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  • Sarah
  • September 24, 2019 11:53:50 AM
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News, reviews and opinions on everything to do with leisure, from hotels and holidays to food and fitness, by journalist and author Sarah Bridge

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A West Sussex spa hotel stay come rain or shine at South Lodge, Horsham

Staying at a luxury country house hotel when the weather is terrible might seem like a bit of a waste – you can forget cocktails on the terrace, long country walks, or stunning photos to make your friends envious – so our trip to West Sussex spa hotel South Lodge might have seem mistimed. However […] The post A West Sussex spa hotel stay come rain or shine at South Lodge, Horsham appeared first on...

Staying at a luxury country house hotel when the weather is terrible might seem like a bit of a waste – you can forget cocktails on the terrace, long country walks, or stunning photos to make your friends envious – so our trip to West Sussex spa hotel South Lodge might have seem mistimed.

spa at South LLodge hotel

The brand new spa at South Lodge hotel, Horsham (pictured on sunnier days)

However the great things about rainy day hotel stays is that there’s no obligation to do anything but head straight for the spa and stay there as long as you possibly can.

Thankfully South Lodge hotel in West Sussex, just south of Horsham, is the ideal place for that. The hotel itself was built in 1883 by Frederick Du Cane Godman (who inherited a fortune through a family connection to the Whitbread brewing company) but the modern spa is less than a year old and at 44,000 sq ft is full of everything you could ask for to wile away a rainy weekend.

indoor pool at South Lodge hotel and spa

OK – so this is one of those pics where the pool looks like the size of a football field (it’s from the hotel’s own collection as it’s a bit impolite to take pics when other guests are swimming) but it was a decent-sized pool at 22 metres and had lots of loungers dotted round the side, so even on a rainy day we could find some free ones

There’s a 22 metre indoor pool surrounded by luxurious loungers, there’s a sauna, a herbal steam room and a marble-lined salt steam room (our favourite) – all ideal for warming us up from the wintery mix.

sauna at South Lodge hotel and spa

The sauna at South Lodge hotel and spa which looks out onto the grounds

(Incidentally the house itself, which was sold to Exclusive Hotels in 1985 by Frederick Godman’s heirs, has a fascinating history which can be read here https://www.aahorsham.co.uk/content/southlodge)

spa terrace at South Lodge Horsham

The terrace outside the spa restaurant Botanica, plus the hydrotherapy pool just behind, and the main hotel building in the background

The teeming rain didn’t deter us from venturing back outside either: while the outdoor ‘wild swimming’ pool was definitely a sun-only option, the heated outdoor hydrotherapy pool was perfectly fine in the rain and was even quite fun.

natural pool at South Lodge hotel and spa

The natural pool at South Lodge hotel and spa

The smart changing rooms at South Lodge's spa

The smart changing rooms at South Lodge’s spa

A host of sun loungers overlooking the grassy lawns sloping around from the rear of the hotel was a clue to how nice the spa experience would be in the summer time, but with a host of wellness treatments, a gym, a spinning studio and fitness classes you won’t be stuck for things to do if the weather turns poor. One changing room might be much like another but there had been a lot of thought put into the ones at South Lodge: not only were they very smart and modern, but there were added touches such as hair-straighteners, art-deco-style lighting, tonnes of fluffy towels and names for all the lockers which made it feel more personal.

Tempting as it was to remain in the spa until dinner and then dine in the spa restaurant in our fluffy robes, such attire is only allowed until 6pm and so we duly headed back to our room to dress in a more civilised fashion for the evening meal.

To book directly with the hotel, click on: South Lodge hotel and spa
To compare the latest prices for South Lodge click on: Booking.com – HotelsCombined – Expedia
To read more reviews and for the latest prices click here to go to South Lodge hotel and spa on TripAdvisor

bedroom at South Lodge hotel and spa

Our bedroom was vast, with two King-sized beds, high ceilings, a desk, Smart TV, lots of wardrobe space and Minty the lamb (on the bed) waiting to welcome us

Our corner room on the first floor, was huge and with its two King-sized beds reminded me of hotel bedrooms in Las Vegas. I wasn’t a huge fan of the brick effect on some of the walls but we weren’t lacking for amenities: as well as a large TV and a desk, various chairs, bedside tables, lamps, wardrobes, lots of plug points, complimentary water a kettle and coffee machine, there was an in-room iPad for all your hotel stay needs.

ipad in the bedrooms at South Lodge

From our in-room iPad we could order from a selection of speciality pillows, book a turndown service, order fresh milk and even read the day’s newspapers

You could choose extra pillows (we immediately sent for a selection), pick a time for your turndown service and, we discovered later, read the morning newspapers (I prefer to have one delivered to my room but there was a good selection to choose from downstairs if you’re a paper-over-breakfast person).

I’m not usually keen on in-room iPads but this one seemed quite fun, even if it turned out to be only half successful: our pillows arrived but our requested turndown never materialised. It was strange not to have a fridge either in a hotel of this size and quality but one can be requested and when we phoned down for fresh milk it arrived in a matter of minutes.

The family bathroom had twin sinks, a smart tiled shower, a bath with its own TV, and the whole room set-up seemed very luxurious with its massive windows and acreage of carpet. There were some nice unique touches too including plenty of complimentary water, a master switch for lighting next to both beds, a notice next to an empty vase saying please do pick some wildflowers on the estate to decorate your room, plus Minty, the room’s fluffy lamb.

Botanica restaurant at South Lodge

The spa restaurant where we ate dinner was called Botantica and was light, airy and modern, with a great cocktail selection and wide choice of locally-sourced food

We headed back to the spa restaurant courtesy of Mike from reception who ferried us there in one of South Lodge’s golf buggies (he sweetly got some towels to dry the seats off from the pouring rain). The spa restaurant is called Botantica and is a large, airy space over the spa itself. (There is also a more formal restaurant, Tom Kemble at The Pass, in the main hotel which is more of a ‘special occasion blow-out’ kind of place.)

menu at Botanica restaurant South Lodge

The menu at Botanica was tiny in font but large in ambition, with a great range of healthy food

The menu at Botantica – which for some reason is done in a minute font – looked quirky and appealing with sections of Small Plates, Large Plates, Sharing Plates plus snacks and desserts, and had a healthy bias with lots of fish, vegetables and vegetarian options. There was obviously a lot of original thought which had gone into the menu and my only criticism of it was that it could be been far more informative.

One item was merely described a ‘Wasted’ burger and chips which meant nothing to us until we asked our waitress about it and discovered it was made from left-over carrots and beetroots from a local supplier, with chips made from potato trimmings. This was a great idea and one which could have been highlighted in the menu (not least to make it clear that this was a vegan burger – the tiny PB meaning ‘plant-based’ could have easily been overlooked).

Information about where the meat, fish and vegetables came from would be have been great too as it felt like the suppliers were probably local and organic but it would have been nice to know.

cocktail menu Botanica

One menu that wasn’t lacking in information was the cocktail menu which was so alluringly written that we had to start with a couple of drinks – the Bloody Mary was particularly good

One aspect not lacking in information was the cocktail menu which was so entertaining written that we couldn’t resist trying a couple – a hefty Bloody Mary which makes my mouth water just thinking about it – and a white lime and seaweed margarita, both excellent.

For dinner itself we decided to push the boat out and go straight for the sharing plate of 26oz rib of beef with charred tenderstem broccoli, horseradish gremolata and rocket. We filled in the 20 minutes waiting time by scoffing two bowls of excellent olives and had worked up quite an appetite when it did appear.

dinner at Botanica restaurant |South Lodge

Our impressive main course – a 26oz rib of beef with charred tenderstem broccoli, horseradish gremolata and rocket. The horseradish and chips were particularly good

It was certainly a memorable and tasty dish – although I had expected it to be a little hotter and glistening rather than with the air of having ‘rested’ for too long – but it was a perfect wintry indulgence and the accompanying horseradish and chips were delicious.

South Lodge hotel and spa

Even in the pouring rain, South Lodge looked rather impressive. This is as far as we got from the hotel before admitting defeat

breakfast selection at South Lodge

Just a small glimpse of the impressive breakfast selection at South Lodge

The next morning our plans to explore the estate further were thwarted by the never-ending rain so with the use of the hotel’s umbrellas we made it just as far as the large terrace and a sign showing that the ‘Glorious Sussex Downs’ might be somewhere in the fog, before admitting defeat and heading into breakfast.

This was in a charming room which overlooked the gardens and had a different, more modern style to the more traditional bar and lounge. There was a large choice of cereals, pastries, fresh fruits and compotes, plus some extremely nice blended fruit juices and smoothies. There was a selection of heated breakfast items such as bacon, eggs, tomatoes and sausages but as we weren’t pushed for time we opted for Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine, both of which arrived promptly and were excellent.

After breakfast there was just enough time for a tour of the hotel. South Lodge is really rather large, as befits a hotel which once hosted the G20 summit, with a massive conference centre at one end – which doesn’t impact on the guest experience at all – and lots of differently-furnished rooms such as a Drawing Room perfect for afternoon tea, a Lounge and the Billiard Bar which served coffee during the day and cocktails at night.

drawing room at South Lodge

The Drawing Room at South Lodge was ideal for afternoon tea whatever the weather, with a real log fire and plenty of comfy sofas

cellar at south lodge

The unique cellar at South Lodge which we discovered by accident – the hotel holds events here but you can also hold your own wine-tasting here with a card from reception. Perfect for a rainy day!

There were also little hidden treats such as a wine-tasting cellar where you could sample wines by the glass, splash or sip. This was tucked away downstairs and South Lodge not only holds events here but all guests can use it at their leisure just by getting a card at reception, but which annoyingly isn’t mentioned on check-in – we would loved to have tried some of the wines in our own personal wine-tasting. Hotels don’t want to bombard guests with information the moment they check in but a quick run-through of the highlights would be nice. Hotels should show off what makes them unique!

Naomi bedroom at South Lodge hotel and spa

There are many different styles of bedroom at South Lodge including Naomi, a charming and cosy room right up in the eaves

Some of the bedrooms at South Lodge were unexpectedly lovely too and more individual than corporate – we particularly loved Naomi, a romantic little bolt hole tucked away in the eaves. For such a large hotel, the attentiveness of the staff was especially good – during our stay Mike also found us a couple of  toothpaste and toothbrush sets as we’d left ours behind – and there was always someone on hand to assist. I’d say you don’t need to wait until the weather improves before heading to South Lodge – or you could always book yourself in for two stays – one winter, one summer – and compare the two experiences. Now that would really be an indulgence.

South Lodge hotel and spa, Brighton Rd, Lower Beeding, Crabtree, Horsham RH13 6PS
Rooms from £285 B&B in a Cosy and up to £914.00 for a Top Suite.

To book directly with the hotel, click on: South Lodge hotel and spa
To compare the latest prices for South Lodge click on: Booking.com – HotelsCombined – Expedia
To read more reviews and for the latest prices click here to go to South Lodge hotel and spa on TripAdvisor

South Lodge is part of the Exclusive Hotels group of luxury British hotels, which also includes Pennyhill Park, The Manor House and Lainston House. To read my review of Pennyhill Park click here and The Manor House then click here

https://aladyofleisure.com/the-manor-house-castle-combe/

https://aladyofleisure.com/pennyhill-park-luxury-hotel/

The post A West Sussex spa hotel stay come rain or shine at South Lodge, Horsham appeared first on ALadyofLeisure.


New Hall historic hotel in Birmingham with a spa, pool and its very own moat

There are probably many historic hotels in Birmingham with a spa and swimming pool but I can’t imagine that many of them come with a moat. In fact, I was trying to think of any hotels with a moat which I’ve reviewed for ALadyofLeisure.com and I’m not sure there are any others. Which means that […] The post New Hall historic hotel in Birmingham with a spa, pool and its very own moat appeared first on...

There are probably many historic hotels in Birmingham with a spa and swimming pool but I can’t imagine that many of them come with a moat. In fact, I was trying to think of any hotels with a moat which I’ve reviewed for ALadyofLeisure.com and I’m not sure there are any others. Which means that New Hall hotel and spa in Sutton Coldfield, just a few miles from the centre of Birmingham, is a rare hotel indeed.

It’s not just any old moated hotel though – New Hall is actually reputed to be the oldest listed inhabited moat house in England. Dating from the 13th century, the manor house has over the centuries been a school, a hunting lodge, a private house and is now a luxury hotel owned by Hand Picked Hotels group – whose Brands Hatch hotel I reviewed last year.

