Luxury, wellness and sweet treats at a country resort just outside London

In the wardrobe in my room at Fairmont Windsor Park is a smart beige leather box. “Pop your shoes in there and leave it outside your door to get them polished,” explained Josh, the charming young man who was giving me a room tour. Not that it’s such a big room, you understand, but there are lots of switches and gadgets, including one for the seriously-want-at-home electric curtains. Back to the shoes – and polished footwear is just what you’ll want to wear to walk round this beautiful hotel, which is highly polished in every aspect, from the valet parking and seamless check-in to the décor, the gym, the spa, the rooms, the restaurants and the beautifully manicured grounds.

There’s a grand sense of arrival as you drive through the 40-acre estate, via a bridge over a shimmering lake with a fountain as the magnificent Jacobean building comes into view. It took four years to finish, at a reported cost of £200 million. It’s only been open just over a year, which accounts for the shiny newness of everything, but standards are so high I have a hunch it will remain that way. Three life-size bronze horse sculptures and a Rolls Royce buggy are just waiting to be Instagrammed, while a fleet of luxury cars sets the scene.

The 251 bedrooms are beautifully appointed in a neutral colour palette with a Damien Hirst-esque blossom design on one wall making its way onto the ceiling too. The luxury bathrooms have walk-in shower, huge tub, hidden toilet, lots of places to put your stuff down and – oh joy – superb lighting and a magnifying mirror. The hotel has a strong focus on sustainability so the Le Labo bathroom products are firmly fixed in place rather than being in wasteful little miniatures.

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FWP Spa Indoor PoolThis is by all accounts an elegant countryside resort hotel and wellness plays a key role in its offering. The spa occupies a vast labyrinthine space and has so many options you could stay a week and not try them all. As well as 18 treatment rooms there’s a cryotherapy chamber, a six-person hammam and a Face Bible aesthetics clinic. There’s a large indoor pool and outdoor hydrotherapy vitality pool which is heated all year round. I counted 20 spin bikes in a studio of their own, a reformer Pilates studio, a huge fully-equipped gym and there’s even a hair salon and a Truefit & Hill barber shop.

An easy 45-minute drive from north London, this is an absolutely perfect place to escape for a night or two. I finished work early on Friday and was there in time for a cup of tea in the pretty pink-and-white bright spacious lounge before making use of my stunning bathroom to touch up my makeup before pre-dinner drinks in the 1215 bar (named after the year the Magna Carta was signed near here.) Cocktails are a twist on the classics – such as a gin-based Cosmo with elderflower and lemon.

1215 at Fairmont Windsor Park 2

1251 Restaurant

The 1215 restaurant is a white, light-filled room at which my husband and I were seated in a semi-circular booth looking out over the grounds. The tasting menu was spot on in seasonality, taking us from a spring pea tart through roasted asparagus with truffle, sea bream with samphire and champagne and the tenderest of lamb with wild garlic.  The new wave of tasting menus feature two desserts – perfect for someone like me who always wants more than one – and we had rhubarb egg custard and an indulgent dark chocolate and cherry ganache.

FWP Orchid Tea Room Afternoon Tea 6The Orchid Tea Room is for ladies who tea. You read that right. The owners of the mansion house that once stood on this site used to collected orchids and the wall murals and crockery feature these beautiful flowers. If you don’t want the full-blown afternoon tea (although I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t!) this is also a place to enjoy coffee and cakes throughout the day.

Breakfast is buffet-style in the Moreish restaurant, which serves up European and Middle Eastern fusion dishes in the evenings. If you’re into gin, this restaurant is also home to Schroeder’s Botanicals Bar.

We were lucky enough to be there on a warm sunny weekend and enjoyed a delicious Caesar salad and Padron peppers for lunch on the large terrace that stretches the entire width of the building. Lots of other people had the same idea and the place was buzzing with vitality, with young children playing on the lawn and the tinkle of music drifting outside from the pianist in The Orchid Room. An outdoor kitchen with pizza oven will be up and running in a few weeks and a walled garden is under construction, meaning that vegetables and fruit will be grown on-site. The hotel will also be producing its own honey.

Fairmont Windsor Park Wedding Pagoda South LawnThe terrace overlooks the lawn where chuppahs take place if the weather is good enough. And if it isn’t, there are ample indoor spaces, including the enormous, pillar-free ballroom that can hold 500 people. It’s fast becoming a very popular venue for weddings and all types of corporate events.

Just before we left I gave in to temptation and popped in to Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in the lobby while the car was being brought to the door. Armed with a bag of treats I bid this beautiful place a sweet farewell.

Rooms at Fairmont Windsor Park start from £525

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