When I think of planning a relaxing weekend away, my mind instantly daydreams about a city break in Europe, with a weekend spent exploring, eating and drinking.
But sometimes, it’s good to stay local and learn to unwind and enjoy your own company, and we were fortunate enough to experience this at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colchester last month.
My first impression of the hotel was how stunning the grounds looked, even in the evening, and the grand reception decorated with twinkling Christmas decorations and soft Christmas classics playing in the background.
We checked in and headed up to our room. We were booked into an executive suite for the night to have a relaxing break away from our day jobs and commitments. The room was spacious and welcoming, with a huge king size bed at one end of the room, and a sofa and large flat screen TV at the other end. The bathroom was a little slice of luxury, with beautiful marble tiles, makeup mirrors, a corner shower and a large bath.
We unpacked our clothes, freshened up and headed to Bar Luca for a drink before dinner. It’s a great cosy bar with lots of varied seating, including sofas, bar stools and various tables and suites. It’s a great place to catch up with friends or kick off a fun evening out! The city-style environment was relaxing and really came to life in the evening; we treated ourselves to a chilled cocktail and sat back and relaxed.
After a couple of delicious cocktails, we headed to Brasserie 1 for dinner. Brasserie 1 is the main restaurant at Crowne Plaza Hotel, where you can enjoy international dishes with a great British twist, including fish, grilled steak, salads and much more. We ordered off the A-La-Carte menu for the evening, and decided to really indulge and treat ourselves to a three course meal! To start, we order garlic bread and cheesy garlic bread – hands down the best garlic bread I have had in a long, LONG time!
For mains, I ordered the Katsu chicken burger and James ordered the steak burger. My chicken burger was succulent, juicy and the Katsu curry sauce was super delicious. I loved the soft brioche bun and the chips served in the basket were delicious too; super fluffy inside and crispy on the outside. James loved the burger and said the meat was of high quality, and the pickles gave it a lovely crunch. We were stuffed, but who can refuse dessert?! We perused the menu and I ordered chocolate brownies, and James ordered the berry crumble. The brownies felt undercooked to me, but the vanilla ice cream was delicious. James loved his berry crumble, and found it to be the perfect dessert for a heavy meal!
We headed back to Brasserie 1 for a last evening drink, and snuggled down into the super comfy king size bed for the best sleep ever. I woke up feeling refreshed and relaxed – I honestly felt as if I had slept on a squishy marshmallow all night!
In the morning, we freshened up and made it just in time for breakfast at Brasserie 1. There was a fantastic buffet on offer, with a range of cooked breakfast, cereals, fruit, yoghurt and pastries. I tucked into the sausages, bacon, button mushrooms and scrambled egg (which were incredibly delicious I must add) and managed to sneak in a little pastry too!
We walked around the grounds for some fresh air, before checking out the facilities that we are definitely going to use next time we stay at Crowne Plaza Hotel! There is a relaxing spa on site, with 12 treatment rooms, a bespoke relaxation room and pools overlooking the 320 acres of land surrounding the hotel. A 6,313-yard golf course surrounds the grounds, and is dubbed as one of the most challenging golf courses in Essex.
The hotel is just a short drive from Colchester, nestled into stunning countryside and picturesque views, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway. The hotel really stands out from its competitors in Essex, with its fantastic spa facilities, golf courses, restaurants, bars and night clubs.
The hotel is impeccably clean and decorated beautifully, and all of the staff I met were super friendly and helpful. If you’re looking for a getaway in Essex, then Crowne Park Plaza is the one for you!