We’re backing Ellenborough Park as our next Gold Cup winner. This is an educated bet: the sports-loving hotel has thoroughbred good looks, 90 gorgeous green acres of National Trust land, and a herd of indulgent extras. Keen flutterers will enjoy the views, too – rooms overlook the finishing line at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Rooms overlook Cheltenham Racecourse
Stunning grounds, protected by the National Trust
Best-of-British food, with two restaurants
A bottle of Prosecco on arrival, and 10 per cent off any 55-minute spa treatment
In the know
An equine equation: white shirts + cashmere + tan leather accents. Spruce up for the Beaufort; T-shirts and chinos are fine for the Brasserie.
Don’t weigh your case down with binoculars for spying on the horses/race-goers, the hotel has telescopes for this purpose. Ladies/gents yearning for a smooth mane can request hair straighteners from reception; phone chargers and dental kits are also available. Prestbury is supposedly Britain’s most haunted village: bring your preferred method of protection against the undead – garlic, black salt or holy water, perhaps?
Also need to know:
Bring your dog too, for £25 a night. Canine companions aren’t allowed in the Main House, though, and not all rooms are pet-friendly. The original entrance has been converted into the ‘Cove’, a little business centre with a computer, printer and fax. Look out for the first owner’s initials, TG (Thomas Goodman), carved into the stone around the arch. After a relaxing treatment at the spa (we’d plump for an algae wrap or Nemaste of India: body brush, scalp, hair and full-body massage), get all your five dailies in one go, with a trip to the spa’s juice bar.
Southam Road, Southam, Cheltenham, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucestershire GL52 3NH, United Kingdom
2.5 mi / 4.0 km from city centre
- Valet parking
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
- On-Site parking
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Concierge desk
- Room service
- Onsite laundry
There are two: Beaufort Dining Room is the bigger, and more formal, with original Tudor fireplaces, stained glass Oriel windows, and fine dining to match; the Brasserie serves burgers and British classics in a cosy, sports-themed setting.
Cold? Snuggle up by the fire. Hot? Sit outside and enjoy the breeze. Ardent sports fans should sit closest to the TV in the Brasserie bar, which screens all the big sporting events.
Lunch is served only in the Brasserie between 12 noon and 2.30pm (Tuesday to Saturday); Sunday lunch is 12.30pm to 4pm in both restaurants. Dinner is normally 7–10pm, but the Beaufort Dining Room is closed SUnday and Monday evevings..
The room service menu is thorough (soups, salads, sandwiches and mains), and available 24-hours a day.
Fans of whisky and cigars will love the bar area (where both are on tap), tucked away in the Brasserie. The barmen mix up a mean Lady Ellenborough: cucumber, Hendrick's Gin, Chase Elderflower, lime juice, sugar syrup and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne.