Cotswolds, United Kingdom

Ellenborough Park

Rates from (inc tax)$164.26

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21GBP), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Fifteenth-century thoroughbred

Setting

Racy Prestbury

With rooms overlooking the finishing line at Cheltenham Racecourse, the stately Ellenborough Park hotel in the Cotswolds much like the prize thoroughbreds nearby, is a true champion. Set on 90 beautiful leafy acres of National Trust land, and wowing guests with a stable of luxurious extras, this fifteenth-century, sports-loving estate never fails to place.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of Prosecco on arrival, and 10 per cent off any 55-minute spa treatment

Facilities

Photos Ellenborough Park – Cotswolds – United Kingdom

Need to know

Rooms

62, including three suites.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $164.26 (£127), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP152.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include breakfast (buffet and Full English) and use of the spa.

At the hotel

Spa with seven treatment rooms, sauna, gardens, gun room, gym, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar and Noble Isle bath products.

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.

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.

Spa

Hit the spa for a pampering session; we’d plump for an algae wrap or Nemaste of India: body brush, scalp, hair and full-body massage.

Packing tips

Don’t weigh your case down with binoculars for spying on the horses/race-goers, the hotel has telescopes for this purpose, and you can keep snug and dry with their stash of Dubarry wellies and coats. 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

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.

Children

Cots are free, extra beds are £30 (this includes breakfast), and babysitting with a local, Ofsted-registered nanny can be arranged for £15 to £20 an hour. The hotel reckons that when it comes to young uns, it’s best suited to juniors and teens.

Best for

Juniors, and older children who will be confident in the pool and grounds.

Recommended rooms

The Traditional rooms are adult-only, as are most of the Classic rooms, and Tower rooms aren’t suited for children either. Opt for a Luxury room for the most space.

Activities

There’s plenty here to keep young bloods entertained – croquet kit, outdoor swimming pool, gorgeous grounds, links to the local polo club, and so on.

Swimming pool

The outdoor pool has a shallow end, but it isn’t monitored, so swimmers must be accompanied by an adult guardian.

Rates

More details

Rates include breakfast (buffet and Full English) and use of the spa.

Meals

Little Smiths are welcome in the Brasserie at any time, and can dine in the Beaufort Dining Room after 7pm. Staff will make packed lunches, heat up baby milk and baby food, and provide high chairs.

Babysitting

The hotel can arrange for an Ofsted-registered local nanny to watch your children for £15 an hour on weekdays, £20 an hour on weekends and bank holidays. This service must be booked at least a week in advance.

Food and Drink

Photos Ellenborough Park – Cotswolds – United Kingdom

At the hotel

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.

At the 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.

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 evenings..

Room service

The room service menu is thorough (soups, salads, sandwiches and mains), and available 24-hours a day.

Location

Photos Ellenborough Park – Cotswolds – United Kingdom
Address
Ellenborough Park
Southam Road Southam
GL52 3NJ
Cheltenham Spa
United Kingdom

Planes

Birmingham airport is less than 60 miles away, with connections from Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Jersey. International hub Heathrow Airport (www.heathrowairport.com) is roughly a two-hour drive from the hotel.

Trains

Cheltenham Spa is just two miles away, with services connecting to London, Bristol and the South West (www.nationalrail.co.uk). A taxi should cost around £6 each way.

Automobiles

Cheltenham Spa is a 10-minute drive away. Ellenborough Park has plenty of free parking for guests.

Worth getting out of bed for

Start with what’s right in front of you: borrow a pair of Ellenborough socks and green Hunter boots (or brown Dubarry hiking boots, if they’re more your style), then set off for a foray in the countryside. Bring your own shotgun (or ask about borrowing one from the Ian Coley shooting school) for a spot of clay-pigeon shooting. If you’re keen to use the spa, book a treatment in advance – it’s small (just seven treatment rooms) and very popular. The hotel hosts wine tastings in an area behind the atrium; it also works closely with a local polo club – request a lesson or two. There’s also a stash of balls, hoops and mallets for keen croquet players. If you’ve any time left, venture into Cheltenham for the elegant shops, bars and restaurants, lay some bets at the racecourse, or go on a drive around the Cotswolds countryside, stopping off for a hearty pub lunch or elegant cream tea. The hotel can also arrange archery, picnics, Cotswolds tours, fishing trips, golf lessons, hiking, horse racing, horse riding and helicopter tours.

