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The Forbury Hotel, Reading 

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26 The Forbeary
Tel: 44 118 958 1234
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

A good base for visiting Windsor Castle and Henley-on-Thames, The Forbury is also a perfect plush rest stop before an early flight out of Heathrow. Occupying an imposing nineteenth-century building overlooking public gardens that bear its name, The Forbury is a boldly decorated hotel with 24 well-proportioned rooms. The reception area gorgeously blends rich colors and textures—gold, green, mauve, burgundy, tobacco—with post-modern attitude. Six artists have been commissioned to create works for the hotel including Alain Bonnefoit, whose subtly erotic nude paintings can be seen upstairs and down. Room decor is more restrained and together with the opulent baths and Bang & Olufsen sound system with plasma HDTV makes for a pampering atmosphere. An in-house cinema screens movies on Sundays, and at Cerise restaurant, the resident fromager, dressed up in a Dickensian waistcoat and cravat, will regale you with obscure cheese lore.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: From April through October Berkshire's rural landscape is at its best. 

Which room to book: An upper floor room facing the Forbury Gardens in front of the hotel.

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Spa

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