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Hotel Highlights

  • Luxury country hotel featured in numerous films
  • Glorious sprawling parkland and 27-hole golf course
  • Spa, health and racquet pavilion, state-of-the-art gym

Overview

One of Smith's first finds, Stoke Park is an enormous, imposing stately mansion designed by 'Mad' King George III’s architect, which, if it weren’t for the Union Jack flying, would look like a mini White House. As well as boasting a golf course (where James Bond and Goldfinger enjoyed a round, no less), Stoke Park has its own incredible spa, Stoke Park Spa, separate from the mansion, with an inviting indoor pool looking over the gardens.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Stoke Park with us:

A bottle of wine on arrival

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Stoke Park

Harry Colt golf break Spa escape Dinner, bed and breakfast in Humphry's 2 nights for the price of 1

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

49, including 14 suites.

Check–out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $311.49 (£183), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (£25).

Also

Clear your credit card: golf is not a cheap hobby, and the shop sells everything you may have forgotten or never knew you needed. If your backhand needs brushing up, the hotel's indoor tennis court 3 has PlaySight's Smart Court System, which records ball speeds, player mileage and the calories you've burned – even providing you with a personal tennis-playing profile at the end of the game – ace, in every sense of the word.

At the hotel

27-hole championship golf course, golf academy and indoor swing studio, 350 acres of parkland, free WiFi in all rooms and communal areas, spa with indoor pool and steam room, 13 indoor and outdoor tennis courts (one with PlaySight's Smart Court System), gym, dance studio and treatment centre. In rooms: iPod dock, flatscreen TV, DVD player and SPC bath products.

Our favourite rooms

If the budget will stretch, ask for the four-poster suite that Hugh and Renée shared in Bridget Jones’ Diary. Otherwise, ask for a room with a view. The hotel's newest rooms are the 28 in the Pavilion building where the spa is situated; they're more contemporary in style, and dotted with far Eastern antiques. If you're into your gadgetry, book one of the two 'Bling' suites, which boast state-of-the-art sound systems and LED mood lighting – as well as plush four-posters.

Poolside

There's an indoor heated pool.

Packing tips

Swimwear, tennis kit (but leave the racquets behind – you can use the hotel's), golf club, 'Goldfinger', 'Bridget Jones's Diary' and 'Layer Cake' DVDs.

Also

Stoke Park runs its own acclaimed Golf Academy, with expert tuition, a swing-analysis video suite, swing studio and driving range.

Children

Children are welcome. Cots are free and extra beds are £35 a night. A local babysitter can be arranged with five days’ notice for £8–£10 an hour plus a £24–£36 booking fee (depending on the time of day). There's a crèche, games room and playground.

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Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Award-winning Humphry's restaurant serves Modern British cuisine courtesy of chef Chris Wheeler, and the best Sunday lunch in the area. Look out for Dorset crab, local lamb and whole arrays of chocolatey, pudding-shaped treats. The Orangery offers all-day dining, from morning to evening, as does the Italian restaurant, San Marco, in the Pavilion.

Hotel Bar

The President's Bar is open all day from 7am. Settle in for a cosy Saturday afternoon, when the bar's at its busiest.

Last orders

Breakfast is 7am–10am; lunch is 12pm–2.30pm; dinner is 7pm–9.45pm. The bar’s open until around 11pm.

Room service

Selected hot dishes and snacks are available all day and night.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Keep up appearances: no trainers, only smart denim, and maybe collared shirts for the boys.

Top table

By the window for the view.

Local Guide

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Stoke Park Hotel - Buckinghamshire - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Book in for a golf lesson on the hotel's championship course. Riding lessons and outings can be arranged at the local equestrian centre. Hit Windsor for everything royal and, of course, the polo.

Local restaurants

Places to pop out for dinner nearby include the Michelin-starred Waterside Inn at Bray (+44 (0)1628 620691) and the Fat Duck (+44 (0)1628 580333). Family-run, traditional pub the Hand & Flowers (+44 (0)1628 482277) has Anglo-French food is on the menu. The head chef at the Vyse Room at Stoke Place (01753 534 790) has been in cahoots with the team behind East London favourite, Hawksmoor. As well as expert boozy concoctions, there are are inspired surprises such as 'salmagundi' – basically posh crudité - and no-nonsense roasts among the hearty main courses.

