The Lensbury Hotel: The place to go for some riverside R&R

The Lensbury review

It’s that time of year again, when, like us, you might be feeling a little over indulged from the Christmas break and quite frankly the cold, dark days don’t have us leaping out of bed. Well, we’ve got the antidote and the perfect way to kick start your 'new year new you' resolutions in style (all the cool kids start in February, anyway!).

The Lensbury, perched on the banks of the River Thames in Teddington, is a hotel resort with palatial proportions, offering a fitness and wellbeing retreat for the whole family. Defined as a 'resort', The Lensbury boasts 25 acres of gardens and grounds, private boathouse and watersports centre, 24 tennis and squash courts and an impressive leisure club and pool. And if all that sounds like too much work, the Elemis Spa and Lounge restaurant are on hand to soothe weary souls.

The Rooms

The resort’s 155 rooms range from a classic double to the indulgent Dutch Suite. We stayed in the deluxe double, overlooking the river and tennis courts and providing a more than comfortable night’s sleep. Our room came with a comfy king size bed and Egyptian sheets, Nespresso machine, flatscreen TV and speedy wifi. The built in sound system in the bathroom was another added bonus meaning you could both bathe and listen to the dulcet tones of The Chase’s* Bradley Walsh to your heart’s content. (*Other TV shows are available.)

The Food

The Lounge restaurant and Terrace double up to provide cosy, fireside atmospheres in the winter months or sunny riverside vibes in warmer climes. When the summer sun rears it head, be sure to check out the pop-up gin garden festooned with fairy lights and immerse yourself in the botanical garden.

The menu is simple gastro pub fare, done well. We opted for a selection of nibbles followed by the lamb rump and the fish and chips (it was Friday, after all). Lighter bites, salads, fresh fish and vegan options are available for those with more willpower. It’s not Michelin star but it certainly does the job. Turns out an elite rugby team were staying at the same time as us, so the kitchen was busy and the service slightly slow, but to be honest, we were happy just soaking up the view.

The Lensbury review

The Spa

Small but perfectly formed, the spa isn’t an all day event and the treatment rooms are in a different location to the pool and leisure facilities, which is a slight inconvenience, but what the spa does offer is a selection of treats for the whole body to leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and revived. Elemis facials, full body massage, scrubs, mani-pedis, tints and waxes complete the list. We indulged in the 60 minute Swedish massage and we’d thoroughly recommend.

The Fitness Offering

Fitness and wellbeing are at the heart of everything at The Lensbury. The impressive fitness suite offers a fully kitted out weights room, power plate and gym, plus spin, yoga and functional training studios. There are over 100 classes to choose from and when you’ve exhausted the list you can hop in the 25m heated pool (plus separate kids pool) and finish off with a visit to the thermal suite.

The Lensbury review

In warmer weather, head to The Lensbury’s private boathouse and try your hand at one of the many watersports on offer, or simply hire a boat, pack a picnic and pootle off down the river for the afternoon (March - November). The hotel frequently runs bespoke events so check their website for information on new half term events for the whole family.

The Neighbourhood

Voted the best place to live in London 2021, Teddington offers a very attractive location in which to base yourself. A hop, skip and a Barbour-clad jump from the hotel you’ll find yourself in Teddington 'village' with a variety of pubs, restaurants and local independents. Next door, the Tide End Cottage riverside pub with an extensive beer garden isn’t a bad shout to end a long walk either.

For more cultural goings-on; Hampton Court Palace, The National Trust Ham House and Garden or The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are all within a 30-minute cab ride.

The Lensbury review

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The friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere at The Lensbury mean that the resort attracts a mix of business and leisure, couples, families and friends. There’s no strict dress code, and it’s definitely not a children should be seen and not heard kind of establishment, instead The Lensbury provides a welcome break, where everyone can grab some much needed R&R.

Rooms at The Lensbury start from £145 for a Classic Double and £225 for a Deluxe Twin /Family Room.

Sarah Hayman

Sarah Hayman is a contributing food and travel writer at Marie Claire UK, covering everything from UK breaks to far flung destinations, the best greasy spoon to Michelin star dining.

Growing up on the Kent coast Sarah spent virtually every day of her summer holidays frolicking on the beach so it’s no wonder that a life living and working in London leaves her yearning for sand between her toes and cool wines on summer eves.

To ensure she’s ordering the right thing in a restaurant and knowing her lefts from her rights, Sarah has since dabbled in languages being conversational in Spanish and currently studying Arabic at SOAS.