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One of the great houses of England will re-open as a hotel this coming autumn.
Luton Hoo, just off the M1 motorway at junction 10, and extremely convenient for both Luton Parkway station and Luton Airport, was originally built in 1767 by architect Robert Adam for the 3rd Earl of Bute.
Diamond magnate Julius Wernher purchased the property in 1903 and decorated it in lavish French style, stuffing every cranny and corner with a collection of jewellery, paintings, porcelain and objets d'art.
The grade one listed mansion and parklands were bought by Elite Hotels in 1999 and are currently under a £60m ($120m) refurbishment. The unusual name comes from the Saxon 'Hoo,' meaning 'spur of a hill,' which accurately reflects the estate's location.
The house today stands in an elevated position at the centre of more than 1,000 acres of listed parklands that were laid out by Capability Brown in 1767, a setting which has altered little over time, with the River Lea running through the estate to form a large serpentine lake that extends to more than 50 acres. The new development includes a championship standard golf course.
Luton Hoo will comprise 144 bedrooms and suites, divided between the main mansion, the Parkland Wing (which guests will enter from a landscaped courtyard), the Flower Garden Wing and the Robert Adams” Stable Building.
The renovated Stable Building will also provide the setting for the golf club house, spa and leisure facilities, with a further 12 suites designed specifically with the golfer and spa visitor in mind. In addition, a state-of-the-art gym, hydrotherapy pool and six treatment rooms will be located within the building.
A selection of restaurants located in different areas of the estate will cater for various dining requirements. The Wernher Restaurant is positioned within The Mansion, encompassing the original State Dining Room and the Grinling Gibbons Dining Room, which is complete with original carvings by the renowned artist; Adam”s Brasserie will provide a more relaxed dining option, while the informal bars and grand lounges will cater for afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks.
Elite Hotels is a small independent UK-based hotel group. Headed by managing director, Graeme Bateman, they have been investing in some of the UK”s most beautiful historic houses since 1986, the first of which was Tylney Hall, Hampshire, followed by Ashdown Park Hotel in East Sussex, and finally The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne.