Known to be one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, part of the Belmond group, is a grand and stately old English country manor house set in beautiful gardens in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside.
Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons offers old-fashioned luxury at its best, and despite the hotel’s grandeur it still manages to feel completely comfortable, welcoming and homely.
The luxury hotel is surrounded by extensive grounds and beautiful walled gardens full of plump seasonal vegetables and fragrant herbs and spices which are used in their restaurant kitchen.
The hotel interiors are plush and welcoming, and each of the 32 luxurious bedrooms are individually and tastefully designed, each with their own distinctive theme and character.
The hotel is perhaps best known for its two-Michelin starred fine dining restaurant headed up by none other than Raymond Blanc himself.
I recently had the privilege of experiencing Le Manoir for myself – complete with 8 course tasting menu and matching wines in the celebrated Raymond Blanc restaurant. When we eventually had to leave – well rested and very well fed – the feeling was bittersweet. We had had the best 24 hours of our life and we knew that nothing else would ever compare or come close to the fairy tale that we had experienced!
From the moment we arrived, our every need was cared for – including needs that we didn’t even realise we had. The service was beyond impeccable as every need and desire was anticipated long before we even realised what it was that we wanted.
As we pulled up to the manor house and parked our car, the car doors were immediately opened for us and our luggage taken from our hands and carried up to reception. We walked up the pretty lavender-lined path to the main house and the front door opened for us before we even had the chance to knock. We were warmly greeted by our names before we even had the chance to introduce ourselves, and were led on a tour of the house.
After exploring the stunning English country house we were finally taken to the “stables” area to our Superior Suite – “Lemongrass”. As the door to our room was opened, our jaws dropped.
It’s hard to describe just how stunning the room is and it’s near impossible to capture it in a photograph – even the website photos don’t do this room enough justice!
This sophisticated suite is tastefully decorated and evokes old-world Asia, with dark bamboo and lime-green silk, yet it feels modern and offers all the modern amenities.
As you enter the front door into the suite (which has its own doorbell!), it’s like entering into a very swish private apartment. On the right was the marble bathroom which was separated from the bedroom by a floor-to-ceiling aquarium filled with tropical fish.
The bathroom had a deep two persons bathtub (almost big enough to swim in) complete with bath salts, scented candles and a built-in television screen in the wall next to the aquarium, so you could watch a movie (or the fish) from the bubbles of your tub. By the him & hers sinks there was a selection of toiletries you could help yourself to, including a gorgeous home-made lemon scented soap (made from the lemons from the estate) with a little soap bag which had a note to say “feel free to take me home with you”. Then there was the private steam room – a large marble room with a powerful rain shower (and a hand held shower too), relaxation beds and a button for the scented steam.
On entering the bedroom the grand bed was certainly the focal point of the room, raised on a platform and framed by thick luxurious curtains and a very grand headboard. There was a comfortable corner sofa and coffee table on the left and a full dining table, dressing table and fully stocked mini bar on the right, and a walk-in wardrobe straight ahead which lit-up as we walked in – only to show that our luggage had already been put away and hung up for us.
We were shown how to use some of the amenities of the room – a remote control for the surround sound music system (including inside the steam room), a remote control to control the temperature of the room, a remote control for the lighting, and finally a remote control for the television – with the press of a button the ceiling above the bed opened and a huge flat screen TV slowly lowered from the ceiling and rotated 360 degrees. Our jaws would have dropped had they not still been hanging wide open.
We were left alone for a moment and were enjoying the views over the gardens, the wildflowers and hotel’s courtyard when our doorbell rang and we were offered tea and lemon drizzle cake (homemade in the Raymond Blanc restaurant, of course). How could we say no?
We had just finished polishing off one of the best lemon drizzle cakes we’d ever had when our doorbell rang again and we were offered a selection of bath oils and bath salts – all made from the herbs from the walled garden.
After a (very) long soak in the bath and a refreshing steam, we put on fluffy bathrobes and settled down to watch a film – giggling like teenagers at how cool it felt to watch the TV appear out of the ceiling.
When evening fell, we got changed for dinner and I put on my highest heels knowing that there wasn’t far to walk.
After our 8 course meal (and 8 glasses of matching wines, as well as two gin and tonics earlier) it was most definitely bedtime and we swayed merrily back to our room. The room had been tidied in our absence and a complementary pillow mist had been laid down on the bed for us. We slept like logs and woke up late the next morning feeling brand new.
After a long steam clean we put our fluffy bathrobes back on and were served breakfast in bed (eggs Benedict) – I was surprised I could eat another thing after the night before!
After we checked out (and a porter came to collect our bags and put them in our car for us and drive our car to the front door) we were shown around the beautiful walled gardens and grounds, and admired the Japanese garden, the sculptures, and the greenhouse filled to the brim with vegetables and herbs. We were told about some of the exciting plans and developments in progress – including an animal farm and a farm shop – and we can’t wait to go back!
For anyone looking to book something truly special to celebrate a special occasion – be it for lunch, dinner, or even an overnight stay – it really doesn’t get better than Le Manoir.