Local restaurants

Monty's Bar & Brasserie on Cheltenham’s St Georges Road (+44 (0)1242 227678) is great for lunch or dinner, with international gastropub-style dishes (from Thai crispy duck to beer-battered cod and chips, via Wiener schnitzel and whole Bibury trout) and there's a decent cocktail bar, too. The elegant Lumière on Clarence Parade serves modern ‘global’ cuisine and always looks lively (+44 (0)1242 222200), but if it’s a flawless Michelin-starred French feast you’re after, book a table at the incomparable Le Champignon Sauvage on Suffolk Road (+44 (0)1242 573449). The Daffodil at 18-20 Suffolk Parade (+44 (0)1242 700055) is set in a former cinema. It’s known for its excellent European food and buzzy upstairs bar.

Local cafés

Get your alfresco fix at the Hot Pepper Jelly café on Suffolk Road (+44 (0)1242 719999), which has a sun-dappled courtyard, or in the Imperial Square gardens, where an open-air bar dispenses liquid refreshments during summer. Gusto, a deli on Montpellier Walk (+44 (0)1242 239111), grinds the best coffee beans in town and will pop goodies from the shop into a picnic hamper for you.

Local bars

Montpellier Wine Bar in Cheltenham (+44 (0)1242 527774) has a lively atmosphere, and an al fresco dining patch that’s perfect for sunny afternoons (the kind that spill langorously into evenings).

Reviews

Photos Ellenborough Park – Cotswolds – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

Oh to have met Lady Jane Digby, the most notorious Lady Ellenborough. What a colourful Mrs Smith she would have made. Briefly the lady of this Cotswold house, one wonders what she would make of her grand once-marital home now hosting loved-up weekend awayers? I am confident the 1807-born aristocrat – who in her time eloped with an Austrian prince, married a Bedoin sheikh and a German baron, and had affairs with an Albanian brigand general and the King of Bavaria – would thoroughly approve...

A distinguished vignette greets us at the Cotswold-stone hotel for our arrival: cornflower-blue sky and a Kermit-green lawn that stretches to wild fields that roll down to the edge of Cheltenham’s groomed racetrack. Sunshine alchemised the crenallated towers and centuries-old stonework to pure gold. We couldn’t help but be curious about this property’s heritage. (Especially when Mr Smith scrutinised the bricks and pointed out sections clearly added in different eras.) But what should prove a most memorable part of our recent stay at the new luxury Cheltenham hotel? When someone recommended a copy of Lady Jane’s biography by Mary S Lovell. (A gentle enquiry into the history of the house from a sweet member of staff had her disappearing off, and moments later, cheerily popping a copy of this very paperback into my paws.)

Architecture buffs will recognise the property as an anomaly. Thomas Goodman's construction of Southam House, as it was known until the Seventies, first began in 1500; eventually the estate passed to Richard de la Bere who was the first person to come over all Grand Designs on it – in a 17th-century kind of way. By 1833 it was the first Earl of Ellenborough's; then in the 20th century it hosted a private girls school and a hotel. But nothing in the league of its latest incarnation. 2007 marked the dawn of a new era when asset managers got their mitts on the property; after four years of extravagant remodelling a very new beast emerged.

And so, to these two Smith turning up at this TripAdvisor high-ranker – a day early. After a few blank looks from the friendly receptionists and a little gentle head-shaking, we unnervingly discover there is no record of our booking. Oh no. Turns out we’ve committed the ultimate hotel-reviewing faux pas: I got our dates jumbled. Smiling throughout, the receptionist graciously finds us a room quick-smart (despite Ellenborough Park being almost fully booked), and we're invited to take tea in the Great Hall while they get our suite readied. It is betwixt the centuries-old carved stone fireplace, and delicate stained-glass windows, under huge Tudor portraits, that we learn about the scandalising Lady Ellenbrough.

