By Jennifer Ebert published
Travelling abroad may be a no for now, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a well-deserved break. Upgrade your British staycation with our selection of the best luxury hotels in the UK.
THE BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN THE UK – PERFECT FOR A BRITISH STAYCATION
Now is the perfect time to see the very best of the UK's hotel scene. You are in for a treat...
1. LINKS HOUSE AT ROYAL DORNOCH – SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
ABOUT: Links House is a five-star luxury hotel situated in the rugged and romantic Highlands, one hour from Inverness. Originally the Manse for the Free Church of Scotland in 1843, the house has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Links House offers five deluxe rooms, eight luxury suites and two bespoke apartments – all decorated in the house’s original style with unique tweed and named after North Highlands salmon rivers. Arranged by the hotel’s in-house Highland Concierge, Links House offers a wide range of pursuits – shooting, fishing and hiking. Located 50ft from the first tee of the world acclaimed Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Links House is a hot spot for golfers.
NEW: Links House have partnered with Trees For Life, a charity dedicated to the re-wilding of the Highlands by restoring the Caledonian Forest. The initiative includes opportunities for guests to plant trees in the ‘Links House Grove’ in Glen Affric. For 2021, a Trees for Life forest dish will debut — ‘Pan roast lamb loin, confit lamb belly, lychins, bracken, and fossilised salsify, potato rocks and olive soil’ with profits to Tree For Life.
PRICE: From £225 per night (includes 'The Breakfast Not Worth Getting Out of Bed For' — juice, smoothie, energy shot, tea & coffee, sausage roll, terrine, smoked salmon, oatcakes, egg muffin, blueberry muffin, pastries, & brioche — all locally sourced)
2. ROCKLIFFE HALL – COUNTY DURHAM
ABOUT: Rockliffe Hall offers the most elegant and luxurious stay in County Durham. It is ideally located nearby the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors offering a plethora of places (and vast country spaces!) to visit. All 61 bedrooms are big on space, big on comfort, and big on little luxuries — like ‘Tile TVs’ in the bathrooms. Rooms look out onto the beautiful golf course and meandering River Tees. Further accommodation is available at Tiplady Lodge, surrounded by trees offering ultimate privacy.
The Spa blends outdoors and indoors with its stunning spa garden, where you can soak in the 365 acre estate in the outdoor hydrotherapy massage pool, alternatively relax on the heated loungers, relaxing day beds or soak up some rays on the sun deck. Dining options are aplenty, with The Orangery, The Brasserie, The Clubhouse catering to every need.
NEW: 'Spa in a Box' kits — you will receive a guided video of how to perform a luxury spa experience yourself from the comfort of your five-star bedroom.
PRICE: From £210
3. CHEWTON GLEN – HAMPSHIRE
ABOUT: In the heart of a fabled forest, just minutes from the coast, Chewton Glen is a true English original. Not only a fine 18th century country house hotel & spa, but also a place to touch the skies, in bespoke treehouses: sybarism in harmony with nature. With golf, tennis, an award-winning spa, gym, pool and the renowned James Martin Cookery School, there is plenty here to divert you. And with endless New Forest and coastal walks, ample space to free the mind. Stay over in one of the 72 rooms and suites or 14 luxury Treehouses (the Grande Dame being The Yews treehouse which sleeps 12).
Spoil yourself in the elegant Spa (recently refurbished during lockdown) with 12 treatment rooms and large swimming pool. Take to the sea for exhilarating water sports, explore 130 acres of grounds or enjoy a bicycle ride in the grounds.
NEW: James Martin has been working 9-5 in his restaurant and cookery school there, The Kitchen, proving that he isn’t just a name to the building! The brand new menu includes the most fabulous local seafood platter along with favourites like Padstow Crab and Homemade Pizzas from the walled garden.
NEW: Spa was completely refreshed and renovated during lockdown, and includes two alfresco treehouse treatments — the ‘stripped back’ spa menu is the first of its kind in the UK, and has taken a ‘less is more approach’ that will see therapists create fully bespoke treatments for guests.
PRICE: From £325
4. CLIVEDEN HOUSE – BERKSHIRE
ABOUT: Immerse yourself in 350 years of powerful personalities, wicked parties and scandalous affairs. Built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a gift to his mistress, Cliveden House has exuded intrigue and glamour throughout its illustrious history. Set in 376 acres of National Trust grounds, this Grade I listed stately home blends the grandeur of a private estate, with the sociable geniality of a much-loved host. Easily reached from London, this extraordinary 5-star hotel is a haven of calm. Stay over in one of the 48 bedrooms or Spring Cottage, a jewel-like riverside hideaway.
