From the opulent water feature to the glistening chandelier that adorn the reception area, it is clear from the moment you enter Fredrick’s Hotel and Spa in Royal Berkshire that luxury is the name of the game here.
Upon arrival you’re seated with a drink of your choice while your luggage is taken to your room, then you’re free to explore the complex.
The Fredrick’s spa is a set of first rate relaxation rooms ready to rival its five star counterparts. The holistic treatments on offer range from facials and massages to full body wraps and they employ both Aromatherapy and Murad techniques. Murad is known as the world’s most comprehensive approach to understanding health and ageing. The Science of Cellular Water looks at the ability of cell membranes to hold water within a cell as the fundamental marker of youthful good health. Because skin can only be beautiful if it is healthy at the cellular level, Murads formulations are designed to optimise skin cell health. So after a Murad facial you’re (almost) guaranteed to instantly look ten years younger. Almost…
But the jewel in the crown of the sanctuary of the spa is the indoor/outdoor pool where you can plunge to your pleasure whatever the weather. There’s an alpine feel to swimming in sub-zero temperatures in such warm water which makes a winter dip a real treat.
It’s interesting to know that in Edwardian times, Maidenhead has something of a risqué reputation – being the destination for London’s hoi polloi to motor down to for a decadent weekend break. But while indulgence is certainly a given at Fredrick’s, there’s no need to worry you’ll be kept up until the early hours by noisy neighbours raving in their room. There’s a distinctly serence feel that hovers across the hotel.
When it comes to the rooms at Fredrick’s there’s no such thing as a bad lot. All are spacious and tastefully decorated, and four suites are on offer for those who need more space. Our Balmoral Suite neighboured the spa meaning we could slip on our complimentary slippers and dressing gown and pop down for a spot of pampering on a whim.
Once you’re rested, relaxed and revitalised, it’s time to take advantage of a complimentary glass of fizz at the hotel bar, a nice touch offered to all guests before they dine in the restaurant.
The menu in the restaurant is limited but changes daily, and offers locally sourced produce cooked with an innovative style. Not just a hotel dining room, the restaurant stands alone in its own right and the Two Rosette appointment annually awarded by the AA since 1982 acknowledges the skill and artistry of resident chef Craig Smith who has developed his own unique culinary style, offering truly classic cuisine with contemporary influences. Try a tasty home smoked pheasant salad to start, or opt for the scallops with truffle mayonnaise, then follow it up with your choice of venison and partridge with curly kale, wild duck with a stem ginger mash or a hearty rump of veal with maxime potatoes and wild mushrooms. Vegetarians are catered for too, even if the menu doesn’t suggest it, and I enjoyed a delicious freshly made black olive gnocchi with a rich tomato and sage sauce. The food is served in a simple, but elegant dining room overlooking the hotel garden and can be enjoyed alfresco during the warm summer months.
All in all, being just a half hour train journey from central London, Fredrick’s is an ideal destination for a quick getaway to recharge those batteries and really unwind. If you fancy exploring the local area the train station – on the mainline to London Paddington, is just a ten minute walk, as is Maidenhead town centre. Royal Windsor with all its attractions is less than 15 minutes by car, and the beautiful village of Bray, home to Heston Blumenthal’s pub and restaurant empire, is just five minutes down the road.
Room prices start at around £99, but average at nearer £150 for a night, and allow around £40 a head for dinner, but the hotel does always seem to have offers on, so get in quick for a bargain treat. For more information or to book see www.fredricks-hotel.co.uk.