Monkey Island Estate | Bray, England

The Vibe: Private island escape meets country retreat.

The Area: Monkey Island Estate is located on an island in the middle of the Thames River, not too far from London. The village of Bray is well known for its restaurants, including the three star Michelin Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal and the Roux family’s Waterside Inn.

The DNA: New York-based design firm Champalimaud created a look that “speaks to the romantic and lively past” of the property, says partner Jon Kastl. “We ended up with a hotel that bridged the old with the new, a place that rerooted itself not only architecturally but also environmentally.” The Pavilion Room, for example, is awash in blue to reflect the delphiniums and hydrangeas found on the grounds, while a lattice pattern on the walls resembles a garden trellis. The brasserie keeps the bold colors intact, with saffron yellow and turquoise hues bathed in natural light in the window-lined room. Joining the public spaces, a patio surrounded by the gardens wraps the exterior of the hotel, but even that isn’t the property’s defining outdoor feature. Sitting on the Thames, the Floating Spa by Spa Village serves as the hotel’s star amenity.

Suite-Me-Up: There are 41 bedrooms and suites. Most are attached to the Temple – built in 1723 by the Duke of Marlborough as a fishing retreat -, while others are in a converted barn on the mainland. The bedrooms are slick, comfortable and glossy in look. The exception is the Wedgewood Suite (main photo), the upper room of the 18th-century Temple, a marvellous, light-filled room whose original plasterwork ceiling, resplendent with shells, mermaids and dolphins, is rather like a wedding cake. It’s semi-circular, with windows all round. Walls are panelled in oak and above the mantlepiece is a reproduction portrait of the Duke of Marlborough at Monkey Island.

From: Hospitality Design

✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 41 rooms & suites • hotel opened: 2019 • interior design: Champalimaud • bathroom amenities: Aromatherapy Associates ✅ free on-site parking • pets allowed on request • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible

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