Juliet Kinsman: When I was told our second show would…
We’ve taken to the skies this week and, after looping the loop over farm and field, we have landed in Hampshire to award our Hotel of the Week accolade to one-of-a-kind aeronautical affair, the Aviator hotel…
Style: Silver belle
Setting: Airfields of Farnborough
Why this week? Until the end of the year, you can stay Friday and Saturday and get Sunday night free. Members will still get their Smithcard offer, so they can toast their free night with some free champagne and spend their skyward-bound stay indulging in heaven-sent chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Our favourite bits We love the hotel’s glory days of flight theme and its cool, clean lines. Tactile textures, luxurious furnishings and opulent decor combine to create a sensuously smooth stopover. The hotel restaurant is a far cry from your typical plane food, too. Sip cocktails and sample locally sourced fare while glamorously perched on the leather banquettes. And don’t be fooled by the hotel’s sleekness – it belies its rural setting. Farnborough itself mightn’t be the most thrill-a-minute spot in Hampshire, but bundle into a car and amble off to the villages, castles and stately homes of the Home Counties countryside.
Mr and Mrs Smith say “It’s hard to avoid dipping into aeronautics when talking about the Aviator; this hotel lives for the skies. Situated bang beside the runway of Farnborough’s private airport, shaped like a colossal jet propeller, and dotted with arty aero-biz paraphernalia, it couldn’t emphasise its love of flight more if it served food in plastic trays and stowed life jackets under the seats.
The Aviator has a staggering 169 rooms, which makes me wonder how we can call it ’boutique’, but I very quickly realise that despite its capacity, the hotel is cleverly designed to preserve the illusion of intimacy – like that first, rejected Tardis model, it feels smaller on the inside. And the room itself doesn’t seem like a suite for a suit. Sure, it’s got all the desk space and free WiFi the average CEO could possibly need, but these sleek woodsy interiors, abundant mirrors, cosy armchairs, and the knock-out view of the airfield dotted with lights at dusk are crying out for appreciative couples. Mrs Smith is enraptured by the little planes taking off and touching down (quietly) right outside the window but I, being a true Mr Smith, I make straight for the flatscreen and scroll through the niftily integrated movie and CD library – it’s like having a branch of Blockbusters and a very trendy jukebox trapped in your TV…”
Compiled by Hannah Thompson