A Unique Trip in The UK’s Only Hottug at The Runnymede on Thames

If you’re looking for a fun getaway close to London, then you’re sure to enjoy The Runnymede on Thames. This riverside hotel has lots of unique touches like the UK’s only hottug, that we were recently invited to experience. Located near Windsor, it’s handy for sightseeing and very convenient for Heathrow too.

First Impressions – Runnymede on Thames

Arriving at the hotel, we were immediately struck by the quirky over-sized deckchairs outside. I felt like Alice in Wonderland.

The unique design continues inside, with stylish lighting and great use of natural materials…There were quite a few people checking in but the reception staff were polite and friendly. There’s a bar within the reception area overlooking the river.

My favourite feature of the lobby has to be this collection of rubber ducks ;-). Guests can purchase any that they like online and there’s certainly a great selection. The duck is actually the hotel’s emblem and really symbolizes the fun of the place.


Our spacious deluxe double bedroom was lovely and light, with all mod cons. There was a flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, an iron and ironing board, a safe, complimentary WiFi and tea and coffee-making facilities. Black-out curtains were a great idea, although the feather pillows and Hypnos bed ensured that we slept soundly. We have one of these at home, they’re so comfy. The bathroom was well stocked with ESPA toiletries, bath robes and slippers.

There was a spectacular view towards the river and the hotel’s private jetty relaxation area from our bedroom and large balcony.


I had an appointment booked at the spa, which is accessible from the hotel itself and beautifully designed. They’re continually improving the hotel and were renovating the changing rooms when we visited, so my bronzing treatment took place in a converted hotel bedroom. It was actually pretty convenient as there was a bathroom attached to it. Many of the spa treatment rooms also have an en-suite shower room. My therapist was a charming local lady who started with a complete body exfoliation. This ensures that the tan is even with no patches. The salt scrub left my skin feeling really soft. She then applied the self-tanning cream from top to toe using a mitt. It’s advisable not to expose the body to chlorine for a good few hours afterwards so I skipped the spa’s indoor pool but we did have a workout in the well-equipped gym. We both loved the adjacent decked outdoor area. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool with a children’s play area and plenty of sun loungers.

We loved the quirkiness of these rubber ducks!

There are several tennis courts and also a children’s play area. Although the hotel is great for kids and also for corporates with a large selection of meeting rooms, the grounds are so spacious that all guests can enjoy peace and quiet here. Oh, and there are giant board games by the river – Connect4 and Jenga!

Hottug at Runnymede on Thames

The Runnymede has its own private mooring and several boats – a luxurious Olympic Class launch which would be perfect for groups and comes with a skipper, plus self-skippered electric family riverboats. However their most unique boat is the UK’s only hottug. Created by Dutch designer Frank de Bruijn, it floats low in the water, making you truly at one with the Thames. There’s a private changing area with bathrobes and slippers which you leave at the water’s edge before embarking into the hottug.

We’d armed ourselves with some bubbly and luxuriated in the 38°C water heated by a wood-burning stove. You can fit up to six merrymakers inside the hottug and its self-skippered so we were given a briefing on how to operate it. Soon we were heading up the Thames, to the bemusement of passers by and these swans! It’s available for hire from May until mid September and is exclusively for hire by hotel residents on weekends and bank holidays. It’s definitely one of the most fun experiences that I’ve had this year.

The hottug at Runnymed on Thames, UK
Surrounding Area

Bell Weir Lock is right next to the hotel and it’s interesting to watch the boats passing through.

There’s also a mural commemorating the signing of the Magna Carta, the famous charter for democracy.

Magna Carta Runnymede
The actual site of Magna Carta is a pleasant walk from the hotel and I’ll be writing about it in an upcoming post.

Site of the Magna Carta, Runnymede Hotel
Dining at the Runnymede on Thames

There’s an attractive riverside terrace running the length of the hotel, with a separate bar area, and two restaurants. Leftbank is a casual place with an excellent buffet, whilst our dinner choice, The Lock is equally relaxed yet definitely has a sense of occasion.

We began our meal with a glass of wine accompanied by some tasty homemade bread with a fruity olive oil. My starter was a beautiful dish of seared scallops with pea puree and sea purslane. This seasonal vegetable works a treat with seafood and my scallops were very flavoursome.

Paul’s dish of stuffed calamari with chorizo and red pepper sauce is a must-try. The spicy chorizo balanced the calamari perfectly.

My main course was a delicate supreme of hake with clams in a Provencale sauce.

