Bowood is a Georgian country house set in stunning Grade I listed parkland laid out by Capability Brown. Located in Calne, Wiltshire, the hotel and leisure spa complex is at the heart of the 2000-acre Bowood Estate. The practice was commissioned to create a luxury hotel and leisure spa complex, with exemplary environmental standards to reflect the rich heritage of the Bowood Estate and to offer a special and intimate experience to guests.

The sensitive nature of the site, encompassed by Grade I listed parkland, along with its close proximity to four listed buildings presented challenges to the team. The design had to deliver luxury, sustainability and originality while being sympathetic to its unique, picturesque setting. Internally, extensive services were required to create a luxury hotel environment and spa facilities had to be concealed within orderly, welcoming spaces.

Thoughtful siting and massing of the building combined with carefully chosen materials, including natural lime renders and traditional roof slates, have ensured that the hotel seamlessly integrated into its historic surroundings with beautiful views across the parkland.

The hotel comprises 43 bedrooms with an additional six luxury suites. State-of-the-art guest facilities include a 15m swimming pool with a gym, rock sauna, crystal steam room and aromatherapy showers. The restaurant can seat up to 80 with a bar and two comfortable lounges featuring wood burning fire.

Utilising natural resources

Helping the client to fully utilise the site’s natural, sustainable resources was also key to the success of the scheme and consequently environmental considerations were incorporated into the design from the outset.

The development, designed to be low-carbon and as sustainable as possible, boasts impressive environmental features. A biomass boiler fuels the 43-room hotel and spa with vastly reduced carbon output. Timber thinnings from the estate are converted into wood chips to fuel the eco-friendly system and with reed bed drainage and a sedum roof, the spa is the embodiment of eco-luxury.

Protecting Bowood's heritage is at the heart of everything we do. The environmentally sound Biomass wood burning heating system is, therefore, in tune with our culture and philosophy to be self-sufficient and recycle our own products. The perpetual maintenance of our woodland generates large amounts of wood that we will now be able to recycle.

Lord Lansdowne, owner of Bowood Estate