Cheltenham has always been synonymous with British horse racing heritage, but as we discovered, it’s a fantastic weekend getaway for dog-lovers too. The Ellenborough Park is located just a stone’s throw away from Cheltenham’s iconic racetrack but is so much more than just a race week destination.
This five star hotel was originally a 15th century English country estate that’s been meticulously restored to offer 61 luxury bedrooms and suites. We were one of the first doggy-journalists to get the opportunity to experience the hotel’s dog-friendly rooms, which are located in a new courtyard beside the main house.
The dog-friendly suites each feature a private garden, perfect for pups who need a ball throw (or fifty) to soothe their nervous energy. Each room is tastefully decorated with a muted colour palette and textures, accented with all the luxury features a discerning dog-friendly traveller could ask for. Picture heated marble flooring, indulgent goose down sheets, and designer toiletries, and of course, a dog-bed and bowls for your pooch.
Outside of your room, most of the hotel is dog-friendly too, except for the great hall, the pool area and The Restaurant. There are also plenty of walkie spots to choose from within the Ellenborough Park’s 90 acres of picturesque British countryside.
The hotel’s outdoor pool can be found within a maze of topiary and offers a sun-soaked oasis for those looking to spend a relaxed afternoon in the sunshine. The water is perfect and so is the atmosphere; and guests can also ring the bar to order some poolside cocktails.
While the fine-dining restaurant understandably doesn’t allow dogs, TeamCocopup Charlie was warmly welcomed at the Horse Box restaurant with a water bowl and some crunchy treats by the staff.
The Horse Box offers plenty of classic British dishes with a contemporary twist. We sampled the warm salad of jersey royals and middle white pork terrine to start, followed by the succulent Angus Beef Ribeye steak, and finished off with a vegan-friendly rice pudding for dessert.
Weather permitting, we highly recommend enjoying your meal in the veranda – which is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the racecourse over a glass of bubbly.
We may have only spent one night at the Ellenborough Park, but our stay at this beautiful, countryside estate was enough to restore and re-energise us for whatever challenges 2020 still has up its sleeve.
Rooms at the Ellenborough Park start from £164 inclusive of breakfast