Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons
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Thanks to Pete for our cuppa and early drop off at Heathrow, all checked in, BIG Brekkie at Carluccios, duty free bought and waiting to board... Soooo excited... Next stop Delhi, arriving at 23.06pm (18.36pm UK time) where we stay one night at the Radisson Blu Plaza ...
... really we are loving it ,picked up the hire car from heathrow and Helen put herself down as sole driver ,faaaaantastic. She's been doing a great job in pretty stressy situations Scraped the ice of the wind screen then headed for the local supermarket , wot a nightmare ,the bloody place is bigger than your farm Henti. 3 hours later and £300 down we crawled out of there only to return every day since for stuff forgotten Less than 70000 miles, ...
... Jackass back-to-back on TV. Being asked my name in coffee shops.
I think my jetlag is pretty shocking right now. A few hours ago, on the plane, I looked in the mirror and my eyes were glazed over in pinky red. I’m drinking coffee because that’s what you do when you’re tired. And there has to come a point where lack of sleep – due to the chaos of a plane journey ...
Well, about 3 hours into the flight now. About 00:25 and we have been fed and watered. Just went to the loo and they had turned out the lights whilst I was in there - bounders... Bloke in front has, inevitably, put his seat back leaving me a nanometer of space... Into my second film ...
The experience at Heathrow is a lot different than previous experiences the airport security is mostly a bad experience even though we are "in transit". Additional screening took 30 min extra. It felt like we were back in South Africa, inefficiency being the order of the day. Maybe something do with the fact that mostly middle eastern immigrants are in charge of security? Have the British lost their country, I ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons Great Milton
Diasapponting food but lovely room
We recently stayed for one night at the Manoir and were delighted with the superior room we stayed in but found the food a little disappointing. The room was well up to our expectations and the bathroom was especially lovely.
Dinner in the evening was uninspiring and breakfast the following morning was poor. We expected excellent croissant, pain-au-chocolat and pain-au-raisin in a hotel with such provenance. The English breakfast was rather dull.
Paradise found at Le Manoir
Having just returned from a one night break at Le Manoir, my opinion is that it is the best hotel and restaurant I have ever experienced. The service was impeccable. From the moment of arrival at Le Manoir guests are made to feel very special: greeted and welcomed by name on entry into the public areas, a private tour of the building given before being shown to your room, bags collected from cars etc.
My husband and I stayed in a junior suite, Eugenie which, was designed in a French Provencal theme and had all those extra touches to make a truly memorable break. To name but a few of these: huge fluffy dressing gowns and slippers, incredible Denon sound system with speakers even in the bathroom (classical music CDs provided), fresh fruit bowl and decanter of Madeira, gargantuan decanter of Molton Brown bubblebath in the bathroom and complementary shoe shine. The room was exceedingly tastefully furnished and the bathroom stunning - brown slate tiles, double shower, double ended bath.
For dinner, we opted for the Menu Gourmand, (7 course taster menu), which was absolutely superb. I was worried whether I would be able to cope with the quantities of food, but the flavours were beautifully balanced and the timing between courses well judged. Presentation was also excellent. The atmosphere in the restaurant was far from snooty and the staff very friendly and helpful, including the knowledgeable, chatty Sommelier. We did feel, however, that some guests were a little too relaxed in their dress for dinner - jeans and casual shirts.
On a walk round the grounds the following day, we were very interested to see Raymond Blanc's car in the car park and catch glimpse through the window of a team of chefs running around him in the kitchen!
This is an exquisite venue for a very expensive treat. The cost is balanced by the absolute top-notch quality of the break. I hope I can afford to return one day!
Lots and lots of extras
We recently stayed in the Opium suite which is one of the superior suites at Le Manoir - it was a wonderful oriental themed suite that started with the entrance hall which led onto a very impressive sitting room (with a real fire) then onto the dressing room, bedroom (you could hardly see the bed for all the cushions) and then the massive marble bathroom. There was also a walled garden complete with our own pond and budda. The hotel gardens were very impressive too.
We had a fabulous time but there were one or two extras that we were quite shocked by. They offered us a cup of tea when we arrived, then promptly charged us nearly £4 for one cup. The fruit basket had unripe fruit that we couldn't eat (I did try to eat one of the plums but it was crunchy and it proceeded to give me a stomach upset for the rest of my stay). The toilet in the bathroom was very dated and didn't flush properly (not great with a stomach upset) we did mention this to reception and they did try to fix it but they really need to get a new loo. With the package we booked, they gave us dressing gowns that were lovely but they only came in one size, large - far too big for me and too small for my partner. Dinner was good but we were stuck next to the cheese trolley with a strong smell that overpowered you when you were trying to enjoy your meal.
The main extra that shocked me was that they charged you extra for breakfast, it was only £12 but when you book a hotel room for £1,200 you expect breakfast to be included in that cost. We did have a lovely time but the cost of breakfast left a very bitter taste in my mouth.
A wonderful treat - well worth the (huge!) expense
On any scale of 1 - 5, this merits at least a 7. Le Manoir quite lives up to its stunning reputation - fantastic service creating a suprisingly relaxed atmosphere. A beautiful room (we had the stunning Dovecot suite), gorgeous grounds. Oh, and the food, of course: literally as good as it comes. Sheer perfection - a real lesson in the craft of managing a world-class hotel.
Worth Every Penny
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking how can any hotel be worth the rates they charge. I would have agreed with you, before I stayed there last night. The rates are very high and most people could not even begin to think about going there. Obscenely expensive hotels really annoy me.
However, this is the exception to the rule. First of all: fab location. If you are coming from London, it is just three miles off the M40, so central London to Manoir in an hour. Peaceful, beautiful gardens. We were staying in a superior room, which can only be described as perfect. We had fresh cherries and sugared almonds and madeira in the room to feast on... yum. Huge bath, thoughtfully placed candles (for romantic break purposes), all the usual luxury items of course.
