Review Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa Newmarket 2022


Unique. A word that describes Newmarket in a few words. It really is unlike any other town in East Anglian. The A14 slip road will take you from its busy dual carriageway to wide tree-lined avenues accented by villa-style houses, and beyond to practice grounds and racecourses hidden behind neatly trimmed hedges .

As we walk towards the parking lot of the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, I can’t help but notice a public park right next to it…a public park designed for walking and trotting your ponies. To see? Unique.

White shiny wedding cake against the manicured lawns, the hotel exudes romance. No wonder so many couples have chosen to say “yes” here.

Bedford Lodge prides itself on offering a bit of luxury (it has four AA rosettes for accommodation, two for its Squires restaurant and a five-bubble spa), blending its rich history with contemporary finishes dreamed up by one of the best London interior designers. .

The original hunting lodge was built over 200 years ago for the sixth Duke of Bedford, John Russell – father of the two-time Prime Minister (also John Russell) and one of the visionaries behind the redevelopment of Covent Garden.

In the 1930s it was home to jockey and trainer Henry Wragg. And since the 1940s, it’s been a family hotel – attracting a wide range of clientele, from couples to families, corporate retreats and groups of women (and men) looking for rest and relaxation. at the spa.

A standard king room at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa
– Credit: Assessed

An executive suite at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa

An executive suite at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa
– Credit: Assessed

First impressions count, and we’re suitably impressed not only by the broad smiles and warm greeting we receive upon check-in, but also by Mad Man’s chic reception.

Our room, 135, is one of 80 in the main hotel, with three rooms available for exclusive use in The Mews opposite.

One Three Five offers views of the paddocks through sash windows. Plush, fluffy pillows and soft-touch bedding arranged on a king-size bed. A huge Sky TV sits on a chest of drawers. And a very good courtesy tray is loaded with good tea and coffee pots, Teapigs tea, Paddy & Scott coffee, hot chocolate and lavender cookies.

The bathroom is sparkling clean — with a separate tub and shower, even a lighted magnifying mirror. I appreciate the retractable showerhead in the tub. I can’t count how many times I’ve been attacked by freezing cold drops from an all-in-one bath/shower mixer.

In summary. It’s lovely.

Now, while hotel guests are free to use the leisure facilities, which include a gym and swimming pool with jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the specially designed spa during of a stay.

We wander

Bedford Lodge Spa

Bedford Lodge Spa
– Credit: Assessed

in the elixir of ESPA products as soon as we open the door, the warmth providing an instant buffer against the cold early spring day outside.

Bedford Lodge Spa was designed with creature comforts in mind. Everything from the smell to the gentle surge of music and lavish decor — from the oversized vases to the plush wingback chairs — screams “chill out.”

We find our lockers for the day in the locker room (a bit cramped here), where keys include hangers for our belongings, bathrobes and towels, and a bag each with appropriate rubber-soled slippers. My friend points out all the ESPA skin treats we can enjoy and times the hair straighteners provided.

The spa itself is an oasis of calm, offering two shower experiences, including a cold bucket (we dare but don’t take the plunge), and another offering Tropical Rain or a burst of Atlantic mist between sessions in the the dry heat of the sauna or the humidity of the hammam.

Bedford Lodge Spa hammam and sauna area

Bedford Lodge Spa hammam and sauna area
– Credit: Assessed

Bedford Lodge Spa rooftop hot tub

Bedford Lodge Spa rooftop hot tub
– Credit: Assessed

After sweating out our toxins, we lay back in the hydrotherapy pool, watching the clouds pass through tall picture windows.

And about lunch. Caught in one of those wing chairs in the living room. There are healthy options – soups, salads, detoxifying smoothies – but we share a few platters, one Moroccan-style and the other filled with charcuterie. Between us, we protect those hunger pangs with charcuterie, Manchego cheese, tabbouleh salad, hummus, bread, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, pickles and more.

I have time to soak in the rooftop hot tub before being whisked off to the treatment area for a personalized ESPA facial, while my friend lays on a day bed with a women’s magazine.

In a cold, out-of-focus room, my therapist checks that the light and temperature levels are correct, before discussing my skincare routine (minimal!) and skin issues (wrinkles). After a double deep cleanse, she shines a blue light on my face, detecting sensitive spots on my cheeks and congestion around my nose.

