Checking in | Nutfield priory hotel & spa

Fancy escaping London for a night to stay in a huge country manor in the countryside? Well, you can, a mere 20 mins away. Redhill station is the closest point of call travelling from London Bridge to Nutfield Priory Hotel and Spa, and from there you have a short ten-minute taxi ride before you see the Neo-Gothic country manor house that dates back to 1872.

Filled to the rafters with fine art, huge gold-framed paintings, impressive fireplaces and enormous ceilings, Nutfield Priory was once a boarding school in its time and part of the building was designed to look like a London landmark you’ll be familiar with: Westminster Abbey.

The Hotel and Room

After a swift check-in, we’re whisked up in a lift that seems a little secretive and hidden behind the reception desk. Our room is a junior suite and huge is an understatement. The oversized sleigh bed is also vast and impressive and of course, there is a living area with a deep sofa and comfy chair with views from the window looking out over the rolling Surrey countryside. It’s beautiful.

Exploring the hotel and nosing at the paintings, we wonder who these people are staring back at us. We find ourselves in the bar and, feeling a little peckish, we order a club sandwich which comes with fries at £15 and a cup of tea for £4.10 and think about what state our overdraft might be in. A £15 sarnie in our book should be life-changing, and while this wasn’t poor, it doesn’t mention it comes with egg in the menu and if you don’t eat eggs or a little fussy with them, then you’ll be pretty baffled. The tea comes with homemade biscuits, hence the £4.10 and after a little nudge at the waiter, we finally got ours. We’d have been gutted without them

The Evening Meal

Dinner at the Cloisters Restaurant is fine dining with Head Chef Alec Mackins in charge of the kitchen. The food was excellent, from the starters of south coast pan fried diver scallops with cauliflower textures to the seared stone bass and the tender and rich slow cooked lamb – not to mention those triple cooked chips. Admiring the arched ceiling and stone carvings that make up the long, narrow Cloisters Restaurant, it feels different and a little bit special.

The Spa

It’s a bit of a grimy entrance into what feels like a community cafe with after school kids tucking into chips sitting at the tables. The wet facilities, gym and squash court are located underground and the gym and workout equipment does look great, better than your standard gym for sure. While there is a pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna there’s something a little off-putting about it which stops us being able to fully relax. 

You don’t actually get a robe or flip flops, well at least we didn’t (knew we should have packed the sliders) and it’s annoying there isn’t anything to drink water from other than the spout from the foundation itself – yes our water bottle was back in our room too, silly mistake. The pool at one end is about 2 foot deep and we found ourselves laughing at those in swimming caps and goggles trying to manoeuvre a turn in a graceful manner, but you can get in a good swim.

No robe means changing before heading upstairs to the treatment room to change once again. The treatments, however, were fully amazing. Opting for a 55-minute freestyle massage, that means the oil, pressure and areas for attention and those that you don’t want touched are all talked about beforehand. With deeply relaxing music and low lighting, the massage was amazing and often with these treatments that are done brilliantly, the time flies and we’re told to take our time getting up and asked if we wanted a tea. How bloody lovely.

So, there are some ups and downs and little niggles from us but all in all you can not knock the beauty of Nutfield Priory Hotel and Spa. The service was excellent and we noticed that with other guests as well (it’s not about just giving us special treatment). There is plenty to explore close by too, a castle, caves and also an award-winning farm shop full of produce, try the pork, cheddar and marmite sausage rolls.

Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa, Nutfield Rd, Redhill RH1 4EL
handpickedhotels.co.uk/NutfieldPriory