“ Address: Rothwell Lane / Oulton / Leeds / Yorkshire / LS26 8HN „
I went to Oulton Hall in May this year was pleasantly surprised as it had been refurbished since my last visit 14 years ago!
Oulton Hall is an 18th century mansion situated in the most beautiful gardens which are ideal for a summer wedding. The bedrooms are fantastic and the restaurant has the perfect service with the perfect staff. I was in awe of the head waiter and the wine waiter who were amazing. I've never felt so privileged before!
There are 152 rooms at Oulton Hall and the one I stayed in was luxurious. There was a play station and Sky TV in the room and the usual things you'd expect like free wifi, iron etc.
I was fortunate to have a tour of the place and felt really excited about what they have to offer. Not only are they good for a weekend away or wedding but this place is ideal for corporate events. As a PA I was trying to think of the next event happening at work so I could book this place. They have an excellent day delegate price which is very competitive and the service they offer is fantastic.
They have a 27 hole golf course and a club house separate from the hotel. This club house has a function room that can be hired out for parties and their restaurant: Claret Jug is less formal than the hotel's restaurant and does some great early bird deals. They have wonderful seating scattered about and open fires and in the summer the patio doors are open and you can sit out on the decking looking out onto the 19th hole and it really is a relaxing experience.
I did visit the spa on my visit and was very impressed with their service. The beauty rooms are fabulous and after your treatment there is a relaxation room fitted out with comfortable beds so you can relax and rest in a pleasant peaceful environment. They also have a VIP room which you can hire out. It's fitted with two treatment beds so you and your friend/partner can enjoy treatments side by side and it has its own private Jacuzzi.
Then there's the gym and pool which looked good but of course I was too relaxed to visit!
My meal at the hotel's main restaurant - the Calverley Grill was out of this world. I chose one of the expensive items on the menu - a steak at £42 which is a bit extreme for me but it was well worth it. It was amazing! The service is fantastic and the staff are highly trained. I was very impressed with the head waiter and the wine waiter.
I had a look in the drawing room and this was something from another world for me. They have a butler service to serve anyone wanting afternoon tea or cakes and there's the biggest whisky collection in an exquisite cabinet containing hundreds of whiskies from all over the world. I was told that one of the whiskeys costs over £300 a shot!
Before dinner I did enjoy a drink in the champagne bar and this was lovely. It really was a pleasurable experience and I would recommend this for a romantic weekend away, a wedding, a golf weekend away or a pamper weekend away.
As the future Mrs. F hit the dreaded 21 this month (already she believes her youth is half past her), I thought that we should do something special. Then travelzoo popped its weekly top 20 travel deals email into my inbox, and on the list was a special offer giving two people the chance to spend a night in a double room at Oulton Hall in Leeds, complete with a three course meal, a bottle of wine in the room and a spa treatment, all for £79 per person. Considering that we have paid £115 for a night in a shabby 3 star hotel before, this rate seemed excellent, and so after a bit of research, we decided to go for it.
Oulton Hall is a converted mansion dating from the 18th century near Rothwell, in Leeds. It spent a short period of time as a mental health institution but is now a 5* luxury hotel; indeed, it claims that it is the only 5* golf resort in Yorkshire. Recent refurbishments have equipped it with not only an 18 hole golf course, but also a new top of the range spa, gym, pool, sauna etc.
On check-in (from 3pm onwards) the hotel staff were very friendly. Unfortunately there had been a bit of confusion about the spa treatments included in our package; I had rang to arrange a time but had got through to an answering machine, which promised me that someone would ring me back if I left a message. I did leave one, including my contact number, asking them to ring me so we could arrange a time. They never did ring back. When we checked in at 4pm, the concierge assumed that we had just been to our treatment, as it had apparently been booked for 3pm. However, we were assured that it could be rearranged, and that either we could see the spa staff ourselves, or they could ring us in the room. We opted to see them, and refusing any help with our bags, set off.
The hotel itself is very impressive to look at; a beautiful imposing building. The lobby is clean, and to get to the bedrooms you head through into a large reception hall, complete with chairs, sofas, and a beautiful piano, as well as a lovely staircase. Paintings hang from the wall, and antique furniture abounds - it does look excellent. Finding our rooms proved to be a bit of a maze; the wings of the hotel are very long and the intersections all look the same. Eventually we found it (really we should have opted to have our luggage taken to the room, and then we would have had a guide!), and let ourselves in.
