miles from the M25. It also has an impressive array of conference rooms and thus manages to cater for the corporate guests during the week and the spa-and-racing crowd at the weekends.
Car fanatics will love racing around the track as well as visiting the three-storey Mercedes-Benz showroom, while a retired Concorde and other planes are just next door at the world-famous Brooklands Museum. Dozens of classic cars, buses and planes (including Concorde) can be seen at the Brooklands Museum opposite the hotel.
So whether you’re inspired by Top Gear, Top Gun or want to treat the petrolhead in your life with a spin around the track while you wave at them from your hot tub, the Brooklands Hotel is the ideal location.
Rooms from £139 a night