This level of attention to detail allows her to fully anticipate my skin’s needs and use the most suitable products for each area. Lotions and potions are applied and massaged in, using techniques such as tapping to increase circulation. Then a clay mask is applied and set to do its magic while a scalp treatment is clubbed into my hair. I’m almost asleep.

The skin-soothing session ends with another warm mitt cleanse, creamy serum and balm applied to my face, leaving it looking and feeling plump and radiant. I almost promise pinky that I will do a double cleanse from now on. And the therapist suggests products that will work for me and advises which ones I should use outside of my current (again, almost non-existent) routine.

Our visit ends with a passage in a room simply indicated “Relax”. Think a sexier (tool-free) version of Christian Grey’s red bedroom. A cozy nest of space, with round and reclining beds, velvet and faux fur throws to snuggle up in, soft music and plenty of pillows. “I need one of these pieces at home,” I said, meaning every word.

We try not to fall asleep and do so for dinner in the chic designed Squires Restaurant next to the Roxana Bar where groups of people chat over cocktails and wine. There’s a definite “vibe” here that you don’t often get in restaurants outside of the big cities.

The restaurant conveys that luxurious feel of the spa, bedrooms, and reception space, with beautiful molded ceilings, dim lighting, and more of those wingback chairs, which we ‘bagsy’ for our meal.

The Squires Restaurant at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa

The Squires Restaurant at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa
– Credit: Assessed

Hot bread and butter arrives with water (refilled throughout the meal without us having to ask), and we are delivered a few glasses of house wine at a very reasonable price.

We start with a few snacks – vegan beetroot arancini and a pork croquette – and are, if we’re being honest, decidedly disappointed. There’s little seasoning in either, and the arancini rice is sticky.

We look at each other, worried about what’s next, thinking about those lavender cookies in the room. But once the actual starters and meal arrive, we realize this place means business.

A thin shell of goat cheese with a grilled pineapple and piquillo emulsion is delicious, as is the crispy-skinned mackerel fillet, line-caught and fresh just the way you like it, with granny smith apple and split buttermilk herbal oil.

The vegetarian main course of celeriac steak does not disappoint, being cooked until tender and glazed in a sesame/soy/vinegar wafu dressing that is alternately sweet, savory and salty. There’s enough greenery on the plate for my friend to declare, so a healthy pudding won’t count.

My own main course of ballotine of guinea fowl with mashed Jerusalem artichokes, salsify, leeks and shavings of fresh truffles is outstanding. I mean, really good! The meat is so tender it slices like butter. The bolshy, shiny, sticky sauce with the real “phwoar” factor. It’s almost Marmitey. There is even a delicate guinea fowl pie, presented on a separate plate. Who doesn’t love the pie on the side?

The desserts are just as good. We devour a sticky caramel pudding with aromatic tonka bean ice cream, caramel sauce and ginger crumbs, and a playful plate of cherry rum sorbet (which tastes like my mother’s favorite Kirsch liqueurs) , pineapple sugar nuggets, cherry pieces, compressed pineapple, pineapple purée, dehydrated pineapple and vanilla biscuit. It’s almost a work of art.

We return to our room sated, and even I, struggling to sleep on foreign soil (so to speak), fall asleep effortlessly. It’s quiet. The room temperature is perfect. The bed just on the right side of the business. And most importantly, the curtains block out the light.

There is time in the morning for a quick swim before we are presented with a breakfast that puts others to shame (well known chains).

The bar is a buffet of cereals, dried fruit, macerated apricots, freshly cut fruit salad, porridge, Bircher muesli, ham and brie, just lukewarm pastries, fruit juice and a tasty melon and strawberry smoothie.

We break up the day with nibbles and toast with Tiptree preserves, before enjoying scrambled eggs and mashed avocado on sourdough, and a very well cooked English breakfast – as I had nothing to eat because I was still full from dinner. The plate neatly presented a decent sausage, two slices of tender bacon with the holy grail of browned fat, tender field mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs and extra peppery black pudding.

What we really wanted to do next was wrap ourselves in the warm cradle of the relaxation room – not come home to take care of our teenagers!

If you’re looking for a getaway closer to home, Bedford Lodge certainly gets my stamp of approval – especially for a spa break or during Newmarket nights. Are there budget and cheaper options in town? Yes. But you won’t get service or style like this in any of them.

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