What makes a truly great British hotel? Wonderful food and wine are a given, along with stylish rooms. But it’s personal service and attention to detail that really makes some places stand out.
At The Good Hotel Guide, we pride ourselves on finding those small, independent hotels that go the extra mile. Our Cesar winners this year include a hotel that has totally reinvented the motorway service station and a pub where you might find yourself doing yoga next to the owners, Lord and Lady Northampton . . .
BEST COUNTRY HOTEL
The Forest Side, Cumbria
The Good Hotel Guide has revealed its Cesar winners for 2022, celebrating ‘truly great’ British hotels. The Forest Side in Cumbria, pictured, takes the prize for Best Country Hotel
The rooms are all different at No. 15 by GuestHouