Macdonald Windsor Hotel



Some visitors to Windsor get to stay in the castle. The Queen obviously. Various crown heads of Europe. The odd president and prime minister. But you and me? We're probably not kipping down in Her Majesty's spare stateroom anytime soon.

Console yourself with the thought that there's an alternative just a tiara's throw from the castle gate.

The Macdonald Hotel Windsor, a modern four-star boutique hotel, sits behind a discreetly revolving door in the middle of the High Street behind an elegant Georgian frontage in the dead centre of town. Its location is great - opposite the medieval Guildhall (where Elton John and David Furnish tied the knot), and a few yards from the castle. Outside is frenetic with tourists competing with shoppers for pavement space. Inside, the mood is different.

All is muted decor, subdued lighting, soft music. Calm radiates. Faced with such an atmosphere, the only option is to relax.

The hotel's 120 rooms - a mix of smaller luxurious classic rooms to spacious executive suites - have been styled in soothing mulberry and fawn and pale wood by designer Amanda Rosa. Try to book a room overlooking the High Street with views of Windsor's historic centre. Better still, splash out for a suite on the fourth floor with a balcony.

Staff are proud of their recently launched Scottish Steak Club restaurant. As the name suggests, there is a lot of meat on the menu. Thankfully, there is a tasty sole dish, a veggie option and fish and chips.

They do something interesting with dessert, too. Shot glasses filled with mini versions of delights such as chocolate mousse, knickerbocker glory and cranachan - a traditional Scottish dessert involving raspberries, honey, toasted oatmeal and a splash of whisky.

The restaurant is going for an informal, unstuffy atmosphere. It works. You would have no qualms arriving at your table in jeans and trailing a couple of toddlers. It's perfect for family dining.

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