- Style Fifteenth-century thoroughbred
- Setting Racy Prestbury
We’re backing Ellenborough Park as our next Gold Cup winner. This is an educated bet: the sports-loving hotel has thoroughbred good looks, 90 gorgeous green acres of National Trust land, and a herd of indulgent extras. Keen flutterers will enjoy the views, too – rooms overlook the finishing line at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Need to know
- Rooms 62, including three suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $313.03 (£192), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast (buffet and Full English) and use of the spa.
- Facilities Spa with seven treatment rooms, sauna and a juice bar; gardens, gun room, gym, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar and Penhaligon's bath products.
- Poolside The outdoor pool, flanked by white-cushioned wooden sun loungers, is kept at a deliciously warm 30-degrees all-year round. The pool is positioned near the hotel’s newest block of rooms, Woodland Court.
Children Cots are free, extra beds are £30 (this charge includes your nipper’s breakfast), and babysitting with a local nanny can be arranged. The hotel reckons that when it comes to young uns, it’s best suited to babies.
- Also Bring your dog too, for £25 a night. Canine companions aren’t allowed in the Main House, though, and not all rooms are pet-friendly.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms The Arkle suite is surprisingly light and airy, considering that it’s kitted out from top-to-toe in oak panelling. It has a lucky streak, too: named after Arkle the racehorse (who notched up 14 big wins in just two years), and is a favourite with visiting jockeys. They probably love it for its princely four-poster. Or its striking original fireplace. Or its vast bathroom with a roll-top tub and shower. The Istabraq suite, set in the eaves of the Great Hall, doesn’t skimp on drama, with its soaring dark Tudor beams and glittering split-level bathroom with under-floor heating, twin basins, roll-top bath and palatial shower.
- Packing tips Don’t weigh your case down with binoculars for spying on the horses/race-goers, the hotel has telescopes for this purpose. Ladies/gents yearning for a smooth mane can request hair straighteners from reception; phone chargers and dental kits are also available. Prestbury is supposedly Britain’s most haunted village: bring your preferred method of protection against the undead – garlic, black salt or holy water, perhaps?
- Also The original entrance has been converted into the ‘Cove’, a little business centre with a computer, printer and fax. Look out for the first owner’s initials, TG (Thomas Goodman), carved into the stone around the arch. After a relaxing treatment at the spa (we’d plump for an algae wrap or Nemaste of India: body brush, scalp, hair and full-body massage), get all your five dailies in one go, with a trip to the spa’s juice bar.
Food and drink at Ellenborough Park
- Hotel restaurant There are two: Beaufort Dining Room is the bigger, and more formal, with original Tudor fireplaces, stained glass Oriel windows, and fine dining to match; the Brasserie serves burgers and British classics in a cosy, sports-themed setting.
- Dress code An equine equation: white shirts + cashmere + tan leather accents. Spruce up for the Beaufort; T-shirts and chinos are fine for the Brasserie.
- Top table Cold? Snuggle up by the fire. Hot? Sit outside and enjoy the breeze. Ardent sports fans should sit closest to the TV in the Brasserie bar, which screens all the big sporting events.
- Last orders Lunch is served only in the Brasserie between 12 noon and 2.30pm (Tuesday to Saturday); Sunday lunch is 12.30pm to 4pm in both restaurants. Dinner is normally 7–10pm, but the Beaufort Dining Room is closed SUnday and Monday evevings..
- Room service The room service menu is thorough (soups, salads, sandwiches and mains), and available 24-hours a day.
- Hotel bar Fans of whisky and cigars will love the bar area (where both are on tap), tucked away in the Brasserie. The barmen mix up a mean Lady Ellenborough: cucumber, Hendrick's Gin, Chase Elderflower, lime juice, sugar syrup and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details