Hotel review: The Village at Beaverbrook, Surrey, UK

Tucked away down the hill from Beaverbrook’s imposing Victorian mansion, The Village is a charming collection of family-friendly suites designed to plunge guests back in time


Location

Beaverbrook and its grounds – where you’ll find The Village – are a sight to behold. Set in 470 acres of the Surrey Hills, approximately an hour and a half’s drive from central London (as long as the M25 is functional), or a quick hop from Leatherhead station, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the time or inclination to explore the surrounding areas. But, if you do, you’ll find the quaint villages of Mickleham and Headley nearby, as well as Epsom – famed for its racecourse – and the National Trust’s Edwardian country house Polseden Lacey, which is well worth a trip.

The vibe

The Village is largely presented as its own neighbourhood, a quiet haven designed with parents and young children in mind. The cottages are reconstructions of the homes lived in by the estate’s workers back in the 1800s and are accompanied by their own restaurant, Mrs Beeton’s. The cottages sit around a courtyard whose centrepiece is a boules court which, when the sun is out, gives the feeling of being in the south of France more than Victorian England. And yet, the Village is far from self-contained. Access to the main body of the hotel is essential, unless you’re happy to while away the days in your room or one of Mrs Beeton’s dining booths, or playing endless rounds of petanque. The house is a fully renovated late Victorian mansion, whose Art Deco decor and displays of historic treasures pay tribute to its most famous occupant: the 20th-century media mogul, and great friend of Winston Churchill, Lord Beaverbrook.

Guests in The Village also get access to the main Beaverbrook house
Guests in The Village also get access to the main Beaverbrook house (Beaverbrook)

To reach the main hotel while staying in The Village, and thus enjoy the playground, pool, spa and other key amenities, you must commandeer a golf buggy or drive five minutes up the steep, speed bump-flecked hill. Part of the charm is that each room is allocated its own buggy to be used at the guests’ leisure, provided you undertake an efficient, three-minute training course.

The service

The Village only opened in December 2023 and is yet to feel busy. But rather than feel empty or desolate, the whole place was soothingly calm, especially after the excitement of exploring the main house. Staff, who use the entrance to Mrs Beeton’s as a reception desk are warm and accommodating, showing that the Village is intended to be without frills and pretence – this is all about cosy comfort. The point is that you’re meant to feel as though you’ve been transported back to the late 19th century, when people ate things like mince and dumplings (which is on the restaurant’s menu) and spent afternoons reading or playing simple games.

Bed and bath

The ‘Village Suites’ are fit for a whole family
The ‘Village Suites’ are fit for a whole family (Beaverbrook)

There are four different types of room: classic, deluxe, studio suites and suites, all of which are named after literary and artistic giants of past eras. We stayed in “Kenneth Grahame” – named after The Wind in the Willows author – which was bright, spacious and decked out in an eccentric rainbow of different checks and stripes. Adding to the Edwardian charm, it was lined with stacks of well-worn Penguin classics, a wooden skittle set, creaky wooden racing car and oak-panelled bunk beds for the kids. The bathroom had a more modern design but was just as opulent, with a freestanding tub, shower room and double sinks.

Food and drink

Mrs Beeton’s is the beating heart of The Village; indeed, heart – or, at least, heartiness – is very much its raison d’être. All three meals are served in its leather-lined booths or, weather permitting, outside in the courtyard, and comfort food is king. Sausage rolls, spit-roasted chicken and even a chip buttie slathered in ketchup, are among the dishes on offer.

Breakfast at the restaurant consists of a simple à la carte menu of the classics: full English; porridge; eggs and soldiers; pancakes. Alternatively, or in addition, you can pay £25 to pick and choose from the daily continental selection of cereals, yoghurts, pastries, crumpets, toast and dried and fresh fruit. There’s not a mind-melting selection here, just the right amount, elegantly presented.

Expected Japanese-inspired cuisine inside The Dining Room
Expected Japanese-inspired cuisine inside The Dining Room (Beaverbrook)

Over in the main Beaverbrook house, there are two restaurants, of which The Dining Room is the headliner. Spilling out onto the terrace, overlooking the grounds, this Japanese grill serves à la carte and tasting menus – with highlights including soft-shell crab tempura and Kobe beef sukiyaki – as well as lunchtime bento boxes.

Tucked behind the hotel’s walled kitchen garden, The Garden House focuses on Anglo-Italian dishes such as rigatoni of braised duck with fennel and radicchio and hand dived Orkney scallops with hazelnut butter and thyme. Plus, it also serves a traditional roast on a Sunday. And if you’re looking for something more informal, the Coach House Deli prepares seasonal salads and flatbreads during the day and transforms into a pizzeria at night; while children are welcome, it is the only one of the four eateries that doesn’t have its own dedicated kids’ menu.

There are also two cocktail bars onsite: Sir Frank’s – tucked away in a 1920s-style corner of the main house; and the Sir Robin Nest Bar, whose interiors, designed by Nicola Harding, are inspired by the kitchen garden beside which it sits.

Facilities

When the weather is warm, hit the outdoor pool
When the weather is warm, hit the outdoor pool (Beaverbrook)

While The Village itself is home to nothing more than its restaurant, boules court and bikes for borrowing, there’s little that’s not on offer up at the main estate Guests have access to the stained-glass Coach House spa, with a 20-metre indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, ice fountain, as well as six treatment rooms, offering everything from IV vitamin infusions and naturopathy to classic massages and facials. Upstairs in the same building there is a gym, where classes and personal training sessions can be booked.

The highlight in the summer months, however, is the outdoor pool, surrounded by sunny striped deckchairs and plush astroturf, with a small splash pool for the little ones. There’s plenty more for kids, too. The woodland outdoor play areas features a tree house, tipi, obstacle courses and a playground, with wellies available for muddier days. Children aged between five and 12 can be dropped off at Sharky & George’s club on weekends and during school holidays, where they’ll try out a range of activities, from bug hunting to den building. The hotel has a cinema room, which hosts film screenings for all ages throughout the afternoon and evening, and outdoors there are countless activities to get stuck into, from tennis to fencing to pickleball.

Disability access

In The Village, there is one accessible room (named after PG Wodehouse), and Mrs Beeton’s has step-free access at its entrance and in its bathrooms. The spa has four accessible treatment rooms, an accessible toilet and changing facilities, a hoist for access to the indoor pool (though pre-booking is required), and a lift providing access to the gym. Ramps are available at the hotel’s main entrance and there is a lift and disabled toilet in the public areas.

Pet policy

Pets aren’t allowed in The Village, however, there are dog friendly areas in the rest of the hotel (no additional charge).

Check in/check out

Check in from 3pm; check out by 11am.

Family-friendly?

Absolutely, provided no members of your group have a fear of golf buggies. And when it comes to the Village’s 21 rooms, six are designed with kids in mind. These feature bunk beds which can be tucked away when not in use – meaning a comfortable set up for a family of four. All of The Village Suites offer the option to adjoin with another room, and feature bunk beds.

At a glance

Best thing: The tranquillity. Large hotels can be overwhelming for young children, but here they can run around outside in the courtyard with all the seclusion of being at home.

Perfect for: Young families, large groups or anyone who is happy to sacrifice proximity to the action for a bit more peace and quiet.

Not right for: Anyone who likes to be at the heart of the action.

Instagram from: The top of the hill as you drive down into the Village and see the Mrs Beeton’s sign – it looks like a movie set.

Address: Reigate Road, Leatherhead KT22 8QX, UK.

Phone: 01372 571300

Website: beaverbrook.co.uk

Read more: The best luxury UK hotels


Source link