Nicknamed The Spy House because of its connections with WWII, Grade I listed De Vere Latimer Estate has this week unveiled a £7 million renovation that places the mansion house back at the heart of the estate. Situated in Latimer, among Buckinghamshire’s rolling Chiltern Hills just five miles from the M25, the refurbishment uncovered and restored many original features, as well as subtly celebrating the hotel’s connection to a secret history.
De Vere Latimer Estate boasts a rich history that dates back to the 16th Century when the original house held Charles I during his imprisonment. The red brick Tudor-style mansion standing today was completed in 1838 and became the temporary host of captured German U-boat submarine crews and Luftwaffe pilots during the Second World War before becoming the National Defence College until 2006.
De Vere Latimer Estate’s biggest transformation occurred in the mansion house, where no stone was left unturned. The refurbished original sweeping staircase with stained glass windows leads guests to 31 new deluxe rooms and suites that were previously meeting rooms and offices, bringing the total number of guestrooms to 205.
All guestrooms feature free Wi-fi and flat screen TVs, whilst suites and deluxe rooms come complete with king size beds, fluffy robes and slippers as well as luxury bathroom toiletries.
The new 1838 Restaurant & Bar, which is open to members of the public as well as hotel guests, is located in the mansion house and features an open kitchen cooking up locally sourced, seasonal British dishes. Guests can choose to dine in the modern, wooden-floored restaurant, with soft green touches and indoor trees, or head outside to the courtyard and dine under the trees by candle light. The new Huntley Bar features stunning views across the Chess Valley and offers both guests and locals a relaxing, stylish environment in which to enjoy a drink whilst taking in the surroundings.
Traditional Afternoon Tea is also set to be launched at the hotel over the summer months, served in The Library, a fully refurbished space in the mansion house which radiates Victorian charm and features views of the hotel’s grounds. The hotel’s main reception has also moved to the mansion house and has undergone a full transformation.
For those booking a wedding or event at De Vere Latimer Estate, the mansion house provides four new look spaces; including a traditional grand drawing room, The Cheyne, with original features that can host intimate celebrations for up to 30 guests, to The Cavendish Suite for weddings and events up to 200 guests. Respectively added to the mansion during the refurbishment, the Cavendish suite offers state-of-the-art facilities that can double in size by the opening of bi-folding doors on to a new terrace that offers views across the countryside. Couples who like to mix the tradition of a church wedding with a country house reception can have both at De Vere Latimer Estate, as the estate’s church is short walk from the stately home.
Antonio Campanile, General Manager at De Vere Latimer Estate, commented: “We’re very proud to have restored this remarkable mansion house back to glory; a lot of time and work has gone in to this project, to ensure homage is paid to its important history. The newly refurbished bedrooms are looking fantastic and we’re already receiving excellent feedback from guests.
He continued: “As a popular venue for the meetings, conferences and private events market, the renovation was planned and designed to appeal to all our customers, whilst providing a stylish standout venue in stunning surroundings.”
De Vere Latimer Estate, nestled in 30 acres of formal gardens and grounds, boasts free superfast outdoor Wi-fi, a restored Victorian Pond, as well as specially commissioned sculptures by artist Emma Stothard. Guests of the hotel also have access to a gym, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, as well as a boot room which provides complimentary Hunter wellies in which to explore the stunning grounds.
The property also boasts 28 flexible meeting and events spaces, some of which are located in the Cormorant and Mews buildings, which sit adjacent to the mansion house. The refurbishment has also seen the introduction of De Vere’s first Burr & Co. coffee shop concept, where guests can enjoy high quality ethically sourced coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks, artisan cakes and pastries to take away or eat in.
The completion of De Vere Latimer Estate’s refurbishment marks another important milestone in De Vere’s wider multi-million-pound country estate hotel renovation project, which places the Mansion House at the epi-centre of the group’s country estate portfolio. The gardens will also receive investment with the addition of outdoor dining patios and sculptures, making the great outdoors an extension of the hotel itself.
Rooms start from £129 per room per night and for those staying in the mansion house rooms start from £189 per room per night, based on double occupancy, DeVere.com/DeVereLatimerEstate