The Inspector visits a Newmarket horse-racing-mad hotel where the lead is a little further (in a weaker field).

  • The Inspector checks in to the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa in Newmarket, Suffolk 
  • His room – one of 77 – is decorated with ‘dark furniture’ and ‘sumptuous pillows’
  • He notices a variety of luxury cars outside the hotel, including one Rolls-Royce.  
  • Keep in mind that the Inspector does his job and says it like it really is

Given the money sloshing about in Newmarket, it’s surprising how few swish hotels there are in this horse racing-mad Suffolk town.

But leading from the front in an admittedly weak field — by some distance — is the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, between Luca Cumani and Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stables.

It was originally built in 1827 for the 6th Duke of Bedford.

The Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, pictured, has been a hotel since the 1940s

The Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, pictured, has been a hotel since the 1940s

Most of the 77 rooms at the hotel are off two long corridors to the back of the reception

The majority of the 77 hotel rooms are accessible via two corridors at the rear of the reception.

The grand gates at the entrance look like they would have been from Dynasty. Then a sweeping drive leads to a series of buildings lit up brashly — or at least, bright enough so that light bounces off a Bentley, an Aston Martin and a couple of Porsches.

The front door to the main house is open, but we don’t see anyone. No great surprise. 

We’ve arrived at the wrong entrance — but we get to poke our noses into the Cambridge room, laid for a meeting. 

‘All rather corporate,’ says my wife. The taxi is very efficient and corporate. You can order a taxi from this location and the vehicle will arrive on-time. Order a Bloody Mary, and you will receive it quickly.

In his room, the Inspector finds 'dark furniture, offset by a pale velvet headboard' and 'sumptuous pillows and duvets'

His room is furnished with dark furniture and an offset headboard of pale velvet. The Inspector also finds sumptuous pillows, duvets, and cushions. 

The view of Newmarket from Warren Hill.  The Inspector describes the Suffolk town as 'horse racing-mad'

The view of Newmarket from Warren Hill.  The inspector describes Newmarket as “horse racing mad” in Suffolk.


Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, Bury Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7BX.

Doubles are priced from £118. 

For more information, call 01638 663175, or visit  



Two long corridors lead from reception to most of the 77 rooms. The rooms feature dark furniture with a velvet headboard and sumptuous pillows. There is a large pool, gym, sauna et al on the ground floor — not to be confused with the spa in a separate building within the grounds.

Tweed waistcoats are the norm for most staff at the restaurant and bar. All of them are pleasant and helpful. Right now, there’s a special Christmas menu (£35 pp for two courses), including turkey with all the trimmings as a main course. We enjoy it — unlike the couple seated behind us, who have summoned the manager to complain about their chateaubriand. He invites one to come with him out of the restaurant to continue discussing matters.

Racing is awake early. Breakfast begins at 6.30 am. When I get out of the car, I notice that the Rolls-Royce has joined the fleet of fancy cars. It’s that sort of place and explains why the price of rooms can double when a race meeting is on.