From the moment you drive down the beech tree-lined drive, you know you’re in for an impressive stay at Lucknam Park. This 18th century Palladian mansion is a wonderful combination of opulence, sophistication and romance, making it the perfect spot for a luxurious minimoon. Read our Lucknam Park review below.
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa Review: a Luxurious Cotswolds Minimoon
Driving through the stately gates and down the tree-lined – and preferably orange-hued (it’s extra beautiful in autumn) – driveway is a fitting start to any stay at Lucknam Park.
Set among 500 acres of gardens and parkland, the area is surrounded by countryside on the Wiltshire border just on the edge of the Cotswolds, and you’re just moment from some of the area’s most well-known and pretty towns and villages such as Castle Combe and Chippenham.
The manor house was covered in autumn-hued ivy when we visited, but summer would be just as stunning, with plenty of outdoor areas out the front to enjoy evening drinks – and Christmas just as cosy an affair.
As you arrive, your car is whisked away by the friendly staff who offer a valet service. You really get the sense that nothing is too much trouble for staff here; throughout our stay we felt so looked after. The cosy fireplace and sofas once you step through the entryway make for a wonderful welcome and are immediately evocative of a cosy manor home rather than a stuffy hotel.
Check in was swift and our bags were taken to our room before we were shown a tour of the grand hotel, which is centred around a stunning courtyard – with several rooms cornered off its centre, that again evokes the sense you’re staying at a country estate all your own.
Suites at Lucknam Park
Our ground floor suite was just off the courtyard and we were lucky enough to stay in a Junior Suite – the perfect minimoon option; think four poster beds, cosy Egyptian cotton linen, cosy sofa area, dressing table and plush furnishings. The turndown service – complete with slippers placed at each side of the bed and replenished still water bottles – was a lovely touch.
We toasted our stay with a bottle of champagne kindly left for us as we were celebrating a birthday which was a lovely touch, alongside a generous fruit bowl – the sticky dates were a particular hit – and delicious local shortbread, as well as coffee pods, still water bottles constantly replenished, milk and a large selection of teas.
With only 42 rooms and suites, there’s a distinct boutique feel to the hotel, with refined English furnishings and deep wood antique furniture combined with contemporary touches like a flat screen TVs and modern, white marble bathrooms with roll top baths, cosy fluffy bathrobes and slippers.
If you want to really splash out on your minimoon, most spectacular of all are the Grand Master Suites, where you can expect sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, a large sitting area, open fireplace, dining table and stately four-poster bed.
For just as a romantic stay, the hotel also offer one-bedroom cottages in classic country designs with log burners, kitchens and cosy living areas, and you can opt for a Continental Breakfast Hamper to be delivered to the cottage upon arrival and room service throughout.
We wished we had brought our dog as furry friends are allowed! One or two well behaved dogs are fine for most room stays (it’s worth checking before booking to make sure) and they’ll receive water and food bowls as well as bedding, fleeces and towels.
Dining at Lucknam Park
Food is a highlight at Lucknam Park, and available to enjoy in several different spaces. We enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail called ‘Hugo’ – a delicious mix of elderflower cordial and champagne – in the stunning Drawing Room, where the elegance continues with plush sofas, open fireplaces alongside a whisky bar cart – or you could opt to enjoy a tipple in the Library, even more cosy with its dark-wood aesthetic and hundreds of books lining the high ceilinged-walls.
Then, it was time for a trip highlight, as we headed to Restaurant Hywel Jones – one of the Cotswolds’ only Michelin star restaurants. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment!
The height of opulence and elegance, as you enter the dining room you truly feel you’ve been taken to a bygone era of sophistication – and this is your chance to dress accordingly. It’s by no means mandatory, but most guests did so with smart jackets and dresses, which was a lovely way to add to the special atmosphere.
We were shown the extremely extensive wine list – which was surprisingly reasonable! – and opted for a delicious Argentinian Malbec; explained in detail by our sommelier.
After a freshly-baked selection of breads and a delicious whipped tomato butter, the seven-course tasting menu (there is also a vegetarian option) began in earnest. A la carte is also on offer, but most people opt for the former – and with good reason! It all began with citrus-cured Loch Duart salmon, before moving onto Scottish scallops – both fresh, delicious and moreish.
We continued with a Cornish turbot before one of my favourite dishes of the evening – a unique combination of cauliflower and brown shrimp. The star of the show, though, was the butter-soft local Hampshire venison, as well as the artisan farmhouse cheese selection, complete with a glorious truffle honey and wine-soaked grapes – the table next to us even asked for a second course of the cheeses, they were that good. The champagne, blackcurrant and lime concoction that followed was the perfect palate cleanser, before it was all finished off with a gorgeously flavoursome carrot and pecan tart.
