The Royal Treatment
Tomorrow, May 19th, is the wedding of Prince Henry (yes, Henry) of Wales to the American Ms. Meghan Markle. Millions of people around the globe have been fascinated by their story - though that tends to be true of all Royal Weddings. Even if you did not receive an invite to the rumored $42 million event, you can still certainly enjoy the royal treatment on your next trip to England. Both Harry and Meghan are sticking to tradition and are staying in separate places this evening - Harry in Coworth Park and Meghan in Cliveden House. Both of these hotels are stunning examples of the grandeur to be found in the English countryside. The best part about these two locations? Despite their past - one as a royal residence and the other as property owned by the Crown and leased out to selected individuals - both properties are now luxurious hotels where you can spend the night...or the week.
Coworth Park Hotel is a five star 'Country House Hotel' located in Ascot on 240 acres of gorgeous Berkshire parkland. This dazzling Georgian manor house is known for its superlative service and hospitality. A fabulous Drawing Room opens to a terrace with uninterrupted views of the surrounding estate, the perfect spot for an indulgent afternoon tea. Dining is classically British, featuring local specialties as well as game and produce from local farmers. Guests also enjoy the variety of activities available onsite from polo (a full stable of horses in kept for guest's use), to a full service spa featuring eco-friendly treatments. Unquestionably, this is one destination that speaks to the equestrian, though lovers of the outdoors will certainly enjoy the elegant grounds.
Junior Suite at Coworth Park
Guests enjoy the Equestrian activities on offer at Coworth Park
Cliveden House is quite possibly one of the grandest properties in all of England and is certainly the most opulent of all Country House Hotels. A mile-long winding driveway takes you through 370 acres of gorgeous National Trust land, though you have to know where you're going as Cliveden has no sign posted. The truly monumental Fountain of Love greets you as you approach the mansion itself, built in 1666 as home to Frederick, Prince of Wales. The interior of the great hall was even completely redesigned to receive Queen Victoria in the grandest style. The grounds feature a magnificent formal walled garden and water garden, as well as Japanese and Renaissance gardens. The meticulous $22 million refurbishment has maintained the unique character of the mansion, and the accommodations range in size from large to truly gargantuan (and are, naturally, richly decorated). A spa, impeccable service, delectable dining options, furnishings worthy of a museum, and numerous activities (including a vintage flotilla) keep guests flocking back in droves.
Cliveden is known for its stunning gardens
Every suite is impeccably decorated at Cliveden
All this being said, part of why England is such a wonderful destination is because the countryside is dotted with an endless supply of the finest Country House Hotels anywhere in the world. The English invented these posh, charming, hotels, and they certainly know how to do it right. From quaint, intimate, hotels with only a handful of rooms overlooking the ocean, to gargantuan former royal residences with sprawling gardens and fine antiques, there is truly a destination for everyone. But why choose just one? Rent a car or hire a driver and spend some time touring the country and stay in several of these fine hotels - you certainly wont be disappointed.