No royal treatment for the Inspector at the hotel Meghan stayed at
The Inspector calls at Cliveden House, the hotel where Meghan Markle stayed before the royal wedding. However, he doesn’t exactly get the royal treatment. Here’s his verdict…
- The Inspector checks into the George Bernard Shaw room, which has an ‘outstanding’ marble bathroom
- He finds that the atmosphere in the Great Hall ‘should be electric but it’s as if someone has pulled the plug out’
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Nothing beats approaching Cliveden as you round The Fountain of Love statue (even if your motor’s an old banger) and then proceed up the gravel drive past trees that have seen it all but won’t utter a word.
On our right, we take note of the door leading to the pool and spa — yes, the pool where John Profumo was beguiled by Christine Keeler and enthralled the nation.
Then a sign reads: ‘Hotel guests only’ as we find a parking space between a Jaguar and Porsche.
After all this, you might expect a grand meet-and-greet — but there is none. In the outer hall, a member of staff doesn’t look up as we walk past. And in the darkened Great Hall, the atmosphere should be electric but it’s as if someone has pulled the plug out.
No one approaches us, so I walk up to a desk and ask if we can be checked in —after which a young woman with little English walks us at a funereal pace to our room.
The Inspector calls at the famous Cliveden House in Berkshire, passing by ‘trees that have seen it all but won’t utter a word’ en route to the property
Above is the hotel’s pool, where John Profumo was beguiled by Christine Keeler and enthralled the nation
Cliveden is where Meghan and her mother stayed the night before the royal wedding. Presumably, their suites looked over the parterre and down towards the Thames. We’re in the George Bernard Shaw room, a long way from the main hall and reception.
A framed note tells us that Shaw, a friend of Nancy Astor, was a frequent visitor. Apparently, he agreed to have his beard trimmed by Nancy’s hairdresser but did not cut his political opinions to suit hers.
It’s a sumptuous room, but masculine. A splash of colour would not go amiss. The tartan headboard looks worthy but dull — although the marble bathroom is outstanding.
Keeping up a place like this must cost a small fortune.
Cliveden is where Meghan Markle stayed the night before the royal wedding. ‘Presumably, their suites looked over the parterre (above) and down towards the Thames,’ writes the Inspector
Pictured is Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House in 2018
‘Keeping up a place like this must cost a small fortune,’ the Inspector says of the hotel. Above is the Blakeney Suite
Pictured is the hotel’s ‘French Dining Room’. The Inspector says of his stay: ‘Rooms start at £445. When you’re paying that sort of money, expectations surge’
Cliveden — along with hotels such as Chewton Glen and The Lygon Arms — is part of the Iconic Luxury Hotels group. When it was acquired in 2012 by the Livingstone brothers, the hotel was given a refresh, but it needs another.
At breakfast, we are shocked by the chipped and scuffed door leading to the buffet area. There is no butter on our dining table and catching the eye of the staff is a trial.
Rooms start at £445. When you’re paying that sort of money, expectations surge and, frankly, we feel short-changed.
Cliveden House & Spa, Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0JF. Doubles from £445 B&B. For more information, call 01628 668561 or visit clivedenhouse.co.uk.
Rating out of five: ***
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