Tucked in rural Buckinghamshire in Southern England you’ll find the estate of Stoke Park; home of the ideal country retreat packaged up beautifully with mind-blowing facilities and delightful service.
Why We Love This Hotel
Where do we start! It’s the combination of stunning surroundings, glamorous buildings, amazing facilities, being family-friendly and being fabulously well situated that has us totally hooked on Stoke Park!
The location of Stoke Park is rather perfect. With its vast 14 acres of private gardens, you feel as if you are in the middle of your own country estate and yet you are literally 35 minutes from London and 7 miles from London Heathrow. It’s a great place to get a taste of the quintessential English weekend break away without having to travel for miles.
It’s hard to ignore that such a location has also made it the star of several films and TV series (Pinewood Studios lies just 4 miles away); the Spa and Leisure corridors are decked with glamourous photos of just some of the estate’s more famous moments and are well worth a peruse.
Best Time To Visit
As you are in England if you want to enjoy sunny climates then the warmer months of May to September are a lovely time to visit. However, there is much to entertain indoors at Stoke Park and there’s nothing quite like being in the English countryside, snug around a huge fireplace as the elements do battle outside, so really Stoke Park is welcoming all year round. I can also imagine it being rather magical in the snow.
How To Get There
If you are arriving by car it takes a little over half an hour from London and the hotel is near to both the M4 and the M40. Being just 7 miles from London Heathrow it’s super accessible by taxi or the nearest train stations are Slough and Gerrards Cross. There’s even a helicopter grid reference provided so you can make your entrance in style.
Style & Character
The multi-award winning, 5 AA Red Star hotel was founded in 1908. Present day gives the very best combination of the traditional glamour in the historic Georgian-era Mansion building and the relaxed contemporary style of the separate Pavilion building which houses the Spa, several of the bedrooms and other amenities. Basically, you get the very best of both worlds and we thoroughly enjoyed being able to switch between the two. The hotel has the air of a relaxed, exclusive club; and indeed, the Golf course and Spa are huge drawers for members. The Mansion itself is a bewitching experience; the Great Hall is divine in its elegance with a huge chandelier and dramatic staircase and the sophisticated restaurants make full use of the sweeping garden views.
Service & Facilities
The facilities here are remarkable. Enjoy a round of golf or two on a 27 Hole Championship Golf Course that has been the inspiration behind many of the world’s most famous holes. Relax body and mind at the award-winning health and beauty spa which boasts a stunning Spa Garden with a Scandinavian Sauna and Outdoor Hot Tub. Inside there’s a large swimming pool with huge floor to ceiling glass windows bringing the outdoors in and steam rooms. If fitness is on your agenda then you’ll be torn between the state-of-the-art 4,000 sq. ft. Gymnasium, over 50 fitness classes per week at the Fitness Studios and the 13 Tennis Courts (6 grass, 3 indoor and 4 floodlit artificial clay)! Add to that a wealth of children’s amenities; a Crèche, Games Room and rather brilliant Outdoor Playground and you have a facilities list to die for! Personally, I loved my treatment in the Spa’s Nail Bar; my therapist was wonderful and I left relaxed and happy. As we often travel with our children, the playground was very well received. I would recommend you take in the lovely stroll from the Mansion, through the gardens and along to the playground, the adults will love the scenery while the children enjoy the promise of adventure!
There are 49 luxurious Guest Rooms and Suites. The Mansion rooms are more traditional in style, many feature Four Poster Beds, gorgeous marble bathrooms, balconies and huge, open fireplaces. Don’t think that the Mansion guest rooms have all the glamour though; the Master Suite in the Pavilion is quite something, with a vast private lounge and dining area and even 3D television! Personally, we were delighted with our Executive Suite which was located in the Pavilion. We found the space you get a huge bonus with a small family and were also charmed by the quirky layout and funky interior design that nicely blends the old and the new.
It would be remiss to ignore the excellent treatment of our little people too. To say that this is a family friendly hotel simply doesn’t go far enough. Their beds were topped with character bedding and they had mini robes provided as well as mini slippers (which they adored wearing down to the pool for the children’s swim sessions). There was also a goody bag packed with lots to entertain allowing the grown ups of the group just that little bit more breathing space to enjoy a glass of something chilled over dinner. Very thoughtful and much appreciated.
When choosing your room, it is hard not to be swayed by the celebrity of each room! The Pennsylvania Suite was THE mini-break room in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary and certainly doesn’t disappoint in the flesh. It would be hard to choose a better room if romance is on the cards. Having said that, if you are travelling with children then the larger rooms in the Pavilion would be my top pick.
Food & Drink
You are spoilt for choice here and I would definitely recommend that you frequent all three restaurants as well as the various bar and lounge areas. Breakfast is rather exceptional served in the Orangery (also a great spot for dinner with children) as you have the option of both a hot and cold buffet and also can order from the menu; always my preference especially when travelling with children as they can eat straight away while the adults relax with a coffee and wait for their food to be served. Take lunch in San Marco, the trendy Italian-style brasserie in the Pavilion building and maybe sneak in a relaxed coffee or aperitif in the bar or lounge too. Finally, end the day in the stunning 3AA Rosette Fine Dining Restaurant Humphry’s; we were totally seduced by their delectable cuisine and personable service that shines throughout the hotel.
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