Tag: Country House Hotels

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Bovey Castle Has Admirably Thwarted Some American Swingers' Downton Fantasies

November 17, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

“Downton Abbey” and “sexy” are two things we’d not usually rub together, but turns out the idea does float other people’s boats, because a swingers’ do billed as “a sexy and erotic Downton Abbey” was all set to take over a historic country house hotel in Devon, Bovey Castle.

We say was, because Bovey Castle has just come under new management, and, having heard about the event, has immediately curtailed it prematurely.

According to (of course) the Daily Mail, the swingers had hired the castle for five days and nights of frolics next July, including activities like sexy golf, sexy tennis and sexy tours of Exeter, the neighboring and decidedly unsexy city. You will not be surprised to find that this was being done by a US-based company for American swingers, because surely only Americans could find Exeter or golf or cold country houses erotic.

100 swinger couples had booked all 64 rooms (guess they were planning to share?), but the hotel has recently been acquired by the Eden Hotel Collection, who have said:

We have taken the decision that the event in no way fits with the core values of our businesses and have taken immediate steps to cancel the booking.

Bovey Castle has always been a hugely popular destination for families and as the new custodians of the hotel we are very keen to maintain this and further enhance the experience for our customers.

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Google Glass Has Infiltrated An 800-Year-Old Hotel In Spain

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  Site Where: Calle Nevera 5, Sardón de Duero, Valladolid, Spain, 47340
August 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Google Glass in hotels is spreading. It started in San Francisco. Hotel marketers took it to Istanbul. Then it popped up in London. And now it’s been tracked to Spain, where a hotel and winery in an ancient abbey dating back to the 12th century has let it in.

Just one Glass for the concierge is not enough for the Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine in wine region Duero (hence the winery). Oh no – it’s bought eight pairs, and is touting them about to guests. As well as normal Glass activity, they’ve also loaded them with a video about the hotel and an art tour (shown above). There’s also a stargazing app so you can tell exactly what you’re staring at above the lovely vines (the grape kind, not the video kind).

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Prepare To Feel Old: The New Laura Ashley Hotel Is Really Swish

August 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

What was the moment you realized you’d grown old? Walking through the door of your first house? Gazing into the eyes of your first child? Realising you can’t drink on a school night without being overcome by work shame the next day?

For us, it happened today, when we looked at the photos of the new Laura Ashley hotel in Lake Windermere – The Belsfield, which opened last week – and said, “ooh nice, wanna go there.”

Laura Ashley: the middle class bête noir of our 1980s childhood. The Lake District: the middle class, middle aged holiday destination for ruddy-faced people whose idea of excitement is nibbling on a square of Kendal mint cake while perched halfway up a fell. OMG. When did we get so old?

Having said that, FOMO and all that means we’re already making plans to visit, for the funky glass-walled atrium, the views (25 of the 62 rooms are lake view), the sauna, and of course, the Laura Ashley décor.

They’ve come up trumps with this: modern, slate-walled bathrooms mixed up with claw-foot bath tubs, flatscreen TVs and bright, poppy colors matched with velvet sofas (a nod to velvet hairbands?), and – what surely would have been a cardinal sin back in 1980s Laura Ashley land – clashing prints (floral curtains with striped walls, stripy chairs with pinstriped carpets and neoclassical columns, that kind of thing). In short, it might be a bit too jolly hockey sticks for your house, but it’s exactly what you want from a country house retreat. Rooms start at an entirely reasonable £126.

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The Only Thing Better Than A Soho House Hotel: A Soho Farmhouse Hotel

July 31, 2014 at 8:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

Just when you thought Soho House was all about quietly colonizing the world, with Chicago on track to open next month, comes the welcome news that it’s not neglecting its origins. No, not the forthcoming City of London property, but something much better – another English country house hotel to rival Babington House.

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Domaine De Manville Is Giving You Your Personal Domain in Provence

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  Site Where: 13520 Les Baux de Provence , France
July 16, 2014 at 8:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

How about a hotel with an average of 3.3 acres for each of its rooms – sounds good? That’s kind of the case at Domaine de Manville, a stunning new country estate which just opened in Provence, one of the most textbook ‘French’ places in France (apart from all the British expats growing their own wine). It’s set in a sweeping, 100-acre estate – and there are just 30 rooms to enjoy the space.

And you know it’s good, because it’s been snapped up by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group.

The estate – a former farm – rolls out in the valley below a medieval hilltop village, Les Baux, with olive trees and lavender fields around it. Rooms look quietly luxurious, with neutral colors, linen (linen!) sheets and omg-rolltop-tubs-in-the-bathrooms.

There’s also a spa and gym, restaurant with wine cellar, tea salon, a gorgeous outdoor pool and a “scenic 18-hole golf course” in the grounds. Activities will include wine tasting and truffle hunting. Heaven!

