If you’re a fan of luxury cinemas, grand buildings and exceptional history, this cinema experience is undoubtedly one not to miss. And it firmly sits in the best unique cinema venues on offer in the UK.
Beaverbrook Hotel is a stunning late-Victorian mansion turned luxury hotel, twenty miles from London in the glorious Surrey countryside. Set in 400 acres of grounds, including Italianate gardens and even a seashell-encrusted grotto – Beaverbrook Hotel was once home to the British-Canadian newspaper mogul Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, a renowned society host and entertainer during the first part of the 20th-century. The house which dates back to 1866 was purchased by Lord Beaverbrook in 1910 who bought the house for £30,000.
Image Credit: Beaverbrook Hotel
It was thanks to Lord Beaverbrook’s internal renovations, most significantly adding electricity and heating, that we get the addition of a swimming pool and the UK’s first private indoor cinema.
However, the house with it’s 18 bedrooms, Japanese restaurant, spa and beautiful grounds have only recently been brought back to it’s glamorous best thanks to a multi-million pound renovation project. With interior decoration from the clever stylists who worked on Soho and Babington House, ex Nobu chefs and a seven year timeline, guests are now able to stay at Beaverbrook and enjoy all the benefits that a luxury country hotel can provide. Well that and the rare opportunity to enjoy private screenings in the UK’s oldest Home Cinema.
Image Credit: Beaverbrook Hotel
As part of the renovation, many historic details of the original cinema have been retained. These include original French polished wood panelling, art deco lamps, curved railings and being greeted by doormen in 1920s-style caps, white shirts and braces. Indeed all house staff you’ll meet when staying at Beaversbrook Hotel are adorned with tiny Spitfire pins, a quirky nod to Lord Beaverbrook’s famous “Pot for Planes” WWII campaign.
Image credit: Beaverbrook Hotel
The colourful and varied past of this hotel is noticeable in every room of this historic building nevertheless, it is a venue that caters especially for the modern-day guest. This is clearly seen in the cinema and how it currently operates. Built by Beaverbrook to be a home cinema for guests such as Winston Churchill to watch film reels from the war front, today’s weekend guest can be you, me or Mrs Beaton from London who can enjoy a choice of over 200 films and Netflix, while sat under cashmere blankets on plush, red-velvet armchairs.
Don’t be fooled though – it is a unique cinema experience that only hotel guests can enjoy. However if you have visited Soho House and enjoyed the Electric Cinema addition, or Soho Farmhouse’s rustic screening vibe, this may be another venue on your bucket list.
With plans to open additional rooms and a dedicated Spa onsite in Winter 2018, Beaverbrook Hotel is definitely a place to visit for a luxurious weekend getaway. Just remember to book in for a screening in the cinema – and enjoy a great film in historic and opulent surroundings, safe in the knowledge that you are doing exactly what Winston Churchill,Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin and Ian Fleming have done before you.
Reigate Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8QX Tel: +44 (0)1372 571300