Richmond Hill Hotel, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 6RW - hotel review

PUBLISHED: 15:54 05 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:26 06 October 2015

The hotel is celebrating a multi-million pound refurbishment (Photo: Richard Leeney)

The hotel is celebrating a multi-million pound refurbishment (Photo: Richard Leeney)

Archant

Occupying a prime spot by the gates of Richmond’s world-famous deer park, the Richmond Hill Hotel has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment.

An example of the Hill Collection Deluxe roomsAn example of the Hill Collection Deluxe rooms

Richmond Hill Hotel, 144-150 Richmond Hill, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey TW10 6RW

Tel: 020 8940 2247 / richmondhill-hotel.co.uk

***

With a view that has inspired artists, musicians and writers for generations (notably JMW Turner’s painting, Richmond Hill), it’s hard not to feel a sense of heightened anticipation when visiting this part of the world.

On top of that, it just so happens that I’ve had a lot of joy in the area over the years with Surrey Life, whether dining at the brilliantly madcap Al Boccon di’Vino, the charming La Buvette, the rustic Petersham Nurseries or the spectacular Dysart Petersham. So a visit to the revamped Richmond Hill Hotel was an easy sell.

Found opposite the iconic Star and Garter, which is being transformed into luxury apartments these days, and minutes from the gates of Richmond Park, this Grade II listed property has also just undergone a £4.7 million refurbishment programme.

On our visit to the park pre-check in, an extremely noble stag was doing his bit to shake the leaves from the trees earlier than seasons would usually dictate. Magic.

Grabbing our bags from the car in the car park at the front of the hotel (there’s a daily charge), we stroll into the welcoming foyer – wedding guests mill around, while well-to-do business types relax with the day’s papers on sofas.

As you might expect from a hotel in such a stunning location, there are hints of the local landscape in the new design, too, which stretches all the way from the foyer up to the rooms, where deer stencils roam the walls, giant TVs hang and pristine bathrooms gleam.

Boasting a total of 142 bedrooms, the hotel - in partnership with Heal’s - has re-styled the furniture employing brands such as Villeroy & Boch, Kaldewei and Grohe. Fitting for today’s business and leisure travellers.

With the sun still shining high, we head out into town to soak up the Friday afternoon atmosphere and relax by the river.

Into the evening

Back at the Richmond Hill Hotel, the bar that leads into Pembrokes Restaurant is cosy. As we enter, we’re quickly pointed in the direction of the Market Menu, which comes in at a reasonable £24.95 for three courses.

They describe their food as modern British with a French twist, and a glance at the à la carte menu shows it’s certainly eclectic: moving from a tajine dish and pies to noodles and curries.

I’m not sure whether my expectations were set insurmountably high by some of the creativity of other local restaurants, but this place didn’t really set my imagination alight. That said, there’s potential here for sure and most of our dishes were well presented. So it wouldn’t take a massive amount to transform this into a real destination diner. My understanding is that there are plans afoot for the future.

Either way, as locations go, there are few better places for an evening stroll. Walk down the hill and you never know who you might bump into in the chic alleyways around Richmond Green or waterside retreats near Richmond Bridge.

Unsurprisingly, after a day rambling through the 2,500 acres of Richmond Park and hundreds of bars and shops, sleep comes easily, aided by a bed so comfortable and ambience so peaceful that there’s no need for counting deer.

In the morning, after a brilliant cascade of a shower, we head back to Pembrokes Restaurant, which has been transformed into its breakfast suit. There’s plenty of selection with both a hot and cold buffet, and with time to plot the day ahead we’re ready for another day of exploration.

So, where to head next? Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens, Ham House…? Central London? The list is endless and the Richmond Hill Hotel is perfectly located to make the most of them all – with easel in hand or otherwise…

• Double rooms at the Richmond Hill Hotel start at £102 a night, with suites available from £153. Bed and breakfast deals are available.

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