A stay at Buckinghamshire’s luxurious Stoke Park Country Club, Hotel & Spa will leave you relaxed and feeling like royalty
- Credit: Archant
At Stoke Park you’re treated like royalty - whether you have blue blood or not...
Used as a private residence until 1908, the rural Buckinghamshire palace then became Britain's first country club some years later when amateur golfer and course architect Harry Colt designed the 27-hole golf course (its now recognised as one of the world's best).
Since the 2000s, though, there have been two very different sides to Stoke Park Hotel, Country Club and Spa (prices start at £199 per room for one night).
The oldest and main building is the traditionally-furnished Mansion: with its floating staircase, grand entrance and pillars, high ceilings and royal portraits, it's a quintessentially British and entirely jaw-dropping piece of architecture.
Upstairs there are 21 traditionally-furnished suites, each named after a famous character in history and complete with a massive Victorian-style four poster bed, hanging chandelier, open fire, velvet chaise longe, television, mini fridge and expansive balcony with an outdoor seating area that overlooks 300 acres of parklands and lakes.
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Contrastingly, the newer Pavilion building - which boasts 28 spacious rooms and contemporary pop art including Andy Warhol prints and film posters - offers a modern 21st century update.
That's only half of the story, though, because Stoke Park is way more than just a five star hotel. Your stay can be treated as the ultimate relaxation retreat: spend the mornings taking a dip in the heated indoor infinity pool (which has its very own fishing tank) or warm up outside in the Scandinavian-style wooden spa and steaming hot tub which are situated within the lush greenery of the picturesque Spa Garden.
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Alternatively, for those that want to get up and active early in the morning there's the fully-equipped gym, extensive range of fitness classes, a choice of 13 tennis courts and of course the 27 hole championship golf course.
Stoke Park is equally suitable for children thanks to the mini football pitch, playground, indoor games room and splash times in the heated pool... with so much to do - for all ages - there really is no reason to leave.
But if you do want to explore, there's plenty to see nearby: just down the road are the historic towns of Windsor and Eton - full of quaint shops, independent cafes and boasting a picturesque bridge view across the River Thames - while central London is just 30 minutes away.
For film buffs there's Pinewood Studios and Harry Potter World, which brings me back to Stoke Park's very own connection to the movies.
You'll recognise it's golf course from the iconic James Bond film Goldeneye while Layer Cake and Bridget Jones' Diary were partly filmed at Stoke Park. Madonna, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem are among the famous faces to have been welcomed there in the last decade, too.
So if you want to feel like a celebrity there's no better place than Stoke Park.
In terms of dining, you're spoilt for choice with options including The Orangery, Italian-style restaurant San Marco but an evening meal at Humphry's is a must.
With in-house executive chef Chris Wheeler - who regularly appears on television on Sunday Brunch and Great British Menu - in charge of creating delicious British dishes with a twist, you'll be spoilt for choice by what tempting combinations his menu has to offer.
We'd recommend the scallops for starter, duck as a main and treacle tart for dessert - all delicious and made using locally sourced ingredients.
The presentation is faultless, too, while the fine dining staff are extremely attentive...
It's something that was immediately striking, from the moment we walked up the grand steps to be greeted by an incredibly friendly and welcoming front of house team: the standard of service at Stoke Park is impeccable.
Throughout our weekend stay at the rural Buckinghamshire palace there wasn't one member of staff without a smile.
By combining excellent service and extensive facilities with a stunning setting, escaping to Stoke Park is essential.
To book your stay visit www.stokepark.com