• Cliveden House Hotel & Spa, Berkshire

    Cliveden is a National Trust-owned estate in the Chilterns boasting a 5-star hotel and luxurious spa. It boasts an illustrious and scandalous past, from its original owner, The Duke of Buckingham, through to the Astors and the infamous Profumo affair. With Darke & Taylor’s involvement, this refurbishment project was shortlisted for a prestigious National Design Award.

    Cliveden House & Spa, Berkshire


Working alongside a five-star hotel: This was a high-profile multi-million spa refurbishment following a fire in 2014. No inconvenience to Cliveden’s hotel guests could be tolerated during the works and the finish had to be of the highest quality.

Wildlife considerations: The outside needed to blend seamlessly with the inside, which raised the issue of the local bat population. Any exterior lighting solutions required prior approval from the National Trust and the local ‘bat man’.

Listed building constraints: Any changes to the exterior look of the building (such as decorative light fittings) required prior approval from both the National Trust and English Heritage. Likewise, the spa interior had to be carefully lit to enhance the guest’s experience of calm and luxury.


SBID Award finalist: The work was carefully planned to minimise any disruption to hotel guests whilst being delivered to the standards demanded by a multi award-winning hotel. As a result, the refurbishment received a ‘Best Hotel & Public Space Design’ nomination for Formation Architects. The award noted the “highly impressive space, all light-filled rooms of whites and neutrals and stylish deco-inspired touches.”

External light spill avoided: After detailed consultations, specially-sourced lights were positioned to shine across garden rather than up towards the trees, thus safeguarding the bats’ natural habitat.

Low-key sensitivity: Iconic landmarks, such as the infamous outdoor pool, were imaginatively lit to blend in with their surroundings. Inside, stylish features, such as the semi-opaque Barrisol lighting over the pool, dovetailed with the high-end five-star look demanded by Cliveden House.


“With such a wonderful and unique facility, we look forward to continuously evolving the guest experience in the Spa, and indeed the whole House, during this really exciting time at Cliveden.”

General Manager, Kevin Brooke

Technical overview

Darke & Taylor was engaged by SRE Hotels to design and carry out the electrical, lighting, fire, security and data cabling works to the Cliveden Spa refurbishment and to upgrade the alarm systems throughout the Cliveden Estate.

Key elements of the scheme included developing a bespoke architectural lighting scheme able to create an impressive range of scenes and moods and implementing a coordinated life safety and security system to include ANPR cameras, assistance alarms, fire detection and room security that can be centrally monitored and controlled for the protection of the hotel’s guests.

Project details

CHECKING CONSULTANTSlender Winter Partnership
ARCHITECTFormation Architects

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