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Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham, Cotswolds
A paradise for fans of horse racing, Ellenborough Park is a magnificent hotel complete with gables, castellations and a turret. It offers sweeping views across to the town's famous Racecourse, so on a clear day and with good binoculars you could keep tabs on the Cheltenham Gold Cup from here. But you don't need to be a horse enthusiast to enjoy Ellenborough Park. The hotel's other highlights include acclaimed food at its main restaurant; a well-equipped spa; lots of outdoor space; and wood panelling and antiques inside.
Set on a 90-acre estate on the north-eastern fringes of Cheltenham, you reach Ellenborough Park through the town's suburbs, so as a country retreat it might disappoint at first, but there are glorious rural landscapes almost on the doorstep. The hotel also has its own track across the estate to Cheltenham Racecourse.
Ellenborough Park is located in private parkland at the bottom of Cleeve Hill. In 15 minutes, guests can be in Cheltenham town centre or the Cotswolds AONB.
By car: the hotel is 2 hours 3o minutes from London, 1 hour 10 minutes from Oxford and 1 hour 15 minutes from Birmingham. The hotel has extensive free parking for guests.
By train: direct trains from London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa take 2 hours. The station is 15 minutes' drive from the hotel and taxis are available at the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
There's plenty of space to absorb everyone here, from families to romantic couples. We love that the ancient front door sports bullet holes from the English Civil War.
Service & Facilities
The carvings of the Jacobean fireplace in the restaurant are terrific.
- Heated swimming pool
- Beauty treatments
- Private grounds
- Room service
- Family rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
The staircase in the main hall is magnificent. Our favourite room is the Arkle suite, a wood-panelled haven with a four-poster, a 16th-century fireplace and a huge marble bathroom.
Cosy Doubles, Traditional Rooms, Classic Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Luxury Rooms, Suites
Facilities include: Hypnos bed, ensuite bathroom with shower, Noble Isle toiletries, free Wi-Fi, Nespresso coffee machine
Food & Drink
The honey-roasted duck breast with dates is exquisite, and there's an impressive wine list - and sommelier.
The restaurant: Ellenborough Park is offering its house menu from 12-3pm and 6.30-9pm. Classic British and European dishes, steaks. Mains from £15. Soup and sandwiches available 3-6pm. Afternoon teas Thursday-Sunday, 2-4.30pm. Cream Tea is available every day, 2-4.30pm.
The Horse Box pub: the hotel's second, less formal restaurant is currently being used to provide extra dining space in line with social distancing regulations.