Ellenborough Park Hotel – Cheltenham
Updated: Apr 21
Last weekend I was treated to a lovely spa day by my partners mum. We went to the Ellenborough Park Hotel in Cheltenham, which I had been looking forward to for months, the place is absolutely stunning. Set in the beautiful Cotswold countryside, in perfect location for Cheltenham Racecourse (which it is themed after), it is complete with outdoor swimming pool and lovely walks.
The four of us arrived at reception and they sent us round to the spa, where we were greeted warmly and checked in. After changing we headed round to the outside pool (a bit chilly!) as it was a crisp, sunny day and we were assured it was heated. Provided you found a spot in the sun and kept moving it was lovely!
Then we headed back into the spa and took it in turns to have our treatments. The spa itself itself is quite small, we were lucky that we were the only ones there, as it only has 4 beds, but you wouldn’t want it much busier! But as it was just us it was perfect, and very relaxing, though they could most certainly do with comfier beds, that at least allow you to put your legs up. It has a sauna, steam room and hot tub. The only letdown is that there is no indoor pool, so if it was too cold outside or rainy, you wouldn’t be able to swim.
I went up for my full body massage, which was wonderful. The staff were well trained with magic hands, I really felt like they made the most of the time and would happily revisit for a massage. After the 55 minute treatment was up, I was taken into the relaxation room. I have definitely been in better. The chairs were comfier than in the spa, but it was too light and quite cold, so we didn’t stay in there long. It was only upon leaving here to head downstairs that I realised they had refreshments other than water, which would have been useful to know upon arrival.
Following our treatments we got changed and went for lunch (we only had a half day at the spa) in the main restaurant. It was busy, being a Sunday, and there were people getting ready for a wedding. The prices were reasonable and there was a great choice on the me up. The thing I liked the most was the fact that on the menu they had a map of where all of the food came from, and it was all local.
I ordered a chicken and bacon club sandwich, and we shared some chips and onion rings. The chips were delicious, crisp and fluffy with a good flavour. The onion rings were well done, not too greasy with a flavoursome batter and actually tasted like onion. The club sandwich was the thing that disappointed me. It was huge, so C and I decided to share, which was the right choice as we couldn’t have managed anymore. However, when it arrived I quickly realised it also had egg in it. I have ordered countless club sandwiches in my lifetime, and they have never had egg, so it’s not something I thought to check. Additionally, it wasn’t in the description on the menu – a fact I would say is quite vital. The hilarious thing is that D’s mum then went and asked the waiter for more bread – so I could make a new sandwich without egg, because I was allergic to it (I am not), forgetting that I had just ordered mayonnaise!! They were more than happy to do so, although by the time I got my new plate (so we could split the sharer) and bread, everyone else had nearly finished. The staff were very apologetic and I felt bad seeing as it was me who wanted to change my order, but it really should be mentioned in the description.
All in all we had a lovely day, with fabulous company, and I hope we can do it again soon.
I would most likely go back to the hotel, but I have definitely visited better spas for their value, in terms of facilities and cost. I feel that there is room for improvement and I would be willing to give it a second chance. I would like to eat in the restaurant again, as I can clearly see that the food is delectable, I just had an unfortunate experience.
Cost for a spa day is around £100, but on a rare occasion you can get a deal on the likes of TravelZoo and Groupon. Treatments start at around £40, depending on what you want and how long for. They do have seasonal offers on their website which are good value for money.
The restaurant has a great varied menu with an award winning chef, with lunch prices around £8-£10 for main courses, or a well priced set menu at £15 for 2 courses or £20 for 3.
I must say the staff were fantastic, and knowing what I know now I look forward to trying this place out again.