Hotel review: Best Western Frensham Pond Hotel, Surrey
Date Posted: 27/01/2016
Rachel Bailey stayed a night in Best Western Frensham Pond Hotel in Farnham, which underwent a major makeover in 2015.
It was once a 15th century country house; now, Frensham Pond Hotel’s renovation combines modern conveniences with a picture-perfect lake-side location. The shadowy tree-lined drive off the main road leading down to the hotel belies the modern interior, although first appearances of Frensham present clean white-washed stone and a well taken care of array of shrubs and trees.
When old meets new
Walking into the hotel is to enter a building that feels incredibly new despite its age – it goes to prove what a lick of paint can do. Stylish button back furnishings and carefully chosen paintings and ornaments adorning the reception and breakfast area provide a warm welcome upon arrival. The bedrooms follow suit as well; my room was spacious with a tasteful colour palate of chocolate brown and avocado green and a bathroom that felt like it had never been used.
Frensham Pond Hotel has a very modern feel to it despite its rustic location; innovative features include contactless key cards for room access, 40 inch flat screen televisions in some of the bedrooms and state-of-the-art bathroom facilities including rain head showers.
Location over atmosphere
If your group likes an atmospheric accommodation option with a bit of character, I’m not sure this would be your best bet – this hotel has a slightly corporate feel to it, although I’d say that’s mainly down to the revamp rather than it lacking any sort of personality. It just feels very new and shiny, which is certainly nothing to complain about. But if you’re after a hotel with squashy armchairs or four poster beds or chintzy china tea cups with vintage prints on, this probably isn’t it.
However, the hotel’s location is an absolute winner. The hotel overlooks Frensham Great Pond and the view across it is really something. Sitting down for a cooked breakfast at a window-seat table watching a heron majestically skimming the still surface of the pond while the sun rose into the sky in the background was a real treat.
Might I also add here that the cooked breakfast, served buffet-style, was one of the best I’ve ever had. A wide choice of the normal breakfast items was on offer, plus the option to order other delectable brekkie classics including eggs Benedict. The dinner served in the Drakes Suite was also delicious, and I applaud the chefs for the perfectly-cooked steak I got to sample during my stay.
As an additional food bonus, a packed lunch is available to preorder at the hotel for the following day – perfect for groups who’d like to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area armed with ample provisions.
But back to location. The hotel is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty only a short distance from the lively market town of Farnham. It’s also no more than 15 minutes away from a number of attractions perfect for groups, including Birdworld and the Forest Lodge Garden Centre, and English Heritage properties Waverley Abbey and Farnham Castle Keep. Group rates are available at all of these attractions.
Those staying at Frensham are also very close to the towns of Aldershot, Guildford and Farnborough, ideal for a day out from the hotel if you’re a coach party.
A sunset stroll
And for those that don’t want to travel too far, the pond on your doorstep takes approximately an hour to walk around – I’d advise taking a stroll just before sunset. The sky daubed with pink and purple clouds above the lush greenery surrounding the hotel is a scene you won’t want to miss, and it’s really peaceful – you’d never know that access to the M3 and M25 is only down the road.
Overall, a very pleasing stay, and I’d really recommend it for groups who’d like to explore this particular bit of England. Frensham Pond Hotel is a popular location for weddings and corporate events, so is used to catering for large parties.
Coach parking is also available, although coach drivers be warned: there are some very narrow country roads in the Farnham area, so mind your satnav doesn’t take you off the main road down an impassable lane.