In recent years, the concept of a ‘staycation’ has soared in popularity. Our Travel Team here at Xexec are constantly fielding enquiries from clients who are searching for a relaxing and luxurious weekend break within the UK.

One of the more popular destinations is Stoke Park, and so at their invitation, Tricks of the Trade headed over there last week to give it a thorough going over.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Stoke Park, or to give it its full title; Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel, is just a short hop from London. Indeed despite the December-like rain, the drive took me just 40 minutes.

A key point to note is that clients booking through Xexec will receive the following complimentary benefits at Stoke Park:

  • Full English Breakfast for up to two guests
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Upgrade on booking subject to availability
  • Full use of leisure facilities including tennis courts and classes
  • £50.00 spa credit per room

The first thing that strikes you as you drive into the hotel complex is the impressive size of the grounds. I suppose having a championship golf course on site does help that impression, although I admit my attention quickly shifted to the errant golf balls that were landing a little too close for comfort, as I made my way towards the main buildings.

I say ‘made my way’ because by that point I had slowed to a crawl while scanning for a sign that would let me know where we should be checking in. The 49 rooms and suites at this hotel are split, in a somewhat unusual arrangement, across the Mansion and Pavilion buildings. The bottom of your reservation does contain detailed instructions on where to proceed upon entering the grounds. However, it is fair to assume that many of the guests have not carefully read the small print of their reservation or may not have it to hand as they drive in.

Upon locating the correct check-in desk at the Pavilion building we were greeted by a pair of friendly staff members and then escorted up to our room. We had been assigned a Deluxe Garden Suite Pavilion room which is a ‘middle’ room category in the Pavilion building. The Pavilion bedrooms and suites, opened in 2008, are designed to offer a more contemporary feel than the fine art and open fireplaces found in the Mansion rooms.

I am told that the general policy wherever possible is to place/upgrade guests with children to the Pavilion building. This is mainly to allow for easier access to the pool and other facilities which are housed in and around the Pavilion. The rooms are also slightly larger which makes the inclusion of a cot/rollaway bed less obtrusive. I was travelling with my young son, hence our Pavilion room.

Our room was located on the first floor (of two) and was essentially a Junior Suite.

View from entranceway to Room 103

The bathroom is located immediately to the right as you enter the room. While not the most luxurious of spaces it got all the important things right. It featured toiletries by Pecksniff’s which were pleasant enough. The bathroom consisted of a toilet, bathtub, double sinks and a separate walk-in shower complete with a rainforest shower head. The water pressure was superb and unlike many hotels I’ve stayed in, the ‘sloped floor’ drainage system worked perfectly.

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Emerging from the bathroom, the left-hand side of the ‘hallway’ consisted of a series of cupboards, one of which also housed the mini bar.

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The bedroom itself was fairly spacious. Up against one wall was a large HDTV with a good range of channels including the full Sky Sports package. To the right of the TV was a Nespresso coffee machine. A kettle and tea-making facilities sat on a chest of drawers next to the window.

We were given a Wifi code at check-in that could be used on unlimited devices. It was valid for four days, which means no annoyance of waking up every morning and realising you’ve been logged out overnight, as is the case in some hotels. The Wifi was fast throughout and good enough to allow streaming via BBC iPlayer and Netflix with no buffering issues.

View from entranceway to Room 103 (2)

The centre of the room was dominated by a very large coffee table. We had been left a nice welcome amenity consisting of a fruit basket and some chocolates.

Stoke Park welcome amenity

There was also a comfortable large couch which faced the TV. Unfortunately, the couch also provided the only downer with the room as it was stained in a number of places, and the stuffing was emerging from various crevices, it had definitely seen better days.

Along another wall stood a desk with a comfortable swivel chair. There were a number of sockets on the wall under the desk. Some plugs within easy reach to avoid people having to fish around under the desk would definitely be a welcome addition though.

Junior Suite desk

There was an extremely comfortable King bed and I was pleased to note, easily accessible sockets next to both of the bedside tables. So many hotels seem to ignore the possibility that guests may actually want to charge their phones next to their beds while they sleep.

View from the room.

View from room 103

Breakfast and other dining options

At check-in, we were told we had a choice of venue for our breakfast the next morning. There are in fact three main dining options at Stoke Park; Humphry’s, The Orangery and San Marco, with breakfast available at the latter two.

