April 2013

Female First

Nestled deep within Sherwood Forest in a stunning setting, The Sherwood Hideaway combines luxury, escape, outdoors and rest for guests looking to experience a truly unique retreat

I spent a weekend at the magnificent Sherwood Hideaway with a group of friends, staying in a luxury lodge complete with open plan living and a hot tub on the patio. Here’s all about our stay at this special place.

Check-in

At the end of a long woodland driveway is where you’ll find The Sherwood Hideaway; deep within the forest but close enough to nearby villages and towns.

Reception is the first wooden lodge you see and although the retreat is located in lush open spaces in the forest, the first impression I got was that it is safe and well protected with barriers at the entrance.

Check-in was as smooth a process as can be – I filled in a short form with my personal details including emergency contact number, address etc and was even offered advice on the best walking and cycling trails, directions to the nearest grocery store and given maps of the grounds so that we could explore the area in our own time.

The reception lodge has maps, souvenirs, tea/coffee, biscuits and other bits that you may have forgotten. The staff were helpful and friendly, especially David who made our stay incredibly comfortable from start to finish.

Lodge

Lodge 10 was to be our home for the weekend, and what a spectacular property it was. My first thought was, “I could actually live here!” The lodge was one of the retreats ‘rustic’-themed living quarters and, for me, a dream home neatly packed into a wooden lodge with spacious open plan living/dining and kitchen areas, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, our own parking spaces for two cars and, of course, what every retreat needs – a patio area with hot tub and outdoor seating.

As soon as we entered it felt like a snug home away from home; it was clean, the heating was on, beds were made and sofas plumped. On the kitchen counter was a bottle of wine and Cadbury Roses waiting to be indulged alongside a welcome pack with information about the area and the lodge.

There was tea, coffee and sugar in the pots and the hot tub was bubbling away ready for our first dip; these were all luxuries part of staying in a VIP lodge, which I would highly recommend booking for your stay.

To keep you entertained, there is also a 32” flat screen LCD HD TV, Freeview channels, a DVD player, iPod / MP3 speakers, and free broadband connection. We also found Scrabble and a pack of playing cards and there were more games and books at reception that guests were welcome to borrow.

All crockery, utensils, an kitchen appliances were there; including a fridge freezer, oven and even a dishwasher, giving the resort a very homely feel and boasting the kind of luxury you would expect from a lodge at a luxury ski resort.

The patio area was perfect to unwind after a day of cycling and exploring the forest, especially as you can relax in the hot tub and gaze out at the forest and leafy woodland area in this magnificent location.

The interior is special and tasteful too. Light and airy in the bedrooms and bathrooms, and contemporary and cosy all throughout with wooden flooring, a lovely wooden dining table and luxurious kitchen fittings, as well as beautiful designer fabrics from Mulberry and Designers Guild.

The décor combines vibrancy and comfort with the theme of nature running throughout the furnishings and the style of the lodge.

Molton Brown’s luxury range of products await your toiletry needs in the bathroom and the there are also all the cleaning products including dishwasher tablets, fairy liquid, sponges, bin liners etc provided so you can keep your stay clean and comfortable.

For me, a good night’s sleep was what I enjoyed the most about the lodge. With fabulous duck down pillows and duvets, luxurious Egyptian cotton linen and quality sprung mattresses; it was definitely the best place for an escape and pure relaxation.

We cooked on both nights and truly enjoyed the experience of being on a break but still able to enjoy home comforts and cater for ourselves. The space between the lodges is great too and other guests do not overlook you, which makes for a very lovely and private stay.

Service

In one word: excellent. From arranging bike hire to recommending cycling trails and coming around to check the hot tubs were working correctly – David was hands-on, friendly and extremely knowledgeable of the grounds.

Having a trusted staff member on site made us feel safe, and we were given the impression that nothing was too much or too less of an ask for David who made our stay truly memorable.

Location

The location of The Sherwood Hideaway is simply stunning. Woodland, leafy paths, tall trees and fantastic forest wildlife surround the 5-star luxury retreat, situated on the superb Thoresby Hall Estate where there is a fine range of leisure facilities, easily accessed from the lodges.

The distinctive setting of The Sherwood Hideaway really allows you to get away from it all. It’s perfect for romantic breaks, a catch up with friends, a family holiday, a relaxing getaway or for a more active walking or cycling vacation.

I would recommend taking a leisurely stroll on one of the walking routes to really appreciate the beautiful surroundings and tranquil open spaces around the resort.

A petrol station and a number of fast food restaurants are located around five miles down the road, this for us was great news as we were able to shop for a few breakfast treats that we had forgotten to bring with us.

The Sherwood hideaway is also within easy reach of the A1 (5 miles) and the M1 (19 miles). The nearest stations are at Retford, Worksop, Newark and Mansfield.

