A few weeks ago I was invited to the Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Spa Hotel in Shrewsbury for review.
I was lucky enough to have pick of any of the Mercure hotels but I was seriously torn between going to Oxford or Albrighton Hall. I’d never been to either before BUT the promise of a spa hotel set in idyllic countryside swayed this country-born girl in the end!
I’d never been on a proper spa weekend before so I was so excited to pack my bags for a weekend of relaxation with my favorite person. Shrewsbury itself is in Shropshire, near to the border of Wales, and although that sounds really far away it only took around two hours on the train.
The hotel itself is beautiful and everything I would have expected from a country spa hotel, but can I just say… THE ROOM. Oh my good god the room was incredible.
We had very kindly been booked into one of the hotel’s premier rooms and it was like a palace. I haven’t got a wide angle lens for my camera yet which made doing it justice in photographs a struggle but I swear it was probably bigger than my flat!
We were greeted by an espresso machine which had a decaff espresso pod which I was very happy about – most places forget to cater for us caffeine-lovers but non-caffeine drinkers.
It had a beautiful marble bathroom, huge bed, its own sofa and a cute little desk area looking out over the countryside. I loved too how the interior design was wooden and neutral, set off by golden and green hues. It really fit in with the countryside setting.
After we dropped off our things we headed downstairs to the lounge for afternoon tea. The lounge itself is just the most beautiful space. It’s how you would imagine a sitting room to be in a country estate with dark, wooden walls and big comfy sofas to get a little lost in.
The afternoon tea itself was absolutely delicious. I LOVE a good afternoon tea – there’s something so classy and decadent about them, they feel like a real treat! The little cakes were fresh and delicious and I loved the modern take on the presentation.
We then had an hour to relax before it was time for our massage (I know what you’re thinking… best weekend ever, right?).
Massages are a very personal thing and though I asked for mine to be done with a light/medium pressure, I found it was more sports-like than the enjoyable, relaxing massages I’m used to – but that’s just a personal thing and not a reflection of the therapists at all.
The CD player that was playing relaxing music kept jumping and cutting out every few seconds as well which was really annoying – I know it seems like a trivial thing to complain about but it was one of those things that, once you’d noticed, you couldn’t stop noticing it!
As massages and spa treatments at hotels are renowned for being quite pricey, it’s something that should be addressed for customers. On the plus side the staff in the spa area were especially polite and attentive and we got to relax upstairs in a designated “chill out” dark zone with comfy recliners and lots of cold, fresh water.
Shortly after we headed down to dinner in the hotel restaurant. For starters I had Severn and Wye smoked salmon, with citrus crème fraiche and bread.
What could have been quite a standard starter was done really, really well – from the smoked salmon to the citrus twist on normal crème fraiche – and the bead was so fresh and delicious (freshly baked bread is one of my favorite things ever)!
For my main I had the grill of the day which was rump steak, which came alongside leafy salad and chunky chips. The steak was grilled to medium rare perfection and was perfectly pleasant – not the best steak I’ve ever had but far from the worst.
For dessert I had a chocolate and salted caramel torte which was absolutely divine. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know me by now, and know that anything that involves chocolate for dessert is usually a winner with me!
Salted caramel is very much the “in” thing at the minute, and though I’m not normally a fan of mixing salt with sweet there’s something so nice about chocolate/caramel-ly sweetness offset with just the right amount of salt and this torte was no exception.
We had so many lovely activities jam-packed in the day that sadly we didn’t get a chance to chill in the pool/sauna area… I know! I went on a spa weekend, and didn’t get to the spa! BUT by the time we’d eaten dinner we were both exhausted after an early start so headed to bed to watch some telly and get an early-ish night.
In the morning we woke to the smattering of snow on the countryside and a beautiful view of the hotel – I can see why it’s such a popular choice for weddings. The breakfast was amazing, with the option of ordering a cooked breakfast and a delicious hot and cold buffet with fresh pastries and bread.
All in all I had a fantastic stay at Albrighton Hall Hotel. The hotel itself was beautiful, the food delicious and the service impeccable. It was so nice to be pampered and to get away from the stresses of our busy lives for a few days.
We stayed on a Saturday night which of course is a more expensive option, but you can book a superior double room on a week night for as little as £79.
Even the privilege rooms can be booked for £99 mid-week which between two people is an incredibly reasonable price for a little luxury getaway. Weekend rates (Friday/Saturday nights) are around £149 for a superior double and £169 for a privilege room.
We spent the rest of the Sunday afternoon exploring Shrewsbury which is a cute, quaint little town. I would definitely recommend heading down and staying Albrighton Hall for a relaxing weekend away and I’m excited to see if the other Mercure hotels measure up in the future.
Have you ever stayed at a Mercure? How did you find it?
All the best,