Best of the Best 2011: Resorts: Coworth Park

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Great Britain does not suffer from a shortage of elegant country house hotels. Even so, Coworth Park (+44.

1344.876.600, www.coworthpark.com), fromthe London-based Dor­chester Collection,is a welcome addition to the English countryside, representing a fresh take on the classical country inn.

Opened last September on 240 acres of storied Berkshire parkland—formally the estate of the 17th Earl of Derby—the equine-centric retreat has a casual, contemporary style inspired by the surrounding polo fields, woods, and lily ponds. Decor in the 70 guest rooms and suites—spread among the earl’s renovated Georgian mansion and former stables, and a collection of cottages—spans the range from four-poster beds styled after tree branches to large close-up photographs of horses’ noses, necks, and other body parts. Not to be outdone, the resort’s main bar displays portraits of horses sporting salon-coiffed hairstyles.

Stables at the estate’s entrance are home to Coworth Park’s real-life horses and the equestrian center, where guests of any riding level can receive one-on-one instruction. Two restaurants, one more formal than the other but both helmed by Michelin-starred chef John Campbell, serve seasonal fare, while a partially underground eco-luxe spa offers treatments incorporating herbs grown on its roof. ($388–$5,779)

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