New Hall historic hotel in Birmingham with a spa

The moat surrounds the old part of the hotel – there’s a newer extension too (far left) where many bedrooms are located

The reason for my visit was to take part in New Hall’s Peaky Blinders murder mystery dinner – how appropriate, to have a Peaky Blinders-themed dinner in Birmingham, home of the Shelby family! – but sadly that was cancelled at the last minute. (There is another scheduled for 29th February though – details here). However while this was disappointing, it did mean we had more time in the spa so, every cloud…

New Hall hotel moat bridge

The impressive historic building which greets you as you arrive. I shot straight over the moat bridge to find myself in the wrong part of the hotel…

Set in 60 acres and with 60 bedrooms, New Hall is an impressive sight and I was so enchanted with the moat – yes, it’s a real moat, surrounding the hotel – that I walked straight across the bridge and into what turned out to be the side entrance of the hotel (they are planning to improve signage as I’m not the first person to do that). However once I finally found my way to reception I was greeted with a warm welcome, rapid check-in and shown to my bedroom on the first floor.

The bedrooms at New Hall hotel

Named Sacheverell, the room was unexpectedly vast. Immediately inside the door was a lobby containing fitted wardrobes, a fridge stocked with water and fresh milk, a kettle, a coffee machine and all sorts of teabags and coffee pods.

New Hall hotel bedroom

Our bedroom, Sacheverell, was really large, with a huge lounge area. There was also an entrance hall and a very smart bathroom

To book directly with the hotel, go to: New Hall hotel, Sutton Coldfield
To compare the latest prices for New Hall hotel click on: Booking.com – HotelsCombined – Expedia
To read more reviews and for the latest prices click here to go to New Hall hotel and spa on TripAdvisor

New Hall hotel bathroom

The modern bathroom in our hotel room

Warwick the teddy bear of New Hall hotel Birmingham

Our room bear, Warwick, could be left outside our room if we didn’t want to be disturbed (we couldn’t bring ourselves to send him outside though)

The bathroom was extremely modern, with twin sinks, a bath and separate shower all done up in smart black marble, and lots of toiletries and towels. The bedroom itself was an impressive size, with twin beds as requested, a desk, sofa, chairs and Smart TV. Watching over the room was Warwick, the hotel’s teddy bear, who could be placed outside as a ‘do not disturb’ sign. There was an abundance of plug points (if none by the main mirror which is often the case) and views of the all-important moat through mullioned windows.

The spa at New Hall

We headed straight for the spa which is in the gardens just behind the hotel (you can pad across in your fluffy robes) and went straight in for head and shoulder massages; 25 mins of sheer pampering. There is a well-equipped gym at the spa but in our blissed-out state we headed straight for the poolside loungers and remained there for the afternoon, moving only to try out the jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

swimming pool New Hall hotel

I had the indoor swimming pool at New Hall hotel to myself in the morning – there is also a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna

bar lounge at New Hall hotel Birmingham

Not the world’s most inviting cocktail lounge…

Staff were friendly and attentive – even topping up a manicure for free – and we spent so long in the spa that we had to move our dinner back an hour and forgo cocktails in the bar beforehand. Walking through the bar on the way to the dining room however, it didn’t seem like a loss – the bar area and neighbouring lounge was really rather soulless for such a historic hotel filled with atmosphere and not a place you’d want to linger. However in the summer things would be much improved as the bar opens out onto a large patio garden so you could have your cocktails in the sunshine.

Dining at New Hall

dining room at New Hall hotel Birmingham

A corner of the dining room at New Hall hotel (hotel’s own pic). The guy in the portrait is definitely green…

scallops starter New Hall

My starter of South Coast scallops

The dining room itself was cloaked in oak panelling and was certainly a unique room (with some rather odd paintings – the guy overlooking our table was positively green) and more could have been made to make it more inviting: better lighting perhaps, lighter carpet and curtains, but it was impressive and the food and service were both good. We started with Brixham market mackerel and seared South Coast scallops, before moving on to the pie of the day (lamb). The pies were huge, hearty and nuclear-hot and came with gravy and mash, and it was only by sheer will-power that we able to fit in a slice of treacle tart afterwards.

lamb pie New Hall hotel Birmingham

My lamb pie with gravy and mash

It was probably the sheer quantity of food that persuaded me to hit the gym first thing the next day. I had the place to myself which is always a treat and pounded away on the treadmill until I was joined by a ten-strong crowd of people warming up. It turned out this was a regular fitness session and I was kindly asked if I’d like to join them, which was a pleasant hotel first. However I wanted to fit in a swim before breakfast (I also had the pool to myself which was bliss) so declined and headed off to do a few laps while they started doing an impressive number of crunches.

gym at New Hall hotel Birmingham

The large gym at New Hotel hotel spa

staircase detail at New Hall hotel Birmingham

A staircase detail at New Hall hotel

After my fitness blitz I felt able to tuck into breakfast and loaded up on fresh fruit and yoghurt before smoked salmon and scrambled eggs – and lots of excellent hot coffee served by yet more cheerful staff. However the highlight of our stay was an excellent tour of the older parts of the building (I highly recommend you ask a member of staff if you can do a tour during your stay – it would have been awful to have missed out).

We not only saw some lovely bedrooms including the gorgeously cosy Sirius in the very eaves of the hotel and admired the ornate staircase carvings (right) but loved the 500-year old Great Chamber, an impressive room with original oak panelling, its colourful Elizabethan ceiling and even some diamond-scratchings on the leaded windows, thought to be carved by the love-crossed George Sacheverell: cheerful thoughts such as ‘In death I shall find the peace that life will deny me.’

Historic Great Room at New Hall hotel Birmingham

The really impressive 500-year old Great Chamber in New Hall hotel with its ornate ceiling and diamond-carved writing in the lead windows

We finished our stay with a walk around the gardens and discovered not only a tennis court and conference pavilion but more great views of the hotel’s moat (cue a million more photos).

fishing lake New Hall hotel

There’s a fishing lake and tennis court in the grounds of New Hall hotel

Reception will happily give you a handy print-out of the walking routes around the hotel grounds and local area, and in case you need even more reading matter, a detailed history of the hotel and even a list of the New Hall ghosts (there are several). In fact, the helpful attitude of all members of staff was the icing on the cake for this memorable stay: you might come for the moat (or the Peaky Blinders) but it’s the little touches you’ll remember. Just don’t forget to ask for a tour, else you will really miss out.

New Hall hotel and spa, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham

Rooms from £106 per night for a midweek Classic Double, going up to £165 for a Junior Suite at the weekend

To book directly with the hotel, go to: New Hall hotel, Sutton Coldfield
To compare the latest prices for New Hall hotel click on: Booking.com – HotelsCombined – Expedia
To read more reviews and for the latest prices click here to go to New Hall hotel and spa on TripAdvisor

The post New Hall historic hotel in Birmingham with a spa, pool and its very own moat appeared first on ALadyofLeisure.


Top Ten romantic hotels for Valentine’s Day (and year-round romance)

While everyone’s idea of a romantic hotel break is different, I think it’s fair to assume there are some things which you have to expect: sumptuous, immaculate bedrooms, a top restaurant serving great food, gorgeous grounds for a romantic pre-dinner stroll and a cosy bar for that evening nightcap. On your own personal top ten […] The post Top Ten romantic hotels for Valentine’s Day (and year-round romance) appeared first on...

While everyone’s idea of a romantic hotel break is different, I think it’s fair to assume there are some things which you have to expect: sumptuous, immaculate bedrooms, a top restaurant serving great food, gorgeous grounds for a romantic pre-dinner stroll and a cosy bar for that evening nightcap. On your own personal top ten romantic hotels list you might also want to add a luxury spa, roaring fires in every room, a bathtub in the bedroom – see my own thoughts on that here – and added treats such as live music, jacuzzis, and even – if things go really well – a wedding chapel. Not all hotel can supply everything but here is my own list of top ten romantic hotels for Valentine’s Day – to be enjoyed for the rest of the year as well! Let me know your suggestions for a romantic break in the comments below.

Bovey Castle, Devon

Bovey Castle hotel Devon

Bovey Castle in Devon

What could be more romantic than spending the night in a castle? Reached via winding Devonshire country lanes, the vast Bovey Castle hotel – it has 60 bedrooms and suites, 22 self-contained cottages and is set in 275 acres of rolling Dartmoor countryside – Bovey Castle could be intimidating but thanks to the welcoming staff and beautiful interiors, a stay here is gloriously friendly and relaxing. The rooms are vast – we stayed in Room 50, a corner suite with a huge lounge, large bedroom and bathroom with a freestanding tub. With plush furnishings, epic views, a decanter of sloe gin and an ice bucket of Champagne, we could have happily spent the whole stay in our room but would have missed out on two excellent restaurants, the spa and lots of activities including archery, shooting and falconry.

Check out my full review of Bovey Castle here

Bailiffscourt, West Sussex

four poster bed at Bailiffcourt hotel

The very grand Baylies Suite at Bailiffscourt hotel and spa in West Sussex

For a romantic hotel break it’s almost impossible to choose between Bailiffscourt and its sister hotel, Ockenden Manor just a few miles away in Cuckfield – where I spent Christmas (review here) – but I’ve gone for Bailiffscourt as I think it just has the edge for romance. It’s 100 years old but feels 500, with low ceilings, tapestries, winding staircases and and a whole rabbit warren of rooms which make you feel as if you have gone back in time. It’s just a few minutes to the beach for those romantic blustery walks, and it also has the very grand Baylies Suite which has a vast four-poster bed, a massive timber vaulted ceiling, plus a wood-burning stove, cosy furniture and a huge bathroom with, rather unusually, two baths placed side by side. Add its modern luxury spa and excellent restaurant and you’ve ticked most if not all the romantic boxes.

Read my full length review of Bailiffscourt here

Cary Arms and spa, Devon

Cary Arms and spa, south Devon

Cary Arms and spa, south Devon

Book yourself and your partner into one of Cary Arms’s romantic Beach Suites cottages and you’ll want to move in permanently. With a private terrace suspended over the beach, sweeping views across Babbacombe Bay, a lounge with flickering virtual fire and cosy sofa, an immaculate bathroom and bedroom decked out in a classic New England-style, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more romantic hotel room in Britain. There are lovely touches, such as a coffee table handmade from stones and driftwood from the east coast of Scotland, a decanter of Plymouth sloe gin to tuck into, a bite-sized portion of seaside rock on your pillow instead of the usual chocolate and thick rugs for you to wrap yourself up in on the loungers outside for when the weather isn’t quite as clement as you’d hoped. The hotel itself has a rooftop spa with indoor hydrotherapy pool, a cosy pub with excellent locally-sourced food so with the waves on your doorstep you just won’t want to leave.

Check out my full review of the Cary Arms and spa here 

Gravetye Manor, West Sussex

Gravetye Manor

Gravetye Manor hotel in West Sussex

A long-time favourite of mine, Gravetye Manor consistently appears on lists of Best Hotels in Britain and it’s easy to see why. Reached by a winding drive through the West Sussex countryside (but surprisingly close to Gatwick airport) Gravetye feels like a hotel that time has left alone – but in a good way. There’s no spa or modern gimmicks (iPods in rooms etc) but what there is is great customer service, large, well-appointed bedrooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant and Gravetye’s USP – an award-winning garden. Managed by Tom Coward, Gravetye’s stunning display is a fixture on the garden circuit and his kitchen garden supplies the restaurant daily. Staying here in the summertime you would definitely get the most from the garden – you can dine outside in the sunshine and go for a lovely country walk afterwards – but if you’re here around Valentine’s Day then find a cosy spot, set yourself up with a board game or book, stay warm by the fire and prepare for a memorable dinner in its newly-created dining room.

Check out my full review of Gravetye Manor hotel here 

St James’s hotel and club, London

st james's hotel

St James’s hotel and club is in London’s Mayfair

If you’re really splashing the cash with a stay in the heart of London then head to the opulent St James’s hotel and club. As befits a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of London, one of the closest hotels to Buckingham Palace, then rooms are certainly not on the inexpensive side but tucked away at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac off St James’s Street, the 60-room hotel does have cheaper rooms, with prices starting at £300 a night. While the bedrooms are as luxurious as you’d expect, the highlight of a stay here is the hotel’s excellent Michelin-starred restaurant Seven Park Place. Chef William Drabble’s Menu Gourmand tasting menu is £95 – wine pairings are £75 or £130 – and you will be in for a memorable evening at this tiny but unique restaurant. Best of all, you can then take the vintage lift up to your luxurious suite and enjoy waking up surrounded by the best London has to offer.

Read my full-length review of St James’s hotel and club here

Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire

stoke park hotel

The stunning Stoke Park hotel in Buckinghamshire

It’s where Bridget Jones ditched singleton life for a weekend away with boss Daniel Cleaver and where Teri Hatcher and Pierce Brosnan (as another Bond) danced the night away in Tomorrow Never Dies, so a stay at Stoke Park luxury hotel and country club certainly scores highly on the romantic front. (It’s also where James Bond beat Goldfinger in possibly the most famous golf match in cinema history but I’m not sure that counts as romance). The main hotel building is a Grade 1-listed Palladian mansion, completed in 1795 and originally the private home of the Penn family, who gave their name to the US state of Pennsylvania. There are 21 traditional bedrooms here, many with four-poster beds and vast balconies, and if you want to replicate Bridget Jones’s night with Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary then ask for the Pennsylvania suite, one of the hotel’s top bedrooms with sweeping views over the grounds at the back to the hotel. There’s also a simply enormous luxury spa, Humphrey’s fine-dining restaurant and 300 acres of Capability Brown-designed gardens, so turn the romantic dial up to 11 and pretend you never have to return to the real world.

