Matfen Hall Hotel – Refined Country Elegance, First Class Facilities and Championship Golf Course –
Bavskground and Concept
Going back to the very beginning, the property was originally built for Sir Edward Blackett in the early 1800s, on the site of what was previously a Jacobean house. Almost two centuries later, in 1999, the building opened as a 31-room hotel under the ownership of Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett. An additional wing was then added, bringing the number of rooms to 53, followed by a complete renovation in 2021. This timeline has preserved imposing original Gothic architecture, as well as modernized elements, avant-garde innovations and the lavish luxury that accompanies a five-star establishment.
Matfen Hall closed in November 2020 and opened in March 2021 after investing millions of pounds in upgrading the restaurant, bar, spa and golf facilities while retaining the elegance and history of the hotel. Emerald Restaurant, Bar 1832 and Bar Needham have all been updated with new furniture and luxurious decor. The Retreat spa experience has also been revamped, with investments in equipment and the pool. During this time, golf facilities have been upgraded, including the course, driving range and clubhouse at Keepers Lodge.
Close to Hadrian’s Wall, 10km from the town of Corbridge and just off the B6318 in idyllic countryside, the hotel is well located; whether you want to visit heritage sites, try your hand at falconry, go fishing, birdwatching, cycling or just to escape the city, you can do it all in Matfen. It is close to Newcastle (20km) for central rail and air links, as well as close to the beautiful Northumberland coastline. Arriving and getting around is a breeze, allowing you to start your stay relaxed. It should be noted that there are also charging stations for electric cars in the parking lot.
Rooms & Suites
Choose between the Great Hall for its opulent luxury suites and the Old Hall for its classic, premium and balcony rooms that offer a warm, home-from-home atmosphere. In the luxury Grand Hall suites, you’ll find high-end touches such as Penhaligon’s of London toiletries (like the hotel, this brand’s heritage dates back to the 19th century), marble bathrooms with roll-top tubs, monogrammed cushions, Emperor beds, Nespresso machines and beautiful period details. There are three fully accessible bedrooms (plus downstairs amenities) and six family bedrooms in total, ensuring that all guests are fully catered for.
During our visit to the hotel, we stayed in room 6, one of the best suites in the hotel. This suite offers plenty of space at 51 m², with a spacious living room, dining table as well as a desk and an amazing marble bathroom.
Welcome drink in the great room
We started our stay with a delicious rum punch welcome drink in the Great Hall before being shown to our suite.
Living room and bedroom
Views from the suite overlook the golf course and manicured gardens (which look fantastic for afternoon drinks in the summer months).
I loved the head-to-toe marble bathroom with a free-standing tub and separate rain shower.
Matfen Hall patrons have many culinary options. Enjoy fine dining in the glamorous, two AA Rosette-awarded Emerald Restaurant, followed by a drink in the plush surroundings of Bar 1832. Enjoy bistro-style dining at Needham or gastro-pub-style dining at The Keepers, which overlooks the hotel golf course. Soak up park views with drinks and alfresco dining on the terrace, and don’t miss Matfen’s own take on the British afternoon tea tradition. If you are traveling as a family, rest assured, the hotel offers children’s menus, as well as more sophisticated adult dishes.
The Emerald Restaurant is the hotel’s premier dining destination and guarantees a 5-star experience. Here you can enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner and Sunday lunch, with imaginative seasonal menus, which emphasize the use of the finest carefully selected ingredients, putting showcasing the best that Northumberland has to offer.
Located right next to the restaurant, 1832 offers a beautiful setting to enjoy the perfect pre-dinner cocktail, glass of champagne or after-dinner nightcap.
Our culinary experience
During our stay, we dined at the Emerald Restaurant.
Cocktails before dinner
We started the evening with cocktails in 1832 and being a balmy summer evening we enjoyed them outside, while looking at the dinner menu.
Breakfast is served in the Emerald Restaurant, there is a concise continental buffet with juices, pastries and cereals on offer and hot items are cooked to order.
Many come here for a mind and body detox. At Matfen Hall’s spa, The Retreat, you can swim in a 16-meter pool with a glass roof at the top (for views of the sun and stars), linger in the thermal suite, recline in a Pure Air treatment and work out in the fitness area. Book heavenly rituals by Germaine de Capuccini and Natura Bissé, such as anti-pollution facial therapy, tranquil baobab scalp massage, Mediterranean candle massage, and rose quartz collagen eye and lip treatment . Or just relax with a glass of champagne in your fluffy bathrobe and slippers.
Championship golf course
These expansive courses provide the perfect opportunity for an upscale golf vacation. Boasting a short par 3 course, 27 hole championship course, golf academy, driving range and purpose built clubhouse, you will find Matfen Hall to be a sociable and rewarding play, whatever your ability. For those serious about their swing, there are challenging features like the ‘Ha-Ha’ dry stone, fast-flowing River Bridge and the hotel pros’ expert lesson option, for really up your game.
The Northeast’s premier wedding and event venue
Two decades of wedding planning experience has earned Matfen Hall awards for outstanding bespoke events. With large and grand spaces as well as more intimate nooks, the hotel is a stunning backdrop for nuptials large and small at any time of the year. The cloisters and courtyard with their stone archways and stained glass windows are particularly popular and photogenic, creating truly unforgettable memories for couples getting married at the hotel. Additionally, Matfen Hall hosts events throughout the year, such as cabaret nights, garden parties, and country pursuit weekends.
Luckily, our stay at Matfen Hall coincided with one of their summer experiences. Taking place in the Cloisters bar, talented singer Paul Skerritt gave a two-hour set of the best jazz and swing that provided the perfect backdrop for guests to sip cocktails and hit the dance floor. It was a wonderful way to end the evening.
Matfen Hall has one more summer experience on its calendar to watch for its Summer Garden Party taking place on Sunday August 28th.
Matfen Hall displays the best of Northumbrian hospitality. Combine that with refined country elegance, unique accommodations, a stately yet relaxed atmosphere, superb amenities and epic scenery, and you have a recipe for a magical stay.
This property is included in our guide to the best hotels in Northumberland.