It shares its name with a famous motor racing circuit but guests at the Brandshatch Place hotel and spa will enjoy a relaxing stay away from the fast lane.
As befits a hotel named after a racing circuit, guests to the Brandshatch Place hotel and spa are greeted with the gentle hum of traffic when they park at the front of the hotel. Rather than superbikes and touring cars on the racing circuit however, the sound is actually coming from the nearby M20 but don’t worry – not a sound or squeak from the motorway actually penetrates the hotel or adjacent spa at all and a night in Brandshatch Place will see you securely insulated from the outside world.
History of Brandshatch Place hotel
The hotel itself predates the motor age by almost a century, being built by the Duke of Norfolk in 1806 and it remained a private home until 1977 when it was transformed into a hotel and country club. Now owned by Hand Picked Hotels, the 19-strong hotel company owned by Julia and Guy Hands, Brandshatch Place has 38 bedrooms and a restaurant plus a spa with a gym, indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna and treatment rooms.
Bedrooms at Brandshatch Place hotel
Having parked at the front of the hotel we were checked in smoothly and quickly and shown to our room, one flight up the main staircase. While it wasn’t vast in size, the high ceilings and separate wardrobe space by the bathroom made it feel larger than it was and indeed within minutes we were feeling very cosy.
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The room contained everything you could wish for: large comfy beds, a writing desk with lots of hotel information, lots of storage and a smart, modern bathroom and the only flaw was the usual hunt for a plug point for the kettle which never seems to be near the kettle itself. There were lots of smart cushions and good-quality bedding and staff in the bar downstairs were happy to supply ice and a champagne buckets for drinks in our room.
With the prosecco on ice, there was just time for a quick explore downstairs which has a restaurant, bar and lounge area before we headed off to the spa which is connected to the main building or reached just across the car park.
The spa at Brandshatch Place
While the hotel check in had been really smooth, it was a different issue at the spa: we had hoped to spend time relaxing in spa robes before our treatments (and indeed there are rooms for that very purpose) but instead we were told to wait in the cafe and had to ask three times before being allowed to get ready for our treatments which was odd. After half an hour and the third time of asking someone did get us towels and robes and allow us through to get changed but by then it was all a rush, not helped by there being no keys in the lockers although we’d been assured there were. Staff could have been having an off day but it wasn’t the greatest start to a relaxing massage.
Once we finally made it in though the treatments were good and we were able to relax afterwards instead in the post-treatment room and explored the rest of the spa, which had a good-sized swimming pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub which was small but cosy.
However it was a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon and we eventually reluctantly heading back to our room through the connecting corridor to change for the evening.
The restaurant at Brandshatch Place
While there were a few flaws at the spa, the same couldn’t be said for dinner in Atrium, the hotel restaurant, which was faultless, with excellent food, a newly-designed, clearly laid out menu with a good choice of dishes, plus speedy, helpful service and a good atmosphere of luxury and efficiency.
We started with ham hock terrine and piccalilli, and White Lake Driftwood goats’ cheese and beetroot – both excellent, but I think the goats’ cheese had the edge – and then had the huge gourmet burger and the really excellent Welsh lamb hotpot, which was Tardis-like in the amount of meat it packed in and cooked to perfection.
Amazingly enough we still had room for dessert and so picked the cheese board, with very tasty Black Bomber, Kentish Blue and Tunworth, and the gooey, dense delicious salted caramel delice. We were the last to leave what had been a memorable meal and were glad our room was just a few steps away.
Breakfast at Brandshatch Place
Breakfast the next day was equally good with a range of continental and cooked options – we had Eggs Benedict and an excellent scrambled egg and smoked salmon – and everything from toast to tea, coffee and service were again excellent.
The friendly staff took time to explain the hotel’s no-nut policy – the entire Hand Picked Hotels chain is nut-free and there was even a special gluten-free section at breakfast which was a great idea. The hotel even makes its own honey.
Exploring around Brandshatch Place hotel
Finishing off a hotel stay with a walk through the grounds or nearby countryside is a favourite treat of mine and Brandshatch Place didn’t disappoint: the hotel has 12 acres of its own and is located in some beautiful woodland which you can reach via a footpath next to the spa (there are Wellington boots to borrow in reception). We spent the next few hours getting happily lost in the trees and I left feeling that it had been a great introduction to what looks like a very interesting group of country house hotels.
Hotel information and to book Brandshatch Place hotel and spa
Brandshatch Place hotel and spa, Brands Hatch Road, Gallows Wood, Longfield.
Rooms at Brandshatch Place hotel and spa start at £95 a night per room. Packages include Classic Spa Break and Romantic Getaway – check website for details
If you like hotels with a racing theme then you’d also love these other luxury hotel reviews – first motor-racing and Middlethorpe Hall – a luxury country house hotel just next to York racecourse then horse-racing! Brooklands Hotel – perfect for car, racing and spa fans; Middlethorpe Hall – a luxury country house hotel just next to York racecourse; Ellenborough Park: the ideal hotel for a day at Cheltenham races