Read my full-length review of Stoke Park hotel and spa here

Chewton Glen, Hampshire

treehouses at Chewton Glen

The luxury treehouses at Chewton Glen hotel and spa

Staying in a treehouse might not sound the most romantic of treats but these are Chewton Glen’s famous luxury treehouses, perched high in the New Forest but with everything you could desire in the way of modern comforts. Each has a private balcony and hot tub, plus all the attributes of a luxury suite:a massive flatscreen TV, log-burning stove, an impressive sound system, two bedrooms and a beautiful bathroom with free-standing bath, separate walk-in shower and more fluffy towels than you’d know what to do with. If you can tear yourself away then there’s a world-class spa, fine-dining restaurant and croquet, tennis, country walks and all – however I reckon you’ll be staying put in your very own room in the treetops.

Read my full-length review of Chewton Glen hotel and spa here

Whatley Manor hotel and spa, Wiltshire

courtyard at Whatley Manor

The beautiful welcoming courtyard at Whatley Manor hotel and spa

From the moment the gates open to let you into the hotel’s charming courtyard, you know you’re going to be well looked after during your stay at Whatley Manor. Run by experienced GM Sue Williams (who used to manage top luxury hotel Cliveden), Whatley Manor’s charm is in being a traditional but luxurious hotel which appeals people keen on fine-dining and pre-dinner cocktails as much as those who want to indulge themselves in the luxury spa or to watch a film in Whatley Manor’s private cinema. With a two-Michelin star restaurant, an award-winning modern spa, 12 acres of gardens and large, opulent bedrooms, a stay at Whatley Manor is perfect for Valentine’s Day – or any other day. It’s not cheap but it will be indulgent, relaxing and memorable.

Read my full-length review of Whatley Manor hotel and spa here

The Swan at Southwold, Suffolk

Cocktail-making class at the lovely Swan pub in Southwold

Cocktail-making class at the lovely Swan pub in Southwold

The Adnams-brewery-owned Swan at Southwold is more of a very posh pub hotel rather than a country house hotel but it’s no less romantic for that. When I stayed here recently I loved our room which was beautifully designed (the complimentary bottle of Adnams vodka helped) and the excellent attention to detail was continued throughout the hotel, from the smart lounges to the gleaming restaurant downstairs to the cosy pub at the back of the hotel. The Swan is built on the site of the 150-year old Adnams brewery and right in the heart of the charming seaside town of Southwold, so walks on the beach are a must. You can also go on one of the fascinating tours round the brewery itself or the modern distillery next door (Adnams makes fantastic gins and whiskies as well as vodka and beer) and even fit in a cocktail-making class if you have time before dinner.

Read my full-length review of the Swan at Southwold here

Ynyshir, Powys, Wales

Ynyshir restaurant with rooms is in Powys, West Wales

Ynyshir restaurant with rooms is in Powys, West Wales

If your idea of a romantic break is really getting away from it all then foodie favourite Ynyshir in West Wales is a remote romantic bolthole. Now billed as a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel with a restaurant, Ynyshir is surrounded by stunning Welsh scenery – Snowdonia and the seaside are just minutes away – and the hotel itself is set in beautiful grounds with plenty of walking opportunities nearby. However it’s the restaurant which is the big draw here and the reason Ynyshir is always on the list of top hotel restaurants in Wales and the UK – chef Nathan Ward has held a Michelin star here for several years now and his epic tasting menu lasts all night. The rooms are either in the main house or the separate cottage buildings – many are dog-friendly – and with no spa or other distractions you can tuck yourself away for the duration of the stay. What could be more romantic than that?

Read my full-length review of Ynyshir here

I tried to limit this piece to ten of the most romantic hotels but in all honesty almost all of the excellent hotels featured on ALadyofLeisure.com would qualify. Here are some of my Best of the Rest when it comes to the most romantic hotels in the UK and which I would also heartily recommend. Pun intended!

Hambleton Hall, Rutland. Cosy, traditional, Michelin star, stunning location on Rutland Water.

Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire. Setting of Eyes Wide Shut and Four Weddings, huge grounds, ornate interiors.

Maison Talbooth, Essex. Small but perfectly formed country house with heated outdoor pool and top restaurant Le Talbooth nearby

Dormy House, Cotswolds. Shabby chic, luxury spa, gorgeous rooms just outside Broadway.

Barnsley House, Cotswolds. Award-winning gardens, beautiful rooms, private cinema, spa and excellent food.

The Pig near Bath. Part of the excellent Pig Hotels chain. Great locally-sourced food, cool bar and relaxed vibes, like staying at a friend’s country house for the weekend.

What are your recommendation for romantic hotel breaks? Let me know in the comments!

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What it was like spending Christmas at a luxury country house hotel

There are many reasons to spend Christmas at a luxury country house hotel rather than at home, but you still want it to be special, personal and memorable. Thankfully for us (my mother and me), our festive stay at Ockenden Manor hotel in the village of Cuckfield, West Sussex, was all three. Due to half […] The post What it was like spending Christmas at a luxury country house hotel appeared first on...

There are many reasons to spend Christmas at a luxury country house hotel rather than at home, but you still want it to be special, personal and memorable. Thankfully for us (my mother and me), our festive stay at Ockenden Manor hotel in the village of Cuckfield, West Sussex, was all three.

Due to half of our family choosing to follow the sun and spend Christmas in Australia and it being only just over a year since my father died, neither my mum nor myself particularly wanted to spend Christmas at either of our homes, but it would have felt equally strange not to spend it together. A hotel stay seemed the ideal solution and a spa hotel even better, in case the weather was rubbish and we were stuck indoors. I’d stayed at Ockenden Manor several years ago as one of my first reviews for ALadyofLeisure.com and really liked it – but would my mum? The pressure was on.

Christmas at a luxury country house hotel Ockenden Manor

The spa at Ockenden Manor is a very modern and luxurious part of the hotel, with indoor and outdoor pools and outdoor hot tub, loungers, treatment rooms and nice touches such as free Nespresso coffee and hot steamed milk

I’m delighted to report that from the start it could not have been better (which is just as well, as it certainly wasn’t cheap, although their three-night Christmas package was a lot cheaper than at many comparable hotels). Ockenden Manor is very easy to get to from London or the South Coast, being just a few miles from the M23, and it’s tucked down a little lane just off Cuckfield High Street, so while it doesn’t have the vast grounds of some other hotels, it was really easy for us to pop into the village for a walk, to the shops or to the local church for Christmas Day.

Ockenden manor hotel

The main hotel building (pictured in the cold winter sunshine) is an Elizabethan manor house which has been extended over the years – the spa building is just round the corner

Ockenden Manor is surrounded by fields so there’s plenty of opportunities for bracing walks too, but our first destination was the spa building which is slightly separate from the main hotel building. This contains the pools (indoor and outdoor) plus treatment rooms, gym, hot tub, loungers and changing rooms and there are six Junior Suite Rooms here above the pool, one of which was ours. I’d chosen a room here because they are generally bigger and newer than in the main building, but another benefit was feeling very tucked away in a little private enclave over Christmas: we never heard or saw our fellow guests and the spa was just a steps away in our lovely fluffy towelling robes.

To book directly with the hotel, go to: Ockenden Manor hotel
To compare prices for Ockenden Manor hotel click on: Hotels.com 
Expedia  Booking.com
To read more reviews and get the latest prices click here to go
to Ockenden Manor hotel on TripAdvisor

Our bedroom was vast, elongated at one end by French windows leading out onto our own private balcony (perfect in the summertime) and by the bathroom at the other which could be open (so you could chat while putting make up on etc) or closed with shutter for privacy.

Junior spa suite Ockenden Manor

This is the view of the bedroom leading into the bathroom – beyond the shutters there was a free-standing bath, twin sinks, loo, walk-in shower and lots of toiletries, towels, robes and slippers

There was a free-standing bath, separate walk-in shower, lots of towels and toiletries and in the main room was a fridge, kettle, Nespresso machine, amble storage, desk, chairs, sofa and vast TV – basically everything you could want for a three-night stay (expect maybe more mirrors would have been useful).

Junior spa suite at Ockenden Manor

Our bedroom (pictured from the other angle) was a Junior Spa Suite, located just above the spa itself. It was vast and had everything you could wish for in a hotel room, from storage to sofas, luxury bathroom, Nespresso machine and good lighting

There was even a Christmas present of a reindeer blanket wrapped up for us on the bed. It was extremely tempting to stay put for the entire stay in our cosy room, playing Christmas games, watching TV and ambling up and down to the spa, but we had a schedule to stick to – literally.

bedroom Ockenden Manor

The hotel kindly gave us a warm and festive reindeer blanket as a Christmas present

Ockenden Manor had very thoughtfully printed out three day schedules for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day so you knew exactly where you were supposed to be and when, and perhaps just as importantly, what you were supposed to be eating. It felt like a very well-organised house party, which is exactly what we’d wanted it to be.

Christmas at Ockenden Manor

Our three detailed schedules for the four-day, three night festive break

Christmas Eve at Ockenden Manor

schedule for Christmas Eve at Ockenden Manor

Our schedule for Christmas Eve at Ockenden Manor

We arrived at around 2pm and having unloaded a million bags from our cars (there is ample car-parking space at both the main hotel and the spa building) and enjoyed some festive chocolates while checking in, it was time for afternoon tea in the main building, although you could request to be served in your room instead. We enjoyed seeing who else we were going to spend the festive period with and settled down in the hotel’s cosy bar having helped ourselves to tea, scones, jam and clotted cream (staff were on hand to keep everything topped up).

Ockenden Manor at Christmas

There were Christmas decorations throughout Ockenden Manor such as this massive tree in the main lounge

We also met general manager Adam Smith who was zooming around doing everything from taking coats to distributing tea and he was a constant presence throughout our stay, making sure everything ran smoothly. There were real fires in every room and festive decorations throughout, making it feel very Christmassy. The festive feeling only escalated in the evening, with the arrival of the choir from the Holy Trinity church nearby to sing carols (guests could join in) while generous glasses of sparkling wine were served all round.

Christmas Eve at Ockenden Manor

The choir of the nearby Holy Trinity church came to lead guests in some festive carols for Christmas Eve

We were then all invited into the restaurant for a five-course meal (wine was extra on all dinners except Boxing Day) and we were all seated on sharing tables which meant we got to chat to our fellow guests too. Most people were in couples while some were sharing with friends and there were a few larger family parties too. Everyone was very friendly, the food was excellent – scallops, beefs and treacle tarts, with canapes and petits fours, and had it not been for sudden sleepiness then we might have even made it to Midnight Mass followed by mince pies and mulled wine. As it was, we were asleep by 10pm – such lightweights!

Christmas Day at Ockenden Manor

schedule for Christmas Day at Ockenden Manor

Our schedule for Christmas Day at Ockenden Manor

Sensibly there was a light continental buffet on offer on Christmas Day morning to leave room for lunch, and staff all seemed incredibly cheerful considering they were working. The spa closed in the afternoon but people could swim and sauna in the morning if they wished, which was very civilised; we walked to church for an excellent service and ambled back through the village on a crisp and clear Christmas Day morning.

Holy Trinity church Cuckfield

The weather was stunning on Christmas Day – bright sunshine and clear blue skies – and we walked from Ockenden Manor to the nearby Holy Trinity church for the morning service

More Champagne was offered before lunch and the meal itself was served on individual tables – a nice touch for the big day – and you could choose when you wanted to dine which meant there wasn’t a massive crush into the dining room.

Christmas at a luxury country hotel hotel Ockenden manor

Our table was set for Christmas lunch at Ockenden Manor

We started with smoked salmon followed by turkey with all the trimmings – sadly it was turkey roll, which I supposed is to be expected when catering for so many people, but it was very moist and delicious – and then cheese, sorbet, Christmas pudding and coffee and mince pies. We were certainly not going to go hungry during our stay!

Christmas lunch at Ockenden Manor

Christmas lunch at Ockenden Manor with all the trimmings

We were still full at 4pm when afternoon tea with Christmas cake was served so we skipped that and were in two minds about making it to the light buffet that evening but I was really glad I had: the salads and baked potatoes were just what I wanted and we were treated to beautiful music by harpist Fiona Hosford – everything from Christmas carols to Harry Potter. Time for Gavin and Stacey’s Christmas special and then bed.

Boxing Day at Ockenden Manor

schedule for Boxing Day at Ockenden Manor

Our schedule for Boxing Day at Ockenden Manor

As if we hadn’t eaten enough already we woke up to a full English breakfast with unlimited sparkling wine (we made Bucks Fizz) and then retreated back to our lovely spa to hit the loungers. Surprisingly, the spa was never even slightly full over the break so there was no worry about finding free loungers or space in the pool.

