Hotel Review: Ellenborough Park, The Cotswolds

Hotel Review: Ellenborough Park, The Cotswolds

The newly-opened Ellenborough Park is a gem of a country house hotel in the rolling Cotswolds countryside. Don't miss a dip in the heated outdoor pool.

Courtesy of Ellenborough Park Hotel

The USP: A 16th century manor house built from honey-coloured Cotswold stone set in historic grounds: as hotels go, it doesn't get more spectacular than this. Add a luxurious spa, heated outdoor pool and fine dining and you'd be hard pressed to find a more indulgent place to rest your head.

Book it now if: You're looking for a romantic retreat or somewhere to spend a weekend with the girls in style. We suspect your mum might like it too.

Bedding down: We stayed in a palatial room at the base of the tower with high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and dramatic furnishings: think royal red wallpaper, floral drapes and landscapes of colonial India. All in all it was easy to feel as though we were in a period drama - in a good way. Details were spot on: Hypnos bed with feather bedding, Penhaligon's products in the bathroom, an iPod dock and even Haribo sweets alongside the champagne in the minibar. Other rooms we peeked were more modestly sized with gorgeous pale floral colour schemes.

Feed me: It's either fine dining in The Beaufort Dining Room (think lobster, chateaubriand and the most knowledgeable sommelier you've ever met) or more relaxed food in The Tudor Club Brasserie: a tough choice, but somebody's got to make it. Pre-dinner drinks are served in the grand Great Hall, which is also the backdrop for the hotel's very popular afternoon teas. Although this is a new hotel (it's only been open since February this year - its predecessor, the Hotel Delabere, closed in 2008) and many staff members are clearly in training, the service was exceptionally welcoming and attentive with no unwelcome snootiness.

Courtesy of Ellenborough Park Hotel

Easily bored: What with the spa, heated outdoor pool, fitness room, extensive grounds, piles of magazines everywhere and a huge range of outdoor activities (shooting, archery and jaunts to the nearby Cheltenham Racecourse among them), it would be hard to get bored here. If you really wanted to, though, you could explore the many quaint Cotwolds villages nearby. Don't miss the well-stocked boot room hiding round the back – where else could you get access to dozens of pairs of Hunter wellies for free?

What's the damage: Ellenborough Park is offering mydaily readers a special rate of £180 per night for bed and breakfast in a standard room (normally £240). The discounted rate will be available for six weeks from today. Call 01242 807 579 to claim this offer.

Need to know: Work on this amazing building started in the early 1500s and it played host to King George III in 1788 during his long stay in Cheltenham. It spent 25 years as a private school for girls in the early 20th century.

Point me in the right direction: Ellenborough Park, Southam Road, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucestershire GL52 3NH. Visit for more information.

Getting there: Travel from London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa takes around two hours, 20 minutes: advance return fares, booked online, start from £44 Standard Class or £129 First Class with The hotel is a 10-15 minute car ride from the station.


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