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In search of rampant sleep – hotels for couples

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If you don’t know what rampant sleep is, I’m guessing you don’t have children. It’s what you do when you go away with your husband to a nice hotel, relax in a bubble bath, have a bottle of wine and a flirt over dinner, then start snoring at approximately 9pm before you’ve had a chance to put on your pricey new undies. A highly pleasurable experience as it happens!

S and I escaped to Henley on a sunny day, no kids to harrass us, nothing to do but browse in shops (yes, browse!! Remember that?), knock back champers at 4pm just because we could, and read the papers – all of them, at leisure – in bed at the Hotel du Vin where we stayed.

I’d totally recommend the hotel as a romantic bolt-hole. It’s a stone’s-throw from the river in a tucked-away position, has a champagne bar with squidgy sofas and quality house bubbles and enough pistachios to entice you to another glass. Plus a buzzy restaurant and attractive rooms (big roll-top baths and shower heads as big as sunflowers) and a fair price too – I think it was £230 for bed, breakfast and dinner. Quite possibly the best 24 hours I’ve had this year!

The Restaurant

A typical bedroom – large with exposed beams and brickwork

Henley not your cup of char?  Then check out …

Danesfield House (particularly now the restaurant has just grabbed its first Michelin star) – fantastic spa and a stunning lounge area that somehow pulls off both grand and romantic

Hartwell House – check out my previous blog post here. It’s a dream come true this place, if you’re willing to part with £350 for the night. There’s a lovely spa here too.

Calcot Manor – on the outskirts of Muddy territory, but a fantastic hotel – modern facilities but retaining lots of character – with stupendous spa facilities in gorgeous Cotswold countryside. I’ve been three times now so really know what I’m talking about on this one. If you must insist on bringing your children (you fools!!), there are brilliant childcare facilities, including an all day creche.

The Kings Arms, Woodstock – A less expensive option than The Feathers and The Bear, but when we stayed here a few years back it suited us perfectly. A lovely large bedroom and a sweet, relaxed bar/restaurant downstairs, with Blenheim Palace around the corner.

Is there a hotel you’d recommend for a special night away? Write in the comment box below.

H x

9 comments on “In search of rampant sleep – hotels for couples”

  • Jess March 21, 2011

    Hubby and I had a very special night at the Old Parsonage in Oxford – would highly recommend it. We got a package for dinner bed and breakfast for about £230 – the dinner part was actually £50 towards bill at either the hotel restaurant or Gees – we had a thoroughly good time and love Oxford (and you don’t waste too much of your time away from the kids in the car!). Request a room in the original building if you can.

  • Natalie James March 29, 2011

    It’s not in the local area but if you happen to be south, I would highly recommend Black Rock House in Hastings:

    My boyfriend and I had an absolutely wonderful night’s stay and the owners were perfect hosts. The rooms are elegantly decorated and the breakfast in the morning was the best I think I’ve ever had!…. locally sourced sausages, artisan bread, an array of seasonal fruits, granola and an enormous cafetiere of smooth black coffee for each table. £125 for the night. If you do stay, head to Pomegranate in the town for dinner:

    • Muddy Stilettos March 29, 2011

      Thanks Natalie. That sounds amazing. May head down that way when the sun starts to shine properly. Hx

  • richard lander March 29, 2011

    If you can make it into town, the Dean Street Townhouse, part of the Soho House Group, is brilliant.

  • Sally Skerry March 14, 2012

    The girl did good!

    At this risk of going on longer than Hero in her original post, if you are considering Danesfield House, read on… if not… revert to something less boring instead…

    ….In a nutshell, Danesfield House is very nice (albeit expensive). Once you add up accommodation & fine dining for a couple of nights, spa treatments and shopping excursions to Marlow it could actually be the equivalent to a family holiday for a week! nonetheless, such weekends away à deux are a definite tonic once in a while and come wholeheartedly recommended.

    A little tip: most rooms don’t have tea and coffee making facilities as standard, so ask for a hospitality tray in your room and one arrives forthwith! Saving over 2 nights c£38. £4.75 for a bog standard cuppa in the grand hall thing (plus a 12.5% service charge) is just a little excessive however nicely served. Ask reception for real milk too… none of this UHT rubbish. A cheap skate? Yes……whatever.

    So, having asked for the tea tray immediately on arrival one feels some accomplishment in such saving, so might think nothing at having the second cocktail in the evening.. (a mere £14.50 + 12.5% on top). Win the economy battle but not the economy war!!!!! It’s the small victories that one savours though 🙂

    Also.. just for reference, the bar in the Spa seems cheaper than the one in the main hotel .. so if you are having a cheeky daytime tipple whilst reading the papers… head to the very comfy sofas in the Spa.

    Onto Adam Simmonds…. yes 12th in the good food guide… and for that I’d be inclined to agree. The food was excellent. However, the restaurant lacked a certain ambience for me. It was quiet when we arrived (only two other tables… I think there are only 8 or 10 in total anyway) and we could hear everyone elses conversation and them ours *yawn*. It creates a bit of an atmosphere I think. I asked the waitress if they considered a little background music to which the reply was “it’s all about the food”. Pretentious or what? Yes indeed, going to a Michelin is about the food – but not JUST the food! I need the whole package…. you may disagree.

    I plan to head back to The Square, London (which will trump your 1 star Adam (with 2) and trump your 7 course tasting menu (with 12 courses), and trump your 12th rating in Good food (to 10th)… And needless to say, it is not just “all about the food” there !!

    Whilst not quite Muddy Stilettoes territory, if you like Italian, we did lunch in Francesco’s in Marlow… which all in with two meals and a bottle of wine under £40. An absolute bargain and very enjoyable. Great for real Italian food lovers…. authentic and unbeatable for simplicity and taste…. maybe even better for food than the Orangery at Danesfield (how does that happen when Adam Simmonds has control of the food for the whole hotel??)… and kids welcome if you happen not to be avoiding them at the time.

    Now… if you fancy venturing further a field than Bucks/Oxon, hit Boutique hotel – Hotel Una in Brighton (Quaile Room highly recommended) Enjoy 🙂


  • soho barcelona November 22, 2012

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to provide one thing again and aid others such as you aided me.

  • paul hageman May 15, 2013

    Hope House Woodstock

  • Joceejo June 29, 2013

    Thank you for a fabulous lunch. I notice that the photo of you with Shaun didn’t make it in! Was that my poor photography skills again?! xx

    • muddystiletto June 29, 2013

      You’re so welcome! You are very easy company. I think on another day we could do some substantial damage to the bar lol! The photo won’t load for some reason, nothing to do with your photographic skills I promise. x


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