BEST FOR AN ACTIVE WEEKEND:
The Retreat at Elcot Park, Berkshire
The Signet Collection is behind SL-favourite The Mitre Hampton Court and Barnsdale Lodge. Earlier this year, it opened The Retreat at Elcot Park in west Berkshire – and it’s already established itself as a pretty popular spot. Housed in a Grade II-listed 18th-century building (once home to Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley), the hotel has 55 individually designed bedrooms and impressive grounds with views of the Wessex Downs. There are two restaurants (an all-day brasserie and a pan-Asian restaurant), as well as a whisky tasting room, tennis courts, and an outdoor infinity pool, complete with a Whispering Angel bar. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a spa, and a courtyard housing a bakery, coffee shop, hair salon and wine store. Well-behaved dogs are also welcome.
Rooms from £185 per night.
BEST FOR A NORTHERN ESCAPE:
Victorian House Hotel, Lake District
As well as offering some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes, the Lake District is synonymous with destination hotels and holiday homes. For an affordable option, Victorian House Hotel is a family and dog-friendly hotel in Grasmere, a pretty village popular with tourists thanks to its rows of 19th- and 20th-century stone houses. Guests can stay in cosy rooms in the main house or in the newer shepherd’s hut on the estate, complete with riverbank views and a vintage roll-top bath. Elsewhere, there’s a bright and light dining room which serves breakfast and small plates throughout the day made from local produce, as well as a bar with an interesting cocktail and mocktail menu. The hotel can help you book activities in and around Grasmere, from boating trips to horse riding.
Rooms from £140 per night.
BEST FOR COTSWOLDS LUXURY:
Double Red Duke, Oxfordshire
Double Red Duke is a modern gastropub in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds – but its rooms rival that of any boutique hotel on this list. Ideal for a foodie staycation, guests can stay in one of six spacious rooms above the restaurant which have bold patterned wallpaper, plush headboards and cosy lighting – some even have freestanding baths. Here, food is at the heart of each stay, as guests are treated to the best local produce for breakfast and all-day dining. There’s also a fantastic Sunday lunch menu; roast dinners with all the trimmings are served by a roaring fire in the main dining room, before generous desserts are offered with lashings of custard or homemade ice-cream. Guests can also book treatments in the shepherd’s hut using 100 Acres products.
Rooms from £180 per night.
BEST FOR A WEEKEND IN WALES:
Penally Abbey, Wales
There’s a lot to admire about Penally Abbey hotel in Wales, from its chic, minimalist bedrooms to its candlelit restaurant. Located just outside Tenby, and a ten-minute walk from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, the family-run hotel has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment. Today, there are 12 bedrooms with plush decorative accents and tasteful pops of colour throughout, as well as a new bar, courtyard and landscaped gardens. Its destination restaurant Rhosyn celebrates the best of Pembrokeshire produce – expect six- and ten-course tasting menus served in a relaxed dining room. After a day of exploring the local area (the nearest beach is about 30 minutes away), guests can settle down in the communal living room with a book and mug of hot chocolate.
Rooms from £150 per night.
BEST FOR A BOUTIQUE EXPERIENCE:
The Yard in Bath, Somerset
Bath has no shortage of luxury hotels, and The Yard is one of the more affordable. A short walk from Milsom Street’s shops and cafés, the hotel in set in a Georgian building with a Grade II-listed courtyard and cosy rooms at every turn. There are 13 to choose from – with some of our favourite interiors on this list – ranging from classic rooms to larger suites, all with beautiful printed wallpaper, Pooky lighting and a mixture of classic and contemporary furniture. Guests can enjoy breakfast in bed (a hamper filled with local produce will be delivered to your door), or venture downstairs to find a café and wine bar with a thoughtfully curated wine list and cocktail menu. The Roman Baths and Royal Crescent are just minutes away – ideal for a relaxing weekend for two.
Rooms from £140 per night.
BEST FOR FOODIES:
Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall
Coombeshead is a guesthouse on a working farm in the pretty Cornish village of Launceston. Created by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield (who also own The Spotted Pig in New York), the property is on a 66-acre estate surrounded by meadows, woodland and scenic walking routes. Here, sustainability comes in the form of a zero-waste restaurant where diners are treated to hearty meals made from food grown on the estate and produce from local suppliers. There’s also a café, farm shop and bakery in an old stable block. Guests can stay in one of four double en-suite rooms in the converted Grain Store, or in the main Farmhouse which has a further five rooms. All are modern and fresh with cosy country interiors. There isn’t any wi-fi on site, so expect to go off-grid during your stay.
Rooms from £145 per night.
BEST FOR A CITY BREAK:
Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle
Book a staycation in Newcastle to soak up its cultural highlights – and as long as you’re happy not to stay in the city centre, Jesmond Dene House will be the perfect home away from home. Just a ten-minute drive away from town, the Grade II-listed house feels like an upmarket country hotel – without the hefty price tag. Surrounded by acres of private woodland, wood panelling, inglenook fireplaces and plush interiors make it a great base from which to explore the north east of England. Each of the 40 bedrooms has lovely views of the estate and surrounding area, while the modern en-suites have underfloor heating. Guests can relax and unwind in two spacious living areas, enjoy meals in the conservatory dining area (the restaurant has three AA rosettes), and have evening drinks in the Great Hall.
Rooms from £70 per night.
BEST FOR COUPLES:
Glebe House, Devon
Glebe House was made for couples looking to escape busy city life. In the small east Devon town of Colyton, the hotel is set on a 15-acre estate, with five beautiful bedrooms featuring dreamy interiors and plush furnishings. The Old Kitchen Room has pretty pink pastels, an indoor wood burner and a freestanding bath behind a chic rattan divider. Glebe House also has a tennis court, swimming pool and casual dining restaurant serving some of the best Devonshire food. With far-reaching views over the rolling Coly Valley, and a short drive from the Jurassic coast, think of this as a foodie retreat in the West Country.
Rooms from £150 per night.
BEST FOR A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY:
The Pheasant Inn, Berkshire
Just outside Hungerford, The Pheasant Inn is full of character and charm. A great option if you want to explore the local country walks, the inn has 14 bedrooms to choose from, including three new spaces created by interior designer Isabella Worsley. There’s also a new restaurant with a seasonal menu focusing on the best of British produce – think Cornish crab salad with toasted sourdough; or wild garlic gnocchi with sautéed mushrooms, charred broccoli and pesto. Pull up a leather bar stool to enjoy local beer or settle into the hidden snug with a glass of wine.
Rooms from £115 per night.
BEST FOR A SEASIDE ESCAPE:
The Gallivant, Rye
You’ll find the Gallivant on the Sussex coast in Rye. Head there for a wellness retreat for two and experience an English wine tasting or go wild swimming, before relaxing in one of the hotel’s coastal-inspired bedrooms. Inside, you’ll find nautical décor throughout, hidden reading nooks and beautiful views of the beach. Camber Sands is a three-minute walk away, while Rye Harbour, Hastings and the famous Mermaid Street are also both a short distance from the hotel. Couples wanting a romantic seaside escape will love the relaxed ambience and picturesque views.
From £180 per night.
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