A visit to Stoke Park is like stepping out of reality and into a movie, where you’re the star, the hotel is the set and the staff are like an army of runners, on hand to tend to your every need. In fact, the movie analogy is quite apt, because it is pretty much the most successful British icon of the screen since Michael Caine. Seriously, with appearances in a host of films, including numerous James Bond movies, Bridget Jones Diary and Layer Cake, it’s great fun playing a game of ‘Spot the Scene in the Movie’ when walking around its considerable 350 acres.
Of course, if such juvenile activities aren’t your thing then the immaculate parkland, lakes, historic gardens and monuments created over the past one thousand years of Stoke Park’s history will surely keep you occupied! Moreover, with an on-site leisure club providing world-class facilities, you’ll probably need a day just to figure out what to do with the rest of your stay!
Feeling energetic? How about a spot of golf on the 27 hole Championship golf course, a quick game of tennis (indoor and outdoor), a swim or a workout in the state-of-the-art 4,500 sq.ft gym. If the mere thought of all that running around breaks you into a sweat then a fast-track to the Spa is in order. With dozens of treatments on offer, a stunning five metre tropical aquarium and a deep relaxation room amongst its facilities, if you manage to leave here feeling stressed then you’ve got serious problems!
As with everything else, the hotel itself also provides two very different styles of accommodation. For a quintessential English manor-house experience, The Mansion is the place to book your room. Completed in 1795, The Mansion is home to 21 traditional bedrooms, each furnished with fine art, antique furniture, large super-soft beds and of course, the all-important creaking floorboards and stairs to complete old-world experience. If romance is in order then these are the rooms to be in.
For a more contemporary style, Stoke Park built The Pavilion in 2002. As you’d expect, these rooms come fully kitted out with the latest gadgets, including iPod docks, HD televisions and funky lighting. However, the designers have clearly gone to great lengths to ensure these rooms are as characterful and inviting as the rooms in The Mansion, with copious pieces of modern art, use of luxurious fabrics and eye-catching pieces of unique modern furniture.
Dining options also range from the traditional to the contemporary. Afternoon tea overlooking the grounds in The Orangery is a must, whilst those after simple lunches can visit their Italian brasserie. Come dinner-time, most guests will be preparing for the modern British cuisine in Humphry’s Restaurant.
Room prices: from £200/night