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Weekend Away: Coworth Park

The Dorchester Collection's Berkshire retreat is ideally situated for country pursuits

It’s hard even to begin talking about Coworth Park without inadvertently stumbling over your superlatives – the problem is, when it comes to this slick, majestic country house hotel, no other words quite do the job.

The Dorchester Collection’s eighth property, the Georgian manor house itself boasts a long and glorious past all of its own, including ownership by Lords, Earls, Baronets and, in the 1980s, owner of Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason Galen Weston, the man responsible for building the site’s first polo ground and stables to house his Canadian polo team.

The hotel is now a grand, perfectly preserved building surrounded by neatly manicured grounds and rolling fields, with thirty lavish rooms and suites, a futuristic spa a few seconds walk from the main building, and Coworth Village, a cluster of stable-style cottages with their own communal courtyard.

It’s ideally placed for those attending the races at Ascot (a mere three miles away), but we can think of plenty of reasons never to leave the grounds during your stay. Our suite was, like the rest of the hotel, light, airy and spacious, with the sumptuous furnishings and technical touches one would expect of an exclusive country retreat, but which are rarely done quite so well. At one end of the hallway was a plush sitting room and, at the other, a cosy bedroom and enormous adjoining bathroom (complete with huge copper bathtub), all with picture-perfect, sunlit views across the estate from large west-facing windows.

with picture-perfect, sunlit views across the estate from large west-facing windows

If you can tear yourself away from the room, however, there’s a whole range of country pursuits to indulge in (from shooting and fishing to mountain-biking, tennis, golf and even croquet), but for those looking for more of a sedate getaway there’s also the hotel’s excellent selection of restaurants and bars (including its signature Restaurant Coworth Park, which is frankly unmissable), kitchen masterclass experiences and, of course, the spa.

We’ve seen our fair share of spas, but again this one is done exceptionally well – simple and to the point, with a warm, low-lit lap pool, sauna and gym, all with views out across the fields.

There’s even a kids’ club, with activities and toys designed to cater for children of between two and eight years – though this is without doubt a country retreat which lends itself to child-free girly weekends and romantic escapes far before family getaways (though a family game of croquet isn’t without its charms).