The spa at Ockenden Manor

The spa at Ockenden Manor was surprisingly empty on Boxing Day

In the afternoon I even made it out for a lengthy walk around the surrounding countryside and was very impressed by the folder of walks at reception, meaning you could choose a time or distance and then take a map and directions out with you.

There was more afternoon tea and mulled wine in the afternoon and in the evening we all gathered in the lounge for one final get-together, served Champagne cocktails and then a gourmet dinner – Roquefort arancini, lobster cocktail, venison and Eton mess – with the added entertainment of a magician roaming the tables and performing close-handed tricks which none of us could work out.

27th December

It was with a great deal of reluctance that we packed up after one final breakfast and one last trip to the spa. We’d made ourselves thoroughly at home during the previous four days, been excellently looked after and had exactly the type of relaxing, festive house-party hotel stay we’d been hoping for. The service had been excellent, with housekeeping even coming round on Christmas Day evening to make sure we had fresh towels, and staff being efficient and friendly throughout. In conclusion, while it’s certainly not the cheapest way to spend Christmas, we certainly got a lot for our money and even better, we had exactly the memorable Christmas we’d wanted. And best of all, no washing up!

Did you stay in a hotel over Christmas? How was it for you? Do let me know in the comments.

And if you’re thinking of doing something similar next year, then read my epic round-up of what the very best luxury country house hotels have on offer for Christmas at https://aladyofleisure.com/best-luxury-hotels-for-christmas-2019/

Ockenden Manor, Ockenden Lane, Cuckfield, West Sussex RH17 5LD

Cost of Christmas 2019: From £1,025 per person for the three-night stay including all meals and spa access.

To book directly with the hotel, go to: Ockenden Manor hotel
To compare prices for Ockenden Manor hotel click on: Hotels.com 
Expedia  Booking.com
To read more reviews and get the latest prices click here to go
to Ockenden Manor hotel on TripAdvisor

 

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Luxury in the Cotswolds at The Lygon Arms hotel, Broadway

If you’re looking for luxury hotels in the Cotswolds The Lygon Arms will be high on your wish-list, and in fact it was on mine for ages. This historic hotel has been a main fixture in the beautiful Cotswolds village of Broadway since its days as a coaching inn back in the 17th century and […] The post Luxury in the Cotswolds at The Lygon Arms hotel, Broadway appeared first on...

If you’re looking for luxury hotels in the Cotswolds The Lygon Arms will be high on your wish-list, and in fact it was on mine for ages. This historic hotel has been a main fixture in the beautiful Cotswolds village of Broadway since its days as a coaching inn back in the 17th century and these days is an impressive and unmissable part of the High Street.

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms

The Lygon Arms has been at the heart of Broadway in the Cotswolds for more than 300 years

It’s steeped in history – Oliver Cromwell stayed here before the Battle of Worcester in 1649, while Charles I also visited, so it was used by both sides in the English Civil War (presumably not at the same time) – and modern-day celebrity guests at this four-star luxury hotel over the years include the likes of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Evelyn Waugh and Kylie Minogue.

However my main attraction to The Lygon Arms was the fact it was owned by the group behind Cliveden and Chewton Glen, two of the nicest (and grandest, and most expensive, and luxurious) hotels I’ve ever stayed in, and while The Lygon Arms seemed like a very different proposition to those vast country house hotels, it had to be a good sign.

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms courtyard

Behind the centuries-old front of The Lygon Arms hotels is a large courtyard and the rest of the hotel

Over the years The Lygon Arms (pronounced Liggon) has expanded, so while the front is as imposing as it has been for centuries, the hotel itself goes back far further than I’d expected. Inside you’ll find a rabbit’s warren of rooms, bars and corridors, where uneven flagstones and low ceilings reveal the building’s age.

To book directly with the hotel, go to:  The Lygon Arms hotel
To compare the latest prices for The Lygon Arms click on: Booking.comHotelsCombined – Expedia
To read more reviews and for the latest prices click here to go to The Lygon Arms hotel and spa on TripAdvisor

Walk through the various rooms however and you’ll find a modern-looking bar at the back and outside, a tree-lined courtyard stretching back to the access road behind, where the spa and many additional rooms are located.

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms

There are seemingly lovely little rooms and cosy pockets around every corner of the sprawling Lygon Arms: here is the Saddle Room at the front of the hotel

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms

There are lots of chairs and sofas to welcome weary shoppers or Cotswolds tourists

When Iconic Luxury Hotels acquired The Lygon Arms in 2016, the general feeling is that it was rather run down and in need of some serious TLC. Several millions of pounds later and there has been a crucial – but subtle – transformation, with the newer parts of the building blending in with the old and the really old bits looking as cosy and lived-in as befits an establishment which has served a lot of visitors over the years. After the refurbishment, The Lygon Arms now has  a total of 86 guest rooms and suites: 36 in the Main House, 19 Orchard Wing rooms, 13 Courtyard rooms, 12 Garden Wing rooms, and 2 cottages. However it is all rather spread out so you never feel as if you’re crowded next to other people.

Parking is always an issue in these pretty Cotswolds town and The Lygon Arms is no exception, so on arrival you can briefly stop outside to drop your bags off at reception before parking your car in one of several car parks around the back, or you can park, check-in and then retrieve your bags at leisure. We were staying in one of the ground-floor courtyard rooms outside the back of the hotel, and while I usually prefer staying in a hotel itself, it was just a few steps to the rear entrance of the hotel or the spa itself, and no-one batted an eye if you walked across the courtyard in your fluffy towelling robe.

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms

The newer extensions blend in with the older parts of the building with the use of the traditional Cotswolds stone

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms

Our bedroom was towards the rear of the central courtyard in a slightly more modern-looking building

Our bedroom itself was large, with a separate TV/sofa area, lots of wardrobe space and a good-sized bathroom with bath and stand-alone shower. It was decorated in mute colours and wasn’t the lightest of rooms, but it did feel very cosy and relaxing and you could certainly stay put and not feel you had to venture outside if it was a wintry night outside.

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms

Our bedroom was in a muted, classical style and had lots of space – there was an additional sofa/lounge space plus TV behind me when I took this pic

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms bathroom

Our bathroom was smart and modern, with two sinks and a separate shower and bath

We were lucky to arrive in glorious weather, with clear blue skies and bright sunshine, and so I headed straight out to explore beautiful Broadway and to try to resist buying up most of the sprawling delicatessen across the road. However it wasn’t long before I was drawn back to The Lygon Arms for some serious relaxing and people-watching.

luxury hotels in the cotswolds lygon arms

Sometimes it’s nice to grab a chair, a book and a drink and soak up the atmosphere… that was my plan!

The multitude of little rooms which form the inside of The Lygon Arms make it a perfect place for a morning coffee, afternoon tea or post-shopping drinks and there are many cosy corners to park yourself in and feel as if you have slipped back a few centuries.

However at the back there is a more modern bar, and next door and adjoining The Lygon Arms is the very modern and vibrant The Lygon Bar and Grill which soon became my favourite room.

With its contemporary decoration and buzzy vibe this felt more like a Soho House/Pig hotel type place, modern and fun (the tables had great little cabaret-style lamps which I loved) but even this had a traditional undertone, with a minstrels’ gallery and traditional wood paneling.

restaurant The Lygon Arms

The main restaurant at The Lygon Arms is part of the hotel but has a separate entrance of its own so is popular with both locals and visitors

Dinner at The Lygon Arms

We started off our evening at The Lygon Arms with an excellent ‘Taylor Burton Affair’ cocktail in the ultra-cool cocktail bar at the end of the restaurant (it’s tucked underneath the minstrels’ gallery in the picture above) – a mix of Cotswolds’ gin, violet liqueur, lemon and sugar in honour of the hotel’s A-list guests – before being seated in the main dining area which was already packed with diners.

The menu was large but clearly laid out; a good mix of light bites, starters, salads, mains, from the grill and desserts. My starter was one of the most delicious I’ve ever had and was practically a reason in itself to make a return trip: a twice-cooked cheese souffle which was absolute heaven.

cheese souffle starter

‘Absolute heaven’ – my cheese souffle starter

My ‘catch of the day’ – skate wing with capers and some samphire hidden underneath

We both went for fish for our main courses: an classic ale battered fish and chips and the catch of the day which was skate wing and both were excellently done. There was a good range of classic desserts on offer, ranging from Bakewell tart to seasonal crumble, but sadly my choice of Elderflower marinated strawberries weren’t available so the chef kindly whipped up a massive fruit salad instead. 

The spa at The Lygon Arms

Resisting the temptation to head back to the bar for some more cocktails, I had an early night and was rewarded with the energy for an early-morning swim the following morning. In the empty swimming pool all my own I felt like an A-lister myself and breezed into breakfast with the smugness of someone who’s already done some exercise (even though I spent most of the time lounging in the hot tub).

indoor pool at The Lygon Arms

I had the indoor pool at The Lygon Arms all today myself..

Breakfast was a sociable affair with conversations between fellow guests being struck up over the buffet, and the cooked option (Eggs Benedict) arrived promptly and were perfectly done.

breakfast buffet Lygon Arms

The buffet which was just outside the main restaurant. I grabbed a rare moment when it wasn’t full of people nattering away to each other

My only final ‘task’ was to head back to the spa and enjoy an hour-long massage and then I practically floated back to the room to reluctantly pack. However even once checked out there were more delights to a stay at The Lygon Arms: a visit to the Gordon Russell museum which was less than a minute away and was a real treat to visit.

Gordon Russell Design Museum

The lovely Gordon Russell Design Museum is practically next door to The Lygon Arms and has a long-standing connection with the hotel

Gordon Russell Design Museum

Those with even just a passing interest in design will find this museum fascinating and it’s definitely worth a visit, with friendly and informative volunteers as well.

Gordon Russell’s father used to own The Lygon Arms in the 1900s and Russell himself would restore antique furniture for the hotel in a loft above the coach house. He would go onto become one of Britain’s leading furniture designers, famed especially for his affordable and practical war-time ‘utility furniture’. It’s definitely not to be missed if you’re in the area – and if you’re lucky enough to be staying at The Lygon Arms it’s a perfect way to start or end your stay. 

The Lygon Arms, High St, Broadway WR12 7DU, United Kingdom

To book directly with the hotel, go to:  The Lygon Arms hotel
To compare the latest prices for The Lygon Arms click on: Booking.comHotelsCombined – Expedia
To read more reviews and for the latest prices click here to go to The Lygon Arms hotel and spa on TripAdvisor

The Lygons Arms is owned by Iconic Luxury Hotels which also owns top country house hotels Cliveden and Chewton Glen. (Click on each one to read my review of those luxury hotels). 

 

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60 of the best British luxury hotels to stay in for New Year

Read on for my utterly epic round-up of 60 of the best British luxury hotels to stay in for New Year… Knowing what to do for New Year’s Eve is always a tough decision. There’s an overwhelming choice out there but sometimes just the thought of getting there and back – the crowds, the transport, […] The post 60 of the best British luxury hotels to stay in for New Year appeared first on...

Read on for my utterly epic round-up of 60 of the best British luxury hotels to stay in for New Year…

Knowing what to do for New Year’s Eve is always a tough decision. There’s an overwhelming choice out there but sometimes just the thought of getting there and back – the crowds, the transport, the overall hassle – means you might be tempted just to stay at home.
This is where the idea of spending New Year’s Eve at a luxury hotel can sound really appealing: you can stay up as late as you want, knowing that your bed is only a few steps away. With many of Britain’s best hotels pulling the stops out for New Year’s Eve – think fine dining and wine-pairings, cocktails and canapés, dancing, entertainment, casinos, fireworks and who knows what else (you’ll also find falconry, murder mysteries and treasure hunts here) you will certainly be guaranteed a memorable (although not inexpensive) night. It’s one of the most anticipated nights of the year, however, so it’s a great excuse to splash out. But where? Hopefully my epic round-up of the best 60 British hotels for New Year’s Eve will give you some great ideas – let me know what you decide to do!

Note: These hotels are booking up fast for New Year so there might be only a small selection of rooms available. The prices here are just a guide so please contact the hotel directly to find out exactly what is still available.

