Luxury hotels in the UK offer a wide variety of experience, from family-friendly escapes to adult-only experiences. Across the country, hoteliers have created destinations that feed the soul and soothe the senses, from eco-friendly spa hotels to those steeped in tradition and history. As we look forward to being able to celebrate the UK hospitality industry in all its glory later this year, here the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 of its top recommended luxury hotels in the UK.
With a reputation of being one of the UK’s finest country house hotels, Hambleton Hall by Rutland Water combines history and natural beauty. Bringing together comfort and style, its 17 bedrooms are draped in rich fabrics, each with its own signature colour and unique details. The hotel has had a stellar reputation for its food for more than four decades, serving a gourmet menu delivered by knowledgeable waiters and sommeliers. The gardens are also a major attraction – perfectly manicured, they include a secluded swimming pool and plenty of space to wander.
A family-run, luxury hotel in Devon, Lewtrenchard Manor sits in a secluded valley beneath Dartmoor’s wild tors. The building dates back to the 1600s and much of the architecture and period details remain intact. The grounds are mature and have a wild beauty to them, while inside you’re greeted by a rich tapestry of wood-paneled drawing rooms, oil paintings, stucco ceilings and antiques. Go for a wooded walk down to the river, dine on local and home-grown ingredients. Sleep in exquisite rooms featuring details such as Renaissance woodwork, a Jacobean ceiling and Rococo fireplace.
A five-star luxury hotel and spa in the New Forest, Chewton Glen manages to straddle the line between being a romantic hotel, a family-friendly hotel and a wonderful place to visit with friends. It offers unadulterated luxury at every turn. The spa is a sanctuary of wellbeing, while rooms and suites come in a range of different options. Some of the most popular are the treehouse suites, which see you wake in the treetops. There is also the opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities, whether it’s croquet on the lawn, a course in the cookery school or activities with the kids such as the Beehive Children’s Club.
Described as ‘stubbornly English, deliciously stylish, quietly eccentric’, Langar Hall is a characterful country house hotel made famous by its late proprietor, Imogen Skirving. The iconic property is surrounded by gorgeous grounds that include a network of moats that nod to its medieval history when once a castle stood on-site. Inside, each individually named and decorated room includes details such as four-poster beds, a claw footed baths and heritage colors. You can also choose to stay in The Agnews Chalet on the croquet lawn or The Pod, for an intimate glamping experience in the grounds. Wine, cocktails and dining are also a wonderful experience. Food is fresh, local and it’s like artwork on a plate.
On a private island just off the coast of Devon, Burgh Island Hotel is a famous art deco escape once frequented by Agatha Christie. Reach it on a unique, custom made sea tractor when the tide is high, or by private jeep when the beach is visible. The hotel brings the roaring ‘30s to life – it’s all about dressing the part, enjoying the views and stepping back in time. Dinner is an occasion to dress for, afternoon tea is a must. In lieu of a swimming pool, there’s a ‘mermaid pool’ outside, where sea water fills a natural rock formation, and if you tire of five-star luxury for a moment, you can always head to the island’s own ancient pub.
This Dartmoor hotel owned by renowned hotelier and interior designer, Olga Polizzi, hotel Endsleigh is a country house hotel overlooking the river Tamar. It was once a hunting and fishing lodge for the Duke of Bedford; the gardens and surrounding countryside are a huge part of the experience to this day. Rooms honor the history of the building while at the same time feeling fresh and contemporary. Food is served in the original dining room, which has wood paneling on the walls, which are also decorated with the crests of the friends of the Duke of Bedford.
A luxurious eco-hotel and spa, The Scarlet is an exceptional experience offering cutting edge architecture, contemporary design and superb wellbeing experiences. An adult-only hotel, it’s perched on top of the cliffs with outdoor hot tubs perfectly poised for drinking champagne with a view. The spa is an inextricable part of your stay here, with ayurvedic treatments, relaxation by the pool as well as by the fire and far-reaching views over the wild and beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
An oligarch of the modern luxury hotel and spa world, is there anything that Lime Wood doesn’t do right? This beautiful New Forest hotel is like something straight out of a movie set - perfectly coiffed in an ‘I just woke up like this’ kind of way. The luxurious Georgian stone mansion is surrounded by exemplary grounds, and offers both sumptuous suites and rustic family cottages to reside in. Meanwhile, always looking to improve, in 2018 they added a log cabin into the mix, cantilevered over the small lake, for that extra touch of wow factor when you wake up in the morning. Wellies and waterproofs are provided, and food is exceptional, while in the grounds the spa is centered around the gardens and is the ideal marriage between wellbeing and pampering.
A wonderfully romantic country house hotel in a pretty Cotswold village, Barnsley House is the kind of place that beckons to host summer weddings. The 17th-century stone house is set in historic gardens that are filled with exquisitely cultivated plants. Bicycles are available to borrow for a rural ride, and when you return home, chef Francesco Volgo will have prepared food that takes inspiration from the garden.
Even the kids receive white glove service at Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire’s luxurious hotel in a 14th-century farmhouse. Parents, grandparents and children alike delight in this beautiful destination surrounded by charming gardens - perfect for running around in. Inside there is a Playzone equipped with arts and crafts, an Ofsted-registered, purpose-built crèche and The Mez - an Aladdin’s cave of entertainment, with PlayStations, Wii consoles, Xbox 360s, computers and even a 12-seater cinema for children aged eight and over.