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Penelope Alice visits the brilliantly British Luton Hoo

Luton Hoo - From the gardens

Last week, PA Life Club members got to enjoy a five-star evening of brilliant service, luxurious rooms and breath-taking views from the Luton Hoo manor house hotel, spa and golf club. We’ve sent the PA Life PA, Penelope Alice along to visit the historic manor house and let you know what she thought of it… 

Luton Hoo - Grand Staircase

Luton Hoo – Grand Staircase

Just a short six-minute taxi ride from Luton Airport and seven-minutes from Luton Airport Parkway train station sits the idyllic thousand acre grounds of the traditional British manor house, in which the Luton Hoo hotel is based. To access the grounds, a two-mile drive from the outer-gate is required, in the day you can see beautiful British countryside landscapes and at night, the manor house lit up welcomes your eyes upon arrival.

When we arrived, the porter met me at my taxi to take my bags to my room, as I was welcomed by the doorman, who showed me kindly to the check-in desk. Check-in only took a few minutes, where I was warmly welcomed and shown to my room.

The room itself was the Mansion Master Bedroom, big enough to fit four guests at 105sqm. But seeing as it was only me, I found that I had more than enough room with my living room complete with a real fireplace, a whirlpool bath and walk-in wardrobe.

I was really taken aback with the grandeur of the traditional room and yet impressed with how the modern touches, of course helpful, blended into the ambiance of the space.
Modern televisions, air-conditioning, mini bar and easy to use coffee machine were just some of the perks of the room hidden amongst the antique furnishings. A fast wired internet connection in every room, however, the Wi-Fi in some of the rooms we were staying in was slow.

We met in the mansion chapel room at 6:45pm to begin our tour of the house. The room itself was set up for a private dining experience. The graphic art that decorated the walls seemed like it had come from the Sistine Chapel, it was subtle and very impressive. We were introduced to our guides for the evening and then we began our adventure.

Luton Hoo - Taxi

Luton Hoo – Taxi

After putting on our coats, we took a quick trip in one of the many branded taxis, to the nearly built conference centres. Located one mile away from the mansion, this state-of-the-art centre can support all of your modern conferencing needs. With a team of trained, knowledgeable staff ready to help you plan the perfect event, the conference centre felt very relaxed and comfortable and almost completely different from the manor house.

The conference centre offers lots of different rooms for different event sizes and occasions, including bars, conference spaces and even a very large snooker hall room, which could be perfect for a less formal meeting being held at the location. The bedrooms in the centre offer very fast Wi-Fi and a greater range of technology than the mansion.

After another taxi ride, we arrived at the golf club, based in the old stables area of the garden. The club offers a fully working spa, bar, clubhouse and a competitive 18-hole course, making it a great place to relax, no matter what your preference is. It was quiet in the spaces where you’d expect it to be quiet and louder in the areas, such as the bar, where you’d expect a more up-tempo jolly atmosphere.

We explored the stables, taking note on the spa and swimming pool, which we all wanted to visit again that night providing there was time.

We arrived back to the mansion at 8pm, where we were invited to a private dining experience within a different room, to one we had previously experienced. The table, set up for over 20 people, was very inviting and kept with both the traditional hotel feeling and told me that I was about to dine, rather than eat.

Luton Hoo - Private Dining Table

Luton Hoo – Private Dining Table

With wine flowing all night, the food was magnificent (see below details).

After the meal, the hotel had set up a session with a representation from House of Colour, who spoke to us about finding the right colour of lipstick for our skin tones, which proved to be funny, interesting and informative. This lasted about an hour and was interactive and found many of us asking questions to find out how we could look better.

After the meal, before we retired to our beds, we had a few cocktails to end a magnificent evening. From the traditional to the modern, the bar could make it all. It was the perfect night cap to finish a perfect night.

In the morning, I made sure to enjoy the room a little more, with the molten brown bath soaps and the complimentary chocolate covered strawberries before heading down to the main dining room. The room was filled with grand chandeliers and tapestry draped across its walls. For breakfast we had the option of a continental breakfast,, or as I preferred, a table served cooked breakfast. I passed on the full English and instead opted to have salmon and scrambled egg.

After a post-breakfast visit to the spa, I checked out at 11am. Before leaving, I decided to take a walk around the gardens; I crossed paths with a few pheasants and in the distance, saw deer. I’m not David Attenborough but it was all very exciting!

What we ate:
Starter – Watermelon and goats cheese
A palate cleanse – raspberry sorbet
Main – Roast beef, potatoes and autumn vegetables
Desert – Apple tart with ice cream
After: Coffee, chocolate truffles and fruit jelly sweets – made on site.