Game, Set and Pack: The Best Tennis Hotels in Britain
With Wimbledon nearly here, it’s traditionally the time of year when fair-weather Federers dust off their racquets and book up their local courts, only to forget about it for another 51 weeks. Mark Southern got ahead of the crowd by serving up these ace tennis hotels.
Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire
With a reputation as one of Europe’s premier country club hotels, Stoke Park is a sporting weekend paradise, ideal for brushing up tennis skills before summer kicks in.
Situated in 350 acres of glorious Buckinghamshire lakes and parkland, the hotel stands imperiously in its splendid surroundings, overlooking its outstanding Championship Golf Course, and containing multiple first class restaurants.
However, it’s the unrivaled sporting facilities that make this hotel truly stand out, and its tennis facilities are fit for a Wimbledon champ, with three indoor courts, four all-weather, and six grass courts ready around the clock. Excellent tuition is available, and exhausted players can always recover in the stunning on-site spa.
SW17 gets busy at this time of year, but locals needn’t be crowded out of the courts when a quaint solution is on their doorstep.
Foxhills sits just outside the M25 in leafy Surrey, and is a perfect bolt-hole from the hustle of City-life.
With the size of an international hotel, and the sensibilities of a family-run establishment, Foxhills is a heart-warming return of good old fashioned values, but not without keeping up with the sporting times, and has been voted the number one outdoor tennis resort in the UK. With good reason.
Eleven courts, nine with floodlights, provide the setting, but it’s the exceptional coaching available to all guests that make this a must-go destination for wannabe winners. The hotel can even arrange an in-room massage to iron out the bumps and bruises for the following day.
Lake Country House, Mid-Wales
If outdoor life is your cup of barley water, aspiring Djokovic’s should head across the Welsh border to top up their tennis.
The Lake Country House and Spa is found in Powys, where the glorious Welsh countryside offers everything you could need for your sporting weekend.
The hotel has award winning golf, walks and fly fishing on site, but it’s the tennis in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons that truly takes the breath away, with its imposing backdrop the perfect place for an outdoor knock about.
The excellent restaurant serving modern Celtic food will help energise set-mad tourists, and the relaxing on-site spa will work out any tennis elbow at the end of every day.
Culloden House, Inverness
More than two centuries ago, Bonnie Prince Charlie used Culloden House as his battle headquarters, and it’s here that brave hearted players can smarten up their skills ahead of the grass-court season.
Combining majestic Scottish views with the famous Highland hospitality, Culloden House is a perfect pit-stop for out-of-touch tennis fans to warm up their serve, to warm up their appetites for the fine dining experience of a lifetime in the hotel’s restaurant.
With easy access to the Castle Stuart links golf course, the hotel is a sportsman’s dream, and the all-weather tennis facilities are first class, allowing players to practice in spite of the, ahem, unpredictable Scottish weather.
And after slamming home the winning forehand volley? Warm down in the sauna, located deep in the dungeon. Naturally.
Headland Hotel, Cornwall
Hiding in North Cornwall, lies possibly the most jaw-dropping tennis court in Britain, at the sensational Headland Hotel.
Perching atop a classic Cornish beach, and gazing out across the ocean, the hotel can justifably claim to be amongst the most iconic in the country, and the 360 degree panorama around its tennis court is utterly and ludicrously incredible.
Tennis fans looking for an unforgettable experience will find it hard to focus on their backhand when wherever their eyes fall they can see pure Cornish beauty in the rocks, sand, water and sky; if ever there was a good example of the adage that it’s not the winning that matters, it’s the taking part, this is it.
A truly sensational hotel experience, and a genuinely smashing tennis treat.