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Ellenborough Park Hotel in Gloucestershire: the only five-star country house hotel in the Cotswolds


PA Life checked-in to experience Ellenborough Park Hotel in Gloucestershire, is proud to be the only five-star country house hotel in the Cotswolds. It very much deserves to be part of our Spotlight on Cheltenham featuring top venues and hotels. You can read the full feature in our print magazine’s Summer Issue. We had the pleasure to experience the splendour and to learn about its ‘next chapter’ following the recent bedroom transformations, Brasserie revamp and the opening of the luxury Spa Garden Retreat…

This magnificent 15th century English country estate and luxury spa is set in 90 acres of parkland. Just a stroll away from the famous Cheltenham Racecourse on the edge of the Cotswolds – it looms large just across the gently undulating hills. Race days, especially the Gold Cup Race Festival, are key dates for Ellenborough with many loyal guests returning year on year.

We started our stay with a tour of the venue by the event team, taking in a good selection of the individual bedrooms, dining and lounge areas, as well the beautiful and varied event spaces – indoors and outdoors too. The designer behind the sensitively restored and created hotel is a local talent, Ilze Reinke. Ilze describes the task as “a dream job that has required much careful thought and consideration to capture the history and elegance of the building”

What are the bedrooms like in Ellenborough Park Hotel?

All 61 bedrooms are individually designed and have undergone an affectionate refurbishment with lavish fabrics, elegant wall coverings, plush carpets, and ‘country chic’ furnishings. Brimming with personality, the designs are masterful and beautifully capture a graceful homeliness. They are different shapes and sizes with luxury bathrooms – my bathroom was simply enormous. Even the colour schemes have fitting names such as Blossom, Wildflower, Countryside, Tudor, Chrysanthemum, Gingham and Rustic.

Dining in 15th century splendor at Ellenborough Park Hotel in Gloucestershire

We dined in the grand wood-panelled dining room with many of its 15th century décor still intact, including the magnificent window decorated with coats of arms of former owners and significant royals of that time, such as Henry VIII. Nadine Linington, Director of Sales and Marketing, joined us for the three-course dinner. She couldn’t have been more welcoming, as were the rest of the lovely staff. The menu was well-balanced with plenty of seasonal and local choices. During the summer months you can also enjoy the full menu, drink and afternoon tea on the gorgeous lawn whilst taking in the countryside views.

The Tudor Great Hall is another spectacular space, now used as a lounge, where guests can soak up the history over a traditional afternoon tea or a drink by a roaring fire. The heritage of the building is evident all around you, but it’s been complemented well with all that’s expected of a modern luxury hotel.

The Horse Box Brasserie is perfect for working lunches

At the heart of the hotel sits the Horse Box Brasserie which has undergone a complete transformation and serves as a more relaxed space with a bar. It’s great for working lunches. We loved the soft leather brocades, low lighting, tartan flooring, and countryside tweed fabrics. Choose from a two-course lunch with bubbles or a quintessentially British Afternoon Tea in the hotel’s historic Great Hall. A new App allows guests to the Spa Garden Retreat to order drinks and light bites and guests can connect to the in-house Sonos system to play their own relaxing background music.

Marwan Hemchaoui, General Manager of Ellenborough Park Hotel, added: “Planning of this project began long before the pandemic, so it feels even more special to fulfil it now. We are very proud of Ellenborough’s growth over the past few years, and these new bedrooms are a fitting celebration of our ten-year anniversary.”

Remember to book the Spa Garden Retreat at Ellenborough Park Hotel five stay country house hotel

Even the chill in the air on our April visit couldn’t keep us away from the outdoor spa in the Walled Garden. We certainly didn’t feel the weather in the hot tub and sauna, whilst sipping Taittinger. The spa is open year-round, but sadly it wasn’t quite the season for the outdoor pool yet. Both the indoor spa and the outdoor area can be booked for exclusive private use for up to 12 people. Guests can even order drinks and light bites and play their own tunes through the in-house Sonos system.

There are also great pampering packages available such as The Spa Garden Retreat Package when you really want to indulge in luxury. Or treat your team at the indoor Elemis spa with a De-stress Body Ritual or Revitalise Facial Ritual before enjoying complete privacy with exclusive access to the Spa Garden’s outdoor facilities. The spa is just one way to build wellness activities into a corporate retreat.

There is plenty more to do at Ellenborough Park and the surrounding Cotswolds, including country walks (Dubarry boots can be borrowed from the hotel), games on the lawn, trip to the races or to visit some of the nearby villages. Burton on the Water has been named the prettiest village in England several times and Broadway is equally gorgeous. There are lavender fields, heritage steam railway, horse riding, e-bike hire, clay pigeon shooting and much more on offer.

Great package rates at Ellenborough Park Hotel

Spa Garden Retreat Packages start from £199 for 90 minutes of Exclusive Use for 12 guests, with a variety of packages available. Visit the website for more information.

Nightly rates at Ellenborough Park start from £299 inclusive of VAT and breakfast based on a Traditional Bedroom sleeping two people.

A Traditional Room costs from £279 during June, A De-Luxe Double from £348.

Address: Southam Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3NJ Tel: 01242 545454