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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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 wife and I stayed here on our ‘mini moon’ last month en route to Devon. Whilst a beautiful building, the check in was slow with a tiny reception and had to wait 15 minutes to be showed to our room.
Our room was near the pool, it was spacious but lacks the character of the main building. We were missing a bath robe, which is needed for the spa (long delay sorting this - after 30 mins I decided to get one from the spa only to be advised ‘we ask guests to bring the robes from their rooms’). Only other comment on the room is the bath is too narrow to used as a shower.
The pool was nice and warm and the spa was lovely but be prepared for a bit of a walk between the two.
The breakfast was nice, set in a lovely wood panelled room. I found the 12.5% service charge on the menu confusing though.
We received an odd letter in the morning saying we had no outstanding bills so we expected check out to be more efficient than the check in. This was again frustratingly slow, although it was comical to hear the previous couple repeatedly insisting their bill was way too low having dined at the restaurant for the past couple of nights.
Overall a nice stay in a beautiful setting but I feel a few improvements are required to justify the 5 stars and come away feeling it was value for money.
One of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in. If you have a dog it is undeniably perfect. There was dog bowls and a crate in the room. There was grass outside the room. The grounds are amazing to be on an immediate beautiful walk towards Cheltenham racecourse. And over the road there is amazing walks to watch the sunset. The staff were amazing. The pool was beautiful. I just loved every single thing about it and I can’t wait to return. Loved the staff. So friendly and helpful. I just can’t say one bad thing about it. Please can I come back now!
My son and his partner took me to Ellenborough Park for a weekend whilst I was visiting the UK. I had no idea where they had booked and was amazed when we drove through the gates. What a beautiful establishment. I had a lovely private ground floor room, almost like a suite! After walking through my own gate and garden, it was very pleasing to see my large room with king size bed, large bathroom with separate toilet and shower rooms off it, a writing desk, armchair and tv cabinet. There were also tea/coffee/hot chocolate facilities. We had drinks in the lounge before heading out to dinner in Cheltenham. Breakfasts were nice, probably not a huge range, but certainly satisfied all of us. I had a massage which was also very good. Checking in and out did take a few minutes on both occasions, but the Saturday did also have a wedding taking place. The main building overlooks the Racecourse and the whole setting and gardens were just lovely. The pool looked inviting too, but the weather was too cool for me to take advantage of it. Would certainly recommend for a special occasion.