Must Visit: Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire
The very first comment I would make on Heythrop Park is that I wouldn’t hesitate for one second to go back. That in itself should say to you that the weekend I recently had there was thoroughly enjoyable and if you add that to the great staff and activities on offer I would recommend Heythrop in a heartbeat.
Set in 440 acres of beautiful Oxfordshire countryside the unique setting offers visitors a quintessential stay in the English country estate which dates back to the 18th Century.
Situated on the edge of the Cotswolds, the elegance of the resort is to behold and taken in as you can walk around the fabulous old buildings which is twinned with up-to-date style and state-of-the-art facilities.
Location wise, Heythrop Park couldn’t be better placed. Just 12 miles from central Oxford and easy access from both Birmingham and London makes Heythrop Park easily accessible. I took a direct train from London Paddington and one hour and 20 minutes later I was in Charlbury. A five minute taxi ride will then have you rolling up the mile and a half drive way on your way to a perfect weekend getaway.
The Crowne Plaza, one of two hotels on site offers guests a contemporary stay in one of their 197 stylish en-suite rooms, air conditioning, large comfy beds all of which include the Crowne Plaza’s Sleep Advantage programme; which includes a relaxing aromatherapy kit to help aid a good night’s sleep.
There’s plenty of room choice, from standard double, twin executive, kind executive along with junior and senior suites.
Executive rooms and suites offer king sized beds and private access to a balcony or terrace and a separate living area.
In 2009, Heythrop turned to renowned designer Tom MacKenzie to provide the perfect challenge for a resort stay course.
Mackenzie, who has a course design CV like no other set-out to re-build in the vast area given to him inside the estate and what he came up with was no short of brilliant.
The 7088 yard par 72 course meanders its way around the estate using natural contours towards its tough setting. The ancient woodland, fishing lakes and natural streams all come into play as hazards with the huge mansion behind the 18th green is visible from quite a few holes around the course.
See the golf course review on Heythrop Park for more a more in-depth look at the course and golf experience.
There’s no better way than escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city than treating yourself to a relaxing spa treatment during a weekend away.
A 20m heated indoor pool will shake off those morning cobwebs or relax the aching golfing muscles in the steam room and sauna. The state-of-the-art gym is also on hand if you over indulged the night before, which believe me is easy to do.
Heythrop offers a number of spa packages which are all available via an enquiry via their website. All of the day packages include full use of the spa facilities, personal skin consultation, product advice, complementary robe and towels and a one course lunch with soft drink in the Club Lounge.
Male and female treatments are available and if you fancy treating someone special, then gift vouchers are available.
The bar which doubles as the golf clubhouse is perfect for an after treatment drink and if it’s sunny, outside seating is available to continue the perfect relaxing day…..possibly with a little glass of bubbles.
Eat and drink
You certainly won’t go wanting during your stay. The Crowne Plaza offers a restaurant and three bars all with a short vicinity of each other. Add that to the clubhouse bar I’ve already mentioned and you’re pretty much spoilt for choice.
Back at the hotel though you have the snug bar, which as the name suggests is a cosy little bar to grab a quick drink or a relaxed afternoon coffee. Above that is The Mezz, which is more a lounge bar and a lot more spacious with large velvet chairs and sofas. You can eat from the afternoon tea menu here if you require an afternoon snack.
The main bar is the Brassery, which is a lively place with TV’s and everything you can imagine behind the bar. It’s perfect for a pre-dinner drink or the place to finish off your night before retiring to bed.
The Brassery Restaurant is located above the bar and is a fantastically elegant dining option. The food is excellent with plenty of options to choose from on the menu which was annoying as everything sounded delicious. The Brassery is where you’ll have breakfast too if you’ve booked that option and is served in the usual hotel style buffet. Every option of breakfast is available and was a great way to start the day.
It’s certainly worth mentioning that the staff I encountered throughout my stay was second to none in providing perfect customer service. They were a credit to the resort and made my stay even more enjoyable, so I’d like to say a big thank you to them.
Out and about
If you like to get out and about during your hotel stays then Heythrop is still the perfect place. Other than walking around the beautiful 440 acres and viewing the old estates from every angle, there are some great landmarks to find nearby.
Other than a trip into historic Oxford there’s also Warwick Castle and Blenheim Palace within driving distance. I’d even recommend Chipping Norton which is a quirky little town. You may even see the odd famous face.
For me the location, the service, the food, the room, the spa and the golf was fantastic. I reiterate my opening line when I said I wouldn’t hesitate to return.
Thank you again Heythrop for having me and I will see you again soon.
For more information and to book visit www.heythropparkgolf.co.uk
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