If you are looking for a weekend luxury retreat from London, then look no further than Great Fosters hotel in Egham, Surrey. Conveniently located just an hour from Central London, it is an obvious choice for a relaxing, pampering and indulgent weekend break. This magnificent establishment is also kids and dog-friendly.
This exclusive hotel is housed in a 16th century, Grade I listed Tudor mansion that sits majestically overlooking 50 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland.
Great Fosters is the latest addition to Alexander Hotels group, a small 5 property chain which is also a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).
How do I get there?
A 40 min train journey on the South Western Railway from London Waterloo to Egham train station (map), followed by a 2 min taxi ride gets you to the front gate.
If you driving, it is off Junction 13 of the M25. Just under an hour if you are heading out from the City. There is a large 120 space car park at the hotel.
The proximity makes it a perfect weekend getaway sanctuary from Central London.
It is 15 mins from London Heathrow in a car/taxi.
What are the rooms like?
There are only 43 suites and bedrooms at Great Fosters. Each have been individually designed and decorated. All rooms have been brought up-to-date with modernised bathrooms with some even including air-conditioning.
All suites and bedrooms come equipped with all the modern necessities like a Bluetooth music device, Lavazza espresso machine, Pip Studio tea set, powerful hairdryer, vanity mirror, luxury bathrobes and lovely L’Occitane toiletries.
Bedrooms are tiered: “Cosy”, “Comfy King” and the larger “Luxury Super King”.
But for the full luxury experience, the hotel also offer a number of suites, cream of the crop being the “splendid historic” suites. Most of these luxurious suites have retained their original 16th century Tudor features like dark oak panelling and wooden four-poster beds. Each comes with its own historical narrative. Live like the royals or dukes and duchesses for a holiday to remember. Suites have ostentatious names like Duke of Wellington, Italian, Tapestry or Queen Anne.
Are there family-friendly rooms?
For those travelling with children, Great Fosters has three “Spacious Super King” suites that can accommodate two rollaway beds for two children up to 12 years of age. The Tapestry, Queen Anne, Nursery and Italian suites in the “splendid historic” suites can also accommodate the same. A surcharge of £40 per extra bed per night applies.
There are also two “Luxury Super King” rooms that are interconnected in the Coach House.
We stayed at “No.59 Buckfast”, one of the dog-friendly “Spacious Super King” suites which is suitable two adults and two children. Click here to read about our review of the suite.
How are the dining options?
This is one of the highlights of Great Fosters. Indulging in a decadent 8-course tasting menu at Tony Parkin’s Michelin star restaurant at The Tudor Room is a must do. The intimate 20-seat dining room is majestically Tudor with a large fireplace, tapestry adorned wall and decorated-wood beam ceiling.
In addition to that, alfresco dining by the moat surrounding three quarters of the knot garden during the summer months is a truly unique experience. This is served by Estate Grill which offers a relatively uninventive classic English menu, but the serene view more than make ups for it.
Great Fosters can also pack your afternoon tea into a traditional wicker basket if fancy a relaxing picnic on their acres of garden and parkland.
The best thing about having these fabulous in-house dining options is that you don’t have to worry about driving home with your bed is just a short stroll away.
What is there to do in the hotel?
Take a relaxing and casual stroll in the 50 acres of landscaped garden and parkland. Start with the manicured Renaissance knot garden complete with cherub sculptures right behind the main house. Then cross the moat on a purple wisteria filled arch bridge and walk around the sunken garden before venturing into the “secret” garden rooms.
Beyond the landscaped gardens is the parkland filled with wild meadows. There is a circular Colosseum-style seating area to the eastern edge and a small lake on the south.
There is also a 20 meter outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court for some workout or splash about on a hot summer day.
Is there a spa?
There isn’t a dedicated spa but there are two treatment rooms on the top floor of the main house that have been beautifully converted. Rejuvenate with a 85-minute “Ultimate Full Body” Swedish body massage for £135 pp or refresh with a 70-minute “Totally Quenched and Drenched” facial for £125 pp.
Who are the patrons?
Well heeled Londoners of all ages. Trendy young couples flock here for a romantic getaway. Families with young kids come to take advantage of the outdoor space.
Apart from hotel guests, its fabulous dining options also attracts a fair number of dining-only guests.
Are they pet friendly?
Yes, with a £30 surcharge dogs (of up to 15 kgs) are welcomed in eleven of the hotels selected rooms at the Cloisters – a short walk from the Main House through the herb gardens, with a £30 fee surcharge. They are Comfy King rooms and Spacious Super King Suites. Your for legged friend will be provided with a super comfy bed, cleaning towel, food & water bowls as well as doggie treats.
They are also welcome to dine with you in the Garden Room (served by The Estate Grill), Cocktail Bar and of course at all outdoor seating areas. Unfortunately, they are not permitted in the Michelin star Tony Parkin’s restaurant in The Tudor Room.