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Cliveden

Berkshire, United Kingdom

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PROPERTY FEATURES

The Premises 

Ever since John Profumo first laid eyes on Christine Keeler as she basked in Cliveden’s pool, it’s been clear that this Berkshire boutique hotel was destined to be a Mr & Mrs Smith retreat of choice. As well as being a celebrated haunt for politicos and literati, this majestic neoclassical manor, with its air of not-so-faded grandeur, has had decadence, scandal and intrigue bound up in its walls since the day it was built – to house the Duke of Buckingham’s mistress, no less.

Cliveden

Cliveden House Taplow Berkshire, SL6 0JFUnited Kingdom

SMITH EXTRA

Compliments of the House 

A half-bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates a stay

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: 11am. Later check-out is possible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Breakfast is not usually included in room rates. An £18 National Trust donation a person (£6 per child) must be paid at check-out. For non-guests a donation of £7 at lunch or £2 at dinner is charged.

FACILITIES

Pavilion spa, state-of-the-art Technogym gym, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, squash courts, boathouse with two boats, helipad, library, DVD/CD selection. In-room amenities: TV, DVD/CD player, roll-top baths, under-floor heating.

PACKING TIPS

Brush up on your Great Brit literature and bring something by George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling or Joyce Grenfell: they all spent time at Cliveden. On a more prosaic note, bring tipping change in case your car is given a clean.

SPA

Set in the rose- and lavender-filled gardens, the large, luxurious spa has both a heated indoor and an outdoor pool, a sauna, an aromatherapy steam room, an indoor Jacuzzi, outdoor hot tubs, seven treatment rooms all with water mattresses, and a manicure, pedicure and hair dressing studio. Take your pick of OSKIA's nutritional facials and beauty guru, Sarah Chapman's 'Skinesis' facial treatments; or try one of the hotel's own unique body therapies, which use Cliveden's own brand of body products to relax and rejuvenate. All therapies begin with a foot-bathing ritual while your therapist works out your particular needs. There's also a spa restaurant, should you get peckish between pampering sessions.

POOL

The Pavilion Spa boasts a heated indoor pool surrounded by loungers. The walled garden – the amorous arbour that kick-started the Profumo affair – is home to the heated outdoor pool, where waiters serve drinks and snacks to reclining guests.

ALSO

Take a pleasure trip by river – Cliveden has a flotilla of boats. Cliveden has its own three-bedroom riverside guesthouse, Spring Cottage, where you can request a butler to see to your whims for an extra charge. This holiday house also has history: Profumo and friends frolicked here in the run-up to the huge political scandal in the Sixties.

USEFUL INFORMATION

The additional charge of £18 a person is a National Trust contribution. A discretionary service charge of 12.5 per cent will be added to your bill. Extra beds can brought into rooms for £60 a night, plus VAT, and children are welcome throughout the hotel. Babysitting is £8 an hour (£10 an hour after midnight), with a booking fee of £30 plus VAT. There's a considered kids' menu in the restaurant.

Rooms 

Each one of Cliveden’s rooms – named after the illustrious personalities who have been part of the manor’s checkered history – has something uniquely appealing about it. But if forced to pick favourites, the Henry James suite, with its 10-mile view of rolling countryside from its marble bath tub, the Sutherland room with its palette of soft pastels and its astonishingly ornate chimneypiece, and the Chinese room, which is light, airy and impeccably styled in light golds, are all pretty special. Ask for a suite in the main house, overlooking the gardens, rather than rooms on the ground floor, which are located by the car park.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

The chandeliered, portrait-lined Cliveden Dining Room serves up a seasonally changing menu of elevated local fare. Mains include dishes such as wild roe deer with salt-baked beetroot, acorn squash gnocchi and Cornish turbot with artichokes; there’s also an evening tasting menu for those with decision fatigue. And for dessert? Decadent Maracaibo chocolate parfaits and velvety cheesecakes, of course. A less-formal gastropub-style menu is overseen by the head chef in The Astor Grill – a more casual yet cosmopolitan eatery (formerly Lord Astor's stable block). Dishes such as grilled sea bream with haricot beans and the cheese-topped Astor Burger with Monterey Jack, house relish and spiced slaw hail from both sides of the Atlantic, much like the aristocratic family.

Liquid Bliss 

Classical piano music adds a sparkle to the atmosphere in the Great Hall three nights a week, where guests sup signature Cliveden champagne cocktails and marvel at the majestic staircase, imposing fireplace and delightfully vintage furnishings.
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Experience the Extraordinary 

There are plenty of leisurely pursuits onsite: a soothing spin through the spa, a spot of tennis or squash, boats to borrow for a row along picturesque Cliveden Reach. The secluded pool (where the Profumo affair played out) is ideal for lazy summer afternoons and the magnificent grounds go on and on. Or curl up in one of the library’s squashy sofas – perhaps with something leather-bound by Rudyard Kipling or Henry James, who were both close with former owner Viscount Waldorf Astor. If all this opulence is making you feel profligate, drive north to hunt designer labels (for less) at famed shopping centre Bicester Village. Or have a nose around Windsor Castle (a 20-minute drive south) – one of the Queen’s grander gaffs – place your bets at the Royal Windsor Racecourse and tour Eton College to see where Britain’s leaders and aristocracy have been tutored for centuries. If visiting in June, pack a hat for the Royal Ascot races, and bring your finest blazer for the Henley Regatta in July. Sporting types can go a round on Lambourne Golf Club, pitch up at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club or take aim at the EJ Churchill clay-pigeon-shooting school. Windsor Great Park has wild deer, enchanting woodland trails and a 100ft totem pole. And, little ones (and big ones) will love Legoland® Windsor, where everything is indeed awesome.

Transportation 

Planes 

Land at London Heathrow and you'll be a 20-minute drive from Cliveden House. Gatwick's a little further (it should take 50 minutes).

Trains 

The nearest station is Burnham, around four miles away. Trains from London Paddington take 30 minutes.

Automobiles 

To get to the hotel on wheels, you’ll need to leave the M40 at Junction 2 and the M4 at Junction 7. From central London, the drive should take 40 minutes. From Maidenhead, take the A4 towards Slough.

Location

Cliveden House Taplow Berkshire, SL6 0JFUnited Kingdom

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