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
We stayed at Ellenborough Park overnight for my partners birthday this April. The hotel looks absolutely stunning when you arrive but we experienced the following:
- an outdated room with a smelly fridge
- a hotel that really should not be described as a spa hotel. The spa room was tiny with a small jacuzzi and 4 loungers. It is very impersonal if you have 4 people there. The shower was not working and ran continuously, the jacuzzi was not working and every time it needed to be switched on you had to get out (soaking wet) and walk to reception to ask them to turn it on centrally;
- The male changing rooms were filthy with dirty towels everywhere and urine around the toilets;
- Our room was not cleaned as apparently we were forgotten about; We came back to the room to find our used towels still in the bathtub and nothing cleaned even though someone had been in to replace the water;
- The food at the restaurant really wasn’t much to shout home about. The service was questionable. Our waitress told us to go for a fish starter which she said was lovely but when we subsequently disliked it she said she didn’t eat fish. This was not the impression she gave beforehand!
- The morning of our last stay I moved some things around in the bathroom and found used make up sponges from the previous occupiers still there. The room had obviously not been properly cleaned before we stayed there.
I don’t ordinarily post bad reviews but we complained at the time and showed pictures as we were very shocked. We were told we’d be notified of the outcome of their internal investigation. I am still waiting for a response.
What should have been an enjoyable and luxurious stay was nothing short of a continued mishap which really wasn’t addressed well. Given how much it costs to stay at the hotel this is disappointing.
The night prior to ellenborough Park we stayed at the frogmill inn not too far away. This is a 3 star hotel and miles above and I would highly recommend staying at this one.
This characterful hotel just outside Cheltenham is a lovely place to stay. Room 6 is elegantly comfortable with a great bed and bathroom. Staff are welcoming and friendly.
Such a shame to be told on arrival that there were no tables available for dinner but that I could have room service or visit one of the many nice restaurants in town! In the end a place was found for their hungry guest to eat.
After a good night’s sleep and a fine breakfast I’m happy to give a second chance and will return, but making sure that a table for dinner is booked in advance.
Ellenborough Park is an amazing hotel set in wonderful grounds overlooking Cheltenham racecourse.We had such a relaxing Spa Break, treatments were excellent followed by an afternoon in the spa itself. (Just a shame the spa is all in one room as it can soon feel overcrowded). The heated outdoor pool was warm & inviting.
Our room overlooking the pool was lovely, very comfortable beds, walk-in wardrobe, great shower & bath, marble twin sinks. Dinner at The Horse Box was very enjoyable.
Breakfast was the only let down. Staff didn’t appear to be on top of things when the restaurant became busy. The self-service hot food was not kept topped up & table service was quite slow.
However, all in all we had a wonderful weekend & will definitely be returning.
Stage 2 of 'discovering Gloucestershire' with my 14yr old daughter. Such a beautiful hotel and a lovely peaceful stay. As we'd done a fair amount of sightseeing, we decided to simply relax for the rest of the day in the hotel. The afternoon tea was simply delicious and highly recommended. My daughter enjoyed swimming in the pool, whilst I read on our little patio. My only disappointment was in not being in the main house, given that it is such a beautiful old building but whilst modern, the room was large and perfectly appointed. A special mention to Kevin the porter who simply appeared as if by magic whenever we needed anything and was so lovely to boot.
When you know you are a repeat offender and don’t mind, life becomes very easy.
Having stayed at Ellenborough twice, once in the top suite and the next time in a family room one can become accustomed to being spoilt.
Since then we have dined in the ‘horse box’ and in the main restaurant a few times. The food has been delicious, the wine exceptional and the service especially by the Maitre D’ Vasilis and Claudia at our table, above and beyond expectations.
A mighty ongoing thanks to the staff and management at Ellenborough Park.