Luxury English Hotel & Spa, Stoke Park Country Club & Spa
- Reviewers name – Michael Grenville
- Title – Editor of Gentlemans Butler, luxury blog and lifestyle services provider
- Occupation – Editor and Consultant
- Review description – Visited Stoke Park Hotel, near London for two nights
- Location – Buckinghamshire, near London
- Date – January 2013
Two night luxury stay at Stoke Park to unwind and recharge.
I live in Putney and so a quick trip on the train to Windsor where a car collected me and then a 15 minute journey saw me leave London and land myself in the middle of 300 acres of glorious parkland, lakes, historic gardens and monuments created over the past one thousand years. Stoke Park is one of Europe’s leading five star Hotel, Spa and Country Club, a unique combination of the traditions of an exclusive members’
club and sporting, leisure, entertaining and hotel facilities, only 35 minutes
from London and 7 miles from London Heathrow.
Since its creation as the first country club in Britain in 1908, Stoke Park has become a fusion of heritage-rich elegance and contemporary luxury, where some of the finest sporting and leisure facilities in the world can be enjoyed.
I would highly recommend staying in the The Pavilion, which houses 28 contemporary luxury bedrooms and is perfect to utilise the spa, as this is in the same building.
In total the hotel has
- 49 Luxury Bedrooms and Suites,
- 3 Restaurants (including Humphry’s, 3 AA Rosettes), Bars and Lounges
- 27 hole Championship Golf Course, designed by Harry Colt in 1908
- 4,000 sq. ft. Gymnasium, Fitness and Spinning Studios
- Health & Beauty Spa and Salon with 13 Treatment Rooms
- Indoor Swimming Pool with Hydro-Seats
- 13 Tennis Courts (six grass, three indoor and four all-weather)
- Crèche, Games Room and Outdoor Playground
- 8 Private Rooms for Entertaining and Conferences
- 14 Acres of Private Gardens
Although the estate has a recorded history of over 900 years, it was John Penn (1760-1834), a soldier, scholar and poet, who was responsible for most of what can still be seen at the estate today. The Mansion was designed by James Wyatt (architect to George III) who worked on the development of The Mansion and monuments from 1790 to 1813. In 1791, Humphrey Repton was commissioned to upgrade Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s landscaping of the grounds. The estate was used as a private residence until 1908.
Stoke Park has always had a close relationship to Pinewood Studios (four miles away) and the British film industry. Two James Bond movies, Goldfinger (1964) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) were filmed at Stoke Park. The epic duel between James Bond (Sean Connery) and Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) is still considered to be the most famous game of golf in cinematic history. The famous ‘mini break’ and rowing scenes from Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) were filmed in the Great Hall, Lakes and The Pennsylvania Suite with Hugh Grant, Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth.
1 – Standard of Service – very welcoming, professional, members club feel
2 – Description of Product/Service – (information and quality of service, ingredients) –
I would recommend staying in the Pavilion as this offers the wonderful convenience and comfort of a modern 5 star hotel whilst set in the traditional surroundings.
After arriving, my luggage taken to my room, I walked through the great hall to the Orangery which is set in the old house where one is surrounded by grandeur; looking out through the huge windows which seem to go on forever to vistas associated with sport, film and celebrity. A duck salad, glass of mineral water and apple tart was just what was needed, after which a wander round the hotel, a quick nap and then off to use the pool.
The swimming pool situated in the Pavilion has towering windows which bring the outside in, and in general the spa has a real fitness theme, slightly more than a floating off spa feel, however I thoroughly enjoyed my swimming as even just a little sunlight starts to send one off to thoughts of summer holidays.
Later on I sat in the hall, had tea and read in front of the fire mmmm.
Showered and changed I had dinner in San Marcos, pasta, beef, a glass of red and crème brule; with a modern European feel San Marco’s is friendly and fuss free in a five star way and as I often do, asked for advice for my wine, as this introduces me to new things and my red did not disappoint.
After a good sleep full English breakfast in The Orangery was a good start as there was a very gentle buzz of business breakfasts and a mother and daughter catching up. A read of the paper and then off for a walk around the grounds which even on a damp wet morning is good for the soul.
I must say that the reception staff were very friendly and there is even hotel transport to ferry you however small a distance.
I am not a golfer, but even a novice can appreciate that if one was then you would have a broad smile on your face. I do play tennis and on another occasion would certainly have used the fantastic indoor courts or the Wimbledon standard grass courts in the summer where the Boodles Tennis Tournament is held.
I skipped lunch and headed for an afternoon in the spa, swim, sauna and then into the relaxation area where herbal tea, nuts and raisins where just what I needed.
Very relaxing I read for about half an hour then Roisin my therapist greeted me with a smile and escorted me to the treatment room. Beautifully decorated, candle lit and warm, even with a heated bed I felt in my zone as I do like a bit of luxury pampering. For me the room, therapist and products all work together to relax. Stoke Park have recently moved to using Thalgo and Terrake and my treatment was the Terrake Tailored Massage, something I had not had but would thoroughly recommend especially as I can suffer from tight leg muscles. I would later find out that apparently therapists should focus on my legs, arms and neck, because I walk a lot, use the computer and for stress.
I genuinely loved this because the oils from Terrake smelt and felt fantastic and the therapist was not only a nurturer, as the best ones are, but she knew about massage and the body. It entailed all the niceties of an eye pillow, heated bed, the bed being lifted up at the end, so save your back muscles and a smile, which is vital.
I genuinely felt several notches less stressed and was now starting to unwind.
Another read and back to my room for a bit of tv, a hot chocolate and a relax it was time to get ready. My room’s bathroom had a superb walk in shower that did not send water all the room, one of my pet gripes is luxury hotels where bathrooms really do not work as they should.
I was heading off to Humphries, Stoke Park’s award winning restaurant. After some emergency help from hotel staff due to some inclement weather attacking my trousers !! which was much appreciated I really enjoyed Humphries as this is beautifully decorated and upmarket and one really felt like being on a night out. Very busy from large groups, couples and friends I had a five course meal, fish, soup, lamb finishing off with desert wine and coffee… top marks.
Afterwards I recommend you find the Chapel, where I sat and just took in the beautiful old setting which has sofas, chairs and a roaring fire, it’s like a very old upmarket snug.
A good sleep, off for a smaller breakfast, eggs, mushrooms toast and coffee, another swim and back to my room for a tea, read of the paper and then my car picked me up for the station.
A piece of true English elegance done well; I have a feeling this would be great for many occasions but this certainly worked as an executive recharge.
3 – Suitability for Gentlemen – Very much so, particularly as it feels like a cross between an old English House and a members club, both of which are true
4 – Comfort? – English 5 star luxury
5 – The Luxury/Pamper Factor – the staff and your surroundings
6 – Above and beyond the call of duty? – the welcome
7 – Punctuality/Duration – On time
8 – Gentlemans Butlers Rating – 85%
19 – Gentlemans Butler suggestions – NA
Stoke Park Park Road Stoke Poges Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG
01753 717171 www.stokepark.com
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