In this article, The Business Magazine looks at the best hotels in Surrey that would suit someone visiting the area while on business.
As you pack your suitcase on a Sunday evening and plot the drive, the idea of a stay at a hotel for work reasons is rarely all that appealing. The lack of home comforts, the tiny soaps and the awkwardly-placed TV that - no matter where it is - always leaves you with a slight crick in your neck… we empathise.
Sometimes, however - just sometimes - a minor miracle happens when you’re staying away on business. You find yourself staying in a hotel that you like. Love, even. It’s handily placed, the room’s comfortable, the staff are welcoming, the bar’s well stocked and the food’s delicious. We’re talking about business-friendly lodgings that you actually enjoy staying in.
If you’re looking for a suitable hotel to stay at that’s perfect for business and found in the county of Surrey, then we have a few tips for you. Four, to be exact. They are:
Location: Guildford town centre
For such a wealthy, famous and affluent county, you may be surprised to learn that Surrey does not contain a city. The closest you’ll find is the sizeable town of Guildford, effectively a city in waiting. So if you’re called to Surrey on business, there’s a fair chance that Guildford may well be your destination. If that’s the case, you’ll want to book in at the Guildford Harbour Hotel & Spa.
First things first, ‘Harbour’ is the name of the hotel’s parent company. So don’t go expecting charming views of sailboats and yachts bobbing up and down on the water from your window. There’s no harbour in Guildford. There is a Guildford Harbour Hotel, though. And that’s just as good.
All 183 rooms are spotless, well kitted out, modern and yet cosy. The two restaurants both offer quality food and superior drinks offerings. And as for the spa? Well, with seven treatment rooms, two pools, a sauna, steam room and fully-equipped and a state-of-the-art gym, all boxes are firmly ticked.
Arguably the hotel’s biggest asset, especially to the business traveller, is the wealth of meeting room space. Eight rooms totalling over 400 square metres can be configured however you wish. There’s even a courtyard for al fresco meetings. Plus all the high-speed Wi-Fi, helpful event coordinators and, crucially, parking you could ever need.
In their words: “A 4 star hotel in the centre of cosmopolitan Guildford, Guildford Harbour Hotel and Spa showcases bold design, superb facilities and exemplary service. It's also renowned for first class facilities, for both business and leisure travellers. As well as being a specialist in corporate events.”
Although this 16th century Elizabethan manor is just a short drive from Gatwick Airport, you’d never know it when you’re strolling around its precisely manicured lawns or putting your feet up inside one of the boutique hotel’s 22 immaculate rooms.
The prices are reasonable for the luxury provided, too. So while you’re enjoying a deep bath full of L’Occitane bubble bath or sprawling out on the Egyptian cotton-covered king-sized bed, you needn’t worry that your expenses are taking quite the hammering that they might.
In their words: “More a private house than a hotel, Langshott Manor has a long and illustrious history as a place to gather and celebrate in Surrey. Intimately sized, it is perfect for exclusive use and is a show-shopping choice for weddings, occasions and retreats.”
“On days when we're not hosting a bash, the manor is known for fabulous food and our sought-after overnight concept, the 'Lovely Langshott' experience. Discover 'Tudor with a twist' and see how you can live like lords & ladies with us, whether for the day, night or longer.”
Location: Hampton Court, East Molesey
Nestled snugly right next to the world famous Hampton Court Palace, you’d be forgiven for assuming that this elegant and recently-renovated retreat was in London. It is, however, just within the Surrey county lines (by a whisker). As such, it’s obviously extremely well situated for anyone looking for accommodation close to the capital.
An idiosyncratic hotel, all rooms are packed with character, with many providing stunning Thameside views. Also with impressive vistas of London’s famous waterway is the hotel’s brasserie and bar, ‘1665’ (named after the year the place was built). Plus there’s a wine room, an impressive terrace and even - get this - an orangery.
Find yourself in need or somewhere to meet colleagues, associates or clients? There’s a classy wood-panelled meeting room on site, with all the facilities you’d expect to find. As well as a few more thrown in for good measure.
In their words: “A refined yet relaxed boutique hotel on the banks of the River Thames, next to Hampton Court Palace. After an extensive makeover, The Mitre is where quirky British sensibility meets elegant, authentic luxury.”
“We blend the old with the new, the refined with the comfortable, and the local with the worldly. With 36 beautiful bedrooms that are big on comfort and romance. Playful use of colour and antiques lend soulfulness and give each room their own unique character.”
Location: Ottershaw, just outside Chertsey
If you’re looking for accommodation in Surrey with plenty of space, you may want to consider reserving a room at the sprawling Foxhills resort. Set in some 400 acres of rolling greenery, not only is this award winner a fine hotel, it’s also a country club and golf resort. So if you’re that way inclined, don’t forget to pack your clubs in the boot.
If nine or even 18 holes aren’t your thing, maybe the Olympic standard leisure facilities appeal. If you have neither the time nor the inclination for either, perhaps the spa or gym are more tempting. Failing that, you can just enjoy the modern luxury of your room, or the fine dining of the beamed restaurant that this 19th century manor house boasts.
Despite its setting, you’re less than ten minutes by car from both the M25 and the M3. This is a countryside retreat that’s handily close to London. It’s also surprisingly good value for money too, with rooms starting at a shade over £125.
In their words: “Foxhills prides itself on being an award-winning Surrey country club and resort. Covering several hundred acres of pristine Surrey countryside, and only a short distance from London, you'll find everything you need to enjoy your leisure time and there is no better place to rest and relax as a member or visitor.”
“Our golf and spa resort includes two Championship golf courses, a par 3 course, three restaurants, 70 guest rooms and suites, gym, health spa and tennis courts. Making us ideal for short breaks, corporate days and sporting activities.”
That’s just a taster of some of the outstanding hotels that catch our eye from Surrey’s varied and eclectic overnight offerings. The county has lots more to offer, so wherever you decide to book - it’s likely you’ll find yourself staying somewhere memorable. Although we can’t make any guarantees over the size of the soap.