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5 Boutique Away Day Hotels for Summer

Wednesday 6 December 2023

 Lime Wood wellbeing away days  Lime Wood herb garden summer

With a roadmap out of lockdown finally in sight, what better way to kick off your company reunion with an update at an exclusive hire boutique hotel venue out of London. With fresh air, complete privacy and activities on tap; there is nothing better than taking over one of these top  hotels. 

VSL have put together a list of our Top 5 Boutique Hotels located outside of London, ideal for summer away days and exclusive hire – to re-charge and re-invigorate that workforce!

  • Monkey Island Estate, Bray

The intriguingly named Monkey Island Estate is set across seven acres and boasts a thorough re-development courtesy of the luxury hotel brand, YTL Hotels.  The venue is a quintessentially English, private, and exclusive hotel in the delightful village of Bray.

The hotel’s exotic name has long been a source of debate, but some historians link to the Church's early ownership. In 1197, monks attached to Merton Priory settled nearby, built fishponds close to the island christened Monks Eyot (island) – the possible root of the modern name.

With 40 beautifully appointed guest rooms and four diverse event spaces, including a spacious Ballroom, River Room, and the smaller Spencer Suite and Boardroom, the hotel can accommodate up to 200 delegates Theatre style down to an intimate 14 guest’s boardroom style.

Monkey Island Estate offers both DDR and 24-Hour Rates, making hire of this beautiful spot simple and straight forward.

  • Barnett Hill, Surrey

Part of the Alexander Hotel collection, Barnett Hill offers an assortment of 56 luxury bedrooms, a number of cosy lounges, nine unique meeting and conference spaces and an award-winning restaurant located within the 22-acre estate. The Surrey Hills based hotel is the perfect venue for any exclusive use event with hire available from Monday - Thursday.

Fully prepared for exclusive use, your hire would include unlimited tea, coffee and mineral water with all important Bacon rolls prepared fresh for your arrival. Buffet lunches, Afternoon cream teas and a three-course dinner within the stunning Oak Room restaurant, complete with half a bottle of wine per person. Not to mention a full English breakfast the next day and use of the large grounds and surrounding woodland.

With five eclectic meetings and event spaces and a further four syndicate rooms available, Barnett Hill offers plenty of space for your event needs from 70 delegates Theatre style down to 8 boardroom style.

The extensive lawns are no stranger to a lively team building activity and can host anything from a wellbeing yoga session to ‘It’s a Knockout’ style inflatable assault courses and human table football.

  • Royal Berkshire

Part of the Exclusive Collection, the Royal Berkshire offers exclusive use of a pristine Queen Anne Mansion, set within 15 acres of manicured lawns.

As well as your own dedicate professional team, guests will enjoy access to all the facilities inside and out, including private use of The Polo Bar and public areas – closed to non-residents for the duration of your event. Guests will have a choice of 66 rooms and suites with the use of 13 meeting rooms, designed to enhance and encourage interactive learning and blue sky thinking. With options accommodating up to 200 Theatre style and as little as 6 boardroom style, you’re spoilt for choice.

The grounds are fully equipped to offer outdoor team building with PAC-MAN, treasure hunts, Frisbee golf, giant garden games and croquet – perfect for a retro sports day or just a break from business!

With everything from SMART screens to interactive glass writing walls, beanbags, and unlimited pick me ups in the Energy Zone, the Royal Berkshire provides an all-in-one experience dedicated to development, learning and fun.

Another gem hidden within the home counties is The Vineyard, a 5 red-star property, ideal for exclusive use.

The opulent hotel offers 5 meetings and events rooms with capacities for up to 160 delegates down to as few as 8 boardroom style – all equipped with natural daylight overlooking the gorgeous grounds.

With a vast range of on-site activities on offer, your away day at The Vineyard can include something to cater for all with options such as Belgian Chocolate Making, Perfume workshops, Crystal Mazed, Escape rooms, Wine tasting, ‘Game your Thrones’ and even an ‘Italian Job’ style adventure following the trail of clues and completing a range of enthralling challenges which will reward successful teams with information and equipment to aid your mission.

Exclusive use of the hotel will provide you with a choice of 49 unique suites, an executive chef, on site sommeliers and a private spa, as well as full use of the event spaces and lush grounds.

  • Lime Wood, Hampshire

This quirky, luxurious, boutique hotel in Hampshire offers your very own Forest retreat with an exclusive use event hire available Monday – Thursday.

Guests will have a choice of 33 bedrooms (with a mixture of suites available), full breakfast and buffet lunches and a three-course dinner as well as event space, use of the gardens and grounds and the gorgeous Herb House Spa. You can even make it a home away from home with complimentary newspapers outside each door – Lime Wood’s overriding theme is ‘Open House’ so guests feel comfortable, relaxed and at ease.

Lime Wood provides the ultimate comfort for exclusive hire, with all event spaces designed to provide a country home feel. Why not have an informal meeting for 2 in The Library or a family style dinner at The Kitchen Table? The Drawing Room, Study and Scullery add to the cosy (but luxurious) home away from home atmosphere. Guests can even cook their own three course meal at The Cookery School under the guidance of their private Chef.

Capacities range from as little as 2 up to 50 guests and the hotel promotes a strong wellness theme throughout. The tranquillity of the Herb House roof offers the perfect backdrop for mediation, a spot of sunbathing, or an early evening drink with colleagues, or, why not tag on a wellbeing addition to your exclusive use package like their ‘Energiser’. The perfect way to kick start your metabolism and prepare you for the day ahead, the Herb House Energiser is a great add-on to get the best from your team. The Energiser add on includes:

-45 minute light warm up and wake up exercises with a personal instructor
-Session either in the Studio or outside, weather permitting
-Brain boosting smoothie or juice

To find out more about our featured boutique away day hotels or for any other enquiry, call us on 0207 870 9305 or pop us an email  

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Clare Phillips

Managing Director, Venue Search London
With over 10 years of venue finding experience Clare loves nothing more than matching a client brief with the perfect venue. A bit of a venue obsessive who loves to explore new and exciting venues and experiences throughout London!