Part of our room rate was the Menu Gourmand, which I cannot rate highly enough. We had a really amazing meal. One downer: the clientele are by in large rather boring middle aged couples who aren't talking to each other, but then this is rural Oxfordshire, not a cutting edge restaurant in London/NY.
We then had breakfast in bed the next morning, which again is exquisite...
Obviously this is not a hotel for a fortnight's break. But for a perfect escape from the madness of the city for a bit. Pampering personified.
I was treated to a stay at Le Manoir by my children as a special birthday present and I have to say that we have never stayed in such a wonderful hotel before. From the moment we arrived all the staff seemed to know who we were and that we were celebrating my birthday.
There was champagne waiting for us in our beautiful room with its own private gardens. I'm a keen gardenere and loved strolling the lovely gardens, a mix of Provence and the Cotswolds!
Dinner was a very special and very indulgent - but a very special night for us both. Highly recommend it!
Very Nice, But Worth the Price?
We spent a week this past April at Le Manoir and I can't say we were disappointed, but know we could have done as good for much less money.
We had a jr. suite that consisted of one room with a small entry hall with a closet wall and a nice large bath. The room was nice, but not elegant. I would say that it was appointed as nicely as an upscale NY hotel. But most hotels of this calibre don't run 470 British Pounds/night (do the math at $1.83/pound and you'll see what I mean) and this was a discounted price due to our extended stay! The bed wasn't the best (the mattress probably wasn't turned very often) and the wall between our room and the one next door was not insulated very well. We could hear the TV and even the verbal conversations that our nocturnal neighbors provided almost every evening (usually between 11 pm and 2).
The bathroom was very nice. Very large, all marble, toilet and bidet, separate soaking tub, a stall shower and truly the best part of the room. Too bad there was no catch on the shower door. Made for a bit of a mess on the floor when showering. (The manager said there never was a latch even though the hardware for one was still on the door. Sorry, I have an engineering background and this kind of thing really bothers me.)
Servicing of the room was handled very well and the housekeeping staff was very professional and friendly. The front desk was not very responsive to phone calls. Either they were very busy or not there. We called from our room on several occaisions and at various times and most times did not get an answer. When we did, it was always pleasant but this was also a frustration for a hotel with a reputation of perfection. The grounds are beautiful (even in the rain!) and Raymond Blanc's restaurant is probably the best we've ever experienced (and that includes Patrick O'Connel's Inn at Little Washington and Michelle Richard's Citronelle) but be prepared to shell out another 300 pounds + for a nice dinner for two with a few glasses (not bottles) of wine. Restaurant service was superb. If you get tired of peeling off hundred pound notes for food at an alarming rate, head over to the Bat and Ball Pub in nearby Cuddesdon. Wonderful young staff, great food and reasonable pricing.
So in conclusion, I would invest in a copy of Johannson's Best Hotels (there was one in our room) and look around the UK a little before heading to Le Manoir. You'll be hard pressed to find another hotel with rates as high as Le Manoir's. Then again, if you can arrange to have your helicopter deliver you to the hotel for lunch (like a group of people did while we were there) the term "value" has a different meaning. Le Manoir was very nice, but, in my opinion, overpriced.
I have just returned from a one-night mid-week stay at Le Manoir and cannot praise this hotel highly enough! My husband and I expected nothing short of excellence with regard to the food and accommodation and this was certainly delivered! Our room was traditional in decor and immensely comfortable and the long hot soak in the roll top bath while sipping a glass of fine Madeira was just sublime! For dinner we opted for the 7 course menu gormand which was truly wonderful. There's an extensive wine list that offers many half bottle options - helpful if there's just 2 of you and you fancy a white and then a red with your meal. What really blew me away about this hotel was the exceptional level of customer service that is sadly lacking in so many British hotels and restaurants. Every member of staff that we came into contact with was extremely helpful and attentive without being overbearing. A stay at Le Manoir is not cheap but I left feeling totally pampered - I'm already saving up for the next time!
This place is absolutely wonderful! My wife and I have just returned after spending the weekend here for our friends wedding. From the minute you arrive, you were warmly welcomed; the service was excellent without being overpowering, intrusive or intimidating. I found that the staff could not do enough for you and you never had to find anyone if you needed them, they were always readily available. The rooms were lovely; my wife could not get enough of the wonderful bath or the Molton Brown toiletries. When we were shown to our room, there was a card personally welcoming us, wonderful music playing on the personnel Denon music centre, all of these and much more were great touches which added to the magical weekend. The following morning after a great breakfast, (the food is out of this world) we walked round all the gardens, which are kept as fine as the hotel itself. Probably one of the best places we have stayed. We will be returning!
A Night at Le Manoir
Le Manoir is a must for all who enjoy the finer things in life, from the wonderful interiors, luxurious rooms, the marvellous gardens, a magnificent wine list and stunning menus, there is no disappointment to be found.
We stayed in "Opium" a junior suite with an Oriental style, real log fire and its own courtyard garden. The attention to detail was second to none and nothing was too much trouble for the most friendly and efficient staff.
The real reason for our stay was however the food. We chose Raymond Blancs vegetarian Menu Gourmand (there is a meat-eaters version), which consisted of seven carefully considered courses, the balance of dishes was perfect, presented and served to an exceptional standard.
The next morning after our French breakfast, which included freshly baked pastries and fresh fruit, we strolled through the grounds, which include a large vegetable garden from which the previous evenings produce had been picked, a herb garden, Japanese Tea Garden and an impressive Carp lake.
It was an experience that we are eager to repeat and feel that every penny was justified.