Just-baked scones, Earl Grey and tales of yore devoured, and we’re steered to our luxury double bedroom in the new wing. With our hotel-critic heads on we weigh up this newly created hotel decked out in Nina Campbell interior design; hmm, not a big fan of brass name badges, but since the staff are so friendly, it is nice to know their names. Electronic photo frames with a loop of brochure-type shots? Slightly dubious. But such corporate details are soon forgotten when our chaperone steers us into a boot room and invites us to borrow wellies. Fun.

Being in the purpose-built Woodland Court rather than the hotel’s more historic main house sees our door opening to a super high-quality, stylish modern-classic bedroom. It could be a Four Seasons showroom: huge, inviting bed clearly clad in top-notch freshly starched linens, resplendent marble ensuite bathroom, big desk with information folders, and a whopping widescreen with a hotel video of guests having a whale of a time in a hot tub. No, no – it’s not a steamy adult channel, but a corporate film of Ellenborough Park’s marvelous facilities in full glory.

And boy, are there facilities. Fans of shooting, polo and golf will like it here, but we’ve booked in for my personal pastime favourite: the spa. Steered into the juice bar (although, disappointingly as it’s a Sunday no one offers to rustle us up anything freshly squeezed), we wait for our therapists. Spa snobs, take note, the Discovery Prescription Facial is a winner. As I lie there taking in the classical music in my candlelit cubby, soaking up the Babor oils, it’s impossible to conceive that there is in fact a wedding going on right below in De la Bere Court.

From pampering to pigging out – via an elegant aperitif. It’s a Lady Ellenborough cocktail for me (Hendrick's gin, champagne and elderflower cordial) and a classic martini for Mr Smith, in the minstrel’s gallery overlooking that harp-boasting history-steeped hall. There is a more traditional hotel watering hole which doubles as a brasserie, the Brasserie bar – but tonight it is commandeered by the wedding party. No worry, we prefer this spot anyway to the more conventional bar that is a tad masculine for my taste. (Racing enthusiasts will find the whisky-toting, cigar-selling Brasserie bar a must-visit though when it comes to eavesdropping for tip-offs from visiting jockeys and horse trainers.)

For us, it is the Beaufort Dining Room where Ellenborough truly wows. The Italian maitre d’ Sandro is the first agent in transporting us from country-house-hotel to sophisticated gastronome’s paradise, eased along with excellent advice from sommelier Tobias Brauweiler. It’s an exciting Modern British menu laced with every epicurean indulgence (foie gras, lobster – you name it.) A few bites of the quality ingredients and you are likely to consider the £60 price tag for four courses perfectly reasonable.

A bracing* dip in the slate-lined outdoor pool the next morning washes away any traces of Tobias’ expert wine-matching. (*It is heated, but this is England after all.) We then make the most of our near-town location with a wander into Cheltenham itself. (If I’m to be brutal dear reader, we miss out on a true bank holiday lie-in due to our previous guests setting the alarm in our room for 5.55am. Thankfully the pastry-, fruit- and charcuterie-laden breakfast table is a magnificent incentive to get us out of that fine-linened cloud of a bed.)

After a day of poking our noses into cute delis, galleries and boutiques in the Montpellier district, we’re happy to be relaxing in the Great Hall again with another afternoon tea. Peering over that chic specially commissioned bone china, we observe two couples canoodling in different cosy corners of the reception room. My, my, what would Lady Ellenborough make of it all? I have no doubt: she would be very, very proud.

 


 

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 Ellenborough Park’s Guestbook below.

