What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes full English breakfast and access to the spa and gym
- Stunning 15th-century architecture and many original features
- Indian-themed spa with seven treatment rooms and sensation showers
- The boot room offers free boots and jackets to hire for country walks in the surrounding area
What To Know
- It's a two-hour drive from London
- Located at the foot of Cleeve Hill (the highest point in the Cotswolds), so expect to do some walking
- There are newer parts of hotel; request a room in the main house for 15th-century authenticity
- The outdoor pool is closed between December and March
- Parking is free
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
A quintessential English country retreat, Ellenborough Park is a 15th-century manor house set in 90 acres grounds in the bucolic Cotswolds, a two-hour drive from London. This impressive estate oozes character and class; the original building is cut from traditional sand-colored Cotswold stone, and early Tudor features include towers and turrets. Inside, the main house features oak-paneled walls, patterned rugs and hidden snugs accessible through castle-like doors. A painting of Lord Ellenborough hangs in one of the many chill-out areas. Be sure to check out the stunning woodland mural on the walls of the main staircase.
Bed and Bath
The 62 guestrooms, created by British interior designer Nina Campbell, have a charming country house style. Many feature four-poster beds (all the Hypnos beds were custom-made for Ellenborough Park) and statement wallpaper or paint colors in bold stripes, metallic florals or deep reds. The rooms are spread across four buildings, including the historic main house and a series of newer outbuildings. Some Deluxe Rooms come with private patios leading to the outdoor pool, and some of the Classic Rooms are split-level and feature upstairs bathrooms with large walk-in showers. All bathrooms are stocked with posh Penhaligon’s products.
Go for a hike up Cleeve Hill (the track runs opposite the hotel), and then return to indulge in a traditional afternoon tea in the Great Hall. With its exposed brick walls, beam ceilings, chandeliers and colorful paintings, it’s a grand setting to gorge on dainty cakes and sandwiches. For dinner, the wood-paneled Beaufort Dining Room serves posh British fare (Hereford beef fillet with fondant potatoes, Wye Valley asparagus with poached pheasant egg), or head to the Brasserie for a more relaxed dining experience. Breakfast can be taken in any of the dining rooms (the Library’s stained glass windows provide a great view over the surrounding fields). There’s an outdoor heated pool for a summertime dip, a petite but pleasant fitness center and an Indian-themed spa with seven treatment rooms and sensation showers.
In the Area
Grab a pair of free walking boots and head to the nearby Cotswold Way, a long-distance trail that covers 100 miles between Chipping Campden and Bath. A 10-minute drive leads to the magnificent Sudeley Castle, once home to Catherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII; the award-winning gardens are a must-see. If you’re traveling with children, the lovely Cotswold Farm Park makes a fun daytime activity (check for seasonal farming demonstrations). Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, is an hour’s drive north. The hotel overlooks historic Cheltenham Racecourse, and the pretty spa town of Cheltenham, with its Regency architecture and cute boutiques, is a 10-minute drive away.
How to Get There
My husband and I were looking forward to our first night away since our baby was born last year.
We checked into the hotel and waitied a while to be shown to our room. The room was nice, and a lovely view but perhaps a little tired (few signs of brown wallpaper from old water damage). The spa is very small and for winter visits where it is brave for many to venture to the pool outside, anymore than 6 people in the spa at one time seems crowded.
We would have overlooked all of the above had we not had we not have such a bad dining experience at the hotel restaurant in the evening. It took us over 30 minutes to get a drink before dinner. Once we sat down for dinner at 20.30 our starter didn’t come till 22.00! We were brought some bread and an amuse bouche before but all was cold so we couldn’t understand why it took 45 minutes for that to arrive. No staff member tried to explain that there were any delays and when we asked one waitress if our main course could come a bit quicker than the starter she pulled a face! It was very unclear who was in charge and we could hear the staff arguing in the corridor outside the restaurant.
On checkout when asked how our stay was, I explained our dinner experience and the receptionist simply responded “sorry to hear this, that will be £XX for the dinner please” all in one breath! No one in the hotel seemed particularly focused on making sure visitors were having a good time and all goes to show that the right staff can be the difference between people having a wonderful stay or a pretty bad one, of which ours was the latter.
The hotel was beauhiful as was the food however the staff really let this place down
Upon arrival it felt like the staff were too busy for us
We were meant to have champagne on arrival and told we would get with our meal. They then didn't know what we were talking about and we never got it
Staff were complaining about the working conditions when we were sat in the bar
We also had late check out for 12 but were asked to be out of the room by 11
Lovely place but staff let it down
For those who appreciate luxury and attentiveness this hotel has it all. The only minor gripe I had was waiting to be taken to our room however, we were greeted warmly and given a personal service which more than made up for the short wait.
We were escorted to our large room. A beautiful four poster bed took pride of place which was by far, the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. The hypnos mattress demonstrated there was no expense spared in catering for quality and guest investment
The bathroom was outstanding. It was large and housed a walk in shower and roll top bath as well as a large sink area. We loved the room so much, we spent the majority of our stay enjoying it even having our breakfast delivered to the room in the morning. The price reflects the quality of the rooms and the service and I would not hesitate to return again. Excellently attentive staff who would fall over themselves to ensure they exceeded expectations. We will no doubt return again!
Lovely hotel the setting was beautiful overlooking the race course
The spa was lovely I thoroughly enjoyed a massage
The heated outside pool was wonderful first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening
Having visited Ellenborough Park last year for a wedding, I returned this weekend with the bride and matron of honour for a lovely cream tea. We sat up in the minstrels gallery and enjoyed a generous spread of sandwiches, cakes and scones. There was a varied selection of teas (I enjoyed the orange roibos), with the option of trying up to three different blends during your stay. The staff were polite and attentive (in particular Jonathon, who was excellent in explaining our menu choices and ensured that our stay was of the best quality). I would definitely recommend visiting Ellenborough Park again.