Perhaps most obviously this is a place for a romantic getaway with your partner, but the cosy and intimate environment also made it an idyllic place to spend quality time with the best of friends, and celebrate their happiness in style.
The first thing to notice are the grounds and the exterior of the property – they’re charming – beautifully kept with sweeping views of seemingly endless countryside despite the accessible location. You get to it down a long driveway which automatically provides that sense of distance and escapism, but it’s clearly still got a regal sense to it.
Inside the hotel is the ideal balance of cosy welcome and formality. The 15th century manor house retains beams and intricate, grand finishes, but the addition of carefully chosen modern furnishings such as deep velvet sofas ties in perfectly, so there are lots of spaces to sit and relax with a glass of wine or a cup of tea under high ceilings and ornate paintings. It is a style that extends into the bedrooms – up winding corridors as is the nature of historic buildings.
For our group (five girls and a boy) what really stood out was that nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble. What was particularly lovely was that despite what feels like quite an intimate environment, it never felt as though we were in the way of anyone else. We had enough space, but we were integrated into the wider experience if we wanted to be.
The spa is small but perfectly formed. The pool is outside but heated to bath temperature. You’re provided with robes and slippers to wander around in. There’s a Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and a relaxation area to sit in post-treatment. There’s also a little seating area where you can have a drink before or after treatments without going back into the main hotel (there is a separate entrance for the spa).
The spa treatments are a really special part of the experience. Therapists use Ishga products, which are a marine based line from the Scottish Hebrides and therapists use them beautifully. It’s very much a luxury experience as opposed to a health spa – perfect for a decadent weekend.
The food at the hotel was delightful, and at dinner in particular it’s an elaborate affair – all very carefully presented and quite formal but with good sized portions to ensure you’ve had sufficient at the end of it. It’s all very much the type of food you want to Instagram – plenty of opportunity for food envy and every inch the type of experience that’s appropriate for a celebration.
The beauty of the modern hen party is that you can make it into whatever you want it to be, and sometimes that simply calls for a really decadent treat and quality time with your best friends. Ellenborough Park is not necessarily the first place you would think of for a hen party, and certainly it doesn’t fit the more stereotypical prototype, but it proved to be everything we could have asked for, for a group of friends who never quite get as much time together as we would like between the business of daily life. The result was really impressive experience, and one I would wholeheartedly recommend to small groups of friends and couples alike.
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