The room, to be honest, was a little disappointing, considering that this was a 5* hotel. It was a standard double, and although very generous in size, the decor wasn't all that much to look at. The carpet was a rather grim greyish zig-zag pattern that somewhat put me in mind of a travelodge, and the bathroom was on the small side and looked like it hadn't been done in a while - yellowish tiles etc. Shower gels, soaps, shampoo and moisturisers were included, but a lot of what you would expect to be provided as part of the room in such a hotel - a bottle of water, writing pads etc - weren't, although we did find our bottle of wine waiting for us. The furniture was mostly pine, and looked well made, if not the most attractive, and a tea service was provided. The tv had a Playstation remote attached as apparently Playstation games are available; however, they are pay-per-play games so we decided not to opt for it! A nice touch was the inclusion of an ironing board, iron and trouser press (they get a lot of businessmen staying) as well as a golf putter and an electronic putting platform - one of those target things which shoots the ball back out if you putt it. Neither I nor the future Mrs. F are golfers so we didn't really take advantage of that or the golf course, so I won't comment on the standards of golf.
We were booked for dinner at 8 o'Clock in the Grill restaurant. The dress code is smart - no jeans or trainers, preferably a proper collared shirt - but jacket and tie are not required. We were very impressed. We were allocated the £30 a head set three course menu. The restaurant was romantically lit, with pleasant music playing in the background (mostly a mixture of jazz and easy listening), and the waiters were friendly and attentive, and they had an excellent somelier. The level of service was exceptionally high (perhaps in part due to the fact that the restaurant was less than half full), and the food was superb. I won't go into details of what we had, but the beef I had for my mains was perfectly cooked and extremely tender, and the future Mrs. F's fish fillet tasted extremely fresh. When I mentioned this to the waiter he told me that Oulton Hall tries to use as much local produce as possible and as fresh as possible, and I have no reason to doubt this. Along with an excellent cheeky Auzzie red (slightly expensive at £30 for the bottle; but if you want high service then it has to be paid for somewhere), we had a wonderful evening.
We slept well, although I did find the bed a little uncomfortable, mainly because I don't like feather pillows. The room was a little hot because although there is an air conditioning unit, it was a little noisy in the night so I turned it off. However, no major complaints. Breakfast was served in the grill restaurant again and was a fairly standard buffet - cooked food (all hot and fresh; I saw waiters regularly replacing and replenishing) as well as a cold range of cereals, breads, pastries, fruit etc. All good.
We had rebooked our spa treatments for the morning but had used the pool the night before. The pool isn't particularly long, nor particularly deep, and I imagine that at peak times it could get a bit crowded. The sauna was lovely, however, as was the steam room, and the gym (although I didn't use it) looked very well stocked and high tech. If I wasn't suffering from some kind of groin strain (no sordid comments, I pulled it at my own gym a few days before), I would have loved to have taken advantage.
As for the spa treatment: it was great. Our package allowed us each to choose either a manicure, pedicure, back massage or facial. Being comfortable with my masculinity, I decided to have my first ever facial. I was taken into a small but pleasant treatment room. The therapist left whilst I took off my top (I wasn't that fussed, but I imagine that if you are a bit nervous then you would appreciate this), and then tucked me in with a blanket and got to work. She was friendly and chatted to me a bit, and explained about the various potions she was using. It was incredibly relaxing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I did find it a bit unusual the way that when she was massaging my neck her boobs kept pressing into the top of my head. I wasn't sure if it was part of the treatment and decided not to say anything, but it seems to have been an optional extra - Mrs. F to be also had the facial but didn't receive similar treatment! After the therapist finished, she gave me a booklet detailing the products she'd used as well as her recommendations on what I should get (however, there was no pressure to buy anything), and then led me into the "relaxation room" - a room full of beds - where I could rest to recover from the excesses of the morning.
After that, we checked out. This was delayed a little by an inexplicable £6 charge on the bill, until we worked out that it was a service charge in the restaurant which should have been deleted as I left the money on the table. An honest mistake, so no problems.
All in all, we had a great mini break and Mrs. F to be thoroughly enjoyed her birthday treat. The hotel is a really beautiful place, and the spa is fantastic. The only minor complaint is the standard of the room - for the price we paid it was certainly acceptable; however, if I had paid the full rate I would not have been happy to have been provided with that from a 5* hotel, simply because it was not of a particularly high standard - it felt a bit tired, in need of a do-over, and the amenities within the room weren't the best. Having said that, I would certainly recommend Oulton Hall based on my experiences (which should by no means be taken to be complete, as there was plenty of the hotel I never sampled), particularly if you are a golfer as the course is meant to be excellent, as I found the staff friendly and professional, and the facilities superb. If you can find it on a similar deal, then I would say absolutely go for it, and the only thing that kept this from getting a five star rating here was the fact that the room was barely 4* standard, but that was the most basic double they do, so the better rooms could well be nicer.
