OK so in terms of a motoring product staying at the Goodwood hotel may not seem quite in the same league as a new pair of racing gloves or a Ducatti jacket. However, in terms of heritage, anything to do with Goodwood just oozes motoring and the hotel is no exception.
Without being too sentimental the reason I ended up having a night at Goodwood was to celebrate my wedding anniversary. About 2.5 years ago I had the pleasure of taking an AC Cobra replica around for the day courtesy of Vanilla Classics in Barnham ( who sadly have since closed ) and spending the night at the Goodwood hotel. The whole day was planned so I could pop the question to my long suffering other half and to add a little extra dash of style I also organised a Range Rover test for the same time. What a weekend….Drive there in a brand spanking Range Rover, spend the day in a V8 Cobra replica, propose to the wife and then retire to the emotional heart of British Motoring; Goodwood for a night of fine food, wine and celebration.
Naturally the only way to celebrate the actual wedding that followed this mighty proposal in the Cobra was to book a return visit to the hotel. The second visit was just as good! In fact, it was better because I was not in a state of shock and trying to get over being brave enough to propose to someone which is actually pretty nerve wracking. The hotel it self is unassuming to look at, it’s nice but nothing on the outside really touches on the heritage of the place. However, the drive there does, you have to drive right past the entrance to the track and just being near that place gives me goose bumps. Knowing you are not only staying where countless celebs and motor racing legends have stayed over the years but also you are so close to such hallowed ground certainly makes the stay very special.
We splashed out on a suite, and I do mean splashed out, however, it was worth it. We had an amazing bed and bathroom as well as a lounge area with another TV in it so I could watch Top Gear while the wife had a well earned lie in. Scattered around the room were sumptuous books detailing the history of Goodwood with amazing automotive photography to enjoy while supping on a glass of bubbles and wondering which racing drivers had sat in the same chair. The luxury and style of the place seeps into everything; add the sense of motoring to it and any car fan would be very happy there indeed.
The Richmond Arms
Dinner was amazing but this is not a food site so I am not going to go into detail. It suffices to say it was quite an experience and the service was perfect. However, before the meal you are invited to have a drink in the Richmond Arms’ bar and this was a highlight for me. The walls are festooned with black and white photos of racing heroes, cars and moments, you find yourself feeling like Stirling Moss sipping on a whisky in a big leather chair and that is a good feeling let me tell you. Even the mirror behind the bar has a track map on it showing the names of all the famous corners on the Goodwood circuit.
OK so it’s not cheap, but most good things aren’t. So if you want a night of luxury with a motoring twist then save some pennies and surprise your other half or motor racing obsessed parents with a stay at this amazing place. If you love racing and you love the British racing heritage then the Goodwood Hotel is the place for you.