Michelle Chenery reports from Brooklands HotelOpened in 2010 Brooklands Hotel Surrey is situated within the historic Brooklands Estate, home to the world's oldest and most historic motor racing circuit. It is just minutes from the A3, the M3 and the M25 motorways and easily accessible from both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
Paying homage to its racing history, Brooklands not only has a quartz and granite contour of the original track running through reception but it has recently named four new super suites after legendary drivers at the racetrack dating from 1907.
Art-deco patterns have been brought up to date with a modern interpretation and a Charlie Whinny wood sculpture in the atrium echoes the curves of the race track. It also has recent racing history on its very doorstep - Mercedes Benz World.
Earlier this year the hotel added 11 rooms, making a total of 131, all with an abundance of natural daylight from floor-to-ceiling windows. In a wide choice of categories, many rooms benefit from views of the Mercedes-Benz World race track.
That is particularly pleasing if you are a petrol head like me and enjoy waking up to the sounds of AMGs roaring up the track. Of course, they are only audible with the window open. The deluxe rooms span 31sqm, featuring a six foot king-size bed, 42-inch flat screen tv and iPod docking station, complimentary Wi-Fi and walk-in rain shower, black out curtains, waffle bathrobes and slippers, an in-room fridge with complimentary sparkling and still water.
The four Super Suites range up to 100sqm, with views over Mercedes Benz World. They feature a large decked terrace with outdoor furniture, up to three 42-in flat screen TVs and a glass dining table with six chairs, a corner sofa and two large wardrobes.
I stayed in the Kay Petre Super Suite, named after the legendary Brooklands track female racer. The exploits of this tiny 4ft10in (1.2m) were a media sensation as she battled with Gwenda Stewart in her 10.5 litre V12 Delage for the Women's Outer Circuit Record. Kay clocked an impressive 129.58mph lap on the 26th October 1934 and in 1935 she went on to take the Ladies Land Speed record at 134.75mph. To achieve this, large wooden blocks were strapped to the pedals so she could reach them.
The hotel’s restaurant, the 1907, recalls the year the track was opened. Awarded two AA rosettes and using local and seasonal produce, Norman Farquharson creates a predominantly British style menu, creating classical flavours with modern cooking techniques.
Diners choose from fresh oysters, split green pea risotto to steak tartare; from roast sea bass to rack of English lamb. From the grill there is the Brooklands Signature Burger, 340g Pork Cutlet and from the 28-day matured beef section there is rib eye steak, sirloin or Chateaubriand.
The BSpa, on the property’s top floor, has 8 treatment rooms offering a selection of treatments from five different styles of massage, including a four-hand massage, facials, therapies and body treatments. The manicure and pedicure rooms all present views over Mercedes-Benz World. BSpa also features his and hers sauna and steam rooms, an outdoor hot-tub and a meditation room with gentle warming waterbeds that relax and restore the body. There is also a very well-equipped gym.
For events Brooklands offers nine dedicated meetings rooms with a private entrance along with a dedicated events bar and kitchen, all on the ground floor. The largest, the Brooklands Suite, caters for up to 220 delegates, while a boardroom caters for more intimate meetings of up to 14 people.
All rooms are fully equipped with the latest AV equipment, complimentary Wi-Fi, built-in plasma screens and LCD projector. Natural daylight streams in from floor-to-ceiling windows. Additional plasma screens, conference speaker phones, lapel and handheld microphones, as well as a Wii with games are also to hand.
And if there are any extras required during an event, they can be requested through the newly launched Brooklands Hotel Alice app without leaving the room or using a phone.
Completely conference specific, the Alice allows organisers to ask for printing, for extra break items such as pastries or bacon rolls, to alter break times or to request changes to the meeting room temperature. The Brooklands team offers immediate response via the Guest Message communication section of the app and there are alerts to ensure no guest request is overlooked.
Brooklands has much to recommend it for team-building and incentives. It is close to Mercedes Benz World, Top Golf and Thorpe Park as well as vast areas of open space.
At Mercedes Benz World delegates can get behind the wheel of one of the latest Mercedes and test themselves on the Wet Skid Circle. They can drive the latest 4x4s on 10-acre off-road terrain circuits. Thorpe Park offers an 'Up and Under' GPS challenge, Thrill Bill ride and the Chocolate Coaster challenge. Top Golf has a 240 yards outfield with 11 dartboard-like targets, where golf balls can be micro-chipped with players’ names. It can provide a dedicated host for your bay and trophies, creative competitions or golf tuition.
Outdoor activities at the hotel include archery and laser clay shooting, wipe-out and giant inflatable courses, circus skills, segway and scavenger hunts - all managed by an experienced events team.
Within the hotel there is the option for a make it and shake it Cocktail Master Class. As well as personally learning how to mix three cocktails, participants learn the history of cocktails, where they originated and how they have evolved.
Brooklands Hotel, at Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0SL, stands on the site of the historic Brooklands race track. Room rates start from £149 per room, per night, including breakfast. Its many amenities include the AA Rosette-winning ‘1907 Restaurant Bar & Grill’, luxurious 'BSpa' and extensive spaces for celebrations, meetings and events. www.brooklandshotelsurrey.com / 01932 335700