Originally built for Queen Adelaide in the mid 1830s, The Royal Adelaide Hotel is an elegant Georgian building with a striking blue front, an impressive original exterior and large sash windows holding 45 rooms. The hotel is located only a few steps from The Long Walk (a perfect spot for a picnic on a sunny weekend with views towards Windsor Castle) and less than 10 minutes’ walk from the shops, restaurants and galleries of Windsor and Eton.
The lobby didn’t quite have the warm atmosphere you might expect from a boutique hotel, but was nonetheless clean and tidy, and service by the reception staff was prompt and very polite. After a speedy check-in, we were shown to our room (a nice touch and very helpful, as there are quite a number of staircases and corridors).
Our ‘classic double’ room (number 17) was not one of the bigger superior rooms, but was the only room with a direct view of Windsor Castle – and it was a beautiful view to wake up to in the morning. The soft furnishings did give the room a boutique feel and all rooms offer a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, room service and – increasingly crucial – free wifi.
After a day absorbing the culture this great town has to offer (bar afternoon tea with the Queen, as she was still in Balmoral for the summer), this tall writer had a slight squeeze fitting into the smaller-than-anticipated bath tub. However, the smart bathroom space has been used as efficiently as possible.
Once ready for dinner, we headed down to the restaurant. On the menu a couple of dishes stood out: the tagines. We were not entirely sure how the Moroccan influenced food fitted in with the overall theme of the hotel, but this unique and authentic food offering definitely stands out from the more traditional restaurants in Windsor.
We tried both the chicken and the lamb tagine, both of which had been superbly prepared, with tender meat falling away from the bone, and the savoury flavours well balanced by a sweetness from the apricots and prunes.
In contrast, dessert was somewhat of a disappointment – a very poor quality (and shop-bought, we fear) chocolate cake with ice cream. To avoid the chocolate chagrin, the more appropriate Eton mess would have been a better choice – a simple, yet comforting dish made famous by one of best-known schools just down the road.
After the usual breakfast service featuring a range of cooked English breakfast staples and cereals, we checked out, again with very polite and efficient service.
Upon leaving, we noticed the adjoining garden, which would, on a warm day we thought, make a lovely space to eat breakfast (or dinner). Although a taxi could easily have been arranged for us, on foot the train station was under 15 minutes away at a comfortable pace, and so we decided to work off the chocolate cake instead.
With its friendly and comfortable service and atmosphere, this boutique hotel goes a long way to offering a unique experience in Windsor. There is still some room for improvement with some of the menu items, but there’s a great boutique feel throughout the public areas.
As well rooms, The Royal Adelaide can also accommodate up to 100 guests for weddings and the King’s Suite is available for conference meetings.
The Royal Adelaide Hotel is located at 46 Kings Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 2AG and more information and booking can be found at theroyaladelaide.com or by calling 01753 863 916.