Cliveden House Hotel

Classic and Britain's finest Hotels

The Grand Dame of the Thames Valley

Perched on a cliff high above the River Thames, Cliveden House is 25 miles west of London in the ‘home’ county of Berkshire. 
The story of the house starts over 350 years ago and features influential personalities, iconic parties and scandalous affairs. 

The house was built during the mid 17th century by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham. Stunning landscaped grounds surround this architectural beauty, with parterres and antique statuary. The location is ideal to end a tour and spend a few days enjoying the estate before flying from Heathrow. 

Cliveden has two restaurants, a modern spa, water gardens and vintage riverboats for use. The hotel is a 20-minute drive to Heathrow. It has easy access to the Motorways heading to the Cotswolds where you can stay at the Lygon Arms and head South and stay at Cliveden’s sister property, Chewton Glen, nestled in the New Forest National Park, also nearby is the Jurassic Coast.

 

The history of Cliveden House, the grand dame of the Thames Valley

Come and stay and be part of the history, the legend that is Cliveden House
The house enjoys a commanding position on a cliff overlooking the curves in the Thames Valley below. The land became part of the estate in the mid 17th century when the 2nd Duke of Buckingham built the first house. Cliveden has never been far from scandal - wealth and power do seem to attract intrigue and jealousy. The construction of the original house was probably to impress the Duke's mistress, a Countess no less. Whispers of the affair eventually reach the ears of the Earl of Shrewsbury who challenged the Duke to a duel. That was a mistake to take on the Duke, who happened to be a legendary English Civil War warrior.  The Earl died of his injuries. 

The Grand tour
Houses burnt down, and new owners re-built. Eventually, we get to the house we see today. What inspired such a home? While touring various stately homes with us, it will become apparent that English aristocrats of the past very much admired the ancient world, and it was considered educational and character-building to tour Europe, to see and learn all they could. Italy in the 18th and 19th century was poor, and this allowed the English elite to purchase antiquities and import the ideas of ancient Rome and Renaissance Italy. Therefore, in Britain, you see classically styled stately homes, built on a grand scale. Cliveden is one such place. Owners of Cliveden invested in landscaping, sculpture and remodelled over and over. 

The current house
We travel in time; we are now in the mid  19th century, the 1850's to be exact, and architect Charles Barry is super famous for designing the House of Parliament and creates this decadent home for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland. The joys of being near the River Thames make Cliveden ideal as a summer retreat and one for you too. Messing about on the River is an English past time, imagine pastoral scenes of riverbank picnics and gentle boat trips. You also can have fun and properly unwind, think about your well being and enjoy the water, the Thames is a magical river and the reason for London's existence.  

The Astors' parties
Lavish entertainment did not stop in the 19th century the culture continued into the 20th century. Nancy and Waldorf Astor hosted grand parties for the elite of society. Sir Winton Churchill (Britain's wartime leader) Gandhi (civil rights activist) and Henry Ford (American industrialist) all spent time at Cliveden. 

Scandal
John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War met and became involved with a model and call girl Christine Keeler while spending time at Cliveden. The story hit the headlines in 1963 and caused a real national security problem, Christine Keeler was simultaneously seeing a Soviet Naval attaché. Profumo's career ended, and the scandal rocked the Government - Now let us create a tour, just for you, and let Cliveden be a part of that journey, your Luxury Vacation UK.   

Cliveden House Hotel - Classic and Britain's finest hotels

The perfect place to start or end a trip, take time to enjoy the estate and local towns on the River Thames

  • Bespoke amenities
  • Room upgrade upon arrival subject to availability
  • Set upon 376 acres of National Trust grounds
  • Grade 1 listed stately home
  • Spa
  • Two restaurants