Everybody has heard of the Dorchester Hotel. Most also know that it is to the world of hotels what Manchester United is to football or the Brigade of Guards to the military. What fewer people know is that it has an outstation hotel on the edge of Windsor Great Park near Ascot, named Coworth Park. Francis Fulford takes a look.
Coworth Park is a ‘white wedding cake’ classical building set in 240 acres of picturesque landscape. In such a setting and at such a location—Guards Polo Club is just across the park—it is hardly to be wondered at that the management have majored in equestrian attractions.
Coworth Park boasts its own polo ground, a polo school run by Guards, and stabling for up to 30 polo ponies. It also has six horses to hire out to guests who wish to ride around the grounds or explore the neighbouring 1,000 acres of Windsor Great Park, including top-of-the-range polo ponies—so if you have always fantasised about what it would be like to play polo on the back of such a skilled pony, then come to Coworth Park and let your fantasy come true. In fact, hotels such as Coworth Park are all about fantasy, at least for most of us—but then one of our jobs at CountryClubuk is to help you live out your fantasies at an affordable cost. And Coworth Park also has spare stables, so you can take your own horse to stay with you, and ride in the park; now that is a facility few hotels in the world can provide.
No modern five-star establishment is now complete without a Spa and fitness centre. It goes without saying that here they have attempted, and as far as I can see succeeded, in building the Spa to end all Spas. You may think, as I admit I still do, that Spas are for girls while the boys play golf or polo. Well, not at Coworth Park. Here the boys are far from excluded; for example, you can enjoy ‘ … a deep cleansing signature facial specially designed to suit the needs of men … ’ or a special men’s manicure during which ‘the arms and hands are exfoliated and massaged and cuticles nourished with oils … ’ and if you understood any of that then you are probably a candidate for a bit of ‘spa treatment’. If you didn’t, like me, then you might be better off pottering down the road and enjoying a round of golf at Wentworth.
Coworth Park is not a mega-hotel by any means. The main house has 30 en-suite bedrooms and there are some 40 further en-suite bedrooms to choose from in a mixture of cottages and a converted stables. The aim of the hotel is to provide a thoroughly friendly, unstuffy atmosphere, at the same time rendering the highest standards of service. This is not necessarily an easy thing to achieve—but they have done so at Coworth Park.
At times like these, waking up to a silence broken only by birdsong in the converted stables or the main house at Coworth Park is all peacefully restorative—particularly when you know that delicious meals will be cooked for you by a trained chef! This is a peaceful retreat with countryside or stables views, equestrian touches and a tranquil location. Indeed, a village-like atmosphere envelops these delightful, carefully restored rooms within the charming outdoor spaces.
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