The Jewish Chronicle - - Life/travel - LAURA IVILL RATES: From £259 (room only) TEL: 020 7870 7777

THIS ho­tel has been the coun­try home to the Duke of Northum­ber­land for more than 400 years, ac­cord­ing to its web­site, “and now, as our guest, it be­comes your home as well.”

I thought, mis­tak­enly, I was go­ing to a his­toric coun­try house ho­tel, but, ar­riv­ing af­ter dark we pulled into a big car park and drove up to a mod­ern build­ing which, in the bad light, could have passed for a mo­tor­way ser­vices sta­tion. Once in­side, how­ever, there was plenty of glam­our – cream leather so­fas and vel­vet club chairs — and no sign of the Duke of Northum­ber­land, who still lives at Syon House next door in the park, which is worth a visit, along with its gar­dens and lake by Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown.

London Syon Park is a Wal­dorf As­to­ria ho­tel and has some very good points – in­clud­ing the unique dis­tinc­tion of be­ing set within the land­scape of Syon Park, near the Thames in west London, yet is handy for Heathrow air­port seven miles away (and seven miles from Hyde Park).

The Pea­cock Al­ley Bar, too, gets a big tick. On a Fri­day night it had some good beats at a de­cent vol­ume, smart pow­der-blue leather stools around a glis­ten­ing cres­centshaped bar and a su­perb mixol­o­gist on hand to dis­pense orig­i­nal cock­tails — the ap­ple crum­ble ex­uded the taste of that clas­sic pud­ding, right down to a shot of home­made vanilla cream at the end.

Our ju­nior suite had toasty un­der­floor bathroom heat­ing, a dou­ble bal­cony over­look­ing the gar­den, a huge flatscreen TV in the sit­ting room and an­other housed in a cab­i­net at the end of the bed.

The Kal­lima spa of­fers non- sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures from the clinic of cos­metic sur­geon Mr Alex Karidis. I had the hy­drafa­cial – a di­ag­nos­tic con­sul­ta­tion of my skin, fol­lowed by a thor­ough “hoover­ing up” of dead skin cells (£120). I left feel­ing to­tally clean and fresh, and with the air­port just a short drive away, the jour­ney was has­sle free.

A Pres­i­den­tial Suite: typ­i­cal of the trade­mark glam­our

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