Downfall

Though escaping technology is a must when visiting The Sherwood Hideaway, it was frustrating that in most parts of the lodge and the grounds, mobile network was low or non-existent. This made it difficult to make a call because you will have to walk around to find a spot where you can get reception.

Also, we were unable to connect to the Wi-Fi even though there was a broadband connection throughout the retreat. However, these things were not of high importance and David did his best to rectify internet connection problems.

Admittedly I think the only reason we wanted network was to post photos of the beautiful grounds and lodge on Facebook – otherwise not having network or Wi-Fi wasn’t that big of a deal. And if you truly want to escape everyday stresses then a gadget-free break at The Sherwood Hideaway is the perfect solution.

Verdict

The Sherwood Hideaway is everything you would want, and so much more, from a woodland retreat. It’s a completely unique experience in an incredibly peaceful, private and perfect setting.

Our stay was faultless and the best thing about the place is that you don’t feel like you’re in a rush – your time is truly your own – and whether you want to relax in the hot tub, lounge on the comfy sofas or get up close with nature and enjoy outdoor activities, the choice is yours and there’s no outside noise, pressure or stress to worry you.

If you’re in search of escapism and an unforgettable break, or a casual activity-based holiday, either way, The Sherwood hideaway is the right place to unwind, gather your thoughts and prepare to go back to the real world after some well-deserved rest.

Book your break today at The Sherwood Hideaway. Visit www.sherwoodhideaway.com/book-a-hideaway

CHECK AVAILABILITY AND BOOK

TBC Magazine

True Londoners are creatures of habit, regarding anywhere outside of zone six as extraordinarily exotic. They may travel nationally or internationally, but many will only see the inside of their hotel room before jetting off to their 2o’clock in Paris. Perhaps this is wildly assuming, and not every Londoner has a high-powered job which requires for them to jet from city to city. However, to many Londoners, the notion of spending time in a wood cabin in the middle of a forest, with limited Internet access and next to no phone signal is a ridiculous notion.

When retreat destinations such as the Sherwood Hideaway exist, a jaunt away from society really shouldn’t be quite so out of the question. Hidden away in the depths of Nottingham’s Sherwood Forest, of Robin Hood fame, is a collection of luxury, log cabins. The idealistic Thoresby Hall Estate plays host to the holiday park, as well as offering a vast range of leisure facilities just a short bike ride away.

The lodges themselves are more luxurious than your average cabin in the woods. The VIP lodges come complete with a hot tub, and all lodges have mod cons such as central heating, comfy bedding, Molton Brown toiletries and the usual robe and slippers. Home entertainment features also come in the form of wall-mounted television with DVD player, and iPod docking station. The Wi-Fi access is surprisingly good, although when it comes to phone signal this really isn’t the place to catch-up with long distance friends and family.

The phone signal issue is understandable, as well as being easily forgiven, sometimes it really is best to be un-contactable for a few days. However, one problem which is evident at Sherwood Hideaway is that those without a car will struggle. A taxi from Newark rail station to the lodges costs around £30, which for anyone travelling by train will add an extra £60 to your break. Once at the lodges, there are no shops located within the near vicinity and so a bike ride or walk is required in order to pick up even the basics, as the onsite shop doesn’t stock anything other than kindling and wood fire.

During the day Thoresby Hall Hotel encompasses a pool, gym and spa which can be accessed by guests of the Sherwood Hideaway. There is also a fine dining restaurant located at the hotel which is a short bike ride from the lodges. The Thoresby Gallery and Roundhouse Garden Nursery are great places to browse whilst following a cycle route in and around the local area. The acclaimed Thoresby gallery exhibits the Pierrepont collection of paintings by the 6th Countess of Manvers, which are set alongside paintings by local artists.

All in all, when it comes to luxury retreats in the UK, the Sherwood Hideaway is by far one of the most relaxing and secluded. It is the perfect romantic weekend destination, or family half-term break, with plenty of outdoorsy activities to keep even the most restless children occupied. If there were to be a downside, it would be the difficulty of access for non-drivers, but when it comes to the telephone signal sometimes it’s best to switch off the smartphone, put on swimwear and slip into a hot tub overlooking the tranquil forest.

The Sherwood Hideaway offers a choice of rustic, contemporary or traditional lodges. Prices start from £379 for a weekend or from £625 for a week. Visit www.sherwoodhideaway.com or call 01623 824 594 to check availability or make a booking. Laura Collinson

CHECK AVAILABILITY AND BOOK
Terms and conditions

Book now for 2017: Only one offer per booking and offers cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Payment in full is required at time of booking. Applies to new bookings only and is subject to availability. Standard terms and conditions apply.