Stoke Park Country Club Spa and Hotel

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Stoke Park Country Club Spa and Hotel

Date of travel

Aug, 2012

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Who would believe that no more than a stone’s throw from Central London there are some absolutely fantastic country house hotels. We’ve been lucky enough to visit a few of these ‘luxury retreats’ over the last few years, but this year, as my special birthday treat, Mrs C booked us into the Stoke Park Hotel and Club, Stoke Poges.

Nestled on the periphery of the internationally renowned romantic centre that is Slough, this is the perfect escape if you want to completely immerse yourself in relaxed, pampered luxury. As is common with most of the hotels I refer to above, the whole experience starts the moment you pull the car up outside reception. The efficiency and attention to detail are uncompromising: while we were completing the simple and straightforward check-in, our car was taken to the appropriate car parking space and our bags were put in our room before we even got there ourselves.

A personalised welcome letter awaited us in the room, together with a fruit bowl, some delicious handmade chocolates and a lovely view out over the spa garden and the fields and trees beyond. There are two main parts to the hotel; the Mansion and the Pavilion. As the name implies, the Mansion is the old part of the hotel, dating back to the 18th Century, whereas the Pavilion is the newer, contemporary part of the hotel, located above the Stoke Park Spa. We were in the newer part and we therefore thought it silly not to go straight down to sample the pool and spa. Those used to getting changed for a swim in their local municipal baths or leisure centre would be most confused by the changing room, which is more like someone’s lounge, sumptuously decked out in rich woods and plush carpets, but with all mod-cons including some nifty hi-tech digital lockers. The pool is immaculately clean, with some luxurious loungers scattered around for those who feel the need to sit back and chill. There’s even a terrace for those brave enough to venture outside, although the weather was beautiful throughout our stay.

Afternoon tea followed, but with a showbiz twist. Due to its frequent use as a backdrop to many film and television titles, the cakes were themed according to some of the more recent notables such as Bridget Jones’ Diary (a rowing boat) James Bond (Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies), Layer Cake, Bride and Prejudice… the list goes on. Notwithstanding, the freshly baked scones, the delicate and beautifully presented sandwiches, the locally produced jam and clotted cream were a delight, washed down with a glass of bubbly and some perfectly brewed Ceylon tea (the choice of teas available is comprehensive, from English Breakfast through Jasmine Flower, to Lapsang Suchon, Darjeeling and many more).

Our room was modern and fresh, with a huge bathroom in which we found a two-person bath, a walk-in shower, his’n hers sinks and more marble than you could ever eat. Big fluffy white towels were in abundance and even the light switch was a movement sensor type, so avoiding those late night fumbles with switches and blinding your partner in the main bedroom while trying all available switches in the vicinity. The huge 42” TV, possibly a little over-the-top we thought, had all the main TV channels and a plethora of movie titles in all genres available for a very reasonable cost. The mini-bar prices were also surprisingly reasonable – cheaper than some of the more mainstream hotels we’ve visited recently.

On our second night we treated ourselves to dinner in Humphry’s, the hotel’s Two AA Rosette fine dining restaurant. The meal was a delight, the service even better and the atmosphere was informal and relaxed to boot. Exactly as we like it. I took a seafood route, trying the Dorset Crab as a starter and the Halibut as a main. Neither disappointed and the dessert, ‘Humphry’s Snickers’, was interesting to say the least!

At no point during our whole stay did we ever feel anything other than welcome, special and most importantly, ourselves. The service, though second-to-none, isn’t overbearing in any way. The reception staff were always so courteous and the waiting staff were also very friendly, helpful when asked, but not omnipresent as they can sometimes be in such hotels. It was the perfect balance! Staying at Stoke Park isn’t for the budget traveller, but there again; compared to many it isn’t the most expensive we’ve seen either. We left feeling relaxed, spoiled, happy and longing for a return visit when we find another opportunity.


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