Home Travel ReviewsAccommodation Reviews Hotel Review: Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

Hotel Review: Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK

A five-star country house hotel, spa and restaurant, Ellenborough Park Hotel is just outside Cheltenham in the Cotswolds and has a brand new Spa Garden Retreat

by Rupert Parker
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Steeped in history and boasting 90 acres of glorious grounds, Ellenborough Park Hotel lies between the Cotswolds’ highest point and the gallops of Cheltenham Racecourse. It’s the only five-star hotel in Gloucestershire and dates from 1485. This sumptuous manor house weathered the centuries before becoming a boarding school for girls in 1947.

It was transformed into a hotel in 1973 but then got into difficulty and closed in 2008. However since 2010 it’s been lovingly restored with the magnificent centre staircase, oak panelled rooms and ornate plaster ceilings back to their former glory. It’s now home to laid-back dining experiences, a soul-soothing spa and rooms brimming with country house character.

New for summer 2023 is the Spa Garden Retreat,  a major  element of the hotel, expanding the already renowned spa facility, and it makes a virtue of the beautiful outside space. You walk down through a beautiful wooden pergola, enriched by honeysuckle and seasonal plants, to this exclusive escape. Located in a walled garden within the grounds, opposite the main spa, this area is for private use only. Facilities include a hot tub, sauna and an alfresco relaxing space with sun loungers – perfect for groups and romantic escapes. It’s available 365 days a year, whatever the weather.

Who for

Singles, Couples and Families who want to get away from it all and relax in complete comfort. It’s also perfect for business, with a selection of function rooms.


The 62 rooms range from traditional, classic, deluxe, classic to suites in both the manor house and the surrounding buildings. These also have an option of garden or poolside access. There are also twelve dog friendly rooms, as well as four Pooch Bedrooms which have their own large enclosed garden.

We stayed in a spacious deluxe room with a four poster bed with king-size Hypnos mattress. Inside the furnishings and walls were rendered in soft pastel colourings contrasting with the solid dark classic furniture. A sofa sat at the foot of the bed, a desk sat on one wall and by the window was a coffee table with chairs

Complimentary water and soft drinks in the mini bar, a Nespresso machine and kettle with a selection of tea, coffee and biscuits made us feel very much at home. The large bathroom had double washbasins, a deep roll top bath and a separate shower enclosure. Underfloor heating and Noble Isle toiletries added to the sense of luxury.

Food and Drink

The Taittinger Trailer Bar is home to the Horse Box Brasserie, a less formal dining area with comfortable seating. The Restaurant, exudes 15th-century charm, with stained glass, wood panelling and crystal chandeliers. The menus showcase local produce and the very best flavours of each season. Service is elegant and efficient.

You can also dine outside on the lawn from spring to late summer.and lunch is also served in the Spa Garden. Private dining rooms are available for celebrations and parties of all types and sizes.  A quintessentially British Afternoon Tea is served every afternoon in the historic Great Hall. Special mention must be made of the extensive breakfasts which include a wide selection of fruit and delicious homemade patisseries. 


There’s a heated outdoor pool available all year round and indoor gym facilities. The Elemis Spa has Jacuzzi, Sauna, Steam Room, Kama Relaxation Room and offers facial treatments and various massages. Outside is the ultimate paw spa

The  Spa Garden Retreat is a new luxury addition to the hotel. Inside, there’s a hot tub, sauna and lounging area, all to be enjoyed in complete privacy. It’s heated all year round to complement the outdoor pool and bookable for two to twelve people in 90 minute time slots. Unwind with a De-stress Body Ritual or energise with the Revitalise Facial Ritual.

Weddings are popular here. Venue hire includes The Old Chapel for the wedding ceremony, Old Chapel Pavilion and Mews Lawn for the drinks reception and De La Bere Court for the wedding breakfast.

For business and conferences, the range of function rooms includes De La Bere, Old Chapel, Cleeve Room, Elizabethan, Restaurant, Royalist, Old Chapel Pavilion and Cedar Pavilion. There’s ample parking for 134 cars with 5 disabled spaces and electric charging points.

How much

Prices for a night at Ellenborough Park start from £299 inclusive of VAT and breakfast based on a Traditional Bedroom sleeping two people. Whole day Spa Garden Retreat Packages start from £140 per person.


What’s nearby?

Ellenborough Park

The hotel is situated an hour from Bristol Airport and two hours from London by train. Transfer from Cheltenham Spa station takes around twenty minutes. There are many walking routes starting from the hotel’s extensive grounds, with wellies and rainwear supplied.

Cheltenham Racecourse is just under four miles away and the picturesque Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water is 17 miles. Further afield, around 50 miles, is the regency city of Bath.


Ellenborough Park provides the perfect country house experience in a historic setting surrounded by acres of parkland. Rooms and facilities have been recently refurbished and service is courteous and efficient. For wellness, the spa and new Spa Garden facilities are hard to beat.

You might also like: Hotel Review – Horse & Groom Village Inn, Cotswolds 


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