A childish sense of delight fills one on entering the 240 acre estate of Coworth Park, as does the urge to experience everything on offer here, something I’m not sure it’s physically possible to do within a 24-hour period. The question isn’t what you can do here, it’s what you can’t. I’ve even been here before, twice, but my awareness of not having delved further than the tip of the iceberg is making me all too aware that every moment counts.
There is nothing fusty or chintzy about this country house hotel, rather it is a stylish contradiction to the traditions and formalities we usually associate with England. Owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Coworth Park is a Dorchester Collection property and celebrity hideout, where each and every space is light and airy, with state-of-the-art facilities and innovative, fashion-conscious interior design.
There are many horse-themed artworks dotted around the hotel due to the hotel’s proximity to Ascot Racecourse, not to mention Coworth’s own reputation for equestrian pursuits. A team of experienced instructors offer everything from pony lessons for wannabe polo princes and princesses to accompanied rides around the estate for those wishing to explore the landscape from the unique perspective of the saddle. Taking the concept of ‘pet-friendly hotel’ to another level, Coworth even invites you to check-in your own pony or horse when you stay; treating your pride and joy like royalty and having he or she ready and groomed whenever you should fancy a canter.
Meanwhile, the stand-alone futuristic-looking spa with eight treatment rooms and an 18 metre swimming pool with underwater music, meant that was most of the day gone already. After a pleasurable swim, I unwound with an infusion of herbal tea and a magazine in the plush, cocoon-like relaxation room overlooking the grounds ahead of my hour long aromatherapy body massage. There is even a silent area for those who want complete peace.
The tone is blissfully hushed, with no visitor permitted to wear heels due to the disturbance, while the long, white corridors lead one to think that they take well-being extremely seriously here regardless of whether you are popping in for a treatment or spending the entire day here. My therapist, Shevon, almost whispered on greeting me, whilst seeming genuinely interested in my health and what I wanted to achieve from the experience. I was then invited to select an oil from the signature Aromatherapy Associates collection to suit my mood, from Deep Relax, Revive or Renew, which I opted for due to its heady rose, neroli and geranium scent, reminiscent of warmer, sunnier days and specially designed to uplift spirits whilst rehydrating dry skin.
There are golf-style buggys on hand to return you to the mansion if you’re too sleepy from the experience to walk back afterwards, for it’s impossible to do anything but relax (or eat) after a day at the spa here. No visit to Coworth Park would be complete without lunching at either The Barn or the light-filled Spatisserie in your white spa robe and slippers, taking a traditional afternoon tea in the tranquil eau de nil drawing room whilst being lulled by a harpist and sipping a glass of chilled Laurent Perrier (Vintage Champagne Afternoon Tea £46).
In the evening a stroll around the landscaped gardens ensured that I had appetite enough to dine at the one Michelin star Restaurant Coworth Park which, under Executive Chef Adam Smith, received the accolade soon after my last visit and is attracting residents and non to enjoy one of the loveliest dining rooms in the county, a celebration of autumn leaves. Joyfully, bearing in mind the superb wine list and sommelier’s selections, we didn’t have to drive home.
There are 30 rooms in the main mansion house and 40 in the stables and I can vouch for all sizes being exquisite. Like most things in life, however, you get what you pay for, and the best rooms at Coworth Park are absolutely worth it. We were certainly delighted with The Arbuthnot Suite, one of the mansion’s premium rooms measuring a staggering 124 m2.
Overlooking the lime grove, polo field and meadows, it boasts a generous living/dining room with a supersize tv, bar and Nespresso machine, a four poster bedroom with separate walk-in wardrobe and dressing area, an enormous marble bathroom with underfloor heating, double sinks, walk-in shower and a copper free-standing bathtub invitingly stocked with Mitchell and Peach toiletries and a book ready and waiting for you on the bath bridge.
It becomes clear that a minimum of two nights is essential if you actually want to come up for air whilst getting the most out of your stay here. The hotel have a YouTube video dedicated to this very room, therefore it’s only natural to want to spend a fair amount of time hauled up in it doing cartwheels or pretending to be the Cadbury’s Flake lady. I know I did.
Stable Superior Rooms start from £318 per night. A Mansion House Premium Suite from £1,270 per night at Coworth Park, Blacknest Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7SE. For more information and reservations please visit the website.