Initially built in the 1660s as a hideaway for the Duke of Buckingham to carry out his scandalous affair with Anna-Maria, the countess of Shrewsbury, the house has been synonymous with politics, parties and power — most famously serving as the decadent setting for the Profumo affair, which caused uproar in the British government. A house of fun for the rich and the powerful, Cliveden has hosted Winston Churchill, The Beatles, President Roosevelt and George Bernard Shaw at various points during its 350 years. If only the walls could talk.
Kevin Brooke, general manager, firstname.lastname@example.org,
+44 162 860 7107
Lady Astor suite
Size 807 sq ft
Nightly rate $1,997
Individually named after famous guests of the past, each suite has a distinct character. The Lady Astor suite (named after the most famous hostess, Nancy Astor) is astonishingly grand, with original works of art and antique furniture. Take in the magnificent views of the parterre and the River Thames from the private terrace.
The newly renovated spa draws on the history of the women of Cliveden in its treatments, right down to the scents and bespoke products used — we highly recommend the rose garden experience, a 90-minute scrub and massage, all carried out on a heated waterbed. The main attraction, though, is the ‘Profumo’ pool, the only listed outdoor pool in Britain, and the infamous spot where John Profumo spotted 19-year-old Christine Keeler cooling off on a hot summer’s day, leading to their illicit affair that hugely impacted British politics. Today, the heated swimming pool is flanked by a hot tub and a pretty garden wall of lavender and roses.
Signature treatment Rose Garden experience
Joining Cliveden from Mayfair’s Galvin restaurant, André Garrett’s preference for locally sourced produce means the menu is dictated by the seasons. The beef wellington is succulent and made all the more enjoyable by the views looking out over the 376-acre estate. Be sure to have a pre-dinner cocktail in The Library Bar.