We loved

This was our second trip to Ellenborough Park and on this, we got engaged! :) The hotel was magnificent as ever and the service by the staff both before and during the stay (including helping me prepare things for the proposal...) was exceptional! They went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable, well taken care of and happy. Great castles and old houses to explore nearby, among other things, and Broadway is picturesque and friendly.

Don’t expect

A lot of partying - it's a pretty chilled place with a relatively mature crowd :)

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2016

We loved

EVERYTHING. The check in was smooth, the staff friendly, and nothing was too much trouble. The rooms were perfectly equipped, very classically designed, could do with a little modernisation, as rest of hotel feels a nod towards that. Very comfortable sleep. The pool is wonderful, and the spa was very good. Food excellent and the breakfast was beautiful. The Royal Oak, about a mile away, did a great roast!

Don’t expect

A party hotel, this is all about relaxing

Rating

Stayed on 28 Aug 2016

We loved

Our room was lovely and spacious and we enjoyed the spa, especially the aromatherapy massage. The outdoor heated pool was nice to relax in too. Recommend Prinknash Bird Deer Park, children and adults can interact with the birds and animals.

Don’t expect

We found the Brasserie menu a little limited

Rating

Stayed on 23 Aug 2016

We loved

The Food was amazing and we had such a relaxing time in quiet surroundings. Would be lovely place for a wedding, two going on during our stay, but the grounds are so large, we were not affected

Don’t expect

Indoor pool

Rating

Stayed on 5 Aug 2016

We loved

Lovely huge room, bags of character in main building, very helpful staff. We visited Slimbridge wetlands reserve which we enjoyed

Don’t expect

Anything but good service

Rating

Stayed on 14 Jul 2016

We loved

The rolling countryside and ancestral site. Recommend Cleeve Hill walk

Don’t expect

A swimming pool at the spa

Rating

Stayed on 18 Jun 2016

We loved

Lovely setting and great location. Recommend Bhoomi in Cheltenham. Indian restaraunt of the highest quality for food and service.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Jun 2016

We loved

The spa and brasserie

Don’t expect

Wild party scene

Rating

Stayed on 10 May 2016

We loved

The personal service.......nothing was too much bother for staff at Ellenborough and their service was impeccable. Montys brasserie provided a great 3 course meal however you do need to book in advance for a weekend break

Don’t expect

A huge spa area; it is a small space but perfectly suited to the surroundings!

Rating

Stayed on 16 Apr 2016

We loved

The hotel itself, the friendly staff and the countryside.

Don’t expect

The food at the restaurant is good, but slightly below expectation for us. The service at the restaurant and for breakfast – though very friendly – felt poorly organised. Overall, we felt that the hotel could benefit from a more professional approach.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Feb 2016

We loved

Swimming in the heated outdoor pool while the air temp was -3C. And the hotel and grounds are stunning! The staff are super friendly and the room was lovely.

Don’t expect

Individually styled rooms. It's quite a large hotel so on the edge of boutique. 

Rating

Stayed on 17 Jan 2016

We loved

Service – we felt like royals upgraded to the Arkle Suite, which was fantstic and really made us both enjoy my birthday weekend. Breakfast to the suite and the birthday cake sent upon my fiancee's request were both of excellent quality. We thoroughly enjoyed the spa, which was fairly simple and boutique, but very relaxing and fulfilled our purpose for the trip.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Jan 2016

We loved

The grounds, the spa and the food in the restaurant was fantastic. The old part of Cheltenham was lovely to walk around

Don’t expect

A lively bar

Rating

Stayed on 29 Dec 2015

We loved

The welcome: we arrived late on a dark and wet evening after a lengthy drive. As we drew up, the Hall Porter emerged  through the rain and warmly welcomed us and immediately dealt with our cases and parking. A great start and this level of service continued throughout our stay. The room: we were delighted by our spacious, clean and well-appointed room with a proper-sized bathroom. The food: we had dinner on two evenings and both service and food were excellent. Breakfast was also very good. Our fellow guests: the ambience was so relaxed it was easy to fall into effortless and friendly conversation with fellow guests, especially around a warm fire with an open hearth. The buildings: there is much of interest, both architecturally and historically.

