REGAL ROAM ING
The hotel offers 41 bedrooms and its elegant, refined design is the calling card of New York-based Champalimaud Design, which also has The Dorchester and The Gainsborough to its name.
Most guest rooms are located in the Temple building where a couple of the larger suites also boast balconies and terraces. The pièce de résistance, however, is The Wedgewood Suite, which occupies the original building and boasts magnificent near-360° views of lawns and riverbanks. Its spectacular ceiling features Neptune, shells and mermaids in high relief Wedgewood blue plasterwork and feels regal in every sense of the word. Guests warmed by quintessential British touches will delight in the stunning bone china tea set, dark panelling, historic portraiture, and semi-canopied bed. Modern luxuries also abound with cloudsoft linen, a river-view roll-top bath, vast waterfall shower, and fragrant Aromatherapy Associate toiletries.
Monarchs, aristocrats, literary icons and a multitude of famous names from war poet Siegfried Sassoon to HG Wells have enjoyed river life at Monkey Island over the past 800 years and the hotel proudly celebrates its legacy.
A 1905 photograph on display shows Edward VII enjoying afternoon tea under the island's walnut trees and on arrival moreish orange and walnut brownie slices await us, giving another nod to the hotel's rich history. The brownies are made by executive chef William Hemming using a traditional recipe dating back centuries to the time when the island was home to orange and walnut trees. Accompanying the delectable goodies is an embossed card with a quote from Frances Countess of Hertford writing in 1738 of the island's horticulture.
Historical touches such as a these are frequent and engaging, ensuring every guest's stay is intertwined with the island's fascinating story.
On our side table, a complimentary gin elixir makes the perfect sundowner to recline with as we relish the Wedgewood Suite and its views of the gardens and flowing river. The elixir pays homage to the monks' centuries-old tradition of making potions and remedies using botanicals. This monastical connection continues at the hotel's brand new Floating Spa. Located on a custom-made river barge moored alongside the hotel gardens, The Floating
Spa has three treatment rooms and draws inspiration from the monks' homemade botanical tinctures and celebrates a time when apothecaries would use barges to ship medicinal herbs up and down the bustling River Thames. A host of five-star facials and massages are on offer, and homemade elixirs are stored in a collection of wonderful bell jars at the spa's ‘Elixir Bar' – the onriver setting only serves to increase the blissfully soporific vibe.