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The Best Places to Stay for the Henley Regatta

henley on thamesalh1 via Flickr

The Henley Royal Regatta has been held every summer in Henley since 1839 - excluding during war time - for five days from Wednesday through Sunday over the first weekend in July. The regatta is a wonderfully colourful event - it’s part of the English social season, don’t you know, and is fulfilled with the appropriate sense of history, pageantry and detail. Of course it’s also very much about rowing. And racing is taken very seriously. Making for a thrilling event, and definitely one worth an effort to attend at least once in a lifetime. Our pick of the best places to stay for the Henley Regatta cover a wide range of prices and styles, so there should be something for everyone.

henley on thamesEdmund Gall via Flickr

Of course Henley itself is very busy during the regatta, but if you can it’s well worth staying all day and into the evening to really experience the charm of this event. And obviously the best places to stay for the Henley Regatta book up extremely quickly. Which is why our own Gurus spread their net a bit wider when making their recommendations. They’ve found some wonderful old traditional pubs, and some incredible county house hotels, as well as Michelin starred inns and Nancy Astor’s one time residence.

henley on thamesNeil Rickards via Flickr

The actual racing takes the form or a knockout competition with two crews racing side by side up the Henley course, which has always been ‘about a mile and 550 yards, from Temple Island upstream towards Henley Bridge to a point opposite Phyllis Court. Qualifying races are held on the Friday before the regatta, with the final draw taking place on the Saturday afternoon at around 3pm in the Town Hall. So if you can find accommodation for the regatta proper, you may find something for the qualifying days?

Use our guide to the best places to stay in for the Henley Regatta and start to plan your summer season!

The Best Places to Stay for the Henley Regatta

To Spoil yourself

danesfield house hotel and spa

  • Danesfield House Hotel and Spa is a spectacular Italian Renaissance mansion turned country house hotel, just outside Henley in Marlow-on-Thames. This 79 room property is a romantic charmer, surrounded by 65 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens leading all the way down to the river. As well as having a top spa, the hotel has an excellent restaurant.
  • Also outside Henley in Marlow, the Hand & Flowers is Tom Kerridge's small pub/restaurant with eight suites and two Michelin stars. The decor is a great combination of traditional features - exposed beams and fireplaces - with a neutral, contemporary palette. Three of the suites have private terraces wth hot tubs.
  • The Waterside Inn in Bray is a fantastic choice for foodies, run by Michel and Alain Roux and with three Michelin stars, this is about as gourmet at the UK gets. The eleven rooms and suites are sumptuous and start from around £220 per night.

To Escape the Crowds

the elephant at pangbourne

  • The Elephant at Pangbourne is a chic, twenty two roomed hotel in a bustling little village. The surprise is the Indian theme, with handcrafted Indian furniture, oriental rugs, and delicate fabrics. There’s an elegant restaurant specialising in locally sourced everything.
  • Cliveden House is a grand neoclassical country pile, a National Trust treasure, and probably still best known for its part in the Profumo affair. But it seems like everyone who’s ever been anyone has stayed here, from Churchill to Chaplin and Lawrence to Lennon. There are 44 rooms and 15 suites, but staying here still feels like you’re staying in a country home rather than a hotel. There are original Old Masters on the walls, a spa, boats on the river, two pools and a truly wonderful afternoon tea.
  • It might be a surprising suggestion, but a good place to escape the daily crowds in Henley in the evening is to stay in Reading. Here our Gurus recommend The Forbury, a stylish townhouse hotel with 23 suites and apartments and bright, modern interiors. There’s also a restaurant and a popular bar.

The Best Value Places to Stay for the Henley Regatta

the olde bell

  • The Olde Bell Inn is a hearty, traditional old inn, with an unpretentious restaurant and tennis courts. There are 48 rooms, with simple decor and plenty of natural light, plus you’re very close to the Thames. Rooms start from around £125 per night.
  • The Miller of Mansfield is a traditional, ivy-covered inn in the pretty village of Goring-on-Thames. There are 15 individually designed suites, views of the river and the restaurant is well reviewed. But rooms start from around £80 per night.

If you haven’t found your idea of the best places to stay for the Henley Regatta on our Guru’s list you could:

The Best Places to Stay for the Henley Regatta

  • Danesfield House Hotel and Spa 79 rooms from £279

    Marlow-On-Thames, Buckinghamshire

    Romantic Italian Renaissance style country house set in 65 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens leading down to the River Thames. Individually designed rooms offer traditional or contemporary interiors and lovely views. Excellent restaurant and spa. Perfect for some downtime away from the city.

    Spa  -  The Spa Illuminata Danesfield House offers pool, jacuzzi, steam room and a vast range of face and body treatments
    Sights nearby  -  Pretty Thameside town Marlow is just 3 miles away, plus Windsor and Henley are close by
    Great walks  -  There are lovely walks round the gardens and plenty of riverside ambles
    Swimming Pool  -  20m indoor pool
    Recommended by  -  Johansens, Small Luxury Hotels
    Check prices
  • Hand & Flowers from £140

    Marlow (Buckinghamshire)

    With two Michelin stars this property serves mouthwatering gourmet food. Rooms are equally forward thinking: contemporary fittings combined with exposed beams, set against a neutral backdrop, some with copper baths. The Angus suite has a private jacuzzi terrace. There is a spa and courtyard garden.

    Sights nearby  -  Marlow Suspension Bridge is close to the property and the All Saints Church is in nearby Bisham.
    Sailing  -  A boat trip along the Thames is an ideal English summer's day activity.
    Private Hot Tub  -  Three of the suites have private terraces with hot tubs
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through Higginson Park along the Thames.
    Check prices
  • The Waterside Inn 11 rooms from £220


    Ultimate foodie venue with three Michelin stars, on the banks of the river Thames. Run by top chefs Michel Roux and his son Alain. Sumptuous suites and bedrooms.

    Restaurant  -  The Waterside Inn holds three Michelin stars.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Relais & Chateaux
    Check prices
  • The Elephant at Pangbourne 22 rooms from £155

    Pangbourne, Berkshire

    Rural, chic hotel in a bustling village. Handcrafted Indian furniture, oriental rugs, delicate fabrics. Elegant restaurant with local produce.

    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Cliveden House 44 rooms from £468

    Taplow, Berkshire

    Grand country house hotel close to London, expensive but luxurious, with history

    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor Pools
    Country House  -  Grand neoclassical pile
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • The Forbury 23 rooms from £175

    Reading, Berkshire

    Large stylish townhouse hotel in the centre of Reading. Modern interiors, bright colours, all the mod-cons. Suites and apartments. Restaurant and hip bar.

    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • The Olde Bell Inn 48 rooms from £125

    Hurley, Berkshire

    Hearty, old traditional inn. Unpretentious gastro-pub restaurant. Tennis courts and nearby walks on the Thames. Crisp bedrooms with lots of natural light.

    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Miller of Mansfield 15 rooms from £90

    Goring on Thames, Oxfordshire

    Traditional ivy-covered inn in village setting. Acclaimed restaurant, bar, individually designed suites, Overlooking the river.

    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
    Check prices


Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Wednesday, 22nd March 2017
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