The Jubilee flotilla may have roused British spirits, but as the wake of the last boat fades and the red, white and blue streamers wilt, we’re looking to the skies. Forget Biggles and the Spruce Goose – Aviator hotel’s mix of sepia-hued suites and sleek futurism makes this sybaritic sensation first-class all the way.
Style Silver Belle
Setting Airfields of Farnborough
Why this week? On 15 June, Aviator’s one-off event for guests and Mr & Mrs Smith members combines a locally sourced, five-course tasting menu (with wine experts to hand); the Parisian jazz combo, 9 in Common; and the work of illustrator Emily Forgot. The Sky Bar after-party’s DJ and drinks will finish late – so ensure a quick stumble to bed with the hotel’s spiffing room deals.
Our favourite bits Architect Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t a fan of building a Guggenheim in New York (which he believed to be overbuilt), so surely he would be tickled to see Aviator’s lobby homage to Wright’s inverted ziggurat, in the heart of sleepy Farnborough. It is one of the hotel’s standout features; but the subtle, low-lit glamour (and eminently drinkable cocktails) of the Sky Bar also ups the wow-factor; in-room, a DVD and music library and surprisingly scenic views of the local airfield create a snug hidey-hole for hibernating couples.
Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘Aviator may look like a well-designed conference centre, but inside it’s a very different beast. Our jaws plummet upon entry. We’re looking at a dramatic central staircase that comes pouring out of the first-floor balcony in a curve of cream. The hotel may have 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.’ Read the full Aviator review.
You say… ‘This is a marvellous place to go if you want to get away but not too far. We have been twice (unusual for us) and close the curtains, get the DVD box sets out and make the most of room service/the free mini bar. It’s a stress free weekend where everything works. The staff are fantastic. If you want to get out I’d recommend Guildford (only 10 mins drive): Olivio’s (on, I think, Castle Street nearby) is nice for a low-key supper.’ Kate, BlackSmith, stayed on 26 Nov 2010