Amberley Castle, A jewel in the heart of the Sussex countryside.
Amberley Castle is a unique and beautifully historic hotel retreat found deep in the heart of the idyllic Sussex countryside. It’s full of medieval heritage, character and charm, with over 900 years of history hidden within 12 acres of picturesque landscaped gardens and scenic lakes.
19 luxurious and classically styled guest rooms await you, boasting original features, filled with beautiful antiques, and designed with sumptuous décor, rich furnishings and decadent fabrics. This stunning hotel has state of the art facilities and an award-winning restaurant, ensuring you will have the perfect break away.
Absolute spoke to Piers Vowles, General Manager at Amberley Castle, about inspiration, success and what they are looking forward to in 2018.
What was the inspiration behind Amberley Castle? How did it all begin?
Located in the picturesque village of Amberley, Amberley Castle is a unique luxury hotel steeped in over 900 years of history. Built in 1103, Amberley Castle was first used as a hunting lodge and later transformed into a fortified manor house lived in by a number of bishops. During the Civil War the property became a royalist stronghold, but with the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 King Charles II gave the castle back to the Bishopric. Several hundred years later, having been sold between a number of private owners, the castle was converted into a hotel in 1989 and bought by Andrew Brownsword in 2011. It is now part of the Andrew Brownsword Hotels which was voted AA Hotel Group of the Year 2017/2018.
What has contributed to your business success?
I think that the unique historical element of the property is really what makes it a really attractive prospect for guests, who can step back in time within the castle walls whilst getting the highest quality service, facilities and cuisine. Each of the rooms is luxuriously appointed with contemporary bathrooms, blending medieval architecture with modern comforts, design and cuisine, cooked to the highest standards.
How has social media contributed to the success of Amberley Castle?
We use social media as a platform collectively with the other Andrew Brownsword Hotels on our channel (@brownswordhotels) and this shows guests the range of properties that are located in various beautiful destinations in the UK. Social media sites such as Instagram have certainly given us a new platform to showcase the impressive appearance of the hotel and offers a place for guests to share their experiences which is great.
How has Amberley Castle’s success and popularity made a positive impact on the surrounding area?
The success of the hotel definitely brings attention to the area as a beautiful place to explore – our guests love to get out on walks and also go to the nearest village, Amberley, so we believe that the castle being such a popular venue highlights the West Sussex region as a truly amazing place to holiday within the UK.
How do you stay relevant and current and continuously meet your guests needs?
Staying relevant in hospitality simply requires upholding excellent levels of customer service, and we do this by catering to each guest as an individual and finding their specific requirements – we tailor our service according to these needs so that guests have the most enjoyable stay. In terms of our cuisine offering, our European inspired menu ensures that guests get a modern twist on their historical stay using locally sourced produce to guarantee the finest quality. Guests dine in our stunning 12th century dining room which makes an evening meal extra special!
What’s the unique selling point for Amberley Castle?
The property itself is certainly the selling point for Amberley Castle, and many people love the opportunity to stay in a hotel so rich in heritage. Every element from the fine fabrics to the roaring open fires and four poster beds compliments the unique character of the property – two bedrooms even have private access to the castle’s portcullis and its machinery! Guests are not confined to the castle and are encouraged to explore the area, and our professional standard 18-hole putting golf course and alfresco afternoon tea mean visitors can enjoy the beautiful 12-acre gardens that surround the property. Local activities also include archery, falconry, horse riding and hot air ballooning so there really is something for everybody to enjoy.
Do you have any events coming up in 2018 that you are particularly excited about?
From May to September we are running history tours at various dates with local historian, Keith McKenna, who will guide guests around the glorious landscaped gardens and discuss the history behind the castle walls and magnificent portcullis. Paired with the option of lunch or champagne afternoon tea at the hotel, this will give visitors the opportunity to really enhance their experience of the property and learn about the centuries of history that have made the castle what it is today.
How would you describe Amberley Castle to someone who has never visited?
The unique hotel is a wonderful step back in time, where the distinct historic charm of the castle is preserved and partnered with the luxury modern amenities that will make a staycation thoroughly appealing. Guests truly are able to experience a staying in a real castle!
Amberley Castle has a host of exciting seasonal offers for the coming months. Here are two of Absolutes favourites…..
- The luxurious Spring Blooms package is great value from £268 and offers guests an overnight stay with champagne on arrival, a five-course dinner for two, and a full English breakfast.
- The Taste of Amberley Castle offer treats you to a sumptuous afternoon tea on arrival, pre-dinner champagne, followed by a seven-course tasting menu and one-night accommodation with breakfast from £380.
Getting married this year? Then Amberley Castle is a perfectly magical place for your special day. Whether you choose to dine in one of the stunning rooms or celebrate with your guests in an elaborate marquee on the lawns, your wedding photos will certainly look outstanding in this romantic location with back-drops of original medieval stonework, beautiful décor and landscaped gardens. This wonderful setting even has its own resident peacock roaming through the grounds!
Amberley Castle is hosting a range of wedding events where you can meet the event team, sample champagne and canapes and take a tour of this historic building. Wedding open evenings are taking place throughout the year giving you the perfect chance explore Amberley Castle to decide if this is the wedding location for you.
Dine in Amberley Castles award-winning restaurant which has a range of menus including a sumptuous Sunday lunch menu and a five-course tasting menu, with seasonal dishes using fresh local ingredients.
Why not relax in the Great Room or on the beautiful terrace during warm summer months for Afternoon Tea from £30 per person or the Champagne Afternoon Tea from £45.50.
The private dining spaces are a superb idea for an intimate celebration and Amberley Castle has amazing menu options to suit the size of your party and budget. The Great Room can accommodate up to 40 guests, the King Charles Room seats up to 12, and the Green Room can host 14 guests. All the rooms are elegant spaces adorned with beautiful décor, tapestries, suits of armour and open fireplaces available to hire from £200.
Church Street, Amberley, West Sussex, BN18 9LT
01798 831 992
By Charlie McBrien