Overlooking the Forbury Gardens in Reading, The Forbury Hotel stands proudly. I had called the hotel as I had arrived early and a slightly early check in was not a problem at all.
The hotel has the wow factor on arrival – the grand pillared entrance welcomes you, as does the pleasant concierge who parks your car for you. Originally built for Berkshire County Council Chambers, the opulence is apparent throughout the entrance hall and lounges with original grand fireplaces and carved ceilings – then with a modern boutique twist.
Our room was a suite, on the third floor at the Forbury. Each step of the way to our room I continued to be wowed! The 86,000 glass beaded chandelier runs the whole height of the building up the old lift shaft. The décor throughout is sophisticated and very well thought out.
As soon as we stepped into the suite I knew we were in for a fab stay! It was oh-so spacious, with lavish furnishings and ultra modern. There was a huge bed at the far end and interesting art hanging around the room. The Bang and Olufsen audio-visual system was just incredible, and ran through to the bathroom also.
Fine attention to detail in the suites gave us everything we could need for a relaxing stay, providing CD’s and DVDs if you fancy a night in, and there was even a guide on ‘how to be idle’ for some bedtime reading! The books dotted around the room were great reads (not that I got through all of them!) but a great selection including art, history or some good old fiction.
The standards of the bathroom were second to none. The Molton Brown toiletries were perfectly placed and there was nothing missing. We had a large dining table in the room, along with a beautiful sitting area with rich fabrics and the settee was vey hard to get up from once sat down! If you are looking for design inspiration then this is the place to be.
I now decided to explore the rest of the hotel. The Cerise Bar is very cool indeed and serves the most wonderful cocktails. You have the choice of casual seating, or hiring an exclusive booth for you and your loved ones for that more special occasion! The Cerise Restaurant is super stylish. Bold designs, pinks – as the name suggests – and a fab menu. Dishes such as Pan seared fillet of red mullet with tomato & olive crushed potato. Yum!
After a fantastic sleep in a super king bed, sumptuous bedding and black out curtains we woke up refreshed and ready for a breakfast. Following some fresh fruit and yogurt I opted for poached haddock and poached egg which was truly divine. The staff were always at hand for coffee and toast top ups.
Feeling pleasantly full, I felt a short rest was in order before the long drive home – Which we did. I wanted to make the most of my time in this super stylish suite. I would recommend the Forbury for anyone who has an eye for style, art and all round great service.
Jennifer Cordingley – stayed Dec 2012