New hotel & spa at The Oxfordshire
Celebrating its opening in July 2010, The Oxfordshire’s 50-bedroom Hotel & Spa provides a state-of-the art destination close to the M40 at Thame for business and leisure travelers alike. Golfers in both categories are likely to be attracted by The Oxfordshire’s existing championship golf course, the only one in the country to be designed by Rees Jones, pioneer of the modern American ‘parkland’ style. But the four-star hotel also attracts general tourists and business travelers with its luxury spa and 15-metre pool; and a signature restaurant overseen by Head Chef Richard Buy. The Oxfordshire is managed by Tim Pettifer, formerly General Manager of world-famous Cliveden House, who has been brought on board for the purpose.
The styling of the hotel has been personally overseen by Jennifer Gibbons, joint owner along with Paul Gibbons, its design a contemporary interpretation of traditional English Country House style. “I have been involved since day one. Paul and I have put our hearts and souls into this because we want it to be perfect,” she says. “The hotel has a country-club feel, with soft furnishing and fabrics in the rooms.” She adds that the rooms will fall into one of four distinct colour and fabric themes that she has developed, drawing on her own experience of staying at some of the world’s best hotels.
“We already have a world-class course at The Oxfordshire and we wanted world-class accommodation to go with it," says Paul Gibbons, co-owner with Jennifer of Leaderboard Golf, which is behind the hotel development. Paul Gibbons has built up Leaderboard Golf - which now extends to four stunning golf clubs across the South East - since selling his founding stake in Autotrader Magazine (the world’s most successful classified ads publication) in 1998.
Tim Pettifer, General Manager of the new hotel, says: “This is a very good period for us to be opening. Being this close to Oxford – and its newly renamed London Oxford Airport – we will be top of the list for luxury tourism and business travel, especially for those travelers interested in trying a championship golf course during their stay. Being positioned within arguably the UK’s top region for heritage tourism – and with food as good as you can find anywhere locally – we really have an unbeatable combination.” He adds that the UK golf travel industry has recently been helped by the strong euro and a preference among UK golfers to book high-quality golf breaks in the UK; and will continue to grow in popularity in the run up to the first Olympic Golf Tournament in 2016. Full golf training and a quality Pro shop will be available to hotel guests.
About the Hotel
Already equipped with a Japanese Ofuro hot spa, the new hotel sees the addition of a full luxury spa, 15-metre, ozone-treated swimming pool and fitness centre. The 46 executive rooms and four penthouse suites – all with their own private balconies – include individually-controlled air conditioning, 24-hour room service, flat-screen TV with 100 channels, direct-dial telephones with modem access, complimentary Wi-Fi, luxury toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, security safe, trouser press and robe. Those staying in the penthouse suites will also benefit from double the floor space – including a separate lounge area – two televisions, and a larger bathroom with his and hers’ sinks, in addition to wider, deeper balconies with top floor, panoramic views. The Oxfordshire also offers six flexible function rooms to accommodate private parties for up to 190 guests, conferences, or weddings, for which The Oxfordshire is already a popular destination.
The Oxfordshire’s hotel development includes Tempus, a luxury spa, swimming pool and fitness centre, offering visitors the chance to indulge in some of the best pampering treatments and therapies available. A full range of relaxing treatment options are available, all using luxurious Pinks Boutique products, the only 100% natural and organic spa range on the market. Founders Luke Sherriff, a former professional rugby player, and Kirstie Allen, Director of Pinks Training Academy, developed the Pinks Boutique range of spa products when their respective interests in organic food for the body (Luke) and organic cosmetics for clients and students (Kirstie) began to overlap. This shared interest in pure organic products was combined with their love of Asia – specifically the beautiful flowers, unique aromas and exotic ingredients of Indonesia, Tibet, Nepal, Thailand and Japan – and the result is a complete range of fabulous natural products inspired by the sights and smells of the Far East. Pinks Boutique is developing an exclusive signature treatment for Tempus at The Oxfordshire, which will offer clients an incredible full-body spa experience like no other.
The Pinks Boutique range is complemented by a selection of indulgent Carita anti-aging therapies, combining the purest ingredients with the very latest scientific discoveries to deliver visible results after just one session. Tempus also offers unique Lava Shell massage treatments and Vita Liberata sunless tanning, a favourite with celebrities from London to Los Angeles, and the preferred self-tanning product of The X-Factor contestants. From quick single treatment options, through to full-day spa sessions, Tempus at The Oxfordshire is the perfect place to get some rest and recuperation in beautiful and relaxing surroundings.
Sakura Restaurant at The Oxfordshire
Newly-appointed Head Chef Richard Buy, 33, is an Oxford local with 17 years of valuable experience at various venues in the Oxfordshire area, including time spent as Senior Common Room Chef at Wadham College, Oxford, where he was cooking for the Dons and Fellows at High Table. Richard oversees The Oxfordshire’s restaurant, Sakura (from the Japanese for 'cherry blossoms'), which specialises in serving unique Japanese interpretations of popular European dishes, alongside traditional British fare, to discerning Hotel and Golf Club guests. Sakura’s kitchen is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and the restaurant has a dedicated sommelier to advise guests on the best possible wines, with an average price of £22 per bottle, to compliment the dishes prepared by Richard. A three course meal will cost £29.
About The Oxfordshire Golf Club
Since opening in 1993 this par 72, 7313-yard (off the back tees) American ‘parkland’ style course – the only in the UK by the world-renowned architect Rees Jones – has hosted the Andersen Consulting World Matchplay, the Ladies English Open, and from 1996 to 1999, the Benson & Hedges International Open. It includes two of the top 500 holes in the world, as voted by a millennium poll in Golf Magazine, the 8th and the 17th; as well as a wealth of challenging bunkers and lakes. The year 2011 will see the addition of the UK’s second Rees Jones course: a Championship Par 3/Executive 9-hole Golf Course designed as a challenging bonus for 27-hole golf days – or indeed a standalone course that can be enjoyed by those without enough time to play the main course.
Tim Pettifer, General Manager of The Oxfordshire
Tim, 51, moved to The Oxfordshire from his previous role re-opening and re-launching the St James’ Hotel in London following a £16m renovation and the recruitment of 75 new staff – experience he has brought to bear opening The Oxfordshire’s hotel. Prior to re-launching the St James’, Tim spent five years as General Manager of the exclusive Cliveden House Hotel and the Cliveden Club in Berkshire – site of the Profumo scandal in the 1960s, when still a private house – and now one of the UK’s leading hotels.
The Oxfordshire, Rycote Lane, Milton Common, Thame, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX9 2PU
Bookings are now being taken: for enquiries, please call 01844 278300