Muddy Reviews: Tewkesbury Park Hotel
Want a getaway that'll set your heart racing? Then put this stunning bolthole on your wishlist. With stand-out food, stylish decor and a truly cinematic setting Tewkesbury Park Hotel is a big hitter. Want to know what it's like to stay? Read our review here.
Perched high on a glorious hill, with views across Tewkesbury and the surrounding countryside, this luxury bolthole has one of the most seductive settings you’ll ever visit – with lush green grounds sweeping out for miles. What was once a deer park (and royal lodge) is now a sigh-worthy 176 acre playground and 18 hole golf course.
With a stand-out spa on tap, a highly acclaimed chef and restaurant in house, and awesome sunsets from the rooms and terrace, this seriously elegant hotel is definitely a big hitter in the Glos hotel firmament.
I’d been invited to try out one of the brand new Garden Terrace rooms that had been created during lockdown, complete with French doors opening onto a private space outside, and pooch-friendly too, a concept which seemed pretty darn perfect for a post-pandemic getaway.
The Tewkesbury Park Hotel does effortless chic very well. You’re greeted by a stylish, open plan reception and a Copenhagen-meets-Cotswolds design feel, the place is flushed with sexy teals, golds and designer wallpapers, with squishy velvety sofas and elegant book nooks to hole up in.
Located minutes from junction 9 of the M5, what began life as an 18th century manor house now has swanky modern additions that have been added over the years. Family-run and owned by Christopher and Claire McIntosh since 2014, Mr T and I immediately got that warm ‘extra mile’ feel to it as soon as you walk in – no being left to struggle with cabin cases here when you arrive – friendly staff were buzzing around and immediately happy to help, with the cleaning of communal areas non-stop but discreet in the background, which I personally found very reassuring.
It’s clearly the kind of stay you’d book to please the whole family. A golf course, tennis courts and gym are all on site, as is a luxury spa, pool and alfresco hot tub, plus tons of space for the kids or dogs to run around in.
SCOFF AND QUAFF
I’d heard about Mint – the acclaimed restaurant here – before we arrived, with head chef Anuj Thakur having quite the chatted-about rep for great food. A look at the menu shows you why, you’ll find a well curated collection of trendy ‘Small Plates’ and ‘ Main Plates’ on offer, giving eating here that gastro-grazing-chic feel. We had the dog with us, but the staff were more than happy to let us choose from the main menu (there is a also a more snacky but great-looking bar menu too) in the Cocktail Lounge or out on the stunning terrace.
Everywhere you turn here be prepared, it’s another ridiculously gorgeous view. Bets are on you’ll spend the whole weekend getting ‘just one one more’ sunset shot for the grid (I did). And the restaurant and bar with their floor to ceiling windows are exquisite for pulling up a chair by and watching the wildlife and walkers on the golf course. The table we chose in the Cocktail lounge has some lovely personal touches such as dog beds and water bowls too.
The choice was mouth-watering but with a neighbouring diner’s recommendation I went with the Murgh Malai Tikka Masala Curry, cumin pilaf, garlic naan, mango chutney’ (£16). It was absolutely delicious, beautifully prepared and portioned, and just the right side of not too hot too.
My partner in food crime had the ‘Homemade veggie burger, avocado & cheese, fries & beetroot slaw, pretzel bun’ (£14 (v). Veggie burgers, though I love them, can often be tasteless and slightly, well, meh. But not this juicy number, all wrapped up in a trendy pretzel bun it hit the spot.
I like it when a menu gets to the point and the pudding just simply named ‘Chocolate’ (£10) obviously had to be ordered. A bitter chocolate mousse, white chocolate & Grand Marnier crème diplomat with pistachio sponge and mint ice cream, for me it rocked an 80s dinner party feel, but in a really good way, and felt fabulously retro, one I’d definitely order again.
My other half, being a cheesecake aficionado, went for the ‘White chocolate and strawberry cheesecake with macerated strawberries and strawberry sorbet’ (£9). Easily describable as the perfect summer’s evening dessert, light, sweet and fruity beyond belief – a winner.
We ended up having a tipple on the terrace after dinner. With vistas over to the Malvern Hills and even Welsh Mountains that evening, we sat and sipped on a top-notch bottle of Comte de Provence Rose (£25) and felt the week’s frazzles and stresses melt away. Even if you’re not staying over, this has to be one of the best spots in Glos to come for a sundowner, bar none.
