Wivenhoe House Hotel
Surrounded by beautiful parkland, yet just a few minutes from the centre of Britain's oldest recorded town, Colchester, Wivenhoe House is a unique and exciting hotel in many ways. Firstly it’s home to Britain's only hotel-based hospitality school, whose dedicated undergraduates work alongside Wivenhoe House's professional team, ensuring a superb level of service for all their guests. Second, it's an elegant eighteenth-century country house, painted by Constable, that has been considerably extended in recent years, with a slick and very successful modern wing which has not only added to the hotel's size but to its charm and comfort too.
Above all it's a very comfortable place to stay, with excellent and attentive service throughout and rooms that range from the more traditional accommodation of the main house to the more contemporary rooms of the modern wing, many of which have floor-to-ceiling windows and big balconies overlooking the park. Interestingly, some are sponsored by the well-known chains the hotel school works with – you could stay in a top-end ‘Hilton’, ‘Marriott’ or ‘Exclusive’ room – and all are very spacious, with an unusual ratio of suites to regular doubles, and large, luxurious bathrooms with White Company toiletries. All rooms have tea and coffee-making facilities, complimentary water, robes, slippers and Freeview TVs.
The hotel has a small bar and lounge where you can order afternoon tea, and a brasserie-style restaurant with a bar and outside terrace for the summer months. This is a deliberately relaxed yet lively place to eat, with a menu that offers Modern British cuisine with a nod to France, all using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. It's also where you eat their excellent breakfast. There are also several function rooms throughout the hotel, split between grand rooms in the old house and others in the new wing, some of which host regular weddings, parties and conferences, and best of all guests have access to the university’s excellent sports and leisure facilities, across the park, which include a gym, squash and tennis courts.
The rest of Wivenhoe Park provides lots of nice spots for a stroll, stretching out towards the university campus and two nearby lakes, and there are plenty of things to see nearby: the Boho riverside town of Wivenhoe and renowned Beth Chatto Gardens are each just a five-minute drive away, while the busy city centre, shops and castle of Colchester are all well worth a look – and the city's zoo is rated as one of the best in the world (2nd-best in the UK)! A perfect place, in short, for a lazy and maybe surprising weekend break from London.
The Owner Says
Wivenhoe House hotel is a beautiful Grade II listed country house on the outskirts of Colchester. The historic main building, established as a family home in the mid 18th century, seamlessly blends with a contemporary garden wing, home to the hotel’s popular brasserie.
Our favourite room
Down by the lake we can imagine John Constable setting up his easel in 1816 to paint ‘Wivenhoe Park’, one of his early masterpieces now hanging in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
The local area
Wivenhoe Town is a short taxi ride away and offers direct trains to and from London Liverpool Street as well as an attractive quayside with welcoming pubs. Colchester is home to Colchester Castle and Colchester Zoo, both popular with visitors, and an exciting range of shops and restaurants.
Best local places to eat and drink
The brasserie is open from 5pm and a delicious afternoon tea is served in our elegant lounges every afternoon.
Why stay with us?
High levels of service
Easy access to the coast and local attractions
Wivenhoe House is a beautiful bolthole.
40 spacious double rooms and suites – 16 suites and 24 rooms.
Standard double rooms start at £105 a night including breakfast; executive doubles start at £140, suites at £160. They also offer cheaper room-only deals but it would be a pity to miss the excellent breakfast.
Open all year.
Whether coming from London or Ipswich via the A12, take the exit marked Colchester and follow the A133 towards Clacton; ignore the entrance to the Knowledge Gateway, continue along the A133 then take the B1028 for Wivenhoe before turning right into Boundary Road, then right again into Park Road. The entrance for Wivenhoe House is shared with the University of Essex but Park Road leads you through Wivenhoe Park and you will be able to see the house from the road. By train, Colchester Town, Wivenhoe and Hythe stations are each 10–15 minutes from Wivenhoe House by taxi.
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