Q Hotels Oulton Hall - Feature Review
Leeds is littered with fantastic golf courses just a few miles outside of the city centre, although few have the option to play and stay. However, there is one resort in the sleepy village of Oulton that offers this, and more – Q Hotels Oulton Hall.
Situated just six miles outside of Leeds sits the unique 18th Century former family mansion, converted into an absolutely stunning hotel. There are three loops of nine holes to choose from meaning getting a round in, even if it is just a quick nine holes at the end of the day, shouldn’t be a problem.
Oulton Hall is the perfect choice for leisurely beauty thanks to its idyllic location, beautiful landscaped gardens and exceptional service from the moment you arrive. Whether you’re a golfer, or just on a romantic getaway, your heart will start racing with pure excitement from the moment you make your way up the sweeping driveway – leading up to one of the grandest entrances in Yorkshire.
Golf at Oulton Hall
On offer at Oulton Hall are three different loops of nine. Although this may be strange to some, it does allow the chance for some variety with all three nines offer their own little challenge. The three courses to choose from are the Park course, the Calverley course and the Hall course nines.
The white nine hole loop, known as the Park course features holes 1 to 9 and requires some clever thinking off the tee. There is the perfect mix of long and short par-4s on this nine, however many of the shorter holes require an iron off the tee due to the landing zone getting narrower the further you hit it.
There are only two par-3s on this loop and they both offer a different challenge. The first par 3 comes at the 2nd and is just a flick with a wedge, where as the 7th hole requires a mid to long iron depending on the wind.
The only par-5 comes at the 7th hole, and what a hole it is. For the longer hitters it is reachable in two but any approach shot that finishes short and left could find a deep bunker, and more importantly a very difficult up and down.
Holes 10-18 come under the Yellow loop of holes called the Calverley course. Again, the par-4s on this nine require some tactical thinking off the tee due to the tree lined fairways and doglegs, but it is the par-3s that really stood out on this nine for me.
Although there are only two, they have the potential to ruin a scorecard due to their length. The 11th plays 192-yards off the white tees and there are two bunkers waiting to collect any balls left short. The 14th plays even longer at 230-yards off the white tees and again requires an accurate shot with a long iron or wood (or driver) in order to have any chance of a par.
The 18th is a beautiful finishing hole as you make your way up the hill towards the clubhouse. For many, the fact that an ice-cold beer from the Claret Jug bar is in touching distance is enough to give them that final boost of energy.
The Hall course is a picturesque extension to the Calverley course, which is played with either nine holes from The Park course or as just a single nine holes, for those who don’t have time for a full 18. Although new, this nine was possibly my favourite loop of holes.
Holes 19-27 feature a lot of undulation, water features and probably the best greens. This is the longest nine holes at the resort and is perfect for those who like to get the ball out there.
The stand out hole for me was the 24th hole. It requires a wood or long iron off the tee for safety, but the real fun comes on the approach shot. With a wedge or short iron, you must clear the pond that surrounds the front of the green, but make sure you don’t put too much spin on the ball as it may spin back down the sloped green and into the water. It may be quite strange seeing “19th hole” on the signposts and it not be the bar, but you do get used to it.
The Hotel at Oulton Hall
As you stand outside the entrance to the hotel reception, you get the chance to realise the true splendour of this 18th Century family mansion. The sheer beauty of the architecture reflects in the magnificent, luxurious rooms.
During my time I stayed in the Swaledale Suite, which featured an immensely comfortable four-poster bed, reasonably large bathroom, tables and sofa, as well as other key amenities - such as tv and wifi - and beautiful views over the Hall course and the surrounding area. The bottle of Merlot that came with the room was a welcomed bonus too.
All together there are 152 rooms at Oulton Hall, with standard features including complimentary Wi-Fi, iron and ironing board and a tv. 70 of these rooms are newly refurbished and are beautifully light in décor with a chic, timeless finish and modern bathrooms. Although a standard room, there’s nothing standard about any of these guest rooms.
There is a choice of two types of suites – Junior King Suites and King Suites. No effort has been spared with these in making them comfortable in the most lavish way possible. There are just seven suites in the hotel, and all have been designed to make guests feel completely relaxed and at home.
If you’re looking for all the added extras and something even more special, then look no further than a VIQ room. These rooms feature all standard bedroom inclusions, Sky TV, a Smart Theatre TV that connects to your phone or tablet and surfs the web, Newby of London Tea Infusions, luxury toiletries, a jar of Dormans sesame nuts, a jar of Dormans chocolate raisins and one bottle of Altoritas Merlot.
What else does Oulton Hall have to offer?
Do not for one second think that all Oulton Hall has to offer is 27 holes of golf and a comfy bed. There is so much more for guests to do.
Food & Drink
The food at Oulton Hall is exceptional whether you eat in the Claret Jug or the Calverley Grill. The Claret Jug is, effectively, a clubhouse but it does offer a variety of dishes that are perfect to snack on before or after your round, while the Calverley Grill is part of the main hotel and serves classic British food with a local contemporary twist.
The quality of the food really stood out for me and arguably justified the price. The sea bass main was possibly the best fish I’ve had in England, and came to close to the quality of some specialist fish restaurants I’ve sampled abroad. Even if you are a golfer, you should definitely visit for the food alone.
The Champagne bar adjacent to the restaurant offers Peroni on tap, as well as numerous spirits, liqueurs and, you guessed it, champagnes. The ambiance is perfect and the staff are well trained and very friendly, which is always a bonus.
Like all Q hotels, Oulton Hall features an ESPA that offers a compliment of therapeutic and rejuvenating face and body care treatments. Guests can choose from a variety of experiences from back, neck or shoulder massages to anti-aging facials.
There is also a swimming pool where you can bathe in the ever-changing mood lighting and relaxing music, allowing you to drift away from stress and relax your muscles after a tough round of golf.
Finally, The Oulton Club offers fantastic gym facilities where you can take advantage of the latest Technogym equipment with the Wellness System, Sky TV and touch screen technology. There are also personal trainers who can organise a fitness regime tailored to your needs.
With Leeds just over 6 miles away, you can take advantage of the numerous shops, cafés and restaurants. Wasting a day in the city centre isn’t hard in Leeds as there is just so much to do. For those who like a night out, Leeds offers some of the best nightlife in the North of England and you definitely won’t be disappointed.
How to get there?
By Car – Oulton Hall is easily accessible from the M1 and A1. From the M1 take junction 42 for the M62 towards Hull. Then leave at junction 30 and follow the signs toward Rothwell. After that, simply follow the signs for Oulton, taking the first exit at the two roundabouts and the hotel is on your left.
From the A1 North, you must follow the A1/M1 link road towards Leeds and take junction 44. Turn left at the top of the slip road and follow the A639 to the roundabout. Turn right at the roundabout and the hotel is on your left.
Finally, from the A1 South, take the junction for the M62 towards Leeds and leave at junction 30. Then follow the signs for Rothwell and Oulton as above.
By Rail – Oulton Hall is just 5 miles from Leeds Station. For those travelling from London, the station is just 2 hours and 15 minutes from Kings Cross.
By Air – Leeds/Bradford airport is just 15 miles away from Oulton Hall for those looking to travel by air.