The Hotel has 93 rooms including 6 luxury historic suites. Think super king Hypnos beds, design-led Perrin & Rowe fittings and copper baths, free Wifi, fluffy dressing gowns and something for every budget.
The Garden Terrace Rooms had just been unveiled when we checked in, good-sized rooms with French doors leading to a landscaped, scented, private terrace, with sustainable English oak panels for privacy and endless views across the hills. You will feel like you’ve got your very own glorious pocket of Gloucestershire staying in these rooms, the setting is utterly idyllic.
The dog was in canine heaven bobbing in and out to meet neighbouring pooches. I loved the little touches too, such as the dog bed with treats, water and food bowl and a cute bandana all laid out, and a basket of cosy blankets for you to take outside if you need them.
The terraces themselves probably wouldn’t lend themselves to whipping your top off for some all-over tanning (if you’re that way inclined!!) but you’re perfectly screened for sitting out and sipping on a drink in total seclusion. The cute patio areas are furnished with a stylish bistro set to relax on, and a sun umbrella if this amazing sun trap gets too hot.
A great thing about our stay was the Vamoos app. I’d never heard of this before, or had it during a stay, but you’re sent it through with your confirmation and it makes everything super easy. From checking in digitally, to avoid any queues, to exploring ideas for what to do in the hotel or the local area it’s so useful. Plus, have a question? Who needs phones, when you can instant message reception from your sun-drenched terrace. (I tried it out, and they got back to me really quickly within 10 minutes). My favourite thing? It even hangs a digital ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door so you don’t have to leave your bed to fiddle with a flimy bit of paper and a knob. How clever is that?
Just when you thought this hotel couldn’t get any better you step into the spa. I was lucky enough to have a 60 minute Swedish massage to kick things off (£60) which was sheer bliss, you can make one bespoke to you too, rather than having something prescriptive off a menu, or go for one of the many other treatments – anyone for a 23 carat gold facial!? It’s a really imaginative and tempting menu of delights here.
Not that I can imagine ever not wanting to pop down here if you are staying, but if you are truly decadent and not leaving your room for the weekend you can also order in-room pampering, with the in-room spa bar option where the beauty therapists come to you.
The heated pool was lovely, and had timed entry when I visited, so it didn’t feel crowded at all. But the best bit? It has to be the giant alfresco hot tub outside and sun terrace. I could have sat in this bubbly beast all day long. Fringed with tropical potted palms and a Scandi wooden sauna, it was total bliss.
OUT AND ABOUT
You would struggle to get a better location – the hotel is on the southern edge of Tewkesbury, a lovely 10-15 minute stroll away across the green and worth exploring with its half-timbered houses, beautiful 12th-century abbey, a growing selection of indie boutiques and cafes. There is a great antiques arcade here, Tewkesbury Antiques Centre, perfect for picking up some cool vintageware and the newly opened Ice Cream Cottage is one of the Muddy Award 2021 Finalists, where they do some of the best scoops in the county.
You have the Cotswold Hills in one direction and the Malvern Hills in another for walks, cycling and more. Plus, you’re just 15 minutes from the bright lights, boutiques and bars of Cheltenham. Try out the Deer Park Loop – a 45 minute walk around the golf course, down to the river and through the historically significant “Bloody Meadow” (with a map available at reception so you don’t get lost), and bikes to hire if you’re looking to hop onto one of the many nearby cycling routes.
If you want your very own pocket of Gloucestershire for the weekend. Families looking for a luxe Cotswold break that has the whole package in one place; the sheer feeling of space here to run around in makes it kid-catnip. It was also big enough not to feel noisy, so it’s a treat to for any romantic R n’ R-seekers. Could you picture yourself relaxing on a private terrace, Sancerre in hand, watching the sunset melt away with your loved one? Then it’s heaven. It’d also be top of my list for a stylish weekend spa break with the girlfriends (and dog lovers will really rate it too).
Anyone who wants to hole up and crash for the night, there’s so much to enjoy here you’ll feel FOMO all weekend. This place has something for everyone so it’s hard to imagine who wouldn’t like it.
A stay in a Garden Terrace Room starts at £173 per night including a full Cotswold breakfast. Book in to a standard ‘Just Right’ room from £126 or opt for an opulent suite from £233 per night. Dinner for two, including two courses, with a bottle of wine came to £70.
For more details head to www.tewkesburypark.co.uk. Find the hotel at Lincoln Green Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 7DN. Tel: 01684 272 300. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org