Simmer down at the tranquil Stoke by Nayland Country Lodges.

Imagine being just a 20 minute drive from Ipswich and 15 minutes away from Colchester, yet surrounded by the peaceful sound of birds chirping, freshly cut grass and views of beautiful Constable Country. You’re imagining Stoke by Nayland Country Lodges!

These luxury retreats are perfect for a self-catering staycation or special events with friends and family. Positioned within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the lodges sit on land that has been carefully conserved with 60,000 trees planted over the last 40 years in order to enhance the way the resort harmonises with its surroundings.

The history

During our stay, director, Tamara Unwin kindly treated us to a grand tour of the venue and let us in on the history behind the business. Stoke by Nayland has been family run for over 40 years with a heritage in fruit growing. The Peake family invented Copella apple juice in the family kitchen in the late thirties, later selling the business to Tropicana for a tidy sum. Though no longer the owners of Copella they own the fruit farm that supplies the fruit for the juices and have recently expanded their fruit output to include Morello cherries (Tamara tells us that they now possess the largest Bibaum cherry orchard in Europe!). This charming relationship with fruit and arable farming is subtly reflected throughout the newly refurbished hotel.

The development of SbN Hotel began in 1972 when Bill and Devora Peake received permission to build a golf course on their acres of arable land having decided to diversify because of the difficulty in producing consistently good rye and barley. What started as a golf clubhouse grew over the years into an 80-bedroom hotel, conference centre, wedding venue, indulgent spa, and award-winning restaurant. This impressive portfolio was expanded in 2012 with the launch of 10 luxurious SbN Country Lodges which were launched in 2012.

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A luxury escape

Ideal for family getaways or a romantic weekend break for two, the spacious lodges boast a stylish and well thought-out interior design with an elegant 1940s feel, inspired by the history of the lodges’ site, yet contemporary at the same time. The bedrooms are relaxing, bathrooms luxurious and living areas inviting – a perfect getaway with nothing to distract from much-needed rest and relaxation. All lodges are equipped with a large private balcony, from which to enjoy breakfast or evening drinks, with a view over the countryside. However, if you feel more like curling up in the warmth, you can snuggle up on the sofa in front of the electric fireplace. We stayed in the penthouse lodge, which boasted far-reaching views over beautiful Suffolk countryside.

Although the lodges are self catering and feature their own fully equipped kitchens, Stoke by Nayland offers the option for guests to treat themselves to in-lodge dining – where you and one of our award-winning chefs create a menu tailored to your specific tastes and that menu is then served to you in the privacy of your lodge. On the other hand, you have all the facilities to enjoy a BBQ on the balcony if you prefer. If you fancy visiting the resort, give the lodge porter a call who will collect you from the lodge and take you the to the hotel where you can enjoy the ambiance of the Lounge Bar or dine in the 2AA Rosette Lakes Restaurant, where Executive Head Chef Alan Paton will whip up unique dishes to delight. Relax with a glass of wine (or two!) safe in the knowledge that the lodge porter will be on hand 24/7 to deliver you back to your lodge – no need to worry about driving.

During our stay we enjoyed a wonderful meal in the 2 AA Rosette Lakes Restaurant and were incredibly impressed with the creative dishes available, in particular the fantastic flavour combinations and presentation. We’re not sure that we’ll ever forget the doughnut with sticky toffee bacon stuffing, spiced coffee sugar, milk maple walnut ice dream and pancetta!

Golfing

If you fancy stretching your legs the morning after your decadent meal, then a round of golf on one (or both) of the 18-hole championship golf courses could be the perfect remedy. Stoke by Nayland is home of the Lee Westwood Golf School, 40 students from all over the world stay at Stoke by Nayland full time with the aim to become golf professionals. However, the Clubhouse is also open to the public – so you may find yourself hitting balls with the next Tiger Woods.

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Spa & fitness

Another way to burn some calories during your stay might be to make use of the state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, which is free for hotel and lodge residents. There are a wealth of exercise classes to choose from if you favour group fitness activities.

However, if you’d prefer to continue the theme of rest, relaxation and indulgence, Peake Spa is the perfect place to unwind. The pool, steam room and Jacuzzi are incredibly popular with hotel and lodge guests and you are welcome to use these as part of your stay. We highly recommend trying the signature Rasul Mud Therapy treatment (a bargain at just £28pp*!) where you apply different coloured muds to different body parts before relaxing in a steam chamber. You can also upgrade your experience of the poolside facilities by treating yourself to The Hammam**, an exclusive range of treatments offered on a heated stone bed – the ultimate purification.

This pocket of bliss in the countryside couldn’t be more idyllic. Whether you plan to escape for a few nights or longer, Stoke by Nayland Country Lodges is the ideal place to stay to explore the local area.

No time for an overnight stay? Book a table in the Lakes Restaurant on 01206 265843 to experience Modern British cuisine prepared in delicious and innovative ways!

*Minimum numbers apply. Call 01206 265820 to book.

**For Hammam treatment list please contact 01206 265820 or visit www.stokebynayland.com