For a more casual option, the Brasserie, located next to the spa, is a laid-back delight, offering wood-fired pizzas, salads, burgers, seafood and a selection of grilled meat dishes.
Seasonal menus are updated every few months to make the most of the ingredients in local gardens and surrounding area. If you really want to make the most of staying in a hotel, most of the dishes in the Brasserie are also available as room service.
The same goes for breakfast, though I’d advise making the most of the location of Restaurant Hywel Jones, where breakfast is served. Looking out onto the frost-covered grounds dotted with deer as we enjoyed our morning coffees – mine a creamy oat cappuccino – was a truly lovely way to start the day, before I moved onto a plate of local smoked salmon with sourdough, freshly-baked pastries – the pain au raisin was particularly good – and creamy porridge with cinnamon-candied pecans, banana and honey.
Other classic breakfast dishes are on offer, too, from avocado and Clarence Court eggs to a traditional English breakfast. The afternoon tea is also a firm favourite; expect a selection if traditional sandwiches, home-made scones, patisseries and tea and coffee – or upgrade to include a glass of Joseph Perrier Champagne.
The Spa at Lucknam Park
The spa at Lucknam Park is a stunning addition and it’s well worth carving out a few hours each day of your stay to truly make the most of it. Stroll down along pond-lined paths – wearing your bathrobe and slippers, if you wish – to enter, all wood, marble and glass which really add to the feeling of ultimate relaxation.
Expect a large fireplace-lined pool, three steam rooms, a large sauna and the pièce de résistance – the bubbling indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy jacuzzi, with a sliding door that looks out on to the grounds – particularly lovely under the twinkling night stars. Multiple areas – both indoor and out – are dotted with loungers to enjoy a glass of champagne with your loved one. Why not enjoy a couples massage to finish off the proceedings?
The facilities continue with five thermal cabins, a skincare mixology bar and a post-treatment relaxation room; my partner enjoyed a bespoke 60-minute massage and declared it was one of the best he’d ever had. The hotel offers multiple packages to enjoy the spa, from pairing it with an afternoon tea in the brasserie to yoga and horse riding.
Things to do at Lucknam Park
Try to tear yourself away from the delights of the hotel, though, as it’s well worth exploring the surrounding 500 acres, with options for varying levels of walks – provided on a handy map – where you’ll pass autumn-hued forests, paddocks filled with horses and deer roaming the grounds, finishing with a stroll up the grand walkway to the main house.
For horse lovers – or if you fancy giving riding a go – the hotel’s Equestrian Centre houses 35 horses of mixed size and capabilities. Why not opt for a romantic hack through the beautiful Cotswold countryside alongside a picnic for just the two of you?
Other activities on offer are truly endless, whether you want to get active playing tennis, football and croquet, or borrow the hotel’s bikes and cycle around the grounds. For something even more unique for your minimoon, try out clay pigeon shooting, falconry, archery, duck herding and even a hot air balloon ride.
If you’d like to get out of the grounds, why not head to the romantic city of Bath, only 20 minutes away? Visit the ancient Roman Baths or the modern Thermae Bath Spa, or wander around the honey-coloured Georgian architecture, whether during the cosy Christmas markets or summer’s food festivals. There’s plenty to see beyond the city, too, with stunning Somerset countryside to explore and attractions like Stonehenge and Avebury.
Closer to Lucknam Park itself, you’re just moments from Chippenham, an elegant town filled with Georgian architecture, or adorable Castle Combe, voted several times as England’s prettiest village. We visited the latter on a rainy November day, and its charm still shone through, with an abundance of cosy pubs and coffee shops to dive into.
Weddings at Lucknam Park
Set within 500 acres of private parkland and gardens, the Georgian Palladian mansion is the perfect place for a wedding.
Packages range from micro weddings to exclusive use, including all 42 luxurious and elegant bedrooms and suites, with the option to arrive by helicopter, have a candlelit wedding breakfast, midnight snacks, romantic horse-rides around the estate – whatever your request!
Wedding packages start from £5,900.
Christmas at Lucknam Park
Lucknam Park is the perfect location to celebrate a traditional country house Christmas, with champagne receptions, horse-drawn carriages, traditional Christmas lunches, country activities on the estate, mulled wine and Black Tie dinners.
Christmas packages start from £1,470.
How to Book
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Lucknam Park, Chippenham, SN14 8AZ. Head to lucknampark.co.uk to book.