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Published on Sunday, June 16, 2019

A hotel fit for a king

Linsey McNeill and family checked in to New Hall Hotel & Spa in Sutton Coldfield for a night to remember.

First impressions: We'd chosen to stay at New Hall Hotel because it was close to my sister's house where we were heading for a family celebration, but also because we didn't want to stay in a bland hotel, instead we were looking for somewhere a little bit special. We thought that if New Hall was good enough for King Henry VIII, who once stayed in the former manor house, then it would be good enough for us.

From the moment we swept down the long driveway to the grand medieval facade, we knew that we'd made the right choice. The moat that separates the house from the driveway only adds to the impossingl quality of this property, which was originally built as a hunting lodge for the Earl of Warwick.

Entering the reception through the grand oak door is like walking to the hallway of a grand English home, which is effectively what it once was. We were welcomed by a member of staff behind a small desk, who quickly checked us in and pointed the way to our rooms on the first floor.

Bedrooms: There are 60 bedrooms divided into Classic, Executive, Double Deluxe, Junior Suites, Main House Suites and one Superior Suite. We had a Classic double and a twin; they were both small but plush, with super-comfy beds pilled with cushions and throws in beautiful fabrics, and mod-cons such as flat-screen TVs, hairdryers and a trouser press each. A hospitality tray with teas, coffee and hot chocolate was a nice touch, and in the small but adequate bathrooms there were toiletries from Gilchrist and Soames.

The Spa: All too often hotel spas are a let down, often located in a dingy basement or in some far-flung almost forgotten outhouse. The New Hall Spa is a delight. Housed in a separate building a few steps from the hotel's side entrance, it has a decent-sized indoor pool with an adjoining large whirlpool, steam room and sauna. Treatments, including massages and facials, are available, which can be combined with afternoon tea on the lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the expansive hotel grounds.

Wining and dining: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the wood-panelled two AA Rosette restaurant, The Bridge, where guests sit below mullioned stained glass windows. We didn't stay for dinner but noticed that the menu featured British classics such as wild pigeon and lamb pie. The next morning we enjoyed an extensive buffet breakfast and I had a delicious eggs benedict while the rest of my family tucked into a full English, to which they gave a collective thumbs up.

Lunch is also served in the Terrace Lounge and Bar, which has lots of comfortable seating and doors that open out onto an outside space overlooking the hotel's  lawns in the summer. It serves drinks in the evening, which can also be taken to a couple of other smaller lounge areas, one of which has log fire.

Location: The hotel is tucked away in fields in the middle of a residential area just outside Sutton Coldfield centre and not far from both the M6 and M42.

Highs: The historic building itself, its magnificent dining room, extensive grounds and the modern spa are all big pluses.

Lows: Our bedroom and bathroom could have been cleaner, but as our stay was over the Christmas period possibly the hotel was short of staff; the staff were efficient but lacked warmth and so did the spa changing rooms, which I found too chilly.

Verdict: I'd definitely book another stay at New Hall, preferably in the summer to enjoy the outside space, including the tennis courts, and dining on the terrace.

Rates at New Hall Hotel & Spa start at £132 per room per night including breakfast, based on two people sharing.

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