Cliveden House Hotel
Taplow, Berkshire, England
At a Glance
Magnificently luxurious country estate near London
Fabulous dining at Cliveden's Andre Garrett restaurant
Superb leisure facilities including spa, tennis and squash
Wonderful gardens and estate to explore
Great option for families and couples
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
It is very difficult to predict the weather in the United Kingdom - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but the UK does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a remote pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk in the country.
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Cliveden House Hotel is one of the UK’s leading luxury hotels. Set on a magnificent estate near Taplow in Berkshire, Cliveden offers aristocratic splendour, remarkable history and an irresistible air of intrigue, and as for those views over the Thames…
Cliveden is utterly unique. Situated on a glorious bend of the River Thames in rural Berkshire, this grandest of stately homes is the ultimate country pile – less than an hour from central London and conveniently just twenty minutes from Heathrow Airport.
From its origins in 1666 as the Duke of Buckingham’s private hunting lodge, where he would entertain his mistress and friends, Cliveden has seen more of the great and the good arrive up its winding estate drive than is probably healthy. Kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, schemers, movie stars and socialites – the roll call goes on and on, and the very palpable sense of history and intrigue that you’ll feel as you step into the Great Hall is very much part of the Cliveden experience.
The main house, lovingly refurbished in 2015, is the heartbeat of Cliveden. Here you will find most of the rooms and suites, along with bars, lounges, dining areas and the baronial splendour of the Great Hall, complete with tapestries, framed portraits and suits of armour. Ensconce yourself in a deep sofa by the fireside, slowly savouring an aged malt whisky, and drink in the quiet hum of rarefied country living.
The rooms and suites, the greatest beneficiaries of Cliveden’s makeover, are now beautifully unostentatious pads of luxury. Discreet state-of-the-art technology, Italian marble bathrooms and a contemporary classical décor create a sense of unfussy calm and space, and if you opt for one of the rooms or suites overlooking the Thames, you will be treated to one of the most sublime views in southern England. In our view it would be a shame not to stay in the main house, but if you do value privacy above all else, the riverside Spring Cottage is a delightful three-bedroom cottage where you can play Toad of Toad Hall to your heart’s content.
Dining is an extravagant experience at Cliveden and, under the precise and harmonious helm of head chef Andre Garrett, sacred gastronomic rites are flawlessly observed. If you are travelling in a private group, we can also arrange private dining in the cellars, or for a truly special occasion, amidst the Rococo splendour of the French Dining Room, transported and re-constructed piece by piece by William Waldorf Astor in 1897 from Madame de Pompadour’s dining room at the Chateau d’Asnieres. After your meal, repair to the bar and hatch plans!
Outside, beneath the shadow of an ornate water tower, are walled gardens that house indoor and outdoor tennis courts, squash courts, a fully equipped gymnasium, converted stables that now offer informal dining in the Club Room and the Pavilion Spa, complete with its very fine heated outdoor pool where the first sparks of the notorious Profumo Affair were allegedly kindled.
The estate itself is vast, and its 376 sylvan acres are yours to explore, as are the formal gardens with their statuary, parterres and pavilions – all beautifully maintained by the National Trust. Families can visit a storybook Play Den or enjoy one of the giant games in the water garden. Best of all, wander down to Cliveden’s Boathouse on the River Thames, where you will find a fleet of luxury vintage launches ready to take you on a private river trip. Whether your preference on board is an afternoon tea with the family or champagne and dinner with your beloved as the sun goes down, a short jaunt or an expedition all the way up to Henley, you’ll find one of the most exquisitely beautiful stretches of river anywhere in the world. Life at Cliveden is sigh-inducingly good.
Each and every room or suite at Cliveden is unique in its design, emanating the character of the past guests after which they are named. Located in the East and West wings of the house, the Club Rooms boast period features alongside modern amenities, all complemented by antique furniture. Complimentary WiFi is available in all rooms, along with flat screen televisions, luxurious Asprey toiletries and the fluffiest of bathrobes and slippers. Some also enjoy views of the expansive grounds or outdoor pool from the privacy of their own terrace.
Classic Rooms are slightly more sizeable, allowing space for a comfortable seating area, whilst the deluxe doubles each come with their own fireplace. Suites are spacious, ranging from 60 to 75m2, each boasting a handmade, king sized bed and high ceilings, as well as a separate or open plan lounge area. The Inchiquin two-bedroom suite is an ideal option for families, as the second of the beds can be separated to form twin beds.
For larger families, groups or those in search of a little more privacy, the separate Spring Cottage is well worth consideration. Two of the three bedrooms come with an en suite, and the snug, lounge, kitchen and bathroom are all recently refurbished and decorated to a high standard; fully kitted out with all the essentials and some little luxury extras such as a splash TV in the bathroom.
Children of all ages are welcome at Cliveden and free to use many of the facilities, including the outdoor pool. A selection of toys, games and DVDs are available for guest use and a babysitting service can also be arranged with some prior notice.
The facilities on offer at Cliveden are spoiling and plentiful and include tennis courts, squash courts, a fully equipped gym, heated indoor and outdoor pools and The Pavillion Spa, providing ample opportunity for both exploration and relaxation.
The two on site restaurants offer up menus of exquisite seasonal produce, and head chef Andre Garrett creates imaginative dishes which can be enjoyed a la carte or as part of an eight-course tasting menu. Afternoon teas come in delectable variations and can even be enjoyed from the Cliveden's own boathouse whilst drifting along the Thames.
A flotilla of vintage launches are available for hire to make the most of the Cliveden's location on the Thames; champagne cruises can be arranged, as can boat picnics and afternoon teas. The 376 acres of grounds, maintained by the National Trust, are rife with mazes, sculptures and woodland, and a children's playground and the manicured lawns are ideal for games with the little ones.
For the quintessential English experience why not indulge in a morning of clay pigeon shooting at EJ Churchill, a round of golf at Harleyford Golf Club or learn to play polo at Ascot Polo Club?
Days out to nearby Windsor Castle, Eton and Bicester Village designer outlet can be organised, as well as gastronomic excursions to nearby Bray, or family days out to Legoland Windsor, Lapland UK or The Roald Dahl Museum.
Location & directions
Taplow, Berkshire, England
Cliveden House Hotel is located near Taplow in Berkshire.
How to get there
Cliveden House Hotel is less than an hour from Central London, and just twenty minutes from Heathrow Airport. If coming by train from London Paddington, it is a 35-minute journey to Cookham, and a further eight minutes by road.
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