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Checking In: Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa

Nestled in the Surrey countryside, on the fringes of London, Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa, offers an unforgettable setting for business meetings and corporate days of all sizes. Hamish Kilburn checks in to the 19th Century venue to find out more…

London is overrated, is the audacious conclusion I have made following a recent trip to the stunning Surrey countryside. There are few – if any – destinations within 20 miles of London that can frame the same picturesque, unspoiled views of the rural backdrop that Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa does so effortlessly. Set within 12 acres of greenery in the South Downs, the original Neo-Gothic Victorian mansion straddles the UK ‘bleisure’ market – and here’s why.

Upon arrival, guests can park for free within steps of the hotel, a novelty that London venues can only dream of offering. On entering, an understated check-in desk creates a comfortable home-from-home first impression and the large lobby/lounge area is both calming and stylish. Reference of the property’s former existence as the 19th Century home of Thomas Fowler Wood is quite literally written on the walls. Mr Wood’s struggles and triumphs of being one of the few northerners to settle socially into the Surrey hills is carved out in satirical engravings around features such as fireplaces and archways.

After I had managed to read up on the history of what is now the hotel and spa, using the fast wi-fi, I became intrigued to understand how the hotel has transformed itself into a venue that is reserved for more than romantic couples seeking weekend escapes. With a total of nine flexible meeting rooms and three seminar rooms to choose from, the venue is designed to welcome entourages of all sizes. The event space includes the Fielden Suite, which is the largest function room at the hotel with plenty of natural light and the Gibson Suite, complete with intricate detailed ceilings and wood panelling. In addition, the welcoming Library is used for guests to relax in during break times. 

Whether you are looking for a venue for a corporate day, or you’re reading this in search of a more personal trip, Nutfield Priory is an ideal home-from-home country escape.

Complete with carefully considered break-out areas, the venue’s corporate facilities can be flexible to suit specific needs, proving further that corporate events don’t have to lack personality. For example, on request, I was told that the venue can even provide a BBQ and casual setting (weather dependent). Meanwhile, during the summer months, expansive lawns make Nutfield an impressive space for team building events.

Guests checking in are automatically granted access to the Elemis Spa and leisure facilities.

In addition to the property being fully equipped to host almost any style of business meeting and/or corporate day, the hotel and spa also prides itself on what I consider ‘unstuffy luxury’. During the day, the main bar provides a quintessentially British experience, allowing one to enjoy a G&T or afternoon tea while taking in the views of Surrey’s rolling hills. 

By night, however, the area transforms into a tranquil yet social hub for guests to enjoy aperitifs. Dinner for guests staying at the hotel takes place in the intimate Cloisters Restaurant. The permanent dining setting has been created within original corridors, adding to the historic experience but also using the original architecture to keep the layout of covers to two rows of tables, preventing overcrowding. Despite being a solo traveler, the waiters and bar staff gave me just enough attention. And everything on the menu – from the Creamed Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher to the Cheek and Halibut – was explained clearly and confidently. 

The hotel has 60 individually designed bedrooms and suites, which all vary in size, style and personality.

Aside from the laid-back luxury facilities that the hotel and spa offers, perhaps the most impressive fact is the venue’s location. Redhill station is located just two miles from the hotel, and the trip into Central London is just a 45-minute train journey away. 

So whether you are looking for a venue for a corporate day, or you are quietly reading this entry in search of a more personal escape – or indeed both – Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa is an ideal home-from-home country escape that’s architecture, facilities and luxury status will appeal to almost all who check in under its grand yet inviting entrance. 

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