Paul loved his Hogs Back Ale glazed beef short rib with colourful homemade slaw and spiced potato wedges. I snuck a bite of it and was very impressed too.

Dining at the Runnymede on Thames, Surrey
For dessert, Paul chose a naughty but nice Rocky Road sundae in keeping with the fun theme of our stay.

I opted for the three layered chocolate mousse and found the honeycomb on the side to be a great idea, you can add as little or as much as you like. The attention to detail throughout our meal was fantastic – just look at the Lock logo on our coffee!


After a great night’s sleep, we headed down to breakfast in Leftbank. There was an excellent selection of buffet food including smoked salmon, cereals, fresh fruit and pastries. I’d just add some tomatoes and salad leaves for those who are on a quasi-health kick like me. My omelette was delicious and Paul also enjoyed his full English breakfast. As you can see, we got a nice tan on the hottug.

Final Thoughts

If only all hotel stays could be as fun as The Runnymede on Thames, the world would be a better place. They have three sister properties, the classy Athenaeum Hotel and 23 Greengarden House serviced apartments in London, as well as The Grove, a country estate in Hertfordshire – makes me want to visit them all! The hottug was a definite highlight of our stay.

The Runnymede-on-Thames, Windsor Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 0AG


  • OMG the Hot Tug looks awesome! I love that idea, so unique.

    • Isn’t it just! I know you’re a fan of The Grove, Angie and this place is equally lovely

  • Emily Ray

    a) you look so amazing in all your outfits!
    b) I really want to go in a hottug! I didn’t realise it was so close to London, so this is definitely going on my weekend to-do list.

    • Oh that’s really sweet Emily, thank you! It’s so easy to get to the hotel via train or car, we’d definitely hire it out with friends as it was such a hoot

  • How fun and I just love you in that red dress!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Love the colourful pics; the chairs look impressive and how cute is the duck collection? It must have been such a fun stay!

  • The scenery looks amazing!

    Beauty Candy Loves

  • LOVE the look of the Hottug! I had no idea it was a sister to The Athenaeum – love it there! really want to see it after its recent rennovation

    • I’d be keen to see The Athenaeum again too, I remember the living wall that was pretty impressive

  • Wow, those big chairs look like they would be super comfortable. This hotel actually looks like a fun place to stay, I love the unique personality woven throughout the property.

  • Wow this place looks so amazing, I love all of that yummy food

  • I absolutely love the look of this place and how fun are those gigantic sized deck-chairs! I’m getting serious hat envy Suze 🙂 love your summery dresses too!

    • I’ve got quite a stock of hats, Maggie! Can’t wait to hear all about your travels

  • It looks like you stay there was entertaining and fun indeed. The huge lounges are very nice. All of the food sounds very delicious!

    • The deckchairs are brilliant, and I forgot to mention that there is giant Jenga and Connect4 too – adding that to my article now

  • Wow, it’s beautiful. Such fun decor, and the food looks great.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • It seems like you had so much fun! All of the photos look fantastic!

  • It looks amazing , Suze. My cousin has told me about this, I’ve not been here, but definitely will put it on my list. Your yellow frock is cute! I want to lounge in those chairs! x/Madison

  • I love the quirky designs and the food look so good!



  • A very unique hotel indeed, Suze. I particularly like the huge chaise lounges in front of the hotel. They make you look so small! And the food, ah, the food! It looks so delicious.

    • Wish I had room for deckchairs like that at home! As for the food, it was a real treat

  • Oh, you’re right! Those are such ‘Alice in Wonderland’ oversized chairs! This hotel has SO many unusual touches and the food looks utterly delicious; what a nice outdoor seating area 🙂

    ps. I love your orange zip-up dress!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • They’ve really gone to town on the fun aspect of a hotel stay. Thanks for the compliment on my dress, I wear it so much!

  • Suze you look so sweet in these photos! I love your dresses!
    Those seared scallops look amazing.
    What a lovely experience that hot tug is!

    • That’s very kind, Honey – and the hottug was so unique, still makes me chuckle, remembering our trip

  • Oh the hottug looks awesome! I would love to do that. Your dinner looked stunning too 🙂

  • The oversized deck chairs are amazing as are the cute rubber ducks everywhere! Love the video of you in the hottug – looks like so much fun!

  • Lucy

    I absolutely love the quirkiness of this hotel makes such a change from the boring stuffy chains. I have booked marked this as it is only a stones throw out of london perfect for a bolt hole Lucy x