Dormy House Hotel
Set within the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds, Dormy House Hotel offers a luxury stay in rustic surroundings. A former farmhouse, the hotel has benefited from a recent £10m refurbishment, which now sees modern spa facilities and pared-back décor blended with restored roll-top baths and traditional fireplaces. Our favourite spot is Rose Cottage, a private retreat with its very own courtyard and hot tub. When it comes to dining, The Potting Shed restaurant offers a relaxed environment, while the Garden Room is the spot for fine-dining.
Farncombe Estate, Willersy Hill, Broadway WR12 7LF; rooms from £265 per night
Cary Arms & Spa
Quickly glance at photos of this Devon resort, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just off the Mediterranean. Located in the sheltered harbour of Babbacombe Beach, this hideaway offers guests a variety of accommodation, from rooms above the inn to private two-floor beach cottages and five-bedroom cottages. The glass-fronted, sea-facing Coastal Spa offers a range of Thalgo treatments, while the Cary Arms itself serves locally sourced gastro-pub fare, such as Lyme Bay lobster.
Babbacombe Beach, South Devon TQ1 3LX; rooms from £245 per night
The newest of Farncombe Estate’s three properties, The Fish is a stylish collection of huts, treehouses and hotel rooms. Adopting a Scandi-chic look and feel, it offers couples a budget-friendly option for weekend stays in the Cotswolds – we like the look of the Hideaway Huts (coming summer 2018) which offer a private woodland setting, a balcony with a chiminea and an outdoor bath. Within the main hotel, Hook serves up stylish seafood dishes in a laid-back environment.
Farncombe Estate, Willersy Hill, Broadway WR12 7LF; rooms from £170 per night
No 38 The Park
If you’re looking for something a little more urban, this Georgian townhouse in the centre of Cheltenham might hit the spot. Each of its 13 bedrooms is decorated individually – quirky yet chic, expect parquet flooring and king-sized beds lined with Egyptian cotton sheets to be paired with a bright red roll-top bath, a piece of art by the likes of David Hockney or Peter Black, or statement wallpaper. Sister restaurants No 131 and The Tavern are within walking distance and offer modern-European menus.
38 Evesham Rd, Cheltenham GL52 2AH; rooms from £102 per night
Old Swan & Minster Mill
Just outside Oxford, this country inn and restaurant counts 65 acres of grounds and the picturesque village of Minster Lovell as its neighbours. Guests have a choice of two styles of accommodation – the Swan Inn offers 15 charming, traditional suites, while the next door Minster Mill contains 34 Scandinavian-style rooms, many with their own balconies and fire pits. Cycling, lawn sports, tennis and a spa are all available for guests to use, and afternoon tea in the pub is a must.
Old Minster, Minster Lovell, Witney OX29 0RN; rooms from £99 per night
A sister property to Cliveden House, Chewton Glen in the New Forest offers weekenders a wealth of accommodation offerings. We’d go for one of the high-end treehouses, a secluded spot 35ft up in the woods – each comes with its own private balcony and hot tub, as well as a wood-burner and marble bathroom. Elsewhere, guests can cook up a storm at a masterclass at TV chef James Martin’s onsite cookery school, or make use of the golf course, spa, tennis courts and swimming pool.
New Forest, Hampshire BH25 6QS; rooms from £325 per night
This five-star hotel is a Grade I-listed property set in 376 acres of National Trust grounds. Within, expect to find beautifully restored bedrooms, complete with four-poster beds, fireplaces and period furnishings. Fancy a jaunt down the River Thames? Cliveden has its very own boathouse complete with a flotilla of vintage vessels. Make sure to set aside some time for a visit to its new spa, followed by dinner an eight-course tasting menu at André Garrett’s onsite restaurant.
Taplow, Berkshire SL6 0JF; rooms from £445 per night
The Boathouse at Knotts End
An unusual rural retreat, this boathouse hotel can be found of the shores of Lake Ullswater in Cumbria. Built in the 19th century, the contemporary one-bedroom property really does allow couples to get away from it all – there’s no wi-fi, TV or neighbours to be seen. Instead, the lakeside surroundings offer plenty of opportunities for walking, picnicking and swimming. A private jetty comes with its own boat for rowing and a secluded balcony is the perfect spot for sundowners.
Oldchurch Bay, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 0JJ; rooms from £170 per night
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