For our anniversary S and I took to Mr & Mrs Smith to find an English country hideaway – you know the kind where you can enjoy a whisky while sitting by the fire. We didn’t quite find anything that matched that criteria, though we did find something better. The Aviator on the Surrey/Hampshire border.
This luxury hotel sits next to the Farnborough airfield, so is oft used by pilots. Rather than eschewing this would-be mundane fact, the hotel has embraced it. It could have gone the way of a literal homage to all things aviation, but instead the hotel simply nods to its neighbouring venue with a sleek aesthetic and bachelor pad feel that recalls the early days of air travel – when it was an expensive luxury rather than a mass-marketed quickie portal to Europe.
We stayed in a Sky suite, an impressive room that’s larger than our East London flat. A large corner sofa separated the living area from bedroom, though both areas had a television and was pleasingly decorated with walnut and leather furniture and Egyptian cotton sheets. I loved the walk-in wardrobe, especially important on relaxation weekends away as they keep our suitcases and clutter out of sight. What’s great about staying here as a couple is that the airplanes are a constant reminder of escapism, and of course appeal to the boy inside the man.. The gentle hum of planes taking off weren’t a disturbance, but an attraction.
Since the hotel has just started offering spa treatments we got the chance to try them out. The hotel doesn’t yet have a spa per se, but undertakes spa treatments in a hotel suite that has been kitted out for the purpose. We were treated to a couples massage and facial. The massage itself was gentle and relaxing and segued beautifully into a sumptuous facial which left me smelling sweet and feeling refreshed. The only downside was that post-treatment the relaxation room was a walk down the corridor which jarred slightly with the intimate pampering experience. Complete with current issues of Vogue, GQ, etc. as well as cucumber water and fruit, it hinted at what the hotel’s spa facilities could become in time.
With the spa facilities, restaurant, bar, and in-room free mini-bar and DVD library it’s very easy to hibernate here all weekend long.