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     Since I am a travel writer too, YTL Hotels contacted me to tell me about their newest endeavor. They are excited to announce the official opening of Monkey Island Estate, located in the village of Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire. It’s about 45 minutes outside of London.

    The island, with its intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike. Visitors from London and beyond will be transported to their own private countryside escape steeped in stylish yet laidback luxury.

    Set across seven acres, the restored Monkey Island Estate boasts both a striking white bricked Pavilion and Temple building surrounded by beautiful English country gardens with picturesque views of the River Thames. The landscape is a beautiful combination of mature trees, shrubs and a huge variety of British plants to create a magical journey and sense of place, where guests can enjoy an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of city living.

    The décor of Monkey Island will juxtapose timeless glamour and traditional features with a modern and relaxed countryside style, creating a unique blend of past and present. Award-winning New York-based Champalimaud Design are responsible for the charming design of the 41 bedrooms and suites. Champalimaud Design also orchestrated the distinctive interiors of YTL’s first British property, The Gainsborough Bath Spa, and most recently the charming refurbishment of The Academy, Bloomsbury.

    Relaxation and pampering in Bray-on-Thames can be found at The Floating Spa, moored on the banks of the island. Wellness experts at Spa Village have created signature treatments to celebrate the power of water. Inspired by the monks who once inhabited the island and its riverine surroundings, each spa treatment will begin with a sensory ritual and ‘Elixir Tasting’ of one of the monk-brewed ancient herbal tonics.


    Are you a foodie? The culinary excellence of Bray-on-Thames makes Monkey Island Estatethe perfect foodie pilgrimage with it being the only village in the world that lays claim to three Michelin-starred restaurants. Bray has long been a destination for gastronomic-enthusiasts and Monkey Island will also be making its mark on the area with Monkey Island Brasserie, headed up by Executive Chef William Hemming. A sophisticated yet casual brasserie, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on the river offers its guests a modern take on British classics, with produce freshly sourced from the surrounding countryside. Signature dishes include Monkey Island Estate smoked Salmon, 35 Day Dry Aged Sirloin Steak and Old Spot Pork Belly. Following a delicious meal at leisure, guests can enjoy a digestif at The Monkey Bar or The Whisky Snug which offer an impressive whisky and cocktail menu.

    For those who want to enjoy Bray-on-Thames in comfort and style, Monkey Island Estate will be the ideal retreat to experience the rejuvenation of this historic landmark to its full former glory. Nightly rates start from £275, per room, per night in a Temple Room. Monkey Island Estate is the latest addition to YTL Hotels’ growing UK portfolio, a collection of hotels that specialize in beautiful design and understated luxury that includes The Gainsborough Bath SpaThreadneedlesThe Glasshouse, and The Academy.

    About YTL Hotels
    YTL Hotels owns and manages a prestigious collection of award-wining resorts, hotels, boutique experiences and Spa Villages with a hospitality footprint across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Japan, Australia, France and the United Kingdom, including Pangkor Island Resort, voted the world’s best resort in 2003 by Condé Traveller UK. The group also co-owns the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train. The Gainsborough Bath Spa, the only hotel in Bath to be part of the Leading Hotels of the World’s collection of legendary hotels, was named the 2017 Condé Nast Traveller Awards World’s Top 100. The portfolio also encompasses the ownership management of a number of Marriott properties in Australia and Kuala Lumpur as well as properties under the brand’s prestigious Autograph Collection banner. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui is the latest addition to this partnership. Future plans include the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan which is set to complement YTL Hotels’ master plan for Niseko Village.

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