Tewkesbury Park hotel and golf resort review
My room, my room, my kingdom for a room – as long as it’s the majestic Richard III Suite at the imaginatively upgraded Tewkesbury Park hotel and golf resort.
Set at the confluence of the mighty Severn and its River Avon tributary, historic Tewkesbury boasts a wealth of black-and-white half-timbered mediaeval houses and a notable abbey.
In 1471 the Tewkesbury Park site was the stage for the defining battle of the War of the Roses, which pitted the rival English royal houses of York and Lancaster against each other.
The hotel stands atop a low hill at the end of a quarter mile drive lined with the 18-holes of a beautifully sculpted par-73 parkland golf course, affording a stunning 360-degree panorama that takes in the Cotswolds, the Malvern Hills and the foothills of the Welsh mountains.
It’s also very convenient for Cheltenham, which explains the flood of Irish guests at Gold Cup time each April.
Tewkesbury Park is a work in progress. When we arrived the front of the hotel was shrouded in scaffolding and plastic sheeting. What could be seen as we entered the reception area looked tired and 70s dated. But wow!
What a difference when we reached the stunningly luxurious Richard III suite – definitely an all-time Top 10 favourite for us. And how about the suites’ spectacularly large wet room with its twin overhead showerheads, soft, fluffy towels and generous luxury toiletries?
Take a bow, interior designer Jane Clayton, a creative genius who side-steps stereotypical big chain hotel styling to create truly individual rooms that, along with the friendly and ever-attentive staff, make guests feel like they are enjoying the heartfelt country house hospitality of well-to-do long-term friends rather than being mere faceless travellers simply passing along an albeit luxurious commercial production line.
Having become a hotel back in 1976, Tewkesbury Park had a chequered existence, passing through the books of several operators before the McIntosh clan assumed ownership in 2014.
Being located just five minutes drive from the M5 motorway, which links Bristol and the West Country to Birmingham and the North, Tewkesbury also has strategic importance to the present day’s business community, offering, with it’s golf and leisure amenities, a full-service meetings amenity.
The first phase of a two-year renovation programme saw all 85 guestrooms receive a complete refurbishment, featuring stylish new décor and furnishings, ultra comfortable Hypnos beds and 40-inch flat-screen TVs. All the suites are now named after personalities from the 1471 battle.
The leisure facilities are extensive. Golfers can use an academy course, a practice range, a putting green and a pro shop as well as the main 18-hole challenge, which is just 500 yards short of championship length.
New on the leisure front are two spa rooms while the gym is being re-fitted with state of art Matrix weights. Other amenities include a large indoor pool, a sauna, steam room, croquet lawn and squash and tennis courts.