Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Travel Review

Hello Friends! If you're like me, you appreciate travel reviews from real people with no ulterior motives. People who will tell it like it is - straight up. Enter: moi! Your very own personal travel guide! Here is the first in what I hope to be a series of reviews...from a couple on a budget with a bad case of wanderlust.

Keswick Hall
Keswick Hall is quite possibly the most "kindred" place I have ever been. Staying there is living just the kind of life I live in my dreams: everything is beautiful, but completely welcoming and unpretentious - the history of the amazing home is preserved, but with all the modern conveniences available - the staff are kind, gracious, and personal (they even remember your name for goodness sake!) - the accommodations are luxurious and opulent - the food is out of this world. Yeah. This place is pretty much heaven on earth.
Above is a view of Keswick from the back, looking out over the croquet court. Once belonging to the widower of the late Laura Ashley, this country manor hotel (think: straight out of Pride and Prejudice) is now run by the Orient Express company.
Above and below you see photos of one of their superior rooms. Very spacious, with a large bath, sitting area, and balcony w/ golf course/countryside view. - As an aside: every single one of their rooms  is decorated differently! Some are very masculine (with nautical or hunting themes) to appeal to your hubby's sense of style!
This year we celebrated our anniversary at Keswick, and waiting for us in our room was a bottle of champagne, fruit, nuts, toffees, and a handwritten anniversary card. We felt so cared for!
Our favorite dining experience is their Villa Lunch which they set up and serve everyday in the Villa Crawford (original foyer of the house). They just set up food on the sofa tables, credenzas, and as you can see below: the grand piano each day for a lavish lunch buffet!
The dessert selection for lunch:
Keswick boasts 3 pools: two outdoor, and one indoor. This outdoor infinity pool is heated, and able to be enjoyed year round. We swam in March of this year! So fun!
One of our favorite (ok, really? - yeah, everything is our favorite) things about KH is their Spa. Before and after your treatment, you get to enjoy their relaxation room: the sound of a waterfall, soft velvet chairs, blossoming tea, and nutritious snacks while you unwind/recover.

Spa treatment room:
As with any resort, Keswick offers a variety of unique experiences depending upon the time of year that you visit. Tours, golf, tennis, swimming, Wii, the walking of the dogs, croquet, bocce, billiards, ping pong, and foosball are just a few of their activity offerings. We are so lucky to have discovered this magical place (thanks to Southern Living Magazine)! It is a 5 Star small hotel in every facet! Definitely worth the trip for a very memorable time. I recommend leaving the kiddos w/ the grandparents! This is a romantic dream get-away destination for couples, and while there are things for children to do, the atmosphere is more mature than most would enjoy.