By Charmaine Hibbert
A 20 min drive from Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club brings me to the Dover Marina Hotel and a warm smile from the receptionist who quickly checks us in and gives James a parking permit to park in the car park at the back of the hotel.
Currently the hotel is going through some redecorating ready for the Open Championship next year and when I walk into my room, I can state right now that if you have made a booking you will love the new décor. Modern with neutral colours it has a grey classy vibe, but it’s the balcony that takes centre stage, running the width of the suite and deep enough to take a good size table, chairs and lounger. The bathroom keeps the classic theme running with a deep soaker tub with claw feet and of course a good size walk-in shower. My suite also has a very comfortable deep sofa and chairs.
The ultimate test for me as you know is the face dive onto the crisp cotton duvet on this king size double bed, the mattress is just as I like it, which is firm and lots of cushions to give it the perfect finish, so far so perfect.
Mr White’s English Chophouse:
I had heard a lot about chef Marco Pierre White and I was looking forward to sampling his creations but more importantly could they produce a Pittsburgh steak? – only one restaurant in the UK has managed to do this. We started with the Sticky BBQ baby back ribs which was cooked to perfection, the juicy meat just falling from the bone and the American coleslaw was the perfect accompaniment.
At this stage I have to mention our server Savas who was perfect, never hovering but always seemed to be ready to help when you needed him. The moment of truth arrived with the grilled 35-day aged Sirloin steak. Now for those of you who don’t know a Pittsburgh steak is burnt on the outside and rare on the inside, but the secret is all in the rub - a product that is hard to purchase in the UK - and without it the chefs at Mr White’s had done a great job and produced a very tasty steak, not quite burnt on the outside, but it was rare in the middle.
With the hotel sitting right by the waterfront and our table looking out to the harbour it was the perfect place to just drink wine and watch the sun sinking on the horizon as the ferries came and went, the perfect ending to a wonderful prepared and executed meal.
After a perfect night’s rest, breakfast consists of fresh fruit, eggs Benedict and relaxing on my balcony looking out to sea, but it is now time for my Abhyanga treatment at the Waterfront spa in the hotel.
After filling out a form I am whisked away by my masseuse. Now the Abhyanga massage is a full body massage that according to the brochure: “revitalises the tissues, cleans the body, protects from old age and is one of the best remedies for pacifying Vata’. It moves excess doshas back into the digestive tract so that they can leave the body essence tissue growth and promotes strength, relaxation and sound sleep. It aids heathy joints and ligaments as well as nourishing the nerves”.
The hour slipped by in a tranquil blur as the hands of my masseuse weaved her magic, my body certainly feels revitalised and rejuvenated which I am wholly grateful for. I am led to the relaxation area and after a couple of minutes I feel myself drifting off to sleep, yet another wonderful benefit from the Abhyanga massage.
Dover Marina Hotel & Spa
Dover CT17 9BP
T:: +44 (0)1304 203633