By Roger Cox, Editor
Set on 350 acres of historic parkland and gardens, this 49-room estate, originally the home of John Penn, dates to 1795 with the construction of the Palladian Mansion that is now the heart of the club. Over the centuries, it has evolved from private residence to resort, with the addition of a 27-hole golf course and a golf academy and a Pavilion, comprising a 4,500-square-foot state-of-the-art gymnasium, two studios, an indoor swimming pool, a spa and salon, children's playroom, conference facilities, and three indoor carpet tennis courts (one fitted with the match analysis system PlaySight) to supplement the four lighted artificial clay and six grass tennis courts outdoors, with resident LTA pros to provide programming and lessons.
Movie fans may recognize the property from either of two James Bond movies—Goldfinger (1964) or Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)—both of which were filmed around the Mansion and golf course, or more recently from Brigitte Jones's Diary, in which Hugh Grant, as Daniel Cleaver, takes Renée Zellweger's Bridget Jones away for a luxury romantic break, rowing on the club's lake before ending up in its Pennsylvania Suite. That suite is one of 21 bedrooms with balconies in the original mansion, supplemented by another 28 rooms in the Pavilion. There are also three restaurants, ranging from the formal dining in Humphry's to the casual Orangery.
Each summer the resort has hosted The Boodles Challenge, a grass-court exhibition that draws several of the bold-face ATP touring professionals.
Pro Shop: +44 (0)1753 717111
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General Tourist Information. The hotel is roughly 7 miles from London's Heathrow Airport. For general information about travel to Great Britain, check out the Visit Britain website.