On my way to Hampshire, I stopped in Ascot to see Coworth Park, the still-new British hotel and spa for lovers of polo and horseback riding (including Kate and William, who came to Ascot last in May). It's also just 15 minutes from Windsor Castle and Eton College. Surprisingly, it's also only 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport, where I picked up my rental car. That first car ride was terrifying as I navigated my way through roundabouts, the left side of the road, insane drivers, and a manual car but I made it to beautiful Coworth Park. Doesn't the name make you think there should be some fabulous British drama set here about rich polo players, their love lives, and clashes with other players?
There is quite a bit of history at Coworth Park, owned by a number of regal families, but it didn't open as part of the Dorchester Collection until 2010. You can stay in the Mansion House, which is closer to the restaurant and lobby scene, or the renovated stables, which are great for families. Restaurant Coworth Park in the main building is sophisticated and delicious, but I loved dining at The Barn at Coworth Park best, a short walk away and in the original barn frame with a great stone fireplace and views out to the English countryside. The spa is housed in a separate, totally contemporary and airy white building, with 100% organic treatments, a nice gym, and a bar area to enjoy a healthy snack or glass of champagne.
I can't wait to go back when the flowers are blooming at Coworth Park and the entire exterior changes. It's a beautiful addition to the landscape of English country hotels and so close to London!