Five star freebies
No charge for kids to eat or stay at superluxe Stoke Park this month. Book up and chill out!
It ain’t no secret that I love Stoke Park for its world class spa and fine dining restaurant, but what also makes this 5 star, 3 AA rosette hotel in South Buckinghamshire unusual is how extraordinarily child-friendly it is – probably because it’s family-owned itself. My kids absolutely love it, and here are 7 reasons why you should also consider taking your own little people to experience it this summer.
1. Hello mega Summer deal!
Let’s be frank – Stoke Park is not cheap (well, what 5 star hotel is?!). But until the last week of August there’s a delicious discount in place where kids 12 years and under get to stay and eat for free, PLUS if you want to stay an extra night you’ll get 50% off your second room night. So your little people get complimentary brekky and dinner, plus free extra beds and cots in the parents’ room. We’ll take that!
2. The bedrooms are amazeballs
You’ll love the enormous beds, windows out onto the stupendous views, and indulgent baths big enough to fit the whole family. Children, of course, have rather different priorities.
My kids were most excited about their mini Stoke Park dressing gowns and themed bedlinen, and they took precisely 30 seconds to woof down the complimentary macaroons and personalised cookies. I don’t usually like to spend lots of time in hotel rooms as I like to be out and about but it’s testament to the Stokey rooms that we had a lovely evening after dinner snuggled up on a huge sofa watching a film. (Ready Player One thanks for asking – it’s great, your kids will love it!).
3. It’s awesome for sporties
The golf and tennis facilities at Stoke Park are bonkersly good – the golf course is one of the best in Britain, and the grass courts here are used for The Boodles tennis tournament. The good news is that sports-wise Stokey geared up for kids too – there are combined tennis and golf kids camps throughout August (or various Junior academies through into Autumn). If your children aren’t big on organised sport, you can take them to the indoor swimming pool at the various splash times. Book em in, have an espresso martini!
4. Kids can roam outside
There are acres and acres of grounds here, including a mini football pitch in the gardens overlooking the Mansion house, plus there’s a small outdoor play area with swings, slides and climbing frames, aimed at the 12 and unders. We went for a lovely walk and spotted this deer, just hanging out by the golf course.
5. San Marco is made for families
While fine dining restaurant Humphry’s may well be wasted on younger children’s tastebuds (unless your kids are more refined than mine and in all honesty that’s not hard!), the more informal Italian restaurant San Marco has family happiness written all over it. It looks cool inside with its banquette seating and neon art but when I ate here with my children I sat outside in a lovely patio garden where the kids could zip off between courses and do cartwheels and throw balls and occupy themselves. The food is excellent – I had a divine sea trout – and the children loved their pasta.
6. There’s a Games Room!
Stoke Park is split into two main buildings – the historic white mansion house and the modern Pavilion side of the hotel, where the spa, tennis courts and San Marco all sit. For families, I’d be inclined to suggest the Pavilion side as the vibe is more relaxed, plus it happens to be where the GAMES ROOM is, kitted out with everything required to keep your teen, tween or little person happy. Choose between Xbox Connect, Sony PlayStation, pool table, air hockey, table football, and huge TV with music, sports and kid’s stuff.
7. Walk the grounds
It ain’t all about the kids! Force them around the Elizabethan manor house, the Victorian garden and then if you feel like being nice go and take them for afternoon tea, and be careful to add something cold and bubbly to accompany your cucumber sandwiches (it’s your break too!).
Stoke Park, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, SL2 4PG. Tel: 01753 717171. stokepark.com