Britain has a wonderful reputation for great hotels. Some of the most rewarding of these, are the privately owned luxury hotels throughout the UK. What distinguishes these traditional and boutique hotels is their focus on great hospitality and unique amenities and facilities. Location is also another important factor. Many fine, private hotels have been lovingly restored in order to preserve the history and unique local traditions of the area.
Privately Owned Luxury
A private hotel is easily distinguished from a large chain hotel, but it is also distinctly different from a bed and breakfast. A bed and breakfast generally has no more than 3 rooms to offer for occupancy. The feeling is one of staying with a local family, and joining that family for a chat, tea and a good English breakfast. Most privately owned hotels, however, typically range from 20 to 70 rooms, and they offer many special amenities.
One of the best special features of a private hotel is its restaurant. Award winning cuisine can be found in many private hotels. Another distinguishing feature of a private hotel is the attentive hotel staff who make an effort to provide great hospitality with personalized service. Additionally, some of the furnishings and rooms in a small hotel make a guest feel as if they are in a private members club. Comfortable leather lounge chairs sit before a crackling fire, in a deep wood paneled library setting. This type of ambiance almost guarantees relaxation and comfortable conversation. Bedrooms that are titled with the names of former owners or occupants and filled with authentic period furniture, make a guest feel immersed in Britain’s history and not simply a casual tourist.
Unique private hotels can be found throughout the UK. Below is just a small sample to wet a traveler’s appetite for some of these amazing private hotels. The hotels described are all members of a 50 member consortium of private hotels called Pride of Britain. Pride of Britain is also an official hotel partner to the National Trust, a charity dedicated to the preservation of Britain’s historical places. These hotels are perfect for a weekend away visiting historic areas or as destinations in themselves.
1. London: The Goring Hotel
The Goring is a 5 star Edwardian hotel in London’s Belgravia area, close to the theater district and many historic sites. Nearby attractions include Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster.
The Goring is a superb London hotel, completed in 1910, and the oldest private luxury hotel in London. Each of its 71 bedrooms is unique in appearance. Imagine a relaxing afternoon tea held in the Goring’s outdoor Garden Bar and Terrace. The Goring Dining Room is an award winning traditional English restaurant. Another notable amenity at this hotel is a complimentary guest membership at nearby Victoria’s Fitness Club, featuring a full gym, pool, sauna and spa facilities.
2. South East, Hampshire: The Montague Arms
The Montague Arms is located in New Forest, in the village of Beaulieu. It is a traditional hotel, nestled in a country setting. Nearby are attractions like the Beaulieu palace, the Exubery Gardens, and the Isle of Wight. Some of the 22 suite bedrooms overlook the palace and others have views of the hotel’s lovely English garden.
The hotel has an elegant lounge, complete with a roaring log fireplace in winter. In summer, guests can enjoy outdoor venues and the hotel conservatory. The Montague Arms has a Michelin starred Terrace Restaurant and informal dining in its bar and brassiere called Monty’s. Both restaurants are supplied with fresh ingredients from the hotel’s gardens.
3. The Cotswolds, Oxfordshire: The Feathers
The Feathers is a country-town hotel located at the gateway to the Cotswolds in the town of Woodstock. Some of the attractions nearby are the Cotswolds, Stratford on Avon, Oxford and Blenheim Palace.
The 21 bedrooms are individually appointed with traditional furniture and modern conveniences. The staff is known for its discreet hospitality. Guests can enjoy award winning cuisine in The Restaurant or dine at the more informal Bistro. One unique feature of this hotel is its Gin Bar, containing the largest collection of gin varieties in the UK.
4. Northern, Yorkshire : Judges Country House Hotel
This hotel was a former family residence built in 1881 and transformed in the 1970s into an accommodation for traveling circuit judges. This hotel has been lovingly restored in all of its Victorian splendor. The Judges country house hotel has a relaxed, members club atmosphere. Guests can stroll through woodland paths and lovely gardens, including a Victorian walled garden where food is grown for the hotel. This is a perfect spot for a tour of the Yorkshire Moors, a visit to the Rievaulx or Rosedale abbeys, and an exploration of the Whitby coast.
If a unique luxury hotel with outstanding hospitality sounds appealing, then be sure that any travel plans include a stay at one of the UK’s special, privately owned hotels.