February 26, 2020
The Runnymede on Thames Hotel and Spa has a spirit that flows through every experience
Relaxed Luxury…A style of luxury where ease is the focus. No pretence. No fanfare. Just simple, seamless, personalized hospitality with huge attention to detail (which, I have to say, is extremely rare these days). This is the core of The Runnymede on Thames.
If you have read my reviews before you know I am brutally honest and always arrive in places with low expectations, not due to pessimism but previous experiences. As we drove closer to the hotel we had to wait to go into the car park. “What luxury hotel is this full?!”
The electric car charging point was broken due to the storm the night before and there were children running in the parking lot. I went in holding my breath.
As the revolving doors turned I entered the newly renovated lounge and a completely different vibe hit me.
Predisposed by the simple architecture that faced us outside, I was not expecting to find such a modern space. Quirky unique pieces of furniture carefully juggled the need of both entrepreneurs on laptops and groups of friends laughing over drinks. A fireplace stood at the centre of the room and groups of people surrounded it having designer gin cocktails, reading the paper and playing board games. The fashionable style and polite manners of the guests immediately positioned the hotel’s clientele. The Runnymede on Thames was not an overwhelmingly full venue as I first suspected, it is mostly just a really good place to hang out. A place where guests become regulars.
Soon after check-in Rob, the Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator of The Runnymede team gave me a personalised tour. The location of The Runnymede was perfect. It is on the river, minutes away from Heathrow airport, Windsor Castle, The Ascot racecourse, a couple of theme parks and other important tourist locations around London.
That evening we had dinner at The Lock Bar & Kitchen, the á la carte restaurant of the hotel. The food follows the motto of the hotel – simple, easy but executed to perfection. The staff were very friendly and honest in their recommendations, making us feel like regulars, but the service itself was not as casual: our glasses were never empty and there was a lot of attention to personal preference and alternatives for the meal.
“We know where everything is sourced”, mentioned Rob on the tour, “ We want to make sure that if there are any allergies or preferences, we can guarantee that people get what they request”. The attention to culinary alternatives shows.
Mornings start at The Runnymede with a breakfast buffet. A variety of fresh fruit. Three types of bacon and four types of freshly made eggs are on the English breakfast bar. Gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free options are largely available even on the very morish station of pastries.
But let’s talk about the spa treatments. . . or rather, let’s not. It is something you simply need to experience. The Spa has earned the Guinot Crown Elite Status for the third year in a row and the hotel uses ESPA professional products all across. Although The Runnymede Spa doesn’t have all the over the top pre/post rituals some luxury spas have, it has some of the most dedicated staff I have come across. A 45-minute aromatherapy back massage was tailored to my needs and Becky, my therapist, did more for my back than a Physiotherapist has been able to do in three sessions. Simply just SO good.
The wet areas are designed with a relaxing flow and plenty of spots to rest. There has also been a lot of effort put into integrating families to the spa activities without troubling childless guests. There are family times scheduled for the pool and teen treatments available. I completed the experience with a mindful yoga class given by an instructor trained by an osteopath.
This family-owned business has created a wonderful, easy space for both families and individuals to come and relax. I was told the owners pop in often and have good relationships with the staff and guests. It makes a great difference when management is truly involved in hospitality businesses and in this case, they even help choose the books for The Lounge.
The option to have an intimate VIP dinner by the river inside a bubble, boat dinners, tennis courts, an outside pool, event rooms … and I get the impression they would make the effort to cater to almost any request.
I would love to go back in summer – this time, with my little girls – to be able to use all the features The Runnymede on the Thames has to offer and enjoy the views and surroundings on a sunny day.
A: Windsor Rd, Egham TW20 0AG
T: 01784 220600
W: The Runnymede on Thames
Written by Diana Carolina for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International