Now Open: Monkey Island Estate in Bray-on-Thames

(Monkey Island Estate)

It’s official. Malaysia-based YTL Hotels has launched Monkey Island Estate after a renovation project by New York-based Champalimaud. As we reported last year, Monkey Island has a long and storied history; the private island in the middle of the Thames has hosted royalty, artists and famous writers. What’s more, the setting of Bray-on-Thames is reputed as a culinary pilgrimage spot for foodies. The only village in the world with three Michelin-starred restaurants, Bray is the gourmet home of The Waterside Inn and Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck. 

Monkey Island Estate joins YTL Hotels’ growing portfolio in the U.K., which includes The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Threadneedles, The Glasshouse and The Academy. The hospitality group’s collection also comprises properties in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Japan, Australia and France. YTL Hotels is marketing Monkey Island Estate as a perfect spot for weekend escapes from London, weddings and romantic vacations.

Here’s what to expect at the restored historic estate: The white bricked Pavilion and Temple building are situated on seven acres with English country gardens and views of the River Thames. Designed to convey both traditional glamor and a relaxed countryside vibe, the 41 rooms and suites come with complimentary mini bars, Aromatherapy Associates toiletries and Nespresso machines.

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A highlight will be The Floating Spa with treatments designed by the renowned wellness experts at Spa Village. Inspiration was found in the monk community which used to inhabit the island; each spa treatment will begin with an “Elixir Tasting” of one of the ancient tonics brewed by monks. The Monkey Island Brasserie will serve British classics with a contemporary twist, crafted from locally sourced ingredients. F&B outlets also include The Monkey Bar and The Whisky Snug featuring a large whisky and cocktail menu. 

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