If you look at Google Maps, the location of the Runnymede looks handy, but not that exciting, situated just a few minutes off the M25. But you need to get down to street view, because in reality this riverfront hotel's in a beautiful spot along prime Thames river territory.
The sister hotel to the blingier Grove in Watford, the Runnymede is a super family-friendly hotel which goes out of its way to look after its smaller guests.
We stayed in one of their riverside apartments - a huge, modern room complete with separate children's bedroom complete with its own TV, and with riverfront views. There was also a dining table area and really comfy sofa for snuggling up on and watching the various gin palaces float past.
There's an enormous amount of things for children to do here, and all of the facilities appeared to be brand-new and very well kept. We were here during the summer holidays with good weather, so a lot of our time was spent in the huge fenced-off outdoors pool which has lifeguards, plenty of toys and lots of lovely big sun beds for parents to stretch out on. There's also a small splash pool alongside it for little ones.
Across from the pool area is a lovely playground and there's also a junior gym trail for more energetic kids along with three tennis courts. If the weather isn't playing ball, the indoor spa complex with a large swimming pool also has family swimming times and children over 8 can enjoy the jacuzzi and sauna/steam rooms.
As a riverfront hotel, the Runnymede keeps several of their own motorboats which can be hired out by guests. They're very easy to operate and we took ours out - complete with hotel picnic - up the river to Windsor castle. Adults and over 16s will love the hottug - a floating hottub that motors up and down the river. It has to be seen to be believed!
The hotel has two large restaurants and we tried out both. The leftbank is most family friendly, operating a ducklings supper for early evening dining with kids able to order their own pizzas with whatever topping they'd like. The food is served buffet-style here, so you can sort the children out first with everything from rotisserie chicken to pasta dishes before helping yourself to the salad or sushi bar.
We also had a dinner at the more grown-up lock bar and kitchen. There's a children's menu here, but there was also plenty of the main menu for more adventurous older children to enjoy.
One of the handiest things about the Runnymede is its location, being so close to numerous theme parks. Legoland, Chessington and Thorpe Park are all within a short drive, so this is a great base if you're planning to visit any of them.
All in all, the Runnymede comes highly recommended - friendly staff, large modern rooms and state of the art family-friendly play areas make it well worth visiting.
Mumsnet were invited to stay at The Runnymede.