British Travel | 4th July 2023
Power Serves: the finest hotel stays for tennis buffs
The best staycations for learning how to play tennis.
If Wimbledon 2023 has inspired you to hone your serve, why not learn how to play tennis on holiday? We’ve picked the UK’s top hotels with tennis courts and tennis lessons.
If you’re happy to watch Wimbledon from your sofa with a bowl of strawberries and cream, who could blame you, but if the majestic sight of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Iga Świątek, Aryna Sabalenka et al in action is stoking a new or long-held yearning to learn how to play tennis you’re far from alone. Wimbledon is widely regarded as the tennis world’s most prestigious tournament and every year this hotly anticipated event inspires people of all ages to take up a racket and enjoy some time on the court.
Whether you want to blow the dust off your racket or if you’re an absolute beginner who’s caught the bug, why not treat yourself to a luxury staycation where you can play the game in a relaxed setting? Why not polish your back hand or practice your serve while taking full advantage of a host of other fun activities, wellness facilities and fine dining at some of the British Isles’ leading hotels?
We’ve rounded up some of the very best hotels with tennis courts that offer tennis lessons for beginners, as well as pro standard facilities for more seasoned players.
Few tennis hotels come with credentials as glittering as Cromlix. Owned by Scottish tennis ace and former Wimbledon Champion, Sir Andy Murray, this Victorian mansion house hotel on a country estate in Dunblane, Perthshire is hard to beat. The vibe is homely and unfussy with oodles of Scottish charm — and as for the tennis courts and facilities, they’re as impeccable as you’d expect. The hotel offers first-class but always friendly tennis lessons with professional coach, Daniel Alexander Reed and his team, along with a range of inclusive tennis holiday packages. Reed formerly worked at the National Tennis Centre in London and his vision is to deliver a vibrant, healthy, and progressive coaching service that promotes enjoyable tennis playing for all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
And to mix things up a bit, you can also play about on the hotel’s pickleball court. What is pickleball we hear you ask? It’s a game that combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton and is played on a badminton-sized court. Its rules are easy for beginners to pick up, making it one of the fastest growing sports in the US — along with the fact that it's fiercely competitive and addictive.
There’s also a welcome choice of spa experiences to soothe aching muscles after your day on the tennis court and other sporting activities on the Cromlix estate include falconry and shooting to more leisurely games of billiards and croquet.
For those who want to explore further afield, all the top attractions of Perthshire and Stirlingshire are within easy reach and Cromlix is just an hour’s drive away from both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Private tennis lessons cost from £105 for a one-hour session and one-hour group lessons for two, three and four guests cost from £120, £130 and £140 respectively. Tennis lessons for children are also available. Latest deals include Game, Set and Stay — a one-night package including afternoon tea with a glass of Pimm’s on arrival, time to hone your championship skills on the Wimbledon-themed tennis courts, a signature 77 cocktail served on the lawn and breakfast. From £482.
You'll find another top hotel for tennis holidays in Scotland - the award-winning Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire has an impressive tennis court that’s open year-round and offers complimentary use of rackets, balls and sessions to practice your swing with the automated ball machine. The hotel can also arrange private tennis lessons for beginners and players of all levels of ability with a professional coach to help you navigate your way around the court, learn the rules and perfect your skills. Use of the tennis court without lessons is free of charge.
This baronial castle hotel is renowned for being a top destination for serious foodies and is also celebrated for its superb repertoire of outdoor experiences and adventures. When you’re ready to take a break from tennis, you can enjoy archery, mountain biking, fishing, jogging and hiking, clay pigeon shooting, croquet, French boules and quoits.
Tennis lessons at Glenapp Castle start from £55 per hour.
Rockcliffe Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa
Arguably one of the finest hotels in County Durham, Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa is also one of the UK’s very best hotels with tennis courts. If you want to practice your serve or fancy playing a full match with one of your friends or family, the hotel’s excellent all-weather tennis courts can be booked at the Spa reception where you can also get your hands on rackets and balls that can be hired free of charge.
The award-winning spa has a treatment menu with sports buffs in mind as well as pampering packages, while the hotel’s three restaurants each offer a unique culinary experience as well calories when it’s time to refuel.
Here, you can also enjoy a vast range of other sports and great outdoor experiences, including a round of golf on the hotel’s prestigious championship course, or the chance to saddle up on one of the complimentary mountain bikes and venture out to explore the beautiful North Yorkshire moors.
Calcot & Spa
For those seeking tennis holidays in the Cotswolds, Calcot & Spa offers a heady combination of rural retreat in lush meadowland, sumptuous fine dining and an award-winning spa, as well as the chance to finesse your tennis game on courts designed for winners. The hotel has two tennis courts with rackets and balls available for hire — with access to the courts and kit complimentary for hotel guests.
Treat yourself to a massage after your tennis match or simply relax with a steam and sauna. The hotel also had a heated outdoor pool and a fleet of mountain bikes for hire when you’re ready to explore the hotel’s 220-acre grounds and the top attractions in the Cotswolds beyond.
If the coast is calling you — and who wouldn’t want to learn how to play tennis while enjoying coastal views — check yourself into the Thurlestone Hotel in South Devon. This idyllic five-star retreat offers some of the best fine dining in England and a divine spa, as well as a warm welcome for tennis fans.
Here you can ace it on a choice of two all-weather tennis courts located in the hotel grounds. Both courts are available at any time year-round, but guests are advised to make a booking up to 48 hours in advance via reception to avoid disappointment. Free equipment hire is also provided.
If you’re also keen on swinging a club, the hotel has its own par 3 golf course while the state-of-the-art Voyage Spa features a swimming pool, jacuzzi, thermal rooms, and treatment rooms. And if you want to make bigger waves, the hotel also offers fishing trips.