Inside the new Laura Ashley hotel

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel and fallen in love with the furniture (I once relentlessly quizzed a poor receptionist on where I could buy a pair of bedside tables to no avail), I guarantee that you’ll adore The Manor Hotel in Elstree. Because practically everything – from the furniture and door handles to the wallpaper, carpet and curtains, is by iconic homewares brand, Laura Ashley and available to buy. And, as you can imagine, seductively tasteful.

Surrounded by leafy gardens, the hotel’s official unveiling was earlier this week and I was lucky enough to take a tour. A destination in itself (a spa is just one plan in the offing), the exterior is incredibly striking.

The 16th-century Manor Hotel

The 16th-century Manor Hotel

A front door with its own history

A front door with an intriguing history

Entering through a door that was once part of the dungeons at Lewes Castle, a giant fireplace dominates the reception, yet it’s complemented by a pair of plush sofas.

A stunning mix of old and new in the reception

A stunning mix of old and new in the reception

What I especially liked about this comfy seating area was that it’s the perfect demonstration of how Laura Ashley’s Design Service have approached the redesign of the hotel – respecting its history, while bringing it up to date. The period features are enhanced, rather than hidden, the colours neutral but never bland. The bedrooms are equally enchanting, from some of the standard rooms…

Beautiful navy and grey bedroom

Beautiful navy and grey bedroom

to the bridal suite, which is breathtaking…

The Mayfair Bridal Suite

The Mayfair Bridal Suite

Besides the fab four-poster and a huge bathroom, one of my favourite things in this room is actually one of the original features – a windowsill that maps the view of London beyond…

A great way to know what you're looking at on a clear day

A great way to know what you’re looking at on a clear day

It’s not just the obvious decor that has been overhauled – to make the rooms lighter and brighter, some of the woodwork has been given a fresh coat of paint and even the lighting and door handles are by Laura Ashley…

The devil's in the detail - the hotel's glam handles

The devil’s in the detail – the hotel’s glam handles

And it extends outside – even the gardens had a makeover…

I could while away an afternoon in these luscious gardens

I could while away an afternoon in these luscious gardens

Anyone for giant chess?

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