The long awaited renovation of the Monkey Island Estate was completed this spring and I had the pleasure of attending a site visit last week.
Owned by the Malaysian YTL group and part of the Small Luxury Hotels, the estate although unrated at the moment has all the luxury and feel of a 5* boutique hotel. Situated in the village of Bray with the world renowned Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal around the corner, it lays on its own Island and is surrounded by expansive grounds. The main building is the “Two Pavillions” which has a long history and was originally the fishing retreat for the Duke of Marlborough in 1723. During the years it has been visited by artists, painters, aristocrats and famous writers and also by monks which is where the name Monkey Island originally stems from. After a complete overhaul, and with the help of famous American design company Champalimaud, the estate has been transformed to a luxury retreat with 23 bedrooms and 3 suites; there are also private cottages on the mainland that are being completed at the moment.
Although you can sense that this is an American company looking to create a British luxury country feel, they have done a very good job indeed. There are four categories of rooms and the entry level rooms are small but perfectly formed, more suitable for one guest with a queen bed and all mod cons.
My absolute favourite is the Wedgewood Suite; with a beautiful ornate ceiling, dark wood and plenty of light shining through the many windows this is a truly stunning room.
There is one restaurant – The Brasserie – which is connected to the Monkey Bar where you can enjoy drinks and lighter bites. With a newly appointed head chef The Brasserie serves British classics with a modern twist; the food is delicious and they keep both bees and chickens in the garden and also have their own smoke house, which is a nice touch and a nod to being sustainable.
With a selection of event space the estate will be popular with private events such as weddings but also the corporate market. The Marlborough Ballroom is a gorgeous room that can take up to 100 delegates theatre style or 130 guests for private dining, and with a lovely terrace and stunning views this will be a popular room to hold your wedding or a corporate celebration. There will also be an option for small groups to book the cottages and one can hold a meeting or private dinner there too.
Due to the fact that they are not able to extend the buildings further they have a brilliant floating spa which offers various treatments. A swimming pool and gym are currently being constructed, and once done The Monkey Island Estate will appeal to their guests in more ways than one