Monkey Island Estate
Nestled in the historic village of Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire, Monkey Island Estate is a luxurious retreat that has been completely restored and designed by New York-based Champalimaud Design. The island has an intriguing history that dates back 800 years and has been frequented by monarchs, aristocrats, artists, and writers. The restored Monkey Island Estate is set across seven acres and consists of 42 guest rooms, offering an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a unique and luxurious vacation.
The white-bricked Pavilion and Temple buildings make up the main areas of the hotel, surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens and beautiful views of the River Thames. The design of the estate celebrates the lore and anecdotal history of Monkey Island, including the early-18th century monkey paintings by the famed Andieu de Clermont, which are a centerpiece of the renovation. The upholstery in the rooms is inspired by the crimson and blue knee-length coats worn by the monkeys in the paintings, creating a playful and whimsical atmosphere.
The lodging interiors of the Temple Building relate to the motifs mentioned above, but Champalimaud was also inspired by the cabins of river boats. The result is a unique blend of traditional and modern design elements that create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The guest rooms are beautifully appointed with luxurious amenities, including Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and comfortable bedding.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the estate is the floating spa on the River Thames, the first of its kind in Britain. The spa is located on a custom-built traditional wide-beam English canal boat and offers a range of treatments inspired by traditional healing practices. The therapists are highly trained and offer personalized attention to each guest, ensuring that they leave feeling renewed and refreshed.
In addition to the standard guest rooms, the island’s historic Wedgwood Suite is renovated, yet remaining with its iconic Wedgwood blue ceilings. The suite is a true gem, offering stunning views of the river and a luxurious atmosphere that is perfect for those seeking the ultimate in comfort and relaxation.
The estate also offers a range of dining options, including the Monkey Island Brasserie, which offers a modern British menu inspired by locally sourced ingredients, and the Monkey Island Champagne Bar, which offers a range of champagne, cocktails, and small plates. Guests can enjoy a romantic dinner by the river or a casual lunch in the gardens, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the estate.
In conclusion, Monkey Island Estate is a historic treasure that has been restored to its former glory, offering travelers a unique and luxurious vacation experience. With its stunning location on the River Thames, beautifully appointed guest rooms, floating spa, and exceptional dining options, the estate is the perfect destination for those seeking the ultimate in relaxation and comfort. Whether you’re looking to explore the historic village of Bray-on-Thames, relax by the river, or indulge in a spa treatment, Monkey Island Estate is the perfect place to embrace history and indulge in luxury for body and soul.
Words by Elle Taylor