La Gran Francia
The original section of the hotel was the ground floor and although rooms here have ample of character and atmosphere, they have become a little worn and most do not have windows that open as they lead straight onto the street, which makes them a little stale a claustrophobic.
The rooms on the second floor however are light and each has a small balcony with a view to the cathedral. All the rooms have wooden floors, wrought iron beds with colonial décor throughout – most in the form of old photos and paintings of the city, or wooden ornaments that were obviously part of the original house. The bathrooms are spacious, some with baths and small Jacuzzis and all the rooms lead onto the inner courtyard where a small swimming pool is located, surrounded by a small sitting area.
The restaurant and bar across the road are superb and this is where the original colonial building is at its best. The restaurants decor is from the old house and as such there is large old machinery used as statues and small 19thcentury tools lying around, giving the building a truly authentic feel.
Belmont House, 23 New Street, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BP