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Why Oakley Court Is The Buzziest Hotel Booking This Summer

A favourite amongst the arts and media crowd, take a look inside the hotel that has everyone talking

By Hannah Connolly

20 June 2023
B

ack in 2020, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone with much to say about Oakley Court; today, this Windsor haven is one of the most-talked-about overnighters in the UK.

Some places just get it "right", and the Oakley Court revamp has nailed that delicate balance between contemporary and elegant, easygoing but elevated, and luxury but not stuffy.

This Gothic getaway is ideal for the long summer days (or the long winter ones), set amongst 35 acres of land, complete with its own private stretch of The Thames, known as Water Okaley.

The main house dates back to the mid-19th century, and the impressive exterior wears its arts and crafts/Gothic bones spectacularly, complete with original turrets and gargoyles.

Over the years, Oakley has amassed more than a few silver screen credits, including 60's horror classics The Bride of Dracula and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Yet, by the 2000s, Oakley had become a drab corporate conference spot and not the getaway darling we know it to be today.

The reason for Oakley's newfound fame is down to the powerhouse vision of Alex Eagle in tandem with collaborator Sophie Hodges. Though the first hotel under her creative direction, Eagle is no stranger to curation, being the force behind Alex Eagle Studios and The Store X.

With acres of manicured gardens, Oakley Court in the summer is ideal, the Summer River House and Soho House Restaurant make alfresco dining a dream, and yes, you can get a Soho House Picante.

There are also kitchen gardens, tennis courts, the Alex Eagle Sporting Club, and a health spa, so there's plenty to do and see.

Inside, we love the grand fireplaces of the library (the perfect spot for a coffee and a morning read), whilst The Green Room, with original Victorian wall mouldings paired with floor-to-ceiling artwork, is the ideal place to idle away an afternoon.

Overnight rooms are split across the main manor and the Boat House, each with its own tempo. The mahogany interiors and four poster beds make a mansion stay almost whimsical, whilst the quiet Thameside views from the Boathouse suites feel tranquil and deeply relaxing.

The Oakley Court of today is like an old friend, profoundly welcoming and instantly relaxing, grand for sure, but in that perfect way that makes you feel an elevated sense of luxurious ease.

The interior: An eclectic mix of period detailing with contemporary dressing, the Main House is texturally wonderful and feels dynamic yet relaxing. The dining spaces have a more modern, Soho House sensibility, whilst the grounds feel like a slice of airy British Countryside.

The Food: There's a comprehensive food offering at Oakley. The current guest chef serving meals in the main dining space is Master Executive Chef Shimizu Akira of the beloved AKIRA restaurant in London. Whilst, Mateo Zielonka, also known as the Pasta Man and Johnnie Collins of 180 Lofts are also adding to the menu. So, there is something for everyone. You can also book afternoon tea and a selection of room service and drinks from the house menu are available.

The Rooms: Though different in style depending on where you book, the rooms share excellent beds in common. They are huge, incredibly comfortable and make for a fantastic night's sleep.

The people: The staff at Oakley are incredibly attentive and work hard to ensure you have the best possible stay. As for the guests, Oakley Court has become a stronghold for fashion, media and the arts. Alex Eagle recently celebrated her birthday there. As did Stack World Founder Sharmadean Reid, New School, the fashion talent agency changing the game, has monthly team off-site work days whilst editors and Creative directors head over for a break from the city.

The Short Stack

A favourite amongst the arts and media crowd, take a look inside the hotel that has everyone talking

By Hannah Connolly

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