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Stoke Park adds padel to its award-winning facilities

Stoke Park – the wonderful luxury 5-star hotel in Buckinghamshire, UK – has recently introduced two padel courts to extend their leisure facilities. For the uninitiated like myself, padel is similar to a combination of tennis and squash played outdoors on astroturf. Although first introduced to the UK in 1992, padel has been played for over 100 years, becoming a sporting phenomenon throughout many Hispanic nations including Spain, Mexico and Argentina. It has recently been adopted by the LTA – Lawn Tennis Association and Tom Murray from British Padel recently said “to have such a prestigious venue (Stoke Park) joining the association gives a huge boost to our key objective of this year, which is for padel to achieve official sporting classification in the UK. We currently have 55 padel courts in the UK, and now with these two additional courts at Stoke Park, it really is helping the popularity of the sport.’ The court is mainly surrounded by glass walls which are an integral and essential part of the game and the service is underhand not overhead. The bats are similar to tennis racquets but have shorter handles and solid heads with a few holes to allow for aero-dynamics. The balls are the same as tennis but have slightly less pressure. The popularity of the game is undoubtedly due to the fact that it is very sociable. There are no singles matches, only doubles so more people therefore play at any one time than in tennis. It is also apparently quicker and easier to learn the rudiments and then put them into practice. The bats are similar to tennis racquets but have shorter handles and solid heads with a few holes to allow for aero-dynamics. The balls are the same as tennis but have slightly less pressure. The coaches at Stoke Park recommend the following tips when playing: Keep the ball low Try to serve and volley Use the lob to keep opponents away from the net Move up and back as a team Use placements and angles rather than brute force! Padel is now an addition to Stoke Park’s health and racquet facilities. These include 13 tennis courts – 6 Wimbledon spec grass courts, 3 indoor, 4 floodlit clay and 2 more to follow next year. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stoke Park.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. My tip for padel is try to undercut your shots so that they fade a bit on your opponent so that you are hurrying them into a shot before they are ready. It’s especially effective if you can use the angle to force them wide on both their backhand or forehand. As they are chasing cross court the ball might begin to die on them a bit early than they expected. For me low and skiddy has always been my key padel tactic.

    1. Yep. Those are exactly the tactics that my 13 year old son used to thrash his unfit father. I wouldn’t have been too bitter if it hadn’t been his first game of padel.

  2. Any one for tennis? 13 courts is mightily impressive. You could hold some tennis tournament at stoke Park – I bet the competitors would love staying there in the lap of luxury.

    I would have thought that 13 courts must come close to rivalling Bisham Abbey?

  3. There’s nothing better than playing tennis on high quality grass courts. Tennis was meant to be played on fast grass but it’s frustrating if the grass isn’t quite up to standard. I haven’t played on top quality grass for a while now. It would be good to get back on a Wimbledon style court before the summer fades away with a nice break to Stoke Park.

    1. Hi Caroline… the grass courts are open from May to September, so you might want to squeeze in a break quickly before they close for the season. Alternatively, they have clay courts that are open year round.

  4. The only sports that I am half-decent at are racquet games. I’ve had a go at most of them. I’ve even played Real Tennis – the game that seems as if it came straight out of Hogwarts, and as I’ve played it that probably puts me somewhere in the top 6,000 in the world as that’s about the number playing the game. So I’d quite like to have a go at padel, it could be my game. Though there’s probably a lot more than 6,000 people playing padel throughout the world.

    1. I’ve played rackets – like a huge squash court but a much faster game (I was told it was the faster ball game in the world at the time I played 30+ years ago – not sure if that’s still true to this day) – and fives… again a bit like squash, but played with the hand (and a glove). Both good fun.

      But I’ve never tried my hand at padel… maybe one day!

  5. It’s good that Stoke Park has so many facilities on offer. When I go away for a break for a long weekend for me much of the pleasure is parking the car for a few days and putting the keys away. I do too much driving in everyday life so I always go to places where there’s plenty on site to keep me occupied, the more options the better.

    1. You can certainly do that at Stoke Park, Julie!

      I’ve stayed a couple of times – both short breaks – and there’s plenty to do, whether you want to be active or simply relax in the spa (which had a £20m refurbishment between our two stays and is really looking great now!).

  6. My doctor has just issued stern warnings to me about my weight, BMI, blood pressure, waist measurement and lack of exercise etc etc etc Well, it wasn’t just now, it was several weeks ago but I haven’t done anything about it yet.

    I don’t live too far away from Stoke Park so playing some padel might be good for my health. I used to play a bit of tennis and squash so padel may be the way to get back in shape.

  7. This is the first I’ve ever heard of padel. Even the spellchecker doesn’t know it! It’s interesting that it’s got a rich history and that there are already quite a few courts up and down the country, I never would have guessed that. I hope it does get that official sporting classification as it sounds like a fun one to play but I’d blatantly use brute force, it’d be too tempting not to just whack the ball with all you’ve got!

  8. I’m always up for trying a new activity, that’s the sort of challenge that helps keep you young. I enjoy the tactical challenge of working out the tactics and persuading my creaking body to put them into action.

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