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On the River Inn Opens in Picturesque Vermont

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  Site Where: 1653 RT4 West Woodstock Rd [map], Woodstock, Vermont, United States
June 30, 2014 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

Four score ago (1934) Laurance Rockefeller, of THE Rockefeller clan, and Mary French were wed in Woodstock, Vermont, and became hoteliers by purchasing the Woodstock Inn. Now another family-owned hotel has opened in the white clapboard town of Woodstock506 On the River Inn – the first US hotel for the family who owns and manages the Palacina and Zanzibar Collections in Europe and East Africa. This hotel is, however, a sentimental favorite for the family because husband Aaren grew up in Woodstock.

The 30-room On the River Inn comes across as a chic country estate – warm and comfy designed by a family with means. The palette is natural linen, stone, weathered leather and distressed wood with some design quirks that include old Vermonter quotes on throw pillows (“Hard telling, not knowing” – yeah, we don’t know what it means either) and an open country-style kitchen with a carpenter’s worktable and milk crates. Owner and designer Paulina Raguz of Palacina Interiors describes her concept as “a balance between a rustic farmhouse aesthetic and luxurious comfort. The décor is an homage to Vermont.”

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Is This The Most Generous Collection Of Hotel Toiletries You've Ever Seen?

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  Site Where: Babington, Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom, BA11 3RW
December 16, 2011 at 1:41 PM | by | Comments (3)

In a world of shrinking amenities (hello, slippers, we miss you) and toiletry bottles getting ever smaller, it’s a mammoth relief to rock up somewhere and find as many options for molly coddling in your hotel room as you have at home.

And at Babington House, the country outpost of Soho House, the selection is pretty incredible. With full-size bottles of the entire Cowshed range of toiletries, you'll be spending more time in the bathroom than the rest of the room!

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Comfy Beds But No Marmalade At 'The Best Country House Hotel In The World'

September 26, 2011 at 11:13 AM | by | Comments (0)

It was when news popped into our inbox of Lough Eske Castle winning the title Best Luxury Countryside Hotel In The World at the Luxury Hotel Awards that we had two burning questions. What is Lough Eske Castle? And what are the Luxury Hotel Awards?

According to the website:

The World Luxury Hotel Awards are accepted as the pinnacle of achievement for Luxury Hotels worldwide. This Award was established as a celebration of ultimate achievement in hoteliering. It is about congratulating hotels that have taken the extra step & such differentiated themselves from "good hotels" to "exceptional hotels".

The list of this year’s winners is here, if you want to take a look. But in the meantime, what’s more interesting to us is a peek at Lough Eske Castle – especially as, apparently, it’s won the same award for the past three years.

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For Those Moments When One Michelin-Starred Chef Just Isn't Enough

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  Site Where: Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, GL54 2JD
September 9, 2011 at 4:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

Having dinner cooked by one Michelin starred chef is normally in our dreams enough for us but if you’re the type who’s not easily pleased, the dinner going down on Sunday at Lords of the Manor in the Cotswolds might be worth a gander: it’s for one night only and is being cooked by no fewer than two Michelin-starred chefs.

The chefs in question are Matt Weedon from the hotel, and Alan Murchinson from L’Ortolan in Berkshire and the dinner is a one off meal that the hotel is, we hope not optimistically, naming “a culinary tour de force”. No word on the menu yet but since dishes normally include things like “Cornish red mullet and crab steamed in a courgette flower on a warm aubergine gateau with olive croquant and bouillabaisse sauce”, you can bet it’ll be fairly spectacular.

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Racy But Traditional: A New Cotswolds Hotel For Rahs and WAGs

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  Site Where: Southam Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
February 15, 2011 at 1:53 PM | by | Comment (1)

It’s been a little while since we had a nice country house hotel opening, so we’re excited to hear from a tipster about the Ellenborough Park, in the Cotswolds, just outside Cheltenham, that’s opening (or rather, reopening, refurbished and under new management) on Friday.

According to the website, the hotel will offer 62 bedrooms designed by Nina Campbell in a “traditional yet sophisticated English country house style”. From the photos, they look frilly, but not offensively so – not exactly our normal style, but something we could branch out of our comfort zone for. The bathrooms, however, look a little more modern – and all rooms have Hypnos beds, laptop-sized safes, iPod docking stations and – important for a chilly country manor – underfloor heating in the bathrooms. Although – gasp! Is that a country house-style peekaboo bathroom we see? Surely not.

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Got Spare Change This Christmas? Buy a Castle For the Day

December 22, 2010 at 4:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

Cliveden. All yours for £80k.

What do you get someone who has everything for Christmas? Or, rather, someone who doesn’t have everything but could quite do with a fancy present? The answer: a castle. Or, if you prefer, an old home of Queen Victoria or even an entire Cotswolds village.

Yep, the uber-posh hotel chain Von Essen (although “chain” is probably the wrong word for something as swanky as this) is “selling” a day’s exclusive use of their properties. So if you’ve ever had any lord and lady fantasies, and if they’ve been squashed by that cow Middleton, you can take out your frustrations this way.

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