Best hotels for New Year in the Cotswolds
Best hotels for New Year in South East England
Best hotels for New Year in the New Forest
Best hotels for New Year in South West England
Best hotels for New Year in the Midlands
Best hotels for New Year in the North of England
Best hotels for New Year in Scotland
Best hotels for New Year in Wales
Best hotels for a New Year spa break

Best hotels for New Year in the Cotswolds

Dormy House, Worcestershire

60 of the best British luxury hotels to stay in for New Year

The spa at Dormy House

The hotel: Above Broadway in the Cotswolds, Dormy House is the perfect boutique hotel, with an ultra-modern spa, cosy bedrooms, two restaurants and a great eye for what makes a lovely break.
New Year’s Eve at Dormy House: The hotel is fully booked for residential stays over New Year but there are still tickets available for the evening itself: an Alpine-themed evening with gourmet food including a whole spit-roast pig, gravadlax and raclette, champagne, midnight fireworks and dancing into 2020.
Cost of spending New Year’s Eve at Dormy House hotel: Tickets £95 per person. Click to book tickets here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Dormy House here

The Painswick, Gloucestershire

The Painswick

The hotel: Cosy and charming award-winning boutique hotel in Cotswolds stone.
New Year’s Eve at The Painswick: The Painswick is hosting a ‘New Year, New Ewe’ celebration. Arrive from 3:00pm on New Year’s Eve and make yourself at home before Champagne and canapé reception from 7pm, then a five-course feast in The Painswick Restaurant followed by a house party with live jazz until 12:30am. Hangover breakfast on New Year’s Day from 8am. Breakfast and goodbyes on 2nd January.
New Year’s Eve at the Painswick: Rooms from £668 for two nights based on two people sharing, suites are £1,118. More info here.
Read what it’s like to stay at The Painswick here

Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire

The hotel: Family-friendly Cotswolds luxury hotel (owned by the group behind Barnsley House, The Painswick and Lord Crewe Arms) set in 220 acres of Cotswolds countryside. Smart rooms, large spa and its very own pub make this a self-contained Cotswolds retreat.
New Year at Calcot Manor: Calcot is doing a two or three-night New Year package with ‘a Vegas twist’. Guests arriving on 30th December will be welcomed with afternoon tea or can visit its excellent spa before dinner in The Conservatory restaurant. New Year’s Eve celebrations start with a Champagne reception followed by dinner at 8.15pm, with dancing and a ‘just for fun’ in-house casino until 1am. New Year’s Day can be spent in the spa or on a bracing Cotswolds walk in Calcot’s 220 acres before dinner that evening.
Price of New Year at Calcot Manor: Rooms start at £830 per person in a cosy room for two nights, £990 per person based on two sharing for three nights – all meals and spa access included. More info here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Calcot Manor here 

Whatley Manor, Wiltshire

best luxury country houses hotels for Christmas

Whatley Manor

The hotel: Quintessential country house hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant, top spa and beautiful ornate gardens.
New Year at Whatley Manor: While Whatley Manor has no more availability for its New Year’s Eve package there are still several dining options at this excellent Cotswolds hotel – if you’re pushing the boat out then it has to be the New Year’s Eve gala dinner (£265 per person) which includes a Champagne and canapé reception, six-course gala dinner in The Sitting Room followed by coffee with live music in The Drawing Room and a toast at midnight to the New Year. An alternative option is the New Year’s Eve dinner at Grey’s Brassiere at £95 per person, which includes a cocktail and canapé reception, three course menu with coffee and treats, DJ in Greys for dancing and fireworks and champagne at midnight.
Price of New Year at Whatley Manor: £265 per person for the more dining option, £95 per person at the brasserie. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Whatley Manor here

Manor House, Castle Combe, Wiltshire

The Manor House

The hotel: Splendid historic manor house with beautiful grounds in the heart of picture-perfect Cotswolds village Castle Combe.
New Year at Manor House: Arrive from 2pm and explore the ground and the lovely village of Castle Combe before a Champagne reception at 7pm followed by a five-course gourmet dinner with wine pairing. After dinner try your luck at the in-house casino and dancing which goes on until 1am. 
Cost of New Year at Manor House: One-night stay from £375 for a cosy room and two-night stay (either 30/31 or 31/1) from £550 per person based on two sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Manor House here

Barnsley House, Gloucestershire

The hotel: Gorgeously cosy and charming boutique hotel in a beautiful little Cotswolds village, with Rosemary Verey gardens, spa and private cinema.
New Year at Barnsley House: Guests booking the two-night New Year’s package at Barnsley House will enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail reception, a four-course celebratory New Year’s Eve dinner in The Potager, a glass of Champagne at midnight, a three- course à la carte dinner on New Year’s Day in The Potager Restaurant or in The Village Pub, full English breakfast each morning. The cost also include use of the spa facilities, early morning tea/coffee and a daily newspaper.
Cost: From £1,356 for a junior suite based on two people sharing. More info here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Barnsley House here

Bowood hotel, Wiltshire

Bowood hotel

Bowood hotel, Wiltshire

The hotel: A smart golf and spa hotel on the beautiful Bowood Estate.
New Year at Bowood hotel and spa: There are two options at this spa hotel for New Year’s Eve: partying or fine-dining. Those in the Kerry Suite will have a Champagne and canapé reception on arrival, followed by a four-course dinner, disco, and a revellers’ breakfast, while in the Shelburne restaurant will be a Champagne and canapé reception on arrival, followed by a seven-course dinner, live entertainment and a revellers’ breakfast.
Cost of New Year at Bowood hotel and spa: Either option is £105 per person – and if you fancy staying over, it’s an extra £99 per room. More info here.
Read my review of Bowood hotel here

The Lygon Arms, Worcestershire

The hotel:  A four-star luxury coaching inn in Broadway, the heart of the Cotswolds. Sister hotel to Cliveden and Chewton Glen.
New Year at The Lygon Arms: This vibrant but traditional inn will be a great place to see in the New Year with its two-night New Year House Party. Starting with traditional afternoon tea, the festivities continue with a drinks reception and canapés, five-course dinner with wines and dancing to a live band at the Bar & Grill and welcome in 2020 with Auld Lang Syne and a piper. New Year’s Day will offer a brunch buffet breakfast at the Bar & Grill with jazz, then in the evening there’s cocktails and canapés and a three-course dinner with wines at the Bar & Grill.
Cost of New Year at The Lygon Arms: From £825 per night, based on two people sharing a Classic Room. For more information click here. My brand new review of The Lygon Arms will follow shortly!

The Fish hotel, the Cotswolds

The hotel: The Fish bills itself as a ‘back-to-nature bolthole’ with a little touch of luxury and is owned by the group behind the excellent Dormy House (see review at the top of this article).
New Year at The Fish: The Fish is offering an evening of feasting and festivity starting with afternoon tea, a ‘gourmet-fuelled DJ-soundtracked night to remember’ and brunch, afternoon tea and dinner the next day.
Cost for New Year at the The Fish hotel: Prices from £870 based on two people sharing a medium room. For more information click here.
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Best hotels for New Year in South East

Best hotels for New Year in Bedfordshire

Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire

best luxury country houses hotels for Christmas

Luton Hoo

The hotel: A stunning, five-star luxury hotel on the Bedfordshire border which has starred in several films including Four Weddings and a Funeral and Eyes Wide Shut. The vast 1,065 acre estate is perfect for a New Year ramble and the hotel has its own championship golf course and fleet of London taxis to ferry guests around.
New Year’s Eve at Luton Hoo: There are three different options for New Year’s Eve at Luton Hoo this year, from an intimate gourmet dinner, a gala dinner dance or a lively family disco. The five-course gourmet dinner in the Mansion House restaurant includes a Champagne and canapé reception and piper at midnight, while there will be dancing all night at the riverside Warren Weir restaurnat or there’s a family disco from 7pm with hot and cold buffet options.
Cost of New Year’s Eve 2019 at Luton Hoo: Gourmet dinner £155 per person or £255 including accommodation; dinner dance from £125 per person or £235 including accommodation, or £99 per adult, £50 per child for the family disco. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Luton Hoo here

Best hotels for New Year in Berkshire

Cliveden House, Berkshire

best luxury country house hotels for Christmas

Cliveden House

The hotel: A 350-year old country house set in 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and woodland, Cliveden is one of Britain’s grandest country houses, a Grade 1-listed stately home complete with antique furniture and a thoroughly modern spa.
New Year’s Eve 2019 at Cliveden: Cliveden is putting on a two-night New Year House Party including four-course black tie New Year’s Eve gourmet dinner with live band playing, Auld Lang Syne, a traditional piper and Champagne and then a three-course dinner the following day. If you don’t fancy staying over then you can book for the New Year’s Eve dinner in the Astor Grill, with a glass of Champagne on arrival, followed by a three-course dinner and then joining the New Year’s Eve party in the main house.
Cost of New Year’s Eve 2019 at Cliveden House hotel: Two-night stay from £2,550 based on two sharing. £150 per person for the New Year’s Eve dinner, £160 per person for the New Year’s Day dinner. More information here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Cliveden here

Coworth Park, Berkshire

The hotel: Five-star Michelin-restaurant hotel near Ascot, set in  240 acres of Berkshire parkland. Coworth Park is the only hotel in the UK with its own polo fields and also has an award-winning spa.
New Year’s Eve at Coworth Park: Arrive on 30th December to a champagne afternoon tea with live pianist reception followed by children’s story time, family board games, wine-tasting and cinema afternoon followed by three-course dinner and musical entertainment. There’s more music on New Year’s Eve including a harpist, pianist, DJ and dancing, five-course lunch and midnight fireworks display.
The cost of New Year’s Eve at Coworth Park: Rooms from £1,333 per room, per night based on double occupancy for the two-night break, or from £1,208 for the three-night break. Suites from £1,563 or £1,438 for two/three night break. For more information click here.

Best hotels for New Year in Buckinghamshire

Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire

Hartwell House Buckinghamshire

Hartwell House

The hotel: Luxury country house hotel and spa with 90 acres of land and impeccable customer service.
New Year’s Eve at Hartwell House: There’s a two-night package at Hartwell House for New Year’s Eve 2019, starting with a cream tea and welcome dinner on 30th Dec. On New Year’s Eve itself there’s a Champagne reception with fireworks, then a black tie, candlelit dinner with five wines chosen to complement the food. Welcome in the New Year with dancing until the early hours and then on New Year’s Day, enjoy a leisurely breakfast.
Cost of staying at Hartwell House for New Year’s Eve 2019: From £1,530 based on two sharing. Click here for more information.
Read what it’s like to stay at Hartwell House here

Best hotels for New Year in East Sussex

Ashdown Park, East Sussex

ashdown park hotel

Ashdown Park

The hotel: The view from the hotel’s terrace will take your breath away – rolling lawns surrounded by Ashdown Forest (which inspired Winnie-the-Pooh creator AA Milne). The 106-bedroom hotel in 186 acre-estate is full of beautiful historic rooms and even boasts its own spa and chapel.
New Year 2019 at Ashdown Park: Guests arriving during the day on 31st Dec can book treatments at the spa or have afternoon tea, followed by the evening’s Champagne and canapé reception before an evening of fine food, wine and live music and dancing into the early hours.
Cost of New Year 2019 at Ashdown Park hotel: From £274 per person including room and New Year’s Eve celebration. Afternoon tea and spa treatments etc available at extra cost. For more information click here 
Read what it’s like to stay at Ashdown Park hotel here

Best hotels for New Year in Surrey

Pennyhill Park, Surrey

pennyhill park luxury hotel

Pennyhill Park

The hotel: 120-bedroom luxury hotel with one of the finest hotel spas in the country, covering 45,000 sq ft and with eight indoor and outdoor pools (one with underwater music), saunas, steam rooms, bubbling hot tubs, ice-cold plunge pools and a salt scrub ice cave. There’s also a gym, nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and 120 acres of parkland with paths and cycling trails and several restaurants and bars.
New Year’s Eve at Pennyhill Park: Arrive on 30th December and enjoy the afternoon in the spa before a three-course dinner. New Year’s Eve day can be spent in the spa, going for a walk in the grounds or curled up by a fire before Champagne reception and five-course gourmet dinner with dancing and New Year celebrations. The next day have a Bloody Mary breakfast before departing or stick around for the live jazz New Year’s Day brunch (£50 extra cost)
Cost of New Year’s Eve celebrations at Pennyhill Park: From £300 per person for one night or £515 for two nights based on two people sharing. For more information click here.
Read my review of Pennyhill Park here 

Best hotels for New Year in West Sussex

Bailiffscourt, West Sussex

Bailiffscourt

The hotel: Just yards from Climping Beach, Bailiffscourt feels far older than its 90 years, with four-poster beds and its own 13th-century chapel in its 30 acres – but its large spa is bang up to date.
The New Year’s Eve package: Overnight accommodation with full English breakfast and Bucks Fizz, Sussex sparkling wine reception with canapés, five-course gala dinner including wine on shared party tables, disco, dancing and Sussex sparkling wine at Midnight to welcome in 2020, traditional early morning dip in the sea led by General Manager Chris Alger, full use of our award-winning spa and swimming pools.
Cost of spending New Year’s Eve 2019 at Bailiffscourt: From £325 per person based on two people sharing. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Bailiffscourt here

Ockenden Manor, West Sussex

best luxury country houses hotels for Christmas

Ockenden Manor

The hotel: In the pretty village of Cuckfield, 28-room Ockenden Manor combines the history of an Elizabethan manor house with a first-class modern spa
The New Year’s Eve package at Ockenden Manor: Overnight accommodation with full English breakfast with Sussex sparkling wine, Sussex sparkling wine reception, six-course tasting menu made with the finest locally sourced ingredients (wine extra), music from pianist and singer, Champagne at Midnight and full use of the spa and pools.
Cost for Ockenden Manor’s New Year’s Eve package 2019: From £295 per person based on two sharing. For more information click here.
Read my review of Ockenden Manor here

South Lodge, nr Horsham, West Sussex

The hotel: Part of Exclusive Hotels group (which also includes Pennyhill Park and Manor House), South Lodge is a luxury hotel in West Sussex overlooking the South Downs, with a brand new spa and individually-designed bedrooms.
The New Year package at South Lodge: There is a variety of choices for dining on New Year’s Eve at South Lodge, from an eight-course tasting menu with paired wine, to a five-course menu at the Camellia restaurant. There’s also a three-course dinner with wine and dancing (the theme is The Greatest Showman) and those dining in the other restaurants can join in the fun, with Midnight celebrations and more snacks if you still have room. There are several breakfast options the next day and the spa is available until 4pm so you don’t have to rush off the next day. 
The cost of the New Year packages at South Lodge:
One-night stay from £520 per person with a £30 supplement for the eight-course tasting menu. For more information click here.