San Marco is an Italian brasserie offering a relaxed cafe vibe and feels decidedly un-hotel like, which is a real pleasure. If you were here for a few days and wanted to change things up and ‘get out’ a bit, San Marco’s allows you to do just that without having to leave the grounds. And if the weather decides to co-operate, which it did for the most part on the morning we were checking out, there is also the option of alfresco dining on an outdoor terrace.

We decided to head instead for the Mansion building which houses The Orangery.

View of Mansion building
Decidedly improved weather
Mansion building at sunset
Another brief moment of sun
Seating area outside The Orangery
And a third…


For the most part, I’ll let the pictures of the breakfast speak for themselves.

Seating areas at The Orangery.

In a side room, a continental buffet had been set up. This was well, continental. Which meant that if you had any hope of lasting until lunch, the a la carte menu required significant attention. Fortunately, Xexec clients have the “Full English” breakfast included in their room rate which covers pretty much anything you will see listed below. I was impressed to see a dedicated kids menu too.

(Click to enlarge)

In a large room off The Orangery is Humphry’s; Stoke Park’s fine dining restaurant. The menu has been curated by Executive Chef Chris Wheeler (of Hell’s Kitchen and Great British Menu fame).

Spa & Gym

As I mentioned earlier, the Pavilion building houses the pool, spa and gym facilities. I have to say I was hugely impressed with the gym. It is definitely one of the best hotel gyms I’ve come across. Spread across two floors it features high-end Star Trac equipment on the bottom floor. The top floor houses the free weights, weights machines and a spinning studio.

Both the pool and gym were both fairly full while I was there, so I’ve relied on the hotel’s own images here.

Stoke Park gym lower floor

The spa is was equally impressive featuring 11 treatment rooms, a private atrium complete with a five-metre tropical aquarium (which had my little one thoroughly fixated), deep relaxation room, steam rooms and an indoor pool. There is also an outdoor hot tub.

Kids @ Stoke Park

At this juncture, it seems as good a point as any to discuss the kid-friendliness of Stoke Park. Make no mistake, children are very welcome here. There is a fabulous outdoor playground (pictured), a games room and even a supervised crèche. Coupled with customized themed bedding and kiddie camps, this is a hotel that makes children feel very much included.

Children's playground at Stoke Park

Nevertheless, there is also a subtle awareness that many people who come to Stoke Park simply crave peace and quiet. That’s why in the last 12-18 months, separate adults-only changing rooms have been introduced. There are also dedicated kids splash times, outside of which children under 16 are not allowed access to the pool.

Activities – Tennis & Golf

Stoke Park has a total of 13 tennis courts (3 indoor, 4 floodlit clay courts and 6 grass courts) as well as full-time LTA coaches. Then again, Stoke Park’s tennis affiliation is long established, hosting the pre-Wimbledon Boodles tennis tournament each summer.

The golf facilities are also deserving of a mention. In addition to a 27 hole Championship golf course, there are also excellent practice facilities including a putting green, driving range, short game area and a swing studio.

Outdoor grass tennis courts at Stoke Park

Championship golf course at Stoke Park

How to book (and a money-saving tip)

As a reminder, Xexec bookings include the following extra benefits:

  • Full English Breakfast for up to two guests
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Upgrade on booking subject to availability
  • Full use of leisure facilities including tennis courts and classes
  • £50.00 spa credit per room

And here’s how you might be able to knock some money off your room rate/spend at the hotel too:

Stoke Park is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. In mid-August, an offer appeared on a number of my American Express cards. I have written before about the great savings to be had by using Amex Offers. The offer looked like this:

The offer looked like this:

Small Luxury Hotels of the World Amex offer

Just before I checked out I saved this offer to the card I was using to pay and sure enough, I received a £25 credit back to my account within a couple of days.

If you have the offer on multiple Amex cards you could even ask the hotel to split your bill across the cards in chunks of £150 to receive £25 back on each of them. As long as you were targeted this offer it is valid until the end of January 2018 so you have plenty of time to redeem it.


All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my brief stay at Stoke Park and was impressed with the property as a whole.

The barometer I tend to use when visiting a hotel ‘on business’ is whether I would choose to return for a purely leisure stay. In this instance, I would gladly opt to stay here again. Yes, there were a couple of small service issues and a dirty couch isn’t great but the beautiful grounds, excellent facilities and abundance of things to do mean that I will be returning here before too long.

For bookings, contact the Xexec Travel Team on +442082016483 or email