Looking to book a surprise birthday getaway, a mini-moon, or just a weekend escape from the city? We’ve asked Astrid Carter, Deputy Editor of lifestyle magazine SheerLuxe to pick her favourite spots for a weekend away. From Cotswold boltholes and standalone cottages to luxury treehouses with hot tubs, these beautiful boutique hotels will help you to kick back and unwind.
Dormy House Hotel is an elegant rural retreat that blends contemporary style with rustic comfort in the beautiful Cotswolds. Todhunter Earle interiors complement the original exposed stone walls and sturdy wooden beams of this refurbished farmhouse, while the luxury spa offers bespoke treatments using locally-sourced Cotswold lavender. There’s plenty to love about Dormy House, but we’re particularly fond of the Rose Cottage, a private hideaway with its own courtyard and outdoor hot tub.
With beautiful views over the sheltered bay of Babbacombe Beach, the Cary Arms & Spa is a gorgeous sea-front hideaway on the Devon Riviera. Accommodation varies from cosy rooms tucked above the 19th-century inn to private beach cottages, meaning there’s something for everyone. After a day spent in the crystal-clear waters of the bay, retire to the glass-fronted Coastal Spa for an indulgent Thalgo treatment, before enjoying wonderful gastro-pub style fare at the Cary Arms itself, which uses only the finest of local ingredients.
A collection of Scandi-chic huts, treehouses and hotel rooms nestled in a 400-acre estate in the Cotswolds, The Fish is a unique getaway for couples looking to immerse themselves in beautiful rural surroundings. Active types will find plenty to do on the estate, while the hotel’s common areas offer a laid-back environment to relax within. There’s a range of comfortable bedrooms, but the Hilly Huts are particularly unique, with each of these cosy boltholes featuring their own private hot tub.
If you’re looking for a stylish city-break, then No 38 The Park might hit the spot. This Georgian townhouse in the centre of Cheltenham has 13 individually styled bedrooms, many of which feature works by artists such as David Hockney or Peter Black. The décor throughout is idiosyncratic but very chic, and we particularly love the parquet flooring, bright bathtubs and statement wallpapers. Don’t forget to bring your friends: this trendy hideaway can be hired out in its entirety, perfect for big celebrations.
Tucked away in the picture-postcard Oxfordshire village of Minster Lovell, this chic getaway is actually two sister properties. Traditionalists will enjoy the 15 suites in the 600-year old Swan Inn, while if you’re looking for something a little bit more contemporary, the Minster Mill has 34 Scandi-inspired rooms, many with their own balconies and fire pits. With a luxury spa set within 65 acres of private garden, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to unwind. Don’t miss Afternoon Tea, served beneath the ancient exposed beams of the pub.
Sister property to Cliveden House, Chewton Glen is set within the verdant splendour of the New Forest. There’s plenty to do on the hotel grounds, but be sure not to miss a meal at the acclaimed restaurant, and even learn how to cook up a storm yourself with one of the many cooking classes on offer at the onsite cookery school, which regularly features guest appearances by well-known chefs. Afterwards, retire to your personal treehouse, a secluded spot complete with a private balcony, hot tub, wood-burner and elegant marble bathroom.
A Grade I listed stately home with a history as grand as its interiors, Cliveden House is an elegant retreat tucked within 376 acres of National Trust grounds. The bedrooms – complete with luxurious four-posters, fireplaces and original furnishings – are richly evocative of the hotel’s glittering past. There’s plenty to do for those that appreciate the finer things in life, with a pampering onsite spa and a restaurant by award-winning chef André Garrett.
For something a little bit different, this intimate bolthole on the shores of Lake Ullswater is perfect for a special getaway. This 19th-century boathouse has been fully refurbished into a cosy, one-bedroom couples hideaway. The lakeside surroundings make for picturesque strolls, while the private jetty and rowing boat is ideal for those that love messing about on the water. The tranquil balcony is the perfect spot for a private sundowner.
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