Local bars

The Royal Oak at Farnham Common (+44 (0)1753 642032) is about ten minutes away and does good pub grub.

+ Enlarge
Top-hole Bucks golf course

Stoke Park

Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, Buckinghamshire, SL2 4PG, United Kingdom

Planes

Heathrow Airport is around seven miles away and served by most major international airlines.

Trains

The nearest train station is in Slough, a two-mile drive from Stoke Park Club. The hotel can organise taxis.

Automobiles

The drive from London will take 45 minutes on a good day. There's free parking when you arrive.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Victoria Gill , Globetrotting adventuress

A bath butler, hey? We consider enlisting his services but fear that the presence of a jolly fellow in tails, spats and whiskers might kill our renewed sense of romance. Mr Smith steps in, popping peeled grapes into my mouth and fanning the knee-deep fragranced water he has prepared in the sunken marble bathtub. My honorary Jeeves always provides excellent service – however I question whethe…
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Stoke Park

Anonymous review by Victoria Gill, Globetrotting adventuress

A bath butler, hey? We consider enlisting his services but fear that the presence of a jolly fellow in tails, spats and whiskers might kill our renewed sense of romance. Mr Smith steps in, popping peeled grapes into my mouth and fanning the knee-deep fragranced water he has prepared in the sunken marble bathtub. My honorary Jeeves always provides excellent service – however I question whether it is frightfully familiar for my bath butler to disrobe and get into the tub too.

Only a couple of hours earlier we turned down a thoroughfare in the pitch-black hinterland of the M25 and spotted, across the yawning 350-acre terrain, the gleaming white mansion and fairylit trees of Stoke Park Club. Passing through the porticoed entryway top the estate and we marvelled at the majestic drop of the a mighty chandelier. Suspended from the iconic dome above the sweeping staircase, the crystalled light casts a hallowed glow over the grand piano, Doric columns, towering portraits and princely antiques of the stupendous anteroom.

Me, I’m a sucker for a king-size bed, endless cotton counts and those kind people who invisibly bring you things, pretending not to notice one’s state of undress. Mr Smith is considerably less brattish. A gigantic, ornately plastered fireplace effortlessly sustains the glory sparked by the aforementioned chandelier. Floor-to-double height-ceiling drapes stand sentinel-like before bespoke wooden shutters and French windows leading out to the roomy terrace, which presides over the Capability Brown landscaped grounds and Harry Shapland Colt-designed golf course, immortalised in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Like Paul on the road to Damascus, Mr Smith is instantly converted.

You are in good company at Stoke Park Club – the site was recorded in the Doomsday Book, Queen Elizabeth I owned the Manor House and John Penn, scion of the family that founded Pennsylvania, invested a considerable proportion of the sum he received for their US land to create the wonder you see today. And, to throw another literary reference into the mix, Thomas Gray famously conceived his poetic masterpiece ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ in the cemetery on the grounds of Stoke Park. (This seems ironic as our relationship has been approaching its own day of reckoning for a while, although our spell here seems to be working as a temporary quick-fix.)

Over breakfast in the Orangery, overlooking the epic landscape (undisturbed except for the occasional caddie and strutting bird), we obsess over the spa menu. I make my selection from classic signature treatments alongside more alternative rituals, and a golf buggy whisks me past the four-by-fours and sports cars between the main building and the Pavilion, where the 13-court racquet club and multi-accolade winning spa await.

Mr Smith takes a leisurely dip in the pool, where floor-to-ceiling windows give onto the grounds. I am, meanwhile, cocooned away behind the five-metre tropical aquarium of the private atrium for my therapeutic massage. After my pampering treatment combining lymphatic drainage with Swedish strokes, I languorously sink into a semi-comatose state in the massage chair of the womblike Deep Relaxation Room.

Fortunately for me, as I am slopping about in a zombie-like state, Mr Smith is enthusiastically taking it upon himself to study the history of our retreat. As we explore the grounds, he reveals that we are in good company – ‘Did you know that William and Mary stayed here, and that King Charles I was incarcerated in the Manor House?’ We lose ourselves in the labyrinthine enclaves of the Memorial Gardens, finding a bench in one of the topiary-lined secret alcoves among the rose gardens and trickling streams.

