Cliveden House – Berkshire
Hotel Type: A opulent hotel fit for royalty. This county house hotel has a remarkable history dating back to the late 17th century. It is a popular National Trust property with wonderful hospitality.
Location: In Berkshire, located in 376 acres of tranquil rolling countryside. It is a half an hour train journey from London Paddington and has wonderful proximity to the Thames.
Style: Opulent Italianate and Palladian grandeur.
Rooms: 48 bedrooms and the lakeside Spring Cottage, a separate house perfect for entertaining.
Our Favourite Room: Gemma loves any of the Hot Tub Rooms. The Classic Room with Hot Tub in particular! Mainly because of the super relaxing feel and the amazing decor.
Ideal For: A ‘Downton Abbey-like’ experience
Swimming: The secluded outdoor heated swimming pool is famous for being the spot that the scandalous Profumo affair started. There is also a heated indoor pool and three hot tubs (2 outside and 1 inside).
Dining: Head to The Cliveden Dining Room for a delicious locally sourced and fresh dining experience. The menu changes seasonally and is governed by English ingredients. Head over to the old stable block The Astor Grill for a more informal approach to dining.
Activities: Explore the National Trust parkland where you will find peaceful water gardens, magnificent formal gardens, maze, fitness trail and children’s play area, take one or two of their walking routes, play a game of tennis or squash, hire a boat and head along the river Thames or we love the idea of a boat picnic, sunbathe at the outdoor pool, treat yourself to a spa treatment, try foraging, archery or an art class, head to the Cliveden Dining Room for afternoon tea or just curl up in the library with a book.
Spa: The spa is rather wonderful. Hidden behind the brick walls of the garden and enveloped in tumbling scented roses and lavender the luxurious spa has heated indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs both inside and outside, a sauna, aromatherapy steam room, 9 treatment rooms, fitness suite and even a hair dressing studio.
Children: Children are very welcome here.
Furry Friends: Dogs are welcome for £35 a night in select rooms. Welcome treats and a dog bed will be provided.
Accessibility: Cliveden treats all their guests as individuals and therefore have a range of facilities catering for people of all abilities. Including lower level switches, easy access to terrace and ramps located around the building.
Low Season Price From: £495 per night to stay in the Club Room and includes breakfast.
High Season Price From: £565 per night to stay in the Club Room and includes breakfast.
Open: All year round!
Please note that any stay at Cliveden House is subject to a charge of £18 per guest to the National Trust; this charitable donation will however be waived upon production of a valid National Trust membership card.
Set on a lofty ridge in the Chilterns, Cliveden House is a sight to behold. Surrounded by 375 acres of gardens and woodlands, gently stretching to the Thames below, it evokes magnificent times gone by. From far away and right up close, you can’t help but marvel at its perfect proportions and grand architecture, whilst inside, the ornate furnishings and décor are most definitely not your normal five star hotel affair. Home to princes, dukes and earls and latterly the Astor family, it was built for decadence and entertaining. The formal gardens are perfect for summer afternoons, whilst a toasty fire in a carved marble fireplace with a glass of something, is where can wile away the hours of a winter’s evening. Whatever you need can be asked of the extremely helpful team here – friendly, yet discreet, nothing is too much trouble. Just an hour from London, the Grade 1 Cliveden House is like no other place to stay.
Filled with antique furniture and original paintings the rooms and suites all have their own character, with vistas over a wing of the house or across the gardens to the river. Named after former occupants, from writers to royalty, from presidents to prime ministers, you glean the glorious history of Cliveden. Club Rooms are in the wings of the house, with queen size beds, and one with its own hot tub. The larger Classic Rooms look out over the spa garden or courtyard, they all have beautiful bathrooms and two have their own hot tubs. You can choose between traditional and modern with the Double Deluxe Rooms, some look out over the legendary swimming pool and these also one that boasts its own private terrace and hot tub. The Mansion House Double Deluxe Rooms have the added luxury of a complimentary butler’s pantry (minibar to you and us!) With high ceilings, marble fireplaces, luxurious hand made beds and exquisite period features, the Junior Suites are amongst our favourites here. The interiors of the Deluxe Suites and Mansion House Deluxe Suites almost compare with the views of the estate from the large windows. Beautifully proportioned, and some with dressing rooms and free-standing baths, they ooze decadence. The Parterre Suites look out over the immaculate formal garden and are without doubt, the pinnacle of five star living. We’d choose the Lady Astor Suite with its private terrace for six. Families or couples on a clandestine weekend can hide away in Spring Cottage – a three bedroomed river bank haven, with private gardens down to the water. You even get your own mooring and a butler (at an extra cost) if you wish.
Dining at Cliveden really is a grand affair. Traditional dishes with an inventive take and deep flavours, paired with an extensive wine list, it’s hard to fault. You can’t help but think white tie dinners in the exceptionally grand Cliveden Dining Room, but it’s remarkably relaxed, where local and seasonal produce adorn the menu. Set in the old stable block, the Astor Grill has a brasserie feel to it, serving delicious British and American classics. No stay here should go without a traditional afternoon tea – not surprisingly very popular, especially with a glass of Veuve. In true party style, there are numerous rooms around the house where you can privately dine. Straight from Louis XV’s hunting lodge, the French Dining Room is sumptuous, whilst the Cellar Room is intimate and cosy.
Families are made very welcome at Cliveden. Extra beds in rooms are easily arranged and there are kids menus and babysitting. Children can use the pool during designated hours, if you haven’t lost them in the maze beforehand.
No stay at Cliveden should go without a trip along the Thames. The hotel has its own flotilla of private vintage launches, where you can float downstream with a picnic, or sip champagne cruising slowly towards sunset. Guests can stroll around the estate, with its resplendent walled, water and parterre gardens. There are marked walking trails through the woods and grounds – don’t forget to take a picnic with you. Archery, falconry and clay pigeon shooting are on offer for those wanting something a bit more active. Alternatively, if it’s a massage that’s calling, the Spa is the place to visit. Fully equipped with a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and a fitness studio, there’s an also extensive range of therapies, treatments and classes. The huge indoor pool is perfect for relaxing by, as is the “Profumo” pool outside – the only listed pool in the country. And tennis players can choose from an indoor court and outdoor court.