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Best hotels for New Year in the South West

Best hotels for New Year in Cornwall

Headland Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

The hotel: Five-star luxury hotel in Newquay with private self-catering cottages set on an exclusive clifftop overlooking Fistral beach. The impressive hotel with a modern spa is a mix of ‘discreet English ambiance and decadent hospitality’ and offers ocean views and fine-dining.
The New Year’s Eve celebrations: There is something on every day over the New Year period at The Headland hotel. On New Year’s Eve Eve (30th Dec) A Champagne reception gets the evening off to an ‘elevated’ start served by an aerialist performer followed by dinner and chancing your luck at The Headland casino. On 31st Dec there’s a fun afternoon quiz from 2pm and then The Ballroom will be the venue for a night of glittering indulgence with a Champagne reception, followed by a Grand Gala Buffet and dancing. Banish the hangover by taking part in the New Year’s Day swim at Fistral beach and then warm up in the hotel spa followed by dinner with a live piano accompaniment and a magic show.
The cost of New Year’s Eve 2019 at The Headland hotel: Rooms available from £175 per cent with a two-night minimum stay. More information here. Brand new review of The Headland hotel to follow soon.

Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes, Cornwall

The hotel: Bought by  Olga Polizzi in 1997 and completely redesigned, Tresanton’s 30 rooms all have views across the sea to St Anthony’s lighthouse.
The New Year package: There’s a sea-faring theme at the Tresanton this New Year’s Eve with sea shanties and mulled wine around the fire pit on 30th Dec, followed by New Year’s Eve dinner and party on the 31st Dec and a brunch and a family film on New Year’s Day.
Cost: £120 for three-course dinner on New Year’s Eve, and party tickets at £45. For more information click here.
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Best hotels for New Year in Devon

Bovey Castle, Dartmoor National Park

best luxury country house hotels for Christmas

Bovey Castle

The hotel: A stunning but welcoming grand historic hotel in the heart of Dartmoor
New Year’s Eve at Bovey Castle:
There are several dining options at this stunning hotel: a six-course black tie dinner at its flagship Great Western restaurant or a four-course dinner at Smith’s Brasserie. Both options include a Champagne reception, a piper, entertainment, dancing to a live band and fireworks at midnight.
Cost of dining at Bovey Castle for New Year: £175 per person at the Great Western, £145 per person at Smith’s Brasserie. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Bovey Castle here

Cary Arms and Spa, south Devon

Cary Arms

Cary Arms hotel and spa

The hotel: A charming boutique hotel right on the coast at Babbacombe Bay and just a few miles from Torquay. From the welcome glass of sloe gin to the excellent locally-sourced food, cosy spa and luxury beach suites, Cary Arms is a memorable place to stay.
Spending New Year at Cary Arms: Cary Arms is throwing a New Year ‘house party’ for its guests – a three-night stay including cocktail parties, dinners and entertainment. Arrive on 30th Dec for a three-course dinner in its cosy inn, before donning the glad rags for a five-course New Year’s Eve dinner followed by live music, dancing and a fireworks display. The brave-hearted might fancy a dip in the sea on New Year’s Day before relaxing in the bar or spa before a farewell three-course dinner with the resident pianist.
Cost of Cary Arm’s New Year’s package 2019: Starting from £1,705 for a double room based on two sharing including all meals and entertainment. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Cary Arms and spa here

Buckland Tout-Saints, Kingsbridge, south Devon

The hotel: Part of the excellent Eden Hotel Collection (which includes Greenway, Mallory Court and Bovey Castle), this 16-bedroom luxury hotel is small but sumptuous, tucked away down tiny Devon lanes.
New Year at Buckland Tout-Saints: The hotel has a two- or three-night New Year break. On New Year’s Eve there’s a cocktail and canapé reception, followed by a seven course gala dinner and a selection of wines. After dinner join other guests in the Kestrel Suite for live music from ‘The Penguins’, a glass of Champagne at midnight and our firework display. On New Year’s Day there’s a Champagne breakfast a a day spent enjoying a stroll in the stunning surrounding countryside before a three-course dinner served in the Queen Anne dining room in the evening.
The cost: Two-night breaks from £385 per person, three-night break from £465 per person based on two sharing.

Lympstone Manor, Devon

Lympstone Manor Christmas

Lympstone Manor

The hotel: A Grade 2-listed 21-bedroom Georgian manor house with 28 acres and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines.
New Year at Lympstone Manor: Arrive at 6.30pm for Canapés and a glass of Michael Caines blanc de blanc Champagne, followed by an eight-course Tasting Menu (on shared tables) with a matched wine flight. As the clock strikes midnight see the sky across the estuary light up with our display of fireworks and toast the New Year with a glass of Champagne.
Cost of New Year’s Eve 2019 at Lympstone Manor: £305 per person. More information here.

Boringdon Hall hotel, Devon

The hotel: Five-star 16th century country manor house near Plymouth with an award-winning Gaia Spa with indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, Finnish sauna, crystal salt steam room and alfresco hot tubs.
The New Year’s Eve package: Boringdon Hall is offering one- and two-night New Year’s breaks. Welcome in 2020 in unforgettable style with its exclusive black-tie Masquerade Ball and wake up on New Year’s Day to a lazy brunch complete with Bloody Marys before heading to Gaia Spa for a soothing swim and massage. Choose to arrive on either the 30th or 31st December.
The cost of New Year’s Eve 2019 at Boringdon Hall: One-night break from £475 per couple, two-night break from £850 per couple, including entry to the Masquerade Ball. Stand-alone tickets for the Masquerade Ball which includes Champagne reception and five-course tasting menu are £110 per person. Click here for more information.

Hotel Endsleigh, Devon

The hotel: A Grade 1-listed historic house set in 100 acres of woodland, follies and grottos and owned by hotelier Olga Polizzi.
The New Year’s Eve celebration: Join the Hotel Endsleigh for dinner in the Stables featuring a five-course menu followed by the New Year party in the House. At midnight fireworks will light up the sky.
Cost: £120 including five course dinner, coffee, petit fours, Champagne and all entertainment. For more information click here.

Best hotels for New Year in Dorset

The Eastbury hotel, Sherborne, Dorset

The hotel: Just a few short steps from the historic Abbey town of Sherborne, The Eastbury Hotel is a charming boutique Georgian period listed townhouse dating from 1740 set within a walled garden and recently acquired by Peter & Lana de Savary.
The New Year’s Eve package: Arrive at your leisure on 30th Dec and indulge in mince pies and mulled wine before a three-course dinner in The Eastbury’s award-winning 2 AA Rosette Seasons restaurant. The next day you can book treatments in the new Woodland Spa throughout the day before a Champagne reception, seven-course tasting menu,  music, dancing and a spectacular firework display. The next day you can visit the Lyme Regis Plunge and either take part or watch thousands of people take to the sea. In the evening there’s a farewell three-course dinner accompanied by music played by the resident pianist.
Cost of New Year 209 at The Eastbury: From £1,375 for the three-night break based on two sharing. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at The Eastbury in my brand new review here
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Best hotels for New Year in Bath

The Royal Crescent hotel and spa, Bath

The hotel: A five star, 250-year old hotel in Bath’s stunning Royal Crescent.
The New Year’s Eve package: New Year’s Eve at the Royal Crescent starts with festive Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room, a Champagne and canapés reception, five-course black-tie dinner accompanied by wines from our cellar, music from the resident DJ and see in the New Year at midnight with a traditional piper and a glass of Champagne. On  New Year’s Day breakfast will be served until late morning and before heading off have a final dip in the spa.
Cost of New Year 2019 at the Royal Crescent hotel and spa: From £586 per person based on two sharing. More information here.

Lucknam Park, Bath

60 of the best British luxury hotels to stay in for New Year

Lucknam Park

The hotel: A mile-long tree-lined drive leads to gorgeous Lucknam Park, with a top spa, fine-dining restaurant, beautiful grounds and a grand but welcoming country house feel.
New Year at Lucknam Park: This lovely hotel invites guests to ‘leave the organising to the experts and enjoy a hassle-free New Year’s Eve’. The celebrations start on 31st December with afternoon tea in the elegant drawing room or library, and a Champagne reception followed by a Michelin Star Gala dinner and dancing until 1am. During your stay, enjoy use of the award-winning spa facilities or take a ride through the parkland on horseback. The New Year begins with brunch in the former ballroom of the house, a treasure hunt for adults and children, before getting dressed up for an evening of jazz and fine dining in the New Year’s Day Celebration Dinner.
Cost of spending New Year’s Eve 2019 at Lucknam Park for 2019: From £970 per room per night for the three-night package based on two sharing. There is also the option of starting the two-night package on 30th December. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Lucknam Park here

Best hotels for New Year in Gloucestershire

Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham

Ellenborough Park

The hotel: Less than a few furlongs from the world-famous Cheltenham racecourse, Ellenborough Park is an impressive, 15th century luxury Cotswolds manor house with the racing theme running from the hotel bar to the rooms.
The New Year packages: Ellenborough Park is offering two and three-night packages for New Year. Arrive on 30th December and enjoy the spa and three-course dinner in the fine-dining restaurant. On New Year’s Eve there’s a Champagne and canapé reception followed by a five-course gala dinner, live music and fireworks, and the following day it can’t be easier to get to the Cheltenham racecourse for the New Year’s Day meeting, with chauffeur transfers taking less than a minute.
Cost of New Year 2019 at Ellenborough Park: From £709 per night based on two people sharing for a two-night stay, £609 per night for the three-night package until 2nd January. More information here.
Read what’s it like to stay at Ellenborough Park here

The Greenway Hotel and spa, Cheltenham

greenway hotel and spa cheltenham

The Greenway

The hotel: A smart yet relaxed spa hotel in beautiful grounds just outside Cheltenham.
The New Year’s packages: The Greenway is offering two- and three-night packages for New Year 2019. Arrive New Year’s Eve and settle into your room before cream tea in the Drawing Room. The evening celebrations will then begin with Champagne and canapés followed by a six-course black tie gala dinner with live music and dancing until midnight when you welcome in the New Year with a glass of Champagne. Wake up on New Year’s Day to a Champagne brunch then enjoy a day at leisure. Return and take time to relax before enjoying a four-course candlelit dinner.
Cost for Greenway hotel’s New Year’s packages: From £665 per person, based on a three night stay. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Greenway hotel here

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Best hotels for New Year in Wiltshire

Bishopstrow hotel and spa

Bishopstrow hotel and spa,Wiltshire

The hotel: Set in 27 acres of rolling Wiltshire countryside, this Georgian manor house enjoys an enviable location in the Wylye valley and is a quintessential country pile and 32 bedroom boutique hideaway with spa in the adjoining barns.
New Year’s Eve at Bishopstrow: Arrive for afternoon tea before a black tie Champagne and canapés reception, followed by a seven-course gala dinner at the hotel’s 2 AA rosette Mulberry restaurant. After dinner there is dancing with a live house band and a fireworks display at midnight.
Cost of New Year at Bishopstrow: From £295 per person per night based on two sharing. For more details click here.