We eventually leave our sweet nothings in the Japanese Garden, venturing past the Manor House and into the churchyard, recorded in the Doomsday Book. Gazing in idle wonder at the curious Saxon remnants, aged beams and impossibly low doorways of this still church, we pass through the threshold of the lychgate, past hopping bunnies to the obelisk bearing Gray’s words, and drink in the magic reclaimed.

That evening we dine at Stoke Park Club’s phenomenal restaurant, drowning in sensational wines and one another. Like the hotel (purpose-built in the Eighties – who knew?) and its setting, dishes come brim-filled with surprises. There’s a mini shepherd’s pie accompanying my oh-so-succulent loin of local lamb; Mr Smith’s multiple-layered Dorset crab, king prawn and avocado tian that is so artfully presented that it seems a shame to eat it. The service approach is less ‘hotel employee’ and more akin to personal staff.

Characters are the signature stalwarts of any fine country club hotel, and there are some outstandingly eccentric examples here, including the theatrical maitre d’, who recites dishes from the multi-faceted fine British menu and the kitchen’s recommendations at such breakneck speed ‘assietteofchocolatewhitechocolateandcaramelicecreammilkchocolateand-andmacadamiadelicemaltedchocolatesoupbittercocoachocolatetart’ that one is left wondering quite how long it takes him to rehearse.

Daybreak grants us a parting wish – frost has painted an ethereal white coat over the sweeping grounds, receding as the sun casts a honeyed glow over the land. Surveying this splendour, we share an unforgettable breakfast. We can’t put it better than Thomas Gray: ‘The curfew tolls the knell of parting day. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight. And all the air a solemn stillness holds.’ We leave Stoke Park Club reluctantly, but reborn.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Stoke Park 's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the beautiful property grounds, attentive and friendly staff, amazing spa treatments, faultless dinner in Humphrey's and many comfy places to relax and read the paper.

Don’t expect

Our only slight niggle was that the staff at breakfast seemed to be a little harassed and we struggled to get their attention to order the cooked breakfast, and had to ask twice for milk for our tea. We probably wouldn't have even noticed had the service everywhere else not been so perfect!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The service was fantastic, and the food was generous and well prepared. It's in a great location for the M25 and it's well appointed.

Don’t expect

Rooms in the new pavillion are well appointed but a shade on the small side for longer than a night. Furnishings in the main building are a little tired.

Rating: 7/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The food in both restaurants and particulrly in Humphrey's fine dining, while expensive, was simply out of this world. We consider it as good as, if not better than, anything we have enjoyed worldwide. It's always good to have an efficient bed turndown service and everywhere the staff was totally service oriented with a sincere 'how are you?'

Don’t expect

Reception in the Orangery at breakfast was a liitle slow off the mark; and the green apples as part of the Smith extra of fruit on arrival where hard and inedible. Details in the overall could've been better.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We had a great stay at Stoke Park – we would definitely stay again and would recommend it to friends.We stayed in a junior suite which meant that we had plenty of room for our two boys to run around as well as a huge balcony overlooking the course and the river at the back of the hotel. The hotel was far more family friendly than I was expecting including the restaurants (we ate in San Marco which was very relaxed for dinner with a really good kids menu), outdoor play area/football pitch, indoor games room and splash times in the pool. Our kids were really well catered for and loved their stay (and it was an excellent base for Legoland which is a 20-minute drive from the hotel).

Don’t expect

There is nothing that I would change.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Setting, lovely grounds, lunch in the main restaurant, the orangery, spa and friendly staff.

Don’t expect

A few slip-ups in the service slightly irked: the 'tea' part of the afternoon tea arriving far in advance of the food, causing it to become quite stewed; not one but two very corked glasses of wine with room service dinner – by the time they had been replaced, the accompanying (not cheap) lamb dish had turned from pink to grey. Really wished we had stayed in the Mansion house over the newer Pavilion, which, whilst smart and comfortable, did rather lack the former's far superior elegance and character. Even though our executive suite was on the corner of the building, there was not actually much natural light – it was certainly quite annoying not to have a chair to sit at by the window in the daytime.

Rating: 8/10 stars