Don’t expect

The hotel and facilities are very much as described. We were not disappointed and, although not officially open, the swimming pool would have been available if we had asked.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Dec 2015

We loved

The bedroom, decor at the hotel and such a restful place. We were able to unwind, and did not want to leave! All perfect!

Rating

Stayed on 9 Dec 2015

We loved

Ellenborough Park made you feel like you were the Lord and Lady of the Manor House. What a great place to stay! The room we had was lovely, with big windows overlooking the fields, and a huge bathroom! Excellent tea and coffee facilities in the room. The food in the Brasserie was excellent, and you felt like you were in a quaint hunting lodge. The service was excellent.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Dec 2015

We loved

The ambiance, the staff, the building and the food.

Don’t expect

To be treated as anything other than special.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Nov 2015

We loved

Staff were very patient with our puppy. It was also nice that the hotel had a nice path through some fields towards the racecourse so we could take him for long morning walks. I had a facial and it was one of the most relaxing ones I've had in a while.

Don’t expect

Lively nights. I also didn't receive any extras that was supposed to come with my Smith membership but that is nothing against the hotel itself.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Nov 2015

We loved

Our upgrade to the Tower Room. Felt like the best room in the hotel with stunning views all around, up a spiral staircase. Bucolic location. Fabulous pool. If you are in Cheltenham in early October, check out their annual Book/Literature Festival.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Oct 2015

We loved

The fabulous heated outdoor pool which can be used all year round - our 6 month old daughter particularly loved it! The afternoon tea was also wonderful - freshly baked scones and delicious pastries. Excellent support from hotel, providing cot, blanket, baby bath and nappy bin as well as babysitting service. Really helped us to relax and enjoy the break.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Sep 2015

We loved

The attention to detail from the staff and in all aspects of the hotel.

Don’t expect

A lively bar area, this hotel is made for relaxation.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Sep 2015

We loved

The excellent room, the beautiful building, the walks around the grounds, the attentive service!

Rating

Stayed on 7 Aug 2015

We loved

The attentive of all the staff from the moment we arrived to leaving. The amazing food- both Sunday lunch in the Beaufort and dinner in the Brasserie. The spa, the room and the location. Simply perfect.

Don’t expect

Not a lively busy evening place although sure it gets busier when Cheltenham Races is on. It's peaceful and just perfect for reading, swimming, playing games and enjoying a quiet stroll.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Aug 2015

We loved

The bathroom, friendly staff, outdoor pool, beautiful historic building.

Don’t expect

Vegan food

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jul 2015

We loved

Outstanding service, food, breakfast, comfy bed, heated outside pool, amazing spa.

Don’t expect

Inexpensive wines. Quite a high mark up, but a great selection.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Jul 2015

We loved

A little nook in the Grand Hall, great for snuggling together with an afternoon tea or cocktail. Great service and food in the restaurant.

Don’t expect

Great food in the brasserie.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Jul 2015

We loved

amazing service, beautiful location, quality of room

Don’t expect

the quality of the spa

Rating

Stayed on 14 Jun 2015

We loved

Lovely building and grounds, with extensions in a sympathetic style. Great staff and service.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Dec 2014

We loved

The room was huge and comfortable, with an amazing bathroom, which had a lovely big bath tub and separate shower. The cocktails in the bar were delicious, and dinner in the Beaufort dining room was one of the best meals we've had. The lounge was a lovely place to sit after dinner, by the open fire.

Don’t expect

Nothing, it was perfect.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Dec 2014

We loved

I liked the service, and the boot room was a nice touch. Eight out of 10.

Don’t expect

Room drains seemed a little smelly to me.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Oct 2014

We loved

I loved the personal touches. Ten out of 10.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Oct 2014

We loved

Spa was lovely also the outdoor pool. Dinner was incredible.

Don’t expect

The relaxing areas could be more intimate.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Oct 2014