Best hotels for New Year in the New Forest

Chewton Glen, the New Forest

Chewton Glen

The hotel: Classic British luxury from one of the most established country house hotels, with a world-class spa and luxury treehouses on stilts in the forest.
New Year at Chewton Glen: This luxury hotel is putting on a two-night New Year House party to welcome in 2020, starting with afternoon tea on arrival on 31st December, followed by Champagne reception and black tie New Year’s Eve party with a five course dinner, wines and dancing before Auld Lang Syne and a traditional piper at midnight. On New Year’s Day there’s a brunch buffet with live jazz, afternoon tea served in the lounge, cocktails and canapés before a gourmet four-course dinner with wines and dancing. And there’s always the excellent spa to recover in plus walks down to the coast.
Cost of spending New Year 2019 at Chewton Glen: From £3,140 per room based on two sharing. More information here.
Read what it’s like to stay at Chewton Glen here

Montagu Arms, New Forest

Montagu Arms

The hotel: A 17th century country house in the heart of Beaulieu in the New Forest.
The New Year package: A two-night break at the Montagu Arms includes afternoon tea on arrival, the New Year’s Eve Black Tie Ball – Champagne and canapés reception, five-course dinner at the award-winning Terrace Restaurant followed by dancing to a live band, plus New Forest breakfast on two mornings and dinner at the Terrace Restaurant on New Year’s Day. Guests also get to use the award-winning spa at sister hotel Careys Manor a few miles away.
Cost of a New Year break at Montagu Arms: From £585 per person based on two people sharing. More info here.
Read what it’s like to stay at the Montagu Arms here

Careys Manor, the New Forest

The hotel: In the heart of the New Forest, four star Careys Manor has 77 bedrooms and suites, three restaurant and an award-winning SenSpa.
New Year at Careys Manor: The hotel’s New Year package includes the full use of SenSpa’s extensive spa facilities, a hearty New Forest breakfast each morning (New Year’s Day will be brunch between 9am-12pm), New Year Champagne reception, seven-course banquet at Cambium, entertainment from the resident DJ and time to chance the casino tables, plus dinner on New Year’s Day at your choice of restaurant.
Cost of the New Year break at Careys Manor for 2019: From £515 per person for a two-night break.
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Best hotels for New Year in the Midlands

Best hotels for New Year in Rutland

Hambleton Hall, Rutland

Hambleton Hall Rutland

Hambleton Hall

The hotel: Practically perfect country house hotel, small but perfectly formed, with a Michelin-star restaurant, cosy bar, traditional rooms and beautiful grounds leading down to Rutland Water.
The New Year package: Says Hambleton Hall: ‘Imagine an evening of glamour filled with champagne, a wonderful six-course meal and dancing in one of Britain’s finest country house hotels. Get dressed to impress and celebrate the year with us the best way we know how.’
Cost: To be confirmed with the hotel. Spaces for this spectacular evening are limited so contact the hotel directly on 01572 756 991 to book your space.
Read what it’s like to stay at Hambleton Hall here

Best hotels for New Year in Leicestershire

Stapleford Park, nr Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Stapleford Park

Stapleford Park

The hotel: Stapleford Park country house hotel and sporting estate is surrounded by 500 acres of Capability Brown landscape in the heart of Leicestershire with a golf course, luxury spa and 55 rooms in a Grade I-listed mansion.
New Year at Stapleford Park: Make the most of this traditional county hotel and great location by spending New Year’s Eve here, starting with cream tea and a glass of mulled wine on arrival, pre-dinner Champagne reception with canapés, five-course gala dinner with live entertainment, fireworks and Champagne toast at midnight. Stay in a luxury room overnight and then enjoy a relaxing start to 2020 with breakfast, New Year’s Day lunch and a traditional country pursuits taster on New Year’s Day.
Cost of New Year at Stapleford Park: From £385 per person based on two people sharing, or book the gala dinner without accommodation for £188 per person, £38 for the New Year’s Day lunch. More information here.
Read my brand new review of what it’s like to stay at Stapleford Park hotel here

Best hotels for New Year in Warwickshire

Mallory Court, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Mallory Court

Mallory Court

The hotel: Lutyens-style grand manor hotel and grounds with designer room and art deco brasserie.
The New Year package: Mallory Court is putting on a two-night New Year break, starting 30th or 31st December. Those arriving on 30th December can unwind with afternoon tea served in the lounge, followed by three-course a la carte menu served in the award-winning Dining Room. On New Year’s Eve wake up to a full English breakfast and after a day relaxing in the spa join fellow guests for a black tie cocktail reception in the Knight’s Suite, five-course gala dinner then dancing to live music to ring in New Year. New Year’s Day brunch to be served until noon the following day before departing – if arriving on 31st, afternoon tea will be served on 1st January, plus dinner is included on 1st January.
Cost for New Year 2019 at Mallory Court: From £359 per person, based on a two-night stay.
Read what it’s like to stay at Mallory Court here

New Hall hotel and spa, Sutton Coldfield

The hotel: One of the Hand Picked Hotel’s chain of hotels, New Hall started life as a manor house built by the Earl of Warwick as a hunting lodge in the 13th century, giving it the reputation today of being England’s oldest listed inhabited moated house, Set is 26 acres it has 60 bedrooms and a luxury spa.
New Year at New Hall: As well as offering a more traditional gourmet tasting menu New Year’s Eve dinner, New Hall is offering something rather more different: a murder mystery evening. The evening will commence from 7pm with a festive apéritif in the Garden Pavilion prior to a four-course dinner on shared tables. Guests will then work together to crack the case of Nigel Reeves and his new bride… sounds intriguing! After the mystery is solved (assuming the guests work it out) then there’s dancing until 1am.
The cost: Murder mystery evening with dinner and overnight stay from £220 per person. For more information click here.

Best hotels for New Year in Northamptonshire

Fawsley Hall, Northamptonshire

The hotel: Another owned by Hand Picked Hotels and dating back to the 1760s, the hotel blends heritage with modern interiors and is set in a 2,000 acres estates with gardens designed by Capability Brown.
New Year at Fawsley Hall: The celebrations begin in the Tudor Great Hall with a Champagne and canapés reception followed by a lavish five course dinner in the Salvin Longroom. A Scottish piper and live band will see you through the night, with carriages at 1am.
Cost of New Year at Fawsley Hall 2019: Tickets for the gala dinner are £145 per person, overnight package from £545 per room. For more information click here.

Best hotels for New Year in Worcestershire

The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern
The hotel: The Cottage in the Wood is a boutique hotel opened in 2015. Its Georgian heritage contrasts with pop art and Timorous Beasties wallpaper, with views over the Severn Valley as the backdrop.
New Year at The Cottage in the Wood: Celebrate the New Year with a two-night stay, gourmet dining and dancing. On New Year’s Eve, be served a seven-course tasting menu including poached oyster with yuzu and roast beef rump and oxtail, wine, cocktails and Champagne. Dance into 2020 with the crowd-pleasing Firefly covers band and renowned vocalist Suzy Jacoby. For more information click here.
Cost of New Year at The Cottage in the Wood: From £395 per person based on two sharing. Tickets just for the New Year’s Eve event £110 each.

Best hotels for New Year in Suffolk

The Swan at Lavenham, Suffolk

The Swan at Lavenham

The Swan at Lavenham

The hotel: Luxury half-timbered 15th century hotel at the heart of the historic village of Lavenham in Suffolk. The cosy hotel with oak beamed interiors, roaring log fires, cosy nooks and delicious food plus a new spa is the perfect place to enjoy a three-night festive package.
New Year at The Swan: Arrive on 30th December for a three-course dinner before New Year’s Eve cream team, Champagne and canapé reception with piper and five-course black tie gala dinner followed by an evening of Swing music with big band vocalist Ian Gallagher. Celebrate the New Year with dancing through to 1am. You can also start your New Year’s Eve package on the 31st and there’s an optional guided walk on New Year’s Day.
Cost of New Year 2019 at The Swan at Lavenham: The three-night package starts from £650 for a single room or £914 for two sharing. Click here for more information.
Read what it’s like to stay at The Swan at Lavenham here

The Crown and Castle, Orford

The Crown and Castle, Orford

The hotel: This cosy hotel is more of a restaurant with rooms, based in the pretty Suffolk village of Orford, just a few steps from Henry II’s 12th century castle keep and the nature sanctuary of Orford Ness.
New Year at The Crown and Castle: This three-night break will be both relaxing and indulgent. Arriving on 31st December, guests will enjoy tea and cake before Prosecco, canapes and a five-course feast at this acclaimed restaurant. The next day guests can enjoy exploring the area or relax by log fires before another three-course dinner.
Cost of New Year at the Crown and Castle: From £650 based on two sharing. Dogs welcome in the ground floor rooms and can even stay with their owners as they dine at the pre-booked dog-friendly table at the restaurant. For more information click here.

The Swan, Southwold, Suffolk

Bedroom at The Swan, Southwold

Bedroom at The Swan, Southwold

The hotel: An immaculate, smart, 35-room boutique hotel in the lovely Suffolk town of Southwold. Owned by Adnams brewery, the hotel has great rooms, excellent food and drink and is less than a minute’s walk from the Suffolk coast.
The New Year package: Welcome the arrival of the New Year in style with a two-night stay at The Swan in Southwold. Starting with Champagne and canapés and followed by a glamorous black-tie evening featuring live jazz and a five-course menu.
The cost of New Year at The Swan, Southwold: Single rooms from £480, doubles from £750. The two-night package can be taken 30th/31st or 31st/1st. For more information click here.
Read my review of The Swan in Southwold here

Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Brudenell hotel Aldeburgh Suffolk

Brudenell hotel, Aldeburgh

The hotel: Set in one of Britain’s best seaside locations, the stylish 44-bedroom, four-star hotel is just a step away from the shingle beach with magnificent panoramic sea views to the front, while at the back it overlooks the river Alde and surrounding countryside. The Brudenell features coastal themed decor and fresh, locally sourced food.
The New Year package: A two-night break at The Brudenell starts on 30th December with dinner at the Seafood and Grill restaurant overlooking the beach.  A full Suffolk breakfast is necessary in preparation for the celebrations this evening. Tea and scones will be available between 3pm-5pm. Welcome in the New Year with a Black Tie party beginning with a cocktail, followed by a lavish six-course dinner. When the clock strikes midnight there will be fireworks on the beach with a glass of champagne.
Cost of a two-night New Year break: Prices start from £465 for a single and £760 per twin or double. Separate tickets available for New Year’s Eve dinner only. For more information click here.
Read what it’s like to stay at the Brudenell Hotel here

White Lion, Aldeburgh, Suffolk

The White Horse

The White Lion, Aldeburgh

The hotel: The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh is right on the Suffolk coast and overlooks the fishermen’s huts along the beach.
New Year at the White Lion: Celebrate New Year’s with a two-night stay arriving on either the 30th or 31st December and party in style at the Winter Wonderland Ball at Thorpeness Country Club (transport is included in this package). Package includes full Suffolk Breakfast and three-course dinner in our Brasserie while guests welcome in the New Year with tickets to the New Year’s Eve party at Thorpeness Country Club from 6.30pm – a five- course dinner with live music and fireworks at midnight.
Cost for New Year 2019 at the White Lion, Aldeburgh: From £335 for a single room, £665 for a double or twin room based on two sharing. More details can be found here.
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Best hotels for New Year in the North of England

Lodore Falls, Lake District

The hotel: Luxury hotel in the beautiful Borrowdale valley which has just undergone a £10 million redevelopment.
The New Year package: There’s a packed itinerary for guests at Lodore Falls over the New Year period, starting on the 30th December with gin afternoon tea buffet, cocktails and canapés, a four-course candlelit dinner followed by a magician and balloonist and live music. On New Year’s Eve there’s a treasure hunt, sushi or Champagne masterclass and photos in front of the magic selfie mirror and then a six-course dinner and ‘Hollywood Glamour’ party, disco and piper and bubbly at midnight. It just keeps coming with a jazz brunch buffet on New Year’s Day, a guided walk, four-course dinner with dessert buffet followed by a comedy night – and guests can guess the weight of the gingerbread house to win a spa day for two (before watching the house be smashed to pieces by the children – a Lodore Falls tradition).
Cost of New Year at Lodore Falls for 2019: New Year packages start at £645 per person. More information here.  

Rockliffe Hall, Durham

Rockliffe Hall, Durham

The hotel: Set in 375 acres of parkland, the original building dates from the 1800s, but over the years the 61-room luxury hotel has been extended to include a highly-rated 50,000 ft spa and three restaurants, two of which overlook its 18-hole Championship golf course.
The New Year packages: You can choose between the Orangery or the Black Tie Gala Ball breaks at Rockliffe Hall this year. Start with high tea on arrival followed by a three-course dinner in one of the three restaurants on the evening of the 30th. Wake up and make the most of the luxury resort facilities during the day – there’s a spa, golf course and acres of lands – and in the evening there’s Champagne and canapés and a seven-course tasting menu in the 4AA Rosette Orangery accompanied by live music, or a four-course gourmet banquet, live band and disco at the gala ball. The New Year will be piped in, followed by fireworks and late-night bacon rolls and there’s a late check-out the following day.
Price of the New Year packages at Rockliffe Hall 2019: The Orangery Break is £545 per person for the two nights, while the Gala Ball Break is £595 per person for two nights.
Read my review of a stay at Rockliffe Hall here

Seaham Hall, Durham

The hotel: Five-star all-suite boutique hotel and spa on Durham’s heritage coast.
New Year at Seaham Hall: Guests booking the New Year package will get a suite for two, use of the award-winning spa from 12 noon on day of arrival until 12 noon day of departure, a Champagne and canapé reception in The Courtyar, a five-course dinner with wine served in The Ballroom, designed by head chef Damian Broom and can then dance the night away before fireworks at midnight.
What New Year at Seaham Hall costs: Rooms available from £849 per room based on two sharing. More information here.

