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Berystede Hotel in Ascot - Where to Stay for Windsor Castle and Royal Ascot

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Modern services clothed in Victorian extravagance

Berystede Hotel and Spa in Ascot has to be seen to be believed. With its turrets and half timbering, it looks like a cross between a mock Tudor mansion and a French chateau - not surprising since it was originally built for and Anglo-French couple, Henry Noailles Widdrington Standish and Helene de Perusse, daughter of the French Compte de Cars.

The original house was destroyed by fire in the 1880s and a lady's maid who perished in the blaze is said to haunt the premises. It reopened as a grand hotel for the racing set at the turn of the 20th century and has been popular with fans of The Royal Ascot Races ever since.

But Ascot is seasonal and this wild looking, late Victorian fantasy and four-star English Hotel is also very convenient for Windsor Castle.

It has recently been refurbished in grand boutique style and a luxurious spa with an 18 meter pool has been added. If we had any complaint at all, its that some of the rooms are bit masculine and corporate looking. Ask for a "feature room" in the older part of the hotel for a more "country house" experience.

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