I love to escape London for a bank holiday weekend or long weekend to just get some R&R. If you live in London you will know this place gets busy so sometimes it’s nice to just escape to the countryside. There’s nothing like a bit of fresh air, some greenery and spa action to put you straight again. That’s why I recently had to get out of the city and head to Macdonald Frimley Hotel & Spa for some fresh air.
My life takes a toll on me and recently I haven’t been taking very good care of myself. I’ve been working 40 hours a week at my day job and 50 hours a week on my blog which tallies up to 90 hour workweeks which is just crazy. I can tell that my body has been put under stress lately as well because I find myself reaching for unhealthier foods that are easy to eat instead of the healthy option and have since really gained weight. In other words I’m a workaholic. I get a lot of joy out of of working hard but sometimes you just need a break ya know?
So needless to say I was ready to get the hell out of London and get out of town! When the opportunity to visit Macdonald Frimley Hotel & Spa in Surrey popped up I didn’t hesitate to book my train tickets and hightail it out of London the first bank holiday in sight!
Macdonald Frimley Hotel & Spa has the benefit of being really close to London – it’s only about 1.5 hours away by slow train (from Waterloo to Camberley via Ascot) and about an hour by fast train (if you take it from Waterloo to Farnborough). It’s easy to get to and that’s what makes it so appealing to weary Londoners.
Once you arrive to Camberley which is where I came in from, Macdonald Frimley Hotel & Spa is only a 5-minute taxi ride away. And once you arrive it’s like another world. It’s actually in the town of Camberley but because it’s surrounded by a forest it has a secluded feel. There is a lovely green lawn in front of the hotel with tables and sun chairs that you can lounge on or have drinks on. The lawn has a very European health spa feel – it reminds me of a French or Austrian health spa with people in their spa robes lounging in the sun. I was lucky enough to arrive when the weather was absolutely stunning so the idea of laying on the lawn was a must-do. I also happened to have a brand-new swimsuit from luxury swimwear brand Heidi Klein and I think this was the perfect place to wear it as the swimsuit is a lovely, classic one-piece.
The hotel has a county manor feel and is covered with ivy, surrounded by a beautiful garden. The interior has high ceilings and a historic feeling about it.
I was lucky enough to stay in the Princess Anne Suite which was absolutely gorgeous – high ceilings, a large and comfortable bed, a sitting area and a large window that looked out onto the lawn and forest beyond.
I liked that the room had plenty of space to move about and also the staff had managed to leave a bottle of wine out with a handwritten note to welcome me to the hotel. I always appreciate the smaller touches – a bottle of wine, a note, warm towels and a bathrobe. These are the things that make your stay comfortable. There was even a towel sculpture of two swans on my bed with a box of chocolate – seriously impressive!
So not long after checking in I decided it was time to hit the spa. The hotel has a steam room, sauna and large indoor pool which are all perfect for a bit of rest and relaxation. I think I’m seriously addicted to the sauna. The feeling I get of all that stress melting away when I lie down in that hot, hot heat is just incredible. You could scoop me up and serve me in an ice cream cone – I’m that relaxed in a sauna. The pool at Macdonald Frimley Hotel & Spa is also quite large and nice – it’s the perfect temp as well. So what I like to do is heat up in the sauna, take a cold shower, do some laps in the pool and then go to the steam room. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
It’s honestly both a cure for fatigue and dull-looking skin. After two hours of this I am GLOWING!
However being in the sauna and in and out of the pool makes me hungry so I was thrilled when it was time to get ready for dinner. If you are staying overnight at the hotel, dinner is served on site at the restaurant and it’s delicious with all locally-sourced ingredients. If there is anything that I like it’s rest, relaxation and FOOD!
For dinner I tucked into a fresh Buffalo Mozzarella & Tomato Salad which was delicious and the perfect starter to pique the palette. For my main I chose the fresh catch of the day which happened to be salmon – my favourite fish. Honestly I love salmon – I could eat it every day! The salmon served at Macdonald Frimley Hotel & Spa is fresh, tender and full of flavour. I like that the restaurant serves what is in season and tries to reduce the air miles that food travels – choosing to source it locally instead.
Once full and satisfied I headed up to the room to take a long bubble bath. All of the hotel amenities in the bathrooms are from Arran Aromatics so you can take a lovely bath in the deep tub. I love nothing more than taking a bath – honestly sometimes I think I’m an 80 year-old woman trapped in a 30-something year old body! There is really nothing more relaxing.
Once out of the bath I could barely keep my eyes open and that big spacious bed was waiting for me. Without further ado, I crawled in between the crisp sheets and was fast asleep in no time at all.
When I woke in the morning I felt super refreshed and my body felt lighter – perhaps from the sauna and hot/cold therapy I had given it the day before. I could already tell that some of the fatigue had faded away. It was another beautiful day and ahead of me was breakfast and a long relaxing massage from the spa – not a bad way to start the day!
Once I had finished breakfast (it’s a delicious cooked breakfast – you can choose from several options and there is also strong coffee ready to wake you up!) I was off to the spa to experience an hour-long deep tissue massage. The spa uses Elemis products which combine both aromatherapy and actives in their products so they are quite good for relaxation massages or sports massages. I like my massages quite deep because I hold so much tension so I couldn’t wait to get the rest of the stiffness out of my shoulders.
My massage was indeed blissful – relaxing and tension-releasing. I could immediately feel my body regain some of its flexibility and lightness after the massage. If you do stay at the hotel, I would highly recommend getting a massage because it’s like the icing on the cake.
Once my massage was finished there was still time to hit the sauna and steam room one more time as well as a little lounge on the lawn in the sun! If I need rest and recovery I love to stay somewhere with a sauna, steam room and pool because this is part of my recovery.
Macdonald Frimley Hotel & Spa is easy to access from London and is a fantastic choice for a staycation if you want to get away and feel secluded but don’t want to travel too far out of the city. I loved the atmosphere and ambiance of the hotel as well – it had a lot of character with its high ceilings, paintings on the wall and gorgeous lawn. If you hit it on a weekend with good weather it is absolute bliss to lie on the lawn with a glass of champagne. In fact, I can think of nothing better, really.
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