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Rolls Royce Wraith British Luxury Tour Pennyhill Park

International eXcellence drove the Rolls Royce Wraith on this British luxury tour to Pennyhill Park, a stunning 5 star hotel and spa and the home of England's Rugby team.

The Rolls Royce Wraith is a two door sports coupe that really stands out. In stark black and white, this monochromatic luxury dream tourer epitomises style and elegance.

The Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce in history with a 6.6 litre, twin turbo-charged 624 BHP and goes from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds which for a car that weighs 2.4 tons is pretty impressive. Its acceleration means you can weave your way through any traffic and speed down to the south of France in effortless comfort.

The V12 engine that lies behind the stylish Pantheon grill has been engineered for serious power and control. Rolls Royce has focused on this strength throughout its brand history and no one does it better. The torque on the wheels has been tweaked endlessly to achieve the smooth Rolls glide that is their signature. This is a company that has always lived by the adage of their co-founder "Take the best that exists and make it better".

The Wraith packs some impressive automation that scans the future; satellite aided transmission uses GPS data and the navigation system to predict the road ahead, it then automatically chooses the right gear on the eight speed transmission delivering power smoothly without any unnecessary gear changes.

Oh and the umbrella is still in the door, but hidden more discreetly in the front door chassis, look carefully and you will find it. A little touch perhaps, but vital when in England and you want to move from car to home in dry unflappable style. The doors of course open backwards, known as suicide doors, these are much easier to get in and out of the seats and are a nod to comfort and luxury styling over safety. Though if another car hits the open door it will simply fall off rather than smashing you against the car as a normal car do would, so it seems both more aesthetic and safer.

The styling is classical luxury and could do with being a touch more contiguous, it is beautiful and timeless, but I would like to see more thematic harmony. Each panel appears to be the work of a slightly different designer, but I must confess to disquiet in my complaint as the interior still conveys the pinnacle of luxury and clearly evolved from a long and illustrious history. The Rolls Royce Wraith is a splendid luxury car fit for a gentleman or lady who wants to tour in the utmost style but likes to take the wheel themselves. It is both modern in style and design but with an eye to the classic luxury heritage that make this brand the generic term for luxury. With a Rolls you know that you are in the finest product ever built, a rolling work of art designed and built by artisans with incredible technological and material resources. It's one thing to stare at a painting, but a Rolls is the culmination of more than a century's knowledge and craftsmanship which you can actually climb into. There is something beguiling, comforting and rewarding to be inside such luxury, enveloped by excellence from all sides, above and below.

The Rolls Royce Wraith is a car for those that want the ultimate in luxury that portrays serious professionalism. It eschews any overt modernity or flash flourishes. It is essentially an admittedly agile luxury house on wheels that can hold its own with any sports supercars in a drag race.

Though there is one little personal touch that demonstrates the pride and affection the engineers at Goodwood have for their work. The roof of the interior is beset with stars on a dark background that is patterned on the night sky at Goodwood the day the first Wraith rolled off the production line. This stellar layout has been verified by the famous astronomer Sir Patrick Moore. You can even vary the brightness to suit your mood. The people who work at Rolls Royce do bear a lot of love for the cars they produce and these little touches show this amply.

After a very enjoyable drive around the hills of Surrey we glided the roller into Pennyhill Park around 5 pm wafting past the England rugby practise ground and into the turning circle entrance. The doorman greeted us warmly and despite seeing supercars on a regular basis was enamoured of the Wraith. Our bags were  whisked away and the girls at reception ushered us in swiftly and with charm. The reception is perfect, immediately on the left opposite the lounge to the right with a blazing fire warming the already welcoming room. We were shown to our suite, which overlooked the back gardens, complete with four poster bed and lovely modern English luxury decor. The ultra modern bathroom had a flatscreen TV at the end of the bath and was a pleasure to luxuriate in. The hotel has been recently decorated with great taste and style. Absolutely spot on, so many English hotels still cling to the 80's chintz or Laura Ashley throwbacks.

The earliest reference to Pennyhill Park is in the Tithe Land Registry of 1609 when it was apparently used as a beacon to warn to the of the arrival of the Spanish Armada. A civil engineer James Hodges built the first house there in 1849. It was then taken over by Louis Schott who added the Orangery which is where the Spa is today. During the Second World War the house apparently served as a rest house for British officers; a welcome respite from war, no doubt. The estate then passed to through various hands until it was made into a hotel in 1972 by Peter Garbut and his son Michael and then purchased by the present owner, Exclusive Hotels.

After unpacking we wandered around the grounds which are quite beautiful with the largest modern spa in the UK. They have a large outdoor pool and two outdoor jacuzzis. Our favourite jacuzzi is both inside and out and you can swim from the spa through the wall to the outside jacuzzi. The jacuzzis are warm enough to soak in whatever the weather, but the pool was a little chillier in comparison.

After the spa we returned to our room to change to dinner, which had been turned down and perched atop our beautiful bed, with handmade luxury mattresses, guaranteed by the hotel to give you a blissful slumber (it did!), was a Guardsman teddy bear, with amongst other things, a menu for the onsite bakery. We ordered our baguettes, which would be baked freshly in the morning and ready for us on checkout - a lovely and delicious idea. We headed to the Ascot Bar, a large and comfortable area with great bar and views onto the Spa, for cocktails, and could have happily whiled away the evening there, if it wasn't for the fact that we were very much looking forward to dining at the Latymer. Head chef is Michael Wignall, who has two Michelin stars, and The Latymer has 5 AA Rosettes, one of only 8 in the UK. The Pennyhill Park website boasts that this makes it one of the best restaurants in the Surrey area. After partaking of the ten course tasting menu, we feel this is understating the case a little, it is no doubt one of the finest in the UK and the world.

Pennyhill Park is the official Team Hotel of the England Rugby team and they have their training base in the grounds, a fitting reward for the bumps and bruises the sport entails. Evenings in the bar after a big win are a hoot apparently. Good food, good company, great service and fine decor, this is a great British luxury venue. Pennyhill Park is a mere half an hour from London so it should really be on everyone’s hitlist. In the immortal words of the Terminator “I’ll be back”.
See here for The Latymer Review:

Rolls Royce Wraith
Pennyhill Park and The Latymer