Middlethorpe Hall hotel, York

The hotel: Middlethorpe Hall is an elegant and historic 17th century country house hotel with open fireplaces set in 20 acres on the outskirts of the historic City of York.
The New Year package: The hotel is offering a two-night package starting on New Year’s Eve with afternoon tea. The evening will start with a Champagne and canapés reception accompanied by a harpist from 8pm, to be followed by a six-course black-tie gala dinner. Welcome in the New Year with a firework display and dance to the tunes of a jazz band until the early hours. A light consommé and sandwiches will be served around 1am. On New Year’s Day enjoy a leisurely Bloody Mary breakfast/brunch served from 9:30 am.
Cost of New Year at Middlethorpe Hall: From £619 for a single room and from £1,149 based on two sharing. For more information click here.

The Grange hotel, York
The hotel: The Grange Hotel is a luxury hotel in a Grade II listed building within walking distance from the city centre of York and with a 2 AA Rosette restaurant. The country house hotel has 41 individually-designed en-suite rooms set amongst Regency style décor, antique paintings, sash windows, rare racing memorabilia and a sweeping staircase.
The New Year Package: New Year’s Eve celebrations start with afternoon tea before Champagne and canapés and New Year’s Eve dinner in the Ivy Brasserie, with a late breakfast the next day before check-out.
The cost of New Year at The Grange: One night from £232.50 per person, a two-night stay starts from £333.50 per person. More information can be found here.

The Devonshire Arms hotel and spa, Skipton, North Yorkshire

The hotel: Privately owned by the Duke of Devonshire, this 40-room hotel is set in acres of rolling parkland at Bolton Abbey. The interior décor of the hotel is traditional country house style with individual touches of contemporary chic. Four-posters carved on the Chatsworth Estate have pride of place in the hotel suites, and original artwork is plentiful throughout the property.
New Year at The Devonshire Arms: Starting with afternoon tea, the two-night New Year package at The Devonshire Arms continues with a Champagne reception and Black Tie gourmet dinner, before welcoming in the New Year with a piper, fireworks display and dancing until 2am. New Year’s Day offers a guided walk with lunch, then afternoon tea, a drinks reception and candlelit dinner with paired wines.
The cost: From £865 per person based on two sharing. More information here.
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Best hotels for New Year aka Hogmanay in Scotland

Glenapp Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

The hotel: Luxury, award-winning five-star hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland, with period furnishings and interiors as well as breath-taking gardens, forests, and the seascapes that surround the castle.
The New Year’s package: Glenapp is fully booked for this year but is already taking bookings for New Year’s Eve 2020 and the hotel tells me the itinerary and cost will be similar to this year’s, where guests are welcomed with Champagne afternoon tea by log fires while listening to the Glenapp pianist on the hotel’s baby grand piano. The black-tie Hogmanay party begins with a champagne cocktail in the drawing room and  guests are then piped into the six-course Hogmanay banquet dinner followed by  traditional Scottish dancing with a ceilidh band. After New Year’s Day brunch there’s a trip to the local Stranraer curling rink to try curling yourself before the final six-course gourmet dinner.
Cost of Hogmanay at Glenapp Castle in 2019: From £2,895 per room based on two sharing.

Gleneagles hotel and spa, Perthshire

The hotel: One of the top hotels in Scotland, the 850-acre Gleneagles estate offers an array of attractions that includes a five-star luxury hotel, three championship golf courses and an award-winning spa.
Hogmanay at Gleneagles: The hotel is offering a three-night traditional Hogmanay experience at Gleneagles. Guests booking the full New Year experience which includes all meals and entertainment get an extra night free on the 29th December or 2nd January as well as complimentary airport transfers.
Cost of New Year at Gleneagles 2019: £5,540 per room for a three-night stay, based on two sharing a Sovereign Room. More information here.

The Lodge on Loch Lomond, Scotland

The hotel: Modern hotel with a unique location on the shore of Loch Lomond, with 48 guest bedrooms and leisure facilities including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. The hotel is 30 minutes from Glasgow City airport and just a stroll from the pretty village of Luss.
The New Year package: Welcome 2020 from the shores of bonnie Loch Lomond with a Gala Dinner, including Champagne and canapés, four-course gourmet dinner, ceilidh dancing and disco. There’s also a three-day New Year’s Eve package including the Gala Dinner as well as other treats including whisky-tasting, folk music, New Year’s Day quiz and dancing – with departure on 3rd Jan 2020 it’s ideal for those wanting to hang onto that New Year’s spirit for as long as possible.
The cost of New Year 2019 at The Lodge on Loch Lomond: Rooms start from £485 per person based on two sharing. More information here.

Old Course hotel, St Andrews

The hotel: Situated in the heart of St Andrews, the five-star Old Course Hotel with an award-winning spa borders the renowned 17th Road Hotel of the Old Course, the oldest golf course in the world, just metres from the Scottish coast.
New Year’s Eve at St Andrews: The hotel says there is no finer place to be when the bells strike and the fireworks fill the sky above West Sands Beach. On Tuesday 31st December, join the Old Course Hotel for its Hogmanay Black Tie Gala Ball which includes a glass of fizz and canapés on arrival, six-course meal, live music and firework display.
Cost of the New Year’s Eve at Old Course hotel: Tickets from £225 per person. More information here

Fairmont St Andrews hotel and spa

Fairmont St Andrews

Fairmont St Andrews hotel and spa

The hotel: This 211-room, 520-acre resort has two championship golf courses, a spa and has clifftop views of St Andrews and the North Sea.
New Year’s Eve at Fairmont St Andrews: Diners are invited to indulge in a five-star Hogmanay dinner in the hotel’s St Andrews Bar & Grill with live music until late. The package includes a full Scottish breakfast, four-course Hogmanay dinner, a traditional Scottish music performance from 3-piece trio Sultans of Fling throughout the evening and access to a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. Alternatively, guests are invited to enjoy a magical evening of fantastical celebration bringing the holiday classic The Nutcracker to life.  Attendees will be greeted by giant living Nutcrackers as they arrive for pre-dinner drinks along with entertainment from dancers, illusionists and a close-up magician throughout the dinner service. In addition, guests can access the Circus Workshop where they can be treated to a glitter tattoo, dance the night away to Central City Groove, a 6-piece band who will perform after dinner, and view a beautiful fireworks display near midnight to bring in the New Year.
Cost of New Year at Fairmont St Andrews: One night from £365 per adult per stay, two nights: from £449 per adult per stay. Additional nights available from £169 per room per night. The Nutcracker Hogmanay package is from £345 per adult for one night, from £429 per adult for two nights, all based on two sharing.

Roman Camp hotel, Stirlingshire, Scotland

The hotel: Luxury four-star hotel built in 1625 for the Dukes of Perth, with 15 rooms and set in 20 acres.
The New Year’s Eve package: Roman Camp Hotel is hosting a three-day New Year Break with a traditional Hogmanay party so you dance along to the Dashing White Sergeant, Gay Gordons and Strip the Willow – all accompanied by its very own Ceilidh band. On 30th December there’s a five-course dinner with all seated at one grand dining table. There will be the spectacle of actors performing a Murder Mystery evening and a prize for those that solve the mystery. On New Year’s Eve enjoy a light lunch and afternoon tea before meeting in the lounges for more Champagne and the gala meal accompanied by vintage wines. The Ceilidh band will lead guests in traditional Scottish and modern dancing while the New Year will be greeted with fireworks, Champagne and stovies. New Year’s Day is a day of relaxing before a grand final dinner.
Cost of New Year 2019 at Roman Camp hotel: Rooms from £1,420 for the three-night stay based on two sharing.

Tinto Hotel, Biggar, Scotland

The hotel: Traditional 114-year old country house hotel in five acres on the Scottish border
Hogmany at the Tinto hotel: Arrive from 3pm and enjoy afternoon tea and scones in the lounge. Enjoy a candlelit dinner in the restaurant from 7pm. The next day enjoy a hearty Scottish breakfast while celebrations start in style with a glass of bubbly and canapés at 7pm. A three-course dinner will be served in the Cameron Suite at 7.30pm followed by traditional Scottish entertainment with the Scotia ceilidh band and DJ to bring in the new year with dancing till 1am and late night stovies. The next day after blowing the cobwebs away with local hikes, there’s dinner followed by dancing in the evening.
Cost of New Year 2019 at Tinto Hotel: Three-night package £360 per person, two-nights £290 per person. More information here.

Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian, Scotland

Dalhousie Castle

The hotel: Just eight miles from Edinburgh, the 13th-century Dalhousie Castle is Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle and has 35 bedrooms set within 11 acres of parkland on the banks of the river plus a spa and fine-dining restaurant.
Hogmanay at Dalhousie Castle: The castle is putting on a three-night Hogmanay break, starting on 30th December with afternoon tea, falconry and a tour of the 700-year old castle. There’s clay pigeon shooting, a cocktail masterclass and a chance to practice your Ceilidh dancing before a six-course New Year’s Eve gala dinner. Start the New Year relaxing in the spa before a buffet dinner on 1st Jan.
Cost: From £900 per person, based on two sharing. For more information click here.

Airds Hotel, Port Appin, Scotland

The hotel: One of Scotland’s top gourmet destinations on the West Coast.
The New Year package: Airds is already completely sold out for New Year 2019 but is taking bookings for 2020. To give you an idea, this year’s package includes full Scottish breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner in the three-AA Rosette restaurant each day, as well as a Ceilidh dance on 31 December and a special Hogmanay black tie gala dinner on New Year’s Day, introduced with music played by a Scottish piper. Spend time exploring stunning locations such as nearby Loch Linnhe or the high peaks of Glencoe and Ben Nevis. Arriving on 30 December, the cost is from £1,790 per room total/ £895 pp (two sharing), including all meals and activities listed. Find out more here.
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Best hotels for New Year in Wales

Bodysgallen Hall hotel and spa, Llandudno

Bodysgallen Hall, north Wales

Bodysgallen Hall, north Wales

The hotel: Set in 200 acres of parkland just outside Llandudno on the north coast of Wales, Bodysgallen Hall is located in an imposing building dating back to the 13th century but has modern luxuries including a spa with indoor pool.
The New Year package: Arrive for the New Year’s Eve House Party on 31st December.  This break includes accommodation for one night, full afternoon cream tea, Champagne reception and a five-course dinner with selected wines on New Year’s Eve (black tie optional or lounge suit), and brunch on New Year’s Day.
Cost of New Year at Bodysgallen Hall 2019: Doubles from £805 for the one-night break, single occupancy for a cottage is £550.
Read my review of Bodysgallen Hall here

The Grove at Narberth

The hotel: Privately owned luxury country house hotel nestled in the heart of the rolling Pembrokeshire countryside with stunning views of the Preseli Hills and just 12 minutes drive to the sea.
The New Year package: The Grove is offering a two- or three-night break, including luxurious accommodation, breakfast, festive tea and cakes, together with pre-dinner drinks and evening dinner including the New Year’s Eve Celebration, a four-course gala dinner followed by dancing and music from The Numbers Racket Swing band and midnight fireworks on the front terrace.
Cost of New Year at The Grove at Narberth 2019: Prices for the New Year breaks start from £450 per room per night, based on two guests sharing. More information can be found here.

Lake Country House hotel and spa, Powys

The hotel: Welcoming Welsh country house set in its own 50 acres, with rhododendron-lined pathways, riverside walks and a well-stocked trout lake as well as a spa with indoor pool.
The New Year package: Join the Lake Country House for an indulgent New Year break in the Welsh countryside. Enjoy lazy hours in its luxurious lakeside spa, leisurely walks in our gorgeous grounds and nearby countryside, fine dining in our award-winning restaurant, not to mention a New Year’s Eve celebration to remember, with Champagne reception in the lounge, eight course gourmet dinner,  entertainment with dancing, fireworks at midnight and mulled wine.
Cost of New Year 2019 at The Lake Country House: From £750 per room for a two-night break. More information here
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Best hotels for a healthy New Year

Champneys Tring, Forest Mere, Henlow and Springs (Leicestershire)

The hotels: The original health spas in beautiful country settings
The New Year packages: New Year’s Eve might be about indulgence but Champneys offers the chance to start the New Year off on a healthy note too. Guests will be able to make full use of spa facilities during their stay to help completely unwind – including a Head in the Clouds massage – before the party gets started. There’s a glamorous gala dinner with fine food, drink and live entertainment and the next day start the New Year off with a nutritious buffet lunch and late departure.
Cost of New Year at Champneys: From £250 per person – prices vary per hotel. More information here.

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Have you stayed in a luxury hotel over New Year? What was it like? Do let me know in the comments – and if I’ve missed any of your favourites out! 

Sarah
A Lady of Leisure
sarah@aladyofleisure.com

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