Linden Hall Golf & Country Club is part of the Macdonald chain of hotels and it’s home to one of our favourite hotels, the Holyrood in Edinburgh. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I worked away from home for almost a year and stayed in some pretty great 4 & 5* hotels so my own personal standards of hotels is pretty high. This was my first visit to Linden Hall but Mr Tramp has been several times before for corporate events.
Located 25 miles outside of the city centre of Newcastle in the countryside, Linden Hall boasts a more than impressive sweeping tree lined entrance brings you right outside of the façade of the hotel, built in 1812 with it’s Doric columns and 450 acre estate behind. Parking doesn’t blight the impressive views as we are guided to the left of the hotel and tucked away behind some trees.
On entering the hotel you are met with a juxtaposition of the modern reception dominating a grand, stone flagged entrace hall with it’s rip roaring fire place, squishy sofas and sweeping central staircase, bathed in natural light from the atrium above.
Check in was simple and we made our way up to our room. We were told were on the 2nd floor so off we trundled to the lift as I had a wheeled case and husband had laptop case and briefcase as he’d come straight from work. As it transpires, our room was actually on the 1st floor and we were just at the top of the grand staircase. The stairs are shallow and sweeping enough to make it easy to get your luggage up the stairs.
Our suite was large, luxurious, full of features, and directly above the reception hall in the front of the building looking out on to trees and lawns. The suite had 3 large sash windows which let us soak up the last rays of late afternoon soon as we unwound and unpacked. I had booked myself in at the spa for a treatment so Mr Tramp made full use of the sofa, complimentary chocolates and fruit and enjoyed some peace and quiet while I was away (I talk… a LOT).
As I made my way down the grand staircase (I felt so posh!) and in to the spa, I was greeted by the leisure receptionist and shown in to the relaxation room. A great mix of drinks and snacks (mm muffins) were on offer as I filled in my forms and chose my treatment and browsed the Decleor point of sale. I must admit, the relaxtion room was very unrelaxing. The chairs, though plentiful, were reminiscent of a teachers staff room and the dimmed, subdued lighting was totally wasted due to the door to reception being propped open allowing the light and clatter to stream in. It didn’t seem to bother the other spa go-ers who were happily taking up residence in their robes with magazines. I was more expecting to see comfortable loungers or day beds for proper relaxtion after treatments. I know other spa facilities in Macdonald hotels are more modern and luxe but when you are working in a historic, period building like this rather than a custom designed spa, you have to work with what you have. I also found the toilet facilities to be a bit dirty & grubby at the time I visited.
Summer, my therapist came to collect me and showed back through the candle lit corridor (would look FANTASTIC in winter when its darker outside!) and in to my treatment room. The rooms are laid out in a very odd paired formation, having to walk through the first room to get in to the 2nd. Summer explained they time treatments and treatment types to minimize any disruption but as I passed the St Tropez tan booth, I’d be a little put off standing in my paper knicks knowing someone could walk through at any point.
Once in the warm, tranquil room, I hopped up on to the comfy, towel laden bed and settled down for a beauty first… my first facial! Yes readers, I have never had a facial before. Summer was a dream and asked me about any skin care concerns and what I was expecting to get out of the facial so this was a great time to discuss my fears about hypersensitivity. With my mind put at ease, Summer began my treatment, a Decleor Aroma Expert Soothe Facial with professionalism and care. Chatting when I wanted to chat, leaving me quiet when I wanted to drift off and enjoy the massage. Decleor products aimed at sensitive skins were used throughout and I’m very pleased to say I had no reactions at all. I shall be back for another!! After my treatment Summer left me to dress in my own time and meet her back at reception. I was given a glass of water to refresh myself and a run down list of products used as well as a few samples of the products so that I can be sure they don’t aggrevate my allergies. I loved this touch as often I’ve had treatments and never really known what massage oil or product that was used.
At this point, I’d have liked to have been in a robe and in a heavenly relaxation room chilling out before dressing but this wasn’t mentioned or offered. As I was staying at the hotel it was no issue. I skipped back up to my room and relaxed on the bed while Mr Tramp treated himself to a pre dinner apperitif (read : half bottle of white wine!)
Our dinner reservation was a highlight for us, as foodies, the food in Macdonald hotels is always fantastic and this was no exception. Exemplary service by the staff soon saw us tucking in to our amuse bouche then 3 courses of delicious, well made, high quality food in sumptuous settings, with a view of the golf course. We both remarked how nice it was that every single server from the wine server to the food waitress, all addressed us by our full names. No sir or madam but Mr & Mrs Tramp. In a full restaurant it was a pleasant and appreciated touch and I think other guests felt the same way.
The following morning, after a work out in the gym and a swim in the pool, the restaurant was our destination again as we tucked in to a hearty breakfast. All the usual fixings were on offer from fruit salads and cereals, to continental cheeses and meats as well as a more traditional selection of hot food such as a ‘fry up’, kippers or porridge.
After our breakfast we burnt some of those calories off by going on a lovely brisk walk through the hotel grounds on the sign posted walks then indulging in a little golf to finish our stay.
Check out was as effortless as check in as we were sad to leave the luxury of Linden Hall behind. All in all, Mr Tramp and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the hotel and couldn’t fault the service or facilities on offer. We didn’t get a chance to visit the onsite pub, the Linden Tree which serves pub food and alcohol.
If you are looking for a great weekend away with spa time, leisure facilities, exquisite food and some golf to entertain your man, you can’t go wrong with Linden Hall. I also fully recommend booking a treatment with Summer. She was so lovely!
I will definitely be booking up again for a close to home getaway for us. With rooms ranging from £96 per night it is a great alternative to going further afield.