Once home to the British royal family and the spot where the infamous Profumo affair began, Cliveden House – near Maidenhead – has a storied history.
Today, Cliveden House is a 376-acre (151ha) National Trust property, where you can explore the beautiful gardens and whimsical woodlands. The grand house itself is stunning – especially its decadent interiors. Whether you’ve booked yourself in for a spa treatment or afternoon tea or just want to visit the grounds, here are the best hotels to stay in near Cliveden House – bookable on Culture Trip.
If you’re going to visit Cliveden House, why not get the full experience by staying there, too? With rambling National Trust property grounds, a world-class spa and formal dining, it’s no wonder Cliveden is royally approved – Meghan Markle stayed here the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. For an extra-special stay, opt for one of its hot tub rooms. Alternatively, gather your loved ones and book into the luxe three-bedroom Spring Cottage.
With eclectic artwork hanging in every room, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into a gallery rather than a hotel at River Arts Club. The collection is peppered across the individually designed rooms, from the lavishly large suites to the cosy – and turreted – single room. Besides admiring the art, you can book spa treatments, laze in the River Thames-flanked garden or mosey on down to the cigar cellar for a hand-rolled Cuban cigar.
Far from your regular country pile, Taplow House Hotel is a must-visit destination for foodies. The fine-dining restaurant is open all day long; book the champagne afternoon tea on the terrace to sample its freshly baked scones while keeping an eye out for the Taplow deer that roam the grounds. Also, the hotel is just an eight-minute drive to Cliveden House or a short walk into Maidenhead, making it perfectly positioned to explore the area.
Lying between Reading and Maidenhead, the Bird in Hand is a stylish pub, restaurant and hotel, dating back to the 14th century – it was once the hunting lodge of King George III. Breakfast is included in your stay – go for the shakshuka – and be sure to cap off your day of exploring the area with a visit to the pub’s sun-filled beer garden. Here, you can sip on ale, craft beer, lager and cider from the award-winning Butcombe Brewery Co or head inside to dine on 28-day dry-aged steak.
This palatial, Grade II-listed estate makes the most of the 300 acres (121ha) of land it sits on. As well as a 27-hole golf course, you’ll discover a sprawling spa, an indoor pool, three restaurants and 13 tennis courts – all Wimbledon-grade, which is why the hotel annually hosts the pre-Wimbledon tennis exhibition, the Boodles. Rooms are expansive, too – most with roll-top tubs and many with four-poster beds. However, you’ll have to wait a bit before staying here, as it’s currently undergoing a refurbishment, with an expected opening date in 2023.
A stay at Sir Christopher Wren is the ultimate weekend getaway. As well as being half an hour by car from Cliveden House, the hotel is minutes from both Windsor train station and Windsor Castle itself. It sits on the banks of the River Thames, and its summer terrace is an ideal spot for a sundowner before retreating to one of the historical and contemporary rooms and suites for a bit of shut-eye.
With velvet-clad walls, ornate mirrors and copper roll-top tubs, there’ll be nothing standard about your stay at the Crazy Bear Beaconsfield. Here, more is certainly more, and it extends from the rooms to the common areas – expect a mounted zebra head and glitzy chandeliers in the bar or head to the terrace for an al fresco Moroccan-themed lounge. Plus, Cliveden House is just an 11-minute drive away; therefore, you can be back in time for dinner – modern English or Thai is on the menu.
In the 1970s, French chefs and brothers Michel and Albert Roux bought the Waterside Inn and turned it into a foodie haven, with the riverfront restaurant securing its three-Michelin-star status in 1985 – something it’s held ever since. Now run by Michel’s son, Alain, the Waterfront Inn remains an in-demand spot for fine dining. Stay in one of its cosy rooms so that you don’t have to travel too far after your meal, and spend the next day exploring pretty Bray.
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