Spoil yourself at The Cliveden Spa, home to the very swimming pool of the iconic Profumo affair. Only 40 minutes from central London and 20 minutes from Heathrow, this must surely be the most glamorous airport hotel in the world. Activities: Glide the languid, scenic River Thames on one of our vintage boats.
NEW: The Cliveden Picnic: a retro Veuve Clicquot airstream outside The Astor Grill serving takeaways, fluffy scones (and all the trimmings), fish and chips and the Astor Burger.
PRICE: From £445
5. LYGON ARMS – COTSWOLDS
ABOUT: If its honeyed Cotswold walls could speak, they would tell of seven centuries of Royalty and rebellion, glamour and secrets. Sensitively restored to showcase its original architecture, the Lygon Arms enchants with numerous snugs and lounges, cosy rooms and regal splendour. It offers five exceptional culinary venues, a private spa, and an enticing variety of guest rooms, including the regal Charles I suite (where he slept before battle). Step out into timeless Cotswolds views, walks and bijou shops. Come home to locally sourced inspirational cuisine. Barely two hours from London, the Lygon Arms stands proudly on the High Street in Broadway, one of England’s most charismatic villages.
NEW: Forest Bathing Retreats to explore the great outdoors including overnight stay, breakfast, walking trails, forest bathing book and route guidance form in-the-know walking concierge.
NEW: 'The Cotswold Garden Picnic' at The Lygon Arms takes advantage of the incredible gardens, and grounds of vast Lygon Arms estate.
PRICE: From £195
6. HOMEWOOD – SOMERSET
ABOUT: A creeper clad manor house with roots in the 13th century, Homewood (on the doorstep of world heritage city Bath) has recently been given a new lease of life — think playful touches, creative interiors and great British food. Discover 21 beautifully-designed bedrooms, from gorgeous garden suites with their own hot tubs to colourful cosy doubles in the original part of the house and spacious rooms for all the family, including the dog. Fluffy pillows, cloud-like beds and homemade biscuits will make you feel at home, while 21st century touches such as Smeg coffee machines, Dyson hairdryers and statement art and lighting are on hand.
The Homewood Spa offers a hydrotherapy pool and holistic treatments dedicated to restoring mind and body, while outside, you’ll find a heated pool and plenty of space to lounge and rediscover your balance.
NEW: Homewood’s ethos is all about the best of British home-cooked food, served in elegant yet relaxed surrounds – the lovely Olio Terrace, a light-filled restaurant and the perfect spot for a delicious breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner (and everything in between).
PRICE: From £120 (low season) / £185 (high season)
7. THE BIRD – BATH
ABOUT: A beautiful, quirky and creative boutique hotel in Bath Spa city centre, THE BIRD offers vibrant upscale rooms, many with views out over Bath Abbey and the Recreation Ground. Just around the corner from some of the city’s best-loved world heritage locations such as Great Pulteney Street, The Victoria Art Gallery and the famed Pulteney weir, it’s also within easy walking distance of The Roman Baths, Jane Austen Centre and Thermae Bath Spa as well as the city’s renowned fine dining restaurants and boutiques. Plus, a cream tea upon arrival is waiting for you! (*when booked direct).
NEW: Popinjays is the place to be this summer. Decked out with informal seating, exotic Balinese parasols and creative planting not to mention the south-facing views across towards Bath Abbey, there is plenty of Bird soul and fabulously flamboyant touches to enjoy.
PRICE: From £115
8. THE MITRE – HAMPTON COURT
ABOUT: Launching September 2020, The Mitre, is a Grade II-listed property dating back to 1665, originally used as ancillary accommodation for guests of King Charles II at Hampton Court Palace. Set on the banks of the River Thames, the 36-bedroom hotel will include a 60-cover riverside all day dining and wine bar, a 70-cover brasserie and bar, an 60-cover Orangery, a large riverside terrace, meeting rooms and private dining areas.
NEW: Chef Ronnie Kimbugwe, whose background includes over six years with the Gordon Ramsay group at Claridges, joins the new hotel and hospitality brand from the Bel and Dragon Country Inns, where he created a highly successful group of gastropubs across the South of England.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space.
Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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