Oulton Hall is a splendid and grand hotel located in the outskirts of Leeds and is owned by the De Vere group. We were looking for a peaceful retreat whilst on an overdue visit to Leeds to catch up with some friends and this hotel being only ten miles from the centre of Leeds seemed to fit what we were looking for perfectly.
*Arrival & check in*
After a long drive from Oxfordshire up to Leeds, we were very happy to reach our destination. The elegant driveway spans past the golf course as it winds up to the grand old house. The hotel immediately gives an impression of finesse and classic English sophistication. The gardens and floral displays are excellently cared for and planned and the architecture of Oulton Hall itself is breathtaking.
A large marble lobby is awaiting us after we walk through the door that the concierge eagerly holds open. The hotel from its first appearance has a huge impact of something grand and very special.
The reception area is large and clean with fast, efficient and friendly reception staffs whom were eager to advise us of facilities available in the hotel and made it very clear to us that if we required anything during our stay to contact hem immediately.
A member of staff lead the way to our room with our bags and on arrival was very eager to show us how to use the heating/air conditioning and promptly left us in peace.
On the way to our room we were very impressed with the interior architecture, the sweeping stair cases, the upstairs gallery, the décor and the numerous pieces of art work.
The first impressions given by this hotel were very good.
We were delighted with the first impressions from our room too. We had booked a deluxe room which basically meant that we got a few extra touches than in the standard room.
The décor was perfectly in fitting with the hotel itself and everything was designed for comfort. The bed was large and very comfortable to sleep in with lovely plump pillows and a soft feeling duvet, not the plastic kind that many hotels these days sadly choose o use. There were also extra pillows and blankets in he wardrobe should we need them.
There were two high back classic arm chairs next to a table filled with up to date magazines which looked over the view of the very well kept gardens.
The little extras that made the room special were the fluffy robes which I love in hotels, luxurious toiletries , a playstation (which we did not use, though I'm sure that my husband would loved to have), a decanter of port, fresh fruit and bottled water.
The bathroom was large with a shower and bath and was the perfect place to take advantage of lovely bath smellies that we had.
*The restaurant and bar*
Dinner in the restaurant:
We dined in the hotel restaurant for two of our three nights here. Once by ourselves and on our final night within a group with our friends.
The setting of the restaurant was overlooking the open golf course with its beautiful and extensive views. The restaurant is contemporary but elegant especially of an evening with is candle lit ambiance. The food is fabulous, classic British meals with a contemporary and a la carte twist. The service is excellent with a waiter/waitress always eager to fill up our water jug, top up our wine glasses or simply to take away our finished dishes, the professionalism of the staff was outstanding.
We thoroughly enjoyed both evenings in here as did our friends when they ate with us.
Breakfast was a fabulous luxury buffet with high class ingredients to offer a locally produced English breakfast with freshly squeezed juices along with cereals, fresh fruit and a continental selection.
Breakfast was thoroughly enjoyed here on all three mornings.
The bar area was comfortable and over looked the gardens, with large French doors that could be opened on warm days. The seating in this area is based around tables and is a mix of comfortable chairs and sofas within a classic and elegant yet comfortable setting.
The bar has a varied and wide choice of drinks and bar snacks with something available to suit everyone.
The pool area was great and somewhere that we spent a fair bit of our time whilst at this hotel. The pool was heated to a good temperature with shallow and deep end and manned by a life guard. The area also had a sauna and steam room and Jacuzzi.
Just above the pool area was a small café with seating area to provide drinks and snacks after swimming or to accommodate those just wishing to spectate.
There was also a very well equipped gym available to guests which I didn't actually spend any time in though my husband advises me that it was a very good area.
The spa area was one of my favourite parts of the stay! I managed to indulge in massages, a facial and a manicure and pedicure during my stay. The facilities were relaxing, whilst the staff were professional and good at what they did. The spa area will be highly recommended from me!
The grounds of Oulton Hall are extensive and tranquil. The gardens are very well kept and beautiful to walk around with beautiful features such as the fountain in the centre of the garden area. It was lovely to be able to take a walk after breakfast in the quiet surroundings whilst also taking in the beauty and fresh air of the Yorkshire countryside.
*The hotel in general*
Overall, we found this to be a very charming and beautiful hotel to stay in. All of the public areas were very well designed and furnished and matched the feel of the building very well.
The staffs were at all times professional, helpful and friendly. I don't think that here is actually anything that could be faulted with this hotel.
The price is on the high side but this is to be expected for a five star hotel with such excellent amenities.
I would thoroughly recommend a stay in this hotel for a luxury short break when visiting the city of Leeds.
A mid 18th century mansion converted into a 5 star luxury hotel.