17 Heavenly Hotels to Book Now
Spring has sprung and the lighter nights are boosting our mood. So what better time to plan your next breakaway?
In brief: A luxurious country house hotel with possibly the best location on Lake Windermere.
Our highlight: The impressive Grade II-listed building is wrapped in 17 acres of secluded grounds which lead down to the lake.
Insider guide: This is a family-friendly, family-run hotel with 37 rooms spread across the main house, the Boathouse and the Lakeland Suites with hot tubs beside the water. The Tower Bar is where you can kick back with a pint and enjoy the relaxed pub-style menu, or head to the lakeside restaurant for a more formal affair under the watchful eye of chef Andy Beaton, whose unfussy food showcases the best of local Cumbrian produce. It’s a place to relax and unwind. Stroll beside the lake or book a boat ride and be picked up from the hotel’s private jetty for a jaunt on the water.
Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria LA23 3LG
MATFEN HALL HOTEL, GOLF & SPA
In brief: A one-of-a-kind, five-star stately home hotel set in 300 acres of parkland dating back to the 17th century.
Our highlight: The never-ending dining possibilities. Head to the Emerald Restaurant for imaginative seasonal menus, the Orangery and Needham for a bistro-style menu, The Keepers for gastro-pub style food (and views for the golf course), and 1832 for delicious drinks – but don’t forget afternoon tea.
Insider guide: With 53 bedrooms, championship golf, and a retreat to relax in, you’re spoilt for choice for things to do at Matfen Hall. Their 53 bedrooms range from cosy home-from-home rooms to stately suites, but all ooze five-star luxury. Be sure to add a visit to The Retreat to your itinerary where you can indulge in treatments and make the most of the private 16-metre swimming pool, thermal suite and state-of-the-art fitness area. Their 27-hole Championship golf course is rated as one of the finest in the North East. They have a par-3 short course, a golf academy, a driving range and a purpose-built clubhouse too.
Matfen NE20 0RH
HIGH FORCE HOTEL
In brief: An characterful 18th century hotel in the stunning surroundings of Upper Teesdale.
Our highlight: The location. Upper Teesdale is home to some of the UK’s rarest plants and iconic upland birds, and the hotel is beside the famous High Force waterfall.
Insider guide: With 10 individually-designed bedrooms, each with an ensuite shower or bath, High Force Hotel is a perfect pit stop, as well as a glorious place to unwind. Its surroundings are unmatched, with miles of footpaths leading from the hotel’s doorstep. You’re perfectly placed for everything from a visit to Raby Castle, Park and Gardens and a culture fix at The Bowes Museum, to a hike through stunning woods and meadowland following the River Tees. Your four-legged friends can wind down here too. Kick off your walking boots in the dedicated drying room and relax in comfort beside the fire. The breakfast is legendary at High Force, and after a day outdoors you’ll love the relaxing atmosphere and delicious home-cooked food in the cosy (dog-friendly) dining room.
Alston Road, Forest-in-Teesdale DL12 0XH
In brief: A much-loved retreat between the sea and the moors, with cosy rooms and stylish suites.
Our highlight: Their tranquil spa. While away your stay Raithwaite Spa – think heated indoor pool, steam room and sauna, then treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa treatment.
Insider guide: With Sandsend beach and the North York Moors on your doorstep, whether you choose coast or country, this is a brilliant base for seeing the best of Yorkshire. Couples, families, groups and four-legged friends are all welcome in their range of cosy bedrooms. Enjoy a tipple of your choice in Bar 1822 and dine in the restaurant on local produce, the freshest seafood from Whitby and mushrooms foraged from the grounds – delicious. Sustainability is key at Raithwaite as they strive to protect and respect their stunning surroundings. From going fully organic, to working towards zero waste, Raithwaite’s strive for a greener staycation is in full swing: they have partnered with Sapling Vodka, which plants a tree on their estate or in the local area for every bottle Raithwaite sell, and they’ve switched to canned water in guest rooms, eliminating the use of single-use plastic bottles among many other small changes to make a difference.
Sandsend Road, Whitby YO21 3ST
In brief: A hidden gem in the Yorkshire Dales with a luxury spa and gym.
Our highlight: The Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin Restaurant (take on the venison loin for Sunday lunch).
Insider guide: With 47 lavish bedrooms, four remarkable restaurants and not one, but five bars, there are plenty of options at the luxurious Grantley Hall – but making your choice might not be so easy. One thing’s for certain, you’ll enjoy a tranquil escape and want to make the most of the Three Graces Spa and state-of-the-art facilities in the ELITE Luxury Gym. Indulge in afternoon tea, take a culinary journey with Shaun Rankin or try classic Asian dishes at bar and restaurant EightyEight. Robata grilled lamb cutlets with smoked aubergine purée? Yes please! Then relax in your room or suite. The Royal Suite is a sight to behold with breathtaking views to the formal gardens, fountain and the River Skell.
Ripon HG4 3ET
In brief: An 18th century hall on a 150-acre estate in Northumberland.
