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Macdonald Compleat Angler, Marlow, The Chilterns
Taking its name from Izaak Walton's book, a love letter to fishing first published in 1653, this riverside hotel in Buckinghamshire is traditional in style. There's a variety of different dining spots, and the hotel's focus on food is very much in keeping with the local vibe - Marlow town is chocka with good places to eat. The Compleat Angler's rooms are the perfect place to retire to after a big meal: comfy and plushily-furnished. You'll spring from your bed refreshed and ready to roam the shores of the Thames, enjoying its soothing traffic of rowers, birds and bobbing boats.
You'll love watching swans and scullers pass by on the river, and being lulled to sleep by the white noise from the weir.
The hotel is on the banks of the Thames, a short walk from Marlow's busy high street with plenty of pubs and restaurants.
By car: around an hour's drive from central London and 50 minutes' drive from Oxford. Free on-site parking.
By train: London Paddington to Marlow (via Maidenhead) takes around 1 hour. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Couples or small groups of friends on a getaway will enjoy the hotel's intentionally old-school feel, which suits its old-world name. The water-facing redbrick core of the property is attractive and historic, while the later extensions - which are pretty well-hidden from view - are less loveable. Variously upholstered in leather and velvet, every seat you find yourself on (from bar to room and beyond) is supremely comfortable.
Service & Facilities
The concierge sets the bar high when it comes to stellar service, whisking your bags to your room while giving useful tips on the local area. The hotel allows dogs, charged at an additional £15 per stay, which covers extras such as beds and treats.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The Super Deluxe rooms feel positively palatial, and come with king size beds, fluffy robes, pod-style coffee machines, mini-fridges and crystal-cut glassware. Although it was impossible to identify the source, our room was exceptionally fragrant - it was like sleeping surrounded by fresh flowers.
Standard, Deluxe, Super Deluxe, Deluxe Four Poster, Super Deluxe Four Poster, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, Elemis toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, desk, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
There's a dazzling array of gins on offer in the bar, from Monkey 47 to Hendricks - plus tonics from classic to aromatic. The herbed chicken burger with spiced mayo served in the bar is excellent, served with chips cooked to crispy perfection.
Riverside Restaurant: British fine dining, local ingredients. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
Walton Bar & Lounge: wine list, cocktails.
Sindhu by Atul Kochhar: innovative Indian dishes.