New OTO Residence in Cliveden perfects the art of sleep

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In the darkness, the sound of the singing bowl emanates all around the treatment room. It’s part calming, part otherworldly, and certainly all-encompassing. It’s an evocative sound, appropriate perhaps given that it’s set in England’s most talked about spa.

Cliveden House in Berkshire is loaded with “noise”. There’s the chatter around its Art Deco open-air swimming pool – where the infamous Profumo Affair began, which later toppled the conservative government of Harold Macmillan in the 1960s. Then there’s the rumor that the interiors elaborate found in the Grade I listed pile are the basis of Julian Fellowes’ fiction. Downton Abbey. When Meghan Markle chose Cliveden as her hotel to rest the night before her wedding, there was a lot of chatter.

But, now, bringing a soothing element to the layers of rich history and gossip, is a new residence spa by TOO – the first British brand of CBD. At the heart of the new offering is the sleep experience, designed to capture all of the most glorious elements of Cliveden, including an overnight stay, crossed with the holistic qualities of the modern beauty brand’s therapeutic oils. (There are also OTO Spa Days and Hero Massages for those who just want to tap into OTO expertise).

The Sleep Experience’s signature 90-minute massage is enhanced with select OTO oils and chosen crystals – you can choose whether you want to feel energized, rejuvenated or balanced. Using long, hypnotic massage strokes, sometimes with a bamboo rod, the therapy is meant to allow you to find your own mental space, pause and rebalance yourself and is made even more effective through the backdrop of an immersive “soundscape”. Then you can book a private yoga class or opt for a sound healing session. And, later in your bedroom, you can use some of OTO’s sleep products and tap into the same escape soundtrack (via the in-room iPad) to help you drift off to sleep.

The immersive nature walks you can take during your stay help you pursue your sweet dreams. Cliveden is famously set on 376 acres of formal grounds – including an iconic parterre that dates back to 1855 – woodland and bucolic Berkshire countryside, with the River Thames meandering through. It’s the perfect place to breathe in the fresh air and stretch your legs.

No ordinary hotel, Cliveden House is considered one of the finest in the UK, built in 1666 by the Duke of Buckingham. It has a decadent past – from being the home of the Astors in the early 1900s to being the setting for a string of famously glamorous soirees in the post-war years.

A hotel since 1984, it has just 47 rooms — so while large in size, it’s still intimate. All rooms are unique and decorated with draped beds, handmade wallpapers and valuable antiques – many items from its former owners. The spectacular paneled hall, or Grand Hall, with its neo-Gothic staircase, armor and oil paintings, sets the scene. Step into the ornate French dining room, with its painted cherubs and gilding, and you’ll also get a glimpse of the house’s opulent past. Tea is taken in the hushed library, overlooking the parterre, and Cliveden’s renowned service remains on the bright side of personality and ‘practical’.

In fact, it’s a bit like staying in a friend’s country house mansion – if you’ve mixed with the elite aristocracy, of course. Much of it is made up of the original architectural features – from the creaky floorboards to the antique chandeliers still hanging from the ceilings, so at times you also feel like you’ve accidentally walked into a period drama, expecting half to see Lady Mary Crawley appearing at any moment.

Maximalists will have a blast in the pink-hued Blakeney Suite. Located on the top floor, with a breathtaking view of the estate, this is one of the most sumptuous rooms in the house. Antique mirrors adorn the walls; side tables are heavy with books, trinkets, and lamps; and the occasional sofas and chairs are wonderfully comfortable and cushioned. In the bathroom, which is almost as large as the expansive bedroom, there is an original period fireplace laden with Asprey products, a free-standing tub and marble fixtures. It is a sumptuous and cozy place to escape for a night.

On the dining side, the Astor Grill, dug out of the old stable, is perfect for a casual lunch, with its decor reminiscent of its equestrian past (the bar stools have leather saddles sewn on them and the teal leather bench seats are housed in the old horse boxes). From the exceptional Cobb Salad to the classic Black & Blue Burger, the Anglo-American menu also references Cliveden’s heritage. William Waldorf Astor, America’s wealthiest citizen, gave Cliveden to his son and daughter-in-law, Nancy Astor in 1906. It soon became a social center for many famous guests, such as Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill .

For something truly stunning, however, it doesn’t get more elegant than the fine dining in the Cliveden Dining Room. Just as previous guests would have done, here you dress For dinner. But, while the setting and ambience are rooted in history, by contrast, Executive Chef Christopher Hannon’s menu is decidedly – ​​and deliciously – modern.

Cocktails are taken in the library – try the ‘Profumo’ champagne cocktail for a great start. That you choose from the menu “raw” starters – oysters, perhaps? Or the exquisite tomato tartare? – or go for something hot – like the creamy truffle risotto (it will transport you straight to Emilia-Romagna) – you won’t be disappointed.

For main courses, simple descriptions belie the complexity of each dish – the roasted halibut is silky, with a latticework of crispy potatoes and hints of bergamot; the 28-day-old beef tenderloin is regally adorned with purple artichokes and porcini mushrooms and enhanced with a java chili juice – worthy of Astor himself.

The desserts are fun and inventive – Lemon Curd appears to be a whole lemon on the plate, but it gently cracks open to reveal a sinful amount of oozing blackberries; while the banana soufflé is creamy and topped with peanut butter ice cream and salted caramel sauce – a heavenly pairing.

At the end of the hours, back in your room, you can indulge in the transformative sound space and fill your senses with OTO CBD Pillow Mist. It’s an immersive thing and sleep will surely be easy. Portraits of former inhabitants – like Lady Astor – line the walls and look on in amusement – there are no parties here tonight, just a good old-fashioned sleep.

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