Just beyond the outermost southwestern fringes of London, near the Surrey town of Guildford, is a hotel that’s roughly one part travel history and one part contemporary luxury boutique. The Queen Anne–style estate known as Barnett Hill was built in 1905 by the grandson of the pioneering travel agent Thomas Cook, whose widow later sold the house to the British Red Cross for institutional use. Fortunately for us, however, it was recently acquired by Alexander Hotels, who undertook a dramatic renovation aimed both at restoring the estate’s former glory and in bringing it up to the standards of Alexander’s other London-adjacent luxury hotels.
Continue on Tablet Hotels
In practical terms this means the exteriors are all-original, while the interiors have been reimagined to varying degrees; while Oak Room Restaurant still retains most of its Edwardian stateliness, the rooms and suites feature generous splashes of color and a contemporary edge to the furnishings. Rain showers with L’Occitane bath products are standard, while some of the suites add egg-shaped modernist tubs. Afternoon tea is served either in one of the lounges or on the garden terrace, and its Sunday lunch service is a classic British roast served in the wood-paneled Oak Room. If you absolutely need a day spa, then you’ll find fault here, but for something a little more low-key than a full-on country house luxury hotel, this just might be your Goldilocks.