Breadsall Priory Review: A UK Escape to the Derbyshire Countryside 

After a string of international adventures this year, our Editor Jessica Ruth Gibson was happy to visit somewhere a little closer to home for her final trip of the year, when she spent a night in Derbyshire reviewing Breadsall Priory, the oldest Marriott in the world. 

As I pulled into the striking entrance of Breadsall Priory, I realised it was one of those perfect blue-sky winter mornings. The type that instantly lifts your mood, like an unexpected gift during the grey British winter. The sky was clear, the sun was shining, the air was crisp and the ground was covered with a light dusting of frost. This made the approach to Breadsall feel even more impressive. As I drove past the expertly manicured grounds and golf courses, I spied the Priory in the distance. I’d picked the right day for this Breadsall Priory review.

This article has been sponsored by Marriott. All words are honest and authentic to the writer.

A Breadsall Priory Review

Located within the heart of the Derbyshire Dales, Breadsall Priory is the oldest Marriott in the world, dating back to the 13th century (around 1266). Now part of Delta Hotels by Marriott, the hotel has recently received an upscale renovation and I could tell from from visiting that significant time, money and thought has been poured into this place. 

As well as the 300 acres of landscaped grounds, Breadsall Priory offers guests 2 golf courses, a driving range, 2 restaurants, a spa, swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, driving range and gym. There is a strong golf community within Breadsall Priory which is clear upon arrival, but if like me you’re not a golfer, it doesn’t impact the experience and there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the hotel. 

First Impressions

There was ample free parking close to the main entrance, which made the arrival feel very easy. The automatic double doors to reception swung open and I instantly stepped into a world of warmth, style and comfort. As we were visiting in December, the lobby was decorated with stylish Christmas decorations, a stunning Christmas tree and a twinkling lights.

I was greeted by friendly reception staff who checked me in and gave me a helpful orientation of the property (it’s layout is fairly complex so this was very helpful). The welcome from the staff and the elegance of the lobby left a great first impression on me and set the tone for things to come.

Breadsall Priory review frosty grounds

The Suite

Breadsall Priory has 112 rooms in total, which spread across the original priory building and the new outhouse. Both buildings are interconnected for ease and convenience. We were lucky to stay in a spacious suite in the main Priory which is the most historical and characterful part of the hotel. My favourite part of the suite was the original bay windows which (at the time) overlooked the white frosty grounds and an orange-pink winter sky. Looking out at the view, I felt so relaxed and calm. The bathroom felt luxurious, bright and modern and the welcome note and mini bottle of prosecco definitely didn’t go unnoticed. 

How We Spent Our Time at Breadsall Priory

My friend and I wanted to use this visit to Breadsall Priory as an opportunity to rest and reset, so I booked a treatment at the spa and we planned to use the wellness facilities for the afternoon. I went for a blissful back, neck and shoulder massage which was the perfect tonic after a long-haul flight and I loved the post-treatment relaxation room where you could sit under a cosy blanket and help yourself to complimentary herbal teas. The added bonus was that I had it all to myself. 

After the treatment it was time to enjoy the wellbeing facilities which included the pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. It’s worth noting that the pool complex is more of a health centre than a spa, so it’s not like a spa-day experience where you change into a robe. But despite the slight disconnect between the massage and the pool complex, I found myself relaxing and the facilities never felt too busy or overcrowded. 

The Cast Iron Grill

Our evening at Breadsall Priory was spent in the Cast Iron Grill. We started with a glass of red wine in an elegant lounge room in the front of the building. I admired the beautiful arched windows in this room, the deep blue interiors and the original fire place. Extra attention to detail in this room such as a crackling lit fire and dimmer lighting would have enhanced this moment further.

The Cast Iron Grill dining experience was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. The menu was small and simple, which I always think is a good sign. I went for the tempura squid for starters which came with an asian twist, served with green leaves, a spicy mayo, chillis and lime. My main course was a chicken dish served with greens. The chicken itself was beautifully crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Paired with a crisp bottle of chenin blanc, it went down perfectly. The service we received at the Cast Iron Grill was so attentive and with plenty of other tables in service, there was a good atmosphere. 

Walking the Grounds

The next morning we were graced with yet another glorious winter morning, so we decided to go for a pre-breakfast walk around the grounds before heading back to the Cast Iron Grill to try out the breakfast buffet. Wandering the pathways surrounding Breadsall Priory allowed us to better understand it’s layout and admire the beauty of the historic building against the blue skies. As little golf is being played in the winter months, guests can also walk the courses. The wider Derbyshire countryside is also beautiful and I am sure with a bit of research or advice from reception, you’d find beautiful rural walks right on the doorstep. 

Breadsall Priory Review: The Verdict

Breadsall Priory is a 4 star gem which is perfectly located in the Derbyshire countryside. Whether you’re located up North (like me) or down South, Breadsall Priory is extremely accessible from most parts of the UK, making it a great option for a UK winter break. If I had a little more time, I would have combined my stay at Breadsall Priory with a visit to the village of Bakewell and the famous Chatsworth House, which is a 45 minute drive away. If you are looking for a UK country hotel with good service, a stunning location and a wide range of leisure facilities including spa and golf, you will love an escape to Breadsall Priory. 

What did you think of this Breadsall Priory review? To read further reviews on UK and international properties, check out our hotel hot list.

Breadsall Priory review by Jessica Ruth Gibson

Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.

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