This is a guest post by Susan Guillory of The Unexplorer.
After a week of staying on a farm in Sardinia, I was ready for something a bit more luxurious when I arrived in Windsor, UK, on my way home. Thanks to the good folks at Live.Tourism, I would be staying at Macdonald Windsor Hotel, a 4-star hotel that couldn’t be any closer to the action…if you can call it that. Windsor is actually a pretty sleepy village, but the hotel was on High Street, steps away from dozens of shops and restaurants.
My flight to San Diego was the next day, and rather than staying near Heathrow (how unimaginative) or even shlepping into London, I decided to see what Windsor was all about. I’m glad I did.
Exhale. You’re Home (If Only Temporarily)
After a day of flying, I was eager to drop my bags in my room before I headed out for a little shopping and dinner at Tapas Revolution. I figured I needed just long enough to brush my hair before I’d head out for a little evening adventure. But when I arrived at The Opal room, it was like a magnet. I didn’t want to leave.
The room was lushly appointed in neutral colors, accented by an appealing chaise lounge in the middle of the room. I appeared to be on the top floor, since there were support beams and a slanted ceiling. Images of the Brontë sisters or Jane Austen writing in the attic flitted across my mind.
But then I stepped into the bathroom. Oh wow. After struggling in a coffin-sized shower for a week in Italy, this was palatial. The bathroom itself was spacious, but the highlight for me was the ginormous bathtub. Nearly as deep as it was long. We might be here a while.
While I started drawing the bath water, I opened the lovely fruit basket the team had left for me. I slid my body into the massive tub, chewing on an apple, and sighed. I could get used to this.
If I Must Leave…
I grumbled as I got dressed and left the hotel. If I hadn’t had dinner reservations, I would have ordered room service and rolled around in the soft bed all evening. But Windsor wasn’t a bad second choice. The town was built up around the famous Windsor Castle, which has been there since the 1100s. Quite a lot of history.
I was in town on Thanksgiving (I tend to veer away from turkey celebrations in the US). Already, Christmas decorations adorned the entire street. Across from the shops, a turret of the castle was illuminated by a visual holiday animation. Twinkly lights accented the quite-British buildings. I was enchanted.
Most of the stores had closed, but I made note of where to go on Friday (they celebrate Black Friday too with great discounts). Then I headed over to Tapas Revolution where, to my great surprise, I had some of the best tapas I’ve ever had outside of Spain.
The next morning, surprisingly, I found myself hungry again and ambled down to the dining room. There was a spread of yogurt, granola, cereal, et cetera, but what really lit me up was the full English breakfast. If you’ve never had it, it consists of not only sausage but also bacon, eggs, a slice of tomato, hashbrown round, mushroom, beans (I still don’t get that), and the magical black pudding.
Once I tell you what’s in black pudding, you’ll make a face, I swear. So I won’t tell you, but I do encourage you to try it your next time in England. It’s delicious.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to visit Windsor Castle this trip, but the little town captured my heart. The next time I’m in the London area, I will definitely plan to spend a few days there.
Need to Know: While Windsor isn’t far as the crow flies from Heathrow Airport (about 20 minutes), it’s not cheap. If you’re a fool and don’t reserve a taxi that specializes in the trip between the two (the way I was), you’ll end up paying about $80 one way. The reserved taxi is about $25. Plan ahead. The hotel will gladly reserve one for your trip back to the airport.
Rooms start at around $130 a night (£103). There is on-site car parking (pre-book for £35 per night), and there is a green car charger available.
Free wi-fi is available. Dogs are welcome with a fee of £15. Guide dogs are welcome for no additional fee.
Check-in: 3 p.m.
Checkout: 11 a.m.
If You Go:
Macdonald Windsor Hotel
23 High Street
Windsor SL4 1LH, United Kingdom
+44 344 879 9101
Macdonald Windsor Hotel review and all photography by travel writer Susan Guillory. I received a comped stay and meals at this hotel, though all opinions are my own.