From £105
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Britain's only hotel-based hospitality school, based just outside Colchester in Wivenhoe Park, is a successful mix of traditional and contemporary, and makes an excellent base for a weekend break.

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Rooms available from £105 per night

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On the outskirts of Colchester, and part of the University of Essex, Wivenhoe House is surrounded by well-tended gardens - making it a peaceful place to stay. The surrounding park provides plenty of beautiful walks.

The hotel is easily reached from London and parts of East Anglia.

By car: under 2 hours from London, 1 hour 30 minutes from Cambridge and under 3 hours from Birmingham. Free on-site parking available.

By train: London Liverpool Street to Colchester takes around 1 hour, after which a taxi takes 10 minutes. Book trains to Colchester.

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Wivenhoe House combines a country house hotel with slick modernity. Super-contemporary rooms and suites can be found in the wing. Despite being a hotel school, it is marketed like any other hotel. It is in part staffed by students, who study everything from housekeeping to kitchen service - adding to its charm.


Wivenhoe House has the feel of a full-service hotel. Facilities include 24-hour room service, a comfy lounge, and restaurant. Guests are provided access to the university's excellent sports and leisure facilities (gym, squash and tennis courts).

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Family-friendly
  • Free Parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


Some rooms are sponsored by well-known chains the hotel school works with, and you could be staying in a top-end 'Hilton' or 'Exclusive Suite' at a reasonable rate. Rooms are good sizes, with big ensuites and White Company toiletries, tea and coffee-making facilities, luxury robes and slippers.

Room types: Classic Room, Superior Room, Deluxe Room, Luxury Room

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with White Company toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryer, digital TV/radio, writing desk, tea & coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

The terrace restaurant offers al fresco dining, and serves an undemanding three-course brasserie-style menus at fixed prices. There's also a bar menu, which offers a really good burger and stonebaked pizzas.

Brasserie Bar & Restaurant: modern European cuisine, stonebaked pizzas, classic British bar menu, Sunday roasts. Open daily. Three courses £25.

The Lounge: luxury afternoon teas. Open Saturday and Sunday, 12-4pm. From £24.95 per person.

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