Our highlight: The eclectic décor. Charlton Hall make their own rules, and certainly have their own style – a truly bold aesthetic. From the giraffe that greets you and cheeky wallpaper from House of Hackney, to the quirky velvet furnishings and the original grand piano, no room is the same but all are marvellously styled.
Insider guide: Six distinctive bedroom suites are found within the main house alongside the Stable Cottage, Farm Cottage, Pole Barn and Farmhouse for groups, and they don’t do things by halves when it comes to interior decor. The drawing room is a luxurious place to relax, with a statement ceiling featuring a baroque paper from La Maison Pierre Frey. The library is equally as majestic with an immense chandelier and Gung-Ho bee cushions. From the breakfast room to the loos, there's a voguish quirk on every corner
Chathill, NE67 5DZ
SPORTING LODGE INNS
In brief: An independent hotel with an impressive 140 bedrooms amidst 24 acres of land.
Our highlight: The fully-equipped sports and leisure centre where you can take a dip in the 25-metre heated indoor pool or jacuzzi, relax in the steam and sauna room or break a sweat in the fully equipped modern gym.
Insider guide: Escape the hustle and bustle (while only a short drive away from Middlesbrough, Darlington, and Hartlepool) and settle into the beautifully-designed bedrooms at Sporting Lodge Inns. The Old Poste House restaurant has a welcoming ambiance where you can enjoy classic steaks, pasta, pizzas and even parmos after a busy day out and about.
Low Lane, Stainton TS17 9LW
In brief: A boutique hotel in the heart of the city of York.
Our highlight: You can bring your dog to play! There are comfy dog beds in your room, dog treats on arrival and dog walking (subject to availability) – they just love your four-legged friends.
Insider guide: Newly re-opened, No.1 York is a Regency townhouse of stately proportions with 39 rooms (plus three must-see suites) with locally-sourced antiques, art and curios giving them heaps of character. The chefs here are known for their sumptuous snacks and sharing platters and the bar staff serve delicious drinks all day to both regulars and guests. In the arches of their cellar, you’ll find the spa, home to bespoke wellbeing experiences, five treatment rooms (including a room for two) and serene space for relaxation. From Sunday lunch to afternoon tea, there’s much to indulge in, and the kids aren’t left out either – with in-room tipi hideouts, their very own goodies menu, and instant cameras.
1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA
In brief: A boutique hotel within a 100 acre estate in Northumberland.
Our highlight: Afternoon tea with perfect pastries, served in the relaxing drawing room with sink-in sofas and a pretty bay window overlooking the Tyne Valley.
Insider guide: Each of Walwick Hall’s 10 rooms has its own personality, but all complement the original Georgian character of the palatial hall (and the ground floor has been recently renovated). Cole & Son wallpaper and Aubusson carpets are the luxe finishing touches. The Dining Room serves the best of British food using a mix of local produce from Walwick Hall’s kitchen garden and respected suppliers. Start with roast rabbit roulade but save room for the catch of the day or rib eye steak. Take time out with a dip in the pavilion pool or relax in the steam room and jacuzzi with panoramic views over the picture-perfect Tyne Valley below.
Humshaugh, Hexham NE46 4BJ
In brief: A sustainability-driven country retreat rooted in history, set within 200 acres of rural North Yorkshire countryside. Our highlight: Its history. Owners James and Rebecca Allison have spent the past seven years gently reviving the original characterful buildings and surrounding landscape into a creative, timeless retreat.
Insider guide: This hotel retreat is home to a Michelin-recognised restaurant, award-winning treatment rooms and a range of individually-designed event spaces, all of which have been carefully restored to conserve the original Georgian buildings and landscape. There are 36 rooms to choose from, together with the Palladian Georgian Main House which is available to hire exclusively – with large reception rooms positioned around a sweeping staircase leading to the 15 bedrooms, and a renowned cellar bar. Middleton Lodge oozes beauty with a walled, two-acre garden (redesigned by renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith). Each room is calm and welcoming, with a home-from-home feeling throughout. There are cosy and comfortable spaces, with spring water, tin hot tubs, and some with room for the family. Inside, subtle colour schemes and botanical inspired decor combine with characterful features. City dwellers looking for a stay completely connected to nature can also choose between four new hand-built shepherd’s huts. The hotel’s Coach House restaurant serves an ever-changing seasonal menu inspired by the garden and the head chef and head gardener work closely to plan and plant the produce required to create delicious dishes from ingredients grown on the estate.
Kneeton Lane, Middleton Tyas, Richmond
DL10 6NJ 01325 377977
JESMOND DENE HOUSE
In brief: Newcastle’s only independently-owned boutique hotel.
Our highlight: Fern, the neighbourhood dining room and bar. Danny Parker, a finalist on MasterChef The Professionals, takes inspiration from the classics as well as modern cookery techniques.
Insider guide: Feeling like its almost in the country but still in the city, Jesmond Dene House pride themselves on making sure guests feel at home – albeit a majestic one. Being an independent hotel means they can make their own rules, and they’ll go the extra mile for guests. Their 40 bedrooms are designed for pure relaxation, whether your stay is for a break or business. Each room has its own special feature, be that a window seat or a private terrace – no two rooms are the same. Take your pick from the classic rooms or go deluxe. There are two romantic extra-large suites you’ll love.
Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle NE2 2EY
0191 212 3000
THE DERWENT ARMS
In brief: A traditional hotel and pub bordering County Durham and Northumberland.
Our highlight: The surroundings. A stone’s throw from Derwent Reservoir, Derwent Waterpark and surrounded by breathtaking views – it’s the perfect base.
Insider guide: The Derwent Arms lies amongst stunning countryside. Kick off your walking boots and recharge after a day spent exploring or making the most of the first-class grouse and pheasant shooting in the neighbouring areas; dogs are welcome here too. With traditional home-made dishes focusing on seasonal and local produce, and plenty of local ales available, we recommend staying for Sunday lunch. Take your pick from the six cosy bedrooms (all of which have their own ensuite), while families or larger groups could stay in the separate apartment. With a roaring log fire in the winter and ample outdoor space in the summer, it’s perfect all year round.
Edmundbyers, Consett DH8 9NL
WREA HEAD HALL
In brief: A grand country house hotel in acres of landscaped grounds.
Our highlight: The incredible peace and quiet (it’s an adult-only hotel) and the opportunity to enjoy a cocktail on the terrace overlooking the immaculate grounds.
Insider guide: Whether you adore a four-poster bed and roll-top bath, or vast views of the countryside, there’s a room or suite here to suit you. Panelling, mahogany furniture and cosy armchairs are the finishing touches that make the rooms picture perfect. With 28 individually-designed rooms within the original Gothic mansion and carriage house there’s plenty of choice. Dine in one of the best restaurants in Scarborough on contemporary British cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients. A three-course, a la carte dinner followed by classic cocktails? Sounds perfect. The morning’s full English is not to be missed either.
Barmoor Lane, Scalby, Scarborough YO13 OPB
In brief: A majestic luxury hotel within acres upon acres of landscaped parkland.
Our highlight: It’s hard to choose between the amazing contemporary spa, the beautiful grounds and Swinton’s Cookery School, adjacent to the hotel, where you can learn the perfect preparation of great food, and there’s a course to suit everyone.
Insider guide: There are 42 suites and bedrooms at Swinton Park Hotel and the Coach House, which fuse contemporary and historic interior design. While each has its own personality, views across the parkland are guaranteed. Guests staying at the hotel can also make the most of the Country Club & Spa. Discover the Thermal Suite and its aroma steam-room, salt room and sauna – ideal for a bit of ‘me’ time. On the ground floor, find five south-facing rooms overlooking the river and deer park including The Billiards Room with an annexe where you’ll find the children’s play area. Don’t forget to bring your four-legged friend along too. They’re welcome in dedicated dog-friendly rooms within the hotel and cottages with a comfortable bed, chew, bowls for food, water and eco-friendly bags and towels (supplied in the Boot Room for a post walk rub down).
Masham, Ripon HG4 4JH
PEAK EDGE HOTEL
In brief: A four-star boutique hotel with perfect pub grub and cosy rooms on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Our highlight: The award-winning Red Lion Restaurant. With eggs delivered direct from the owner’s farm, and bread baked fresh daily in-house, you’re served homely classics and seasonal dishes from seafood to steak.
Insider guide: A stay at this rural retreat offers luxury as well as home comforts. Relax in one of the 27 luxurious bedrooms and suites before indulging in the delicious meals here. Hypnos memory foam promises a perfect night’s sleep. What better base to explore? There’s a host of countryside walks and cycling trails on your doorstep.
Darley Road, Stone Edge, Chesterfield S45 0LW
In brief: A townhouse hotel in the heart of historic Darlington.
Our highlight: Saltfish, the stunning seafood restaurant and wine bar within the hotel.
Insider guide: Thought to date back to 1770s, expect to see many original Georgian features inside this hotel. The eight boutique ensuite bedrooms, over two floors, have all the modern bells and whistles and homely comforts you need, and you’ll love the freestanding tubs and rain showers. Traditional furnishings and tastefully-restored original features combine with contemporary elegance – think four-poster beds, high ceilings and dedicated workspaces. Whether you’re staying for work or after a night at the Hippodrome, or just looking for a romantic retreat, where could be better?
11 Houndgate, Darlington DL1 5RF
THE COLLINGWOOD ARMS
In brief: A Grade II-listed hotel with 15 rooms, a cosy pub and a highly-regarded dining room restaurant.
Our highlight: The library, which offers a homely and restful retreat.
Insider guide: At this luxury Georgian hotel which boasts views over the River Tweed, guests will be greeted in front of an open log fire and can take refuge in one of the cosy bedrooms which have been traditionally designed with added modern comforts. After a day of exploring the Borders, relax in the hotel bar before enjoying a delicious meal in the intimate dining room. For something a little special, The Collingwood Arms also serve afternoon tea made with local, fresh ingredients.
Main Street, Cornhill-On-Tweed, Northumberland TD12 4UH