The UK’s hotel industry is world-class, just ask the millions of tourists that flock to our shores every year. But are you missing out? When was the last time you enjoyed a staycation?
If you haven’t explored the UK for a minute, perhaps it’s time to book a little closer to home for your next holiday. To help you choose where to stay, The Good Hotel Guide 2018: Great Britain & Ireland, has just revealed this year’s 10 best hotels in their respective fields.
Whittled down from a list of 424 entries, these 10 hotels have been awarded César awards, (the Oscars of the hotel industry) and were selected purely on merit, following visits by a team of experienced inspectors and reports from members of the public.
Editors from the publication, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, said: “Our 2018 César winners must be celebrated for their individuality, warm hospitality and meticulous service, which set them apart from their competitors. The Guide provides the chance to recognise the UK and Ireland’s most revered and wholly independent properties, from refined gastropubs to plush country house hotels.”
So, if you’d like to plan a long romantic weekend, spa break with the girls or a seaside jaunt with the family, you know where to look.
Here are the 10 César award winners
Newcomer of the year
The Mash Inn, Radnage, Buckinghamshire
The superlative meals at Nick Mash’s restaurant-with-rooms, in a Chiltern Hills village, draw the crowds. Stay in simple, modern bedrooms in the refreshed 18th-century inn; toast your good fortune with turmeric ginger beer at breakfast.
Seaside hotel of the year
Soar Mill Cove Hotel, Soar Mill Cove, Devon
The bedrooms come with binoculars at Keith Makepeace’s family-friendly hotel on a Devon hillside – all the better to spot the dolphins in the sea below. Lunch on chowder and fishcakes before walking to the beach, under the gaze of neighbouring cows.
Luxury hotel of the year
Hambleton Hall, Hambleton, Rutland
Wonderfully spoiling, Tim and Stefa Hart’s country house hotel overlooking Rutland Water has it all: delightful gardens, Michelin-starred dinners, exemplary breakfasts and an outdoor swimming pool for lazy summer days.
B&B of the year
St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses, Northumberland
A jug of monastery mead accompanies the morning porridge at this former church in a coastal Northumberland village. Dedicated owners Jeff and Jill Sutheran serve the taste of the place: village-bakery bread, local-smokehouse kippers and Northumbrian Bubble & Squeak.
Romantic hotel of the year
Forest Side, Grasmere, Cumbria
In the Lake District, Andrew Wildsmith has created a modern rustic setting at this elegantly understated Victorian Gothic mansion standing in acres of landscaped gardens and dappled woodland.
Country house hotel of the year
Judges, Yarm, North Yorkshire
The Downs family’s traditional hotel on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors wins fans for its professional yet friendly approach to hotelkeeping. Among the little touches guests love: sherry in the lavishly decorated bedrooms.
Inn of the year
Red Lion Freehouse, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire
Chef/patrons Guy and Brittany Manning run their thatch-roofed inn in a village bordering the River Avon. After a Michelin-starred dinner, retire to a bedroom decorated with flair.
Scottish hotel of the year
Burrastow House, Walls, Shetland
A peat fire burns at Pierre Dupont’s laid-back small hotel on the remote west side of Shetland – just right for the library of books to read in front of it. The 18th-century house stands on the bay; all around is extraordinary beauty.
Welsh restaurant-with-rooms of the year
Llys Meddyg, Newport, Pembrokeshire
In a coastal Pembrokeshire village, this affable restaurant-with-rooms is run by owners Edward and Louise Sykes with genuine charm and more than a dash of local flavour. The food is sophisticated, the bedrooms are snug and serene.
Irish hotel of the year
Viewmount House, Longford, Co. Longford
Open fires, fresh flowers and Irish literature fill the rooms of Beryl and James Kearney’s Georgian mansion. Most appealing are the congenial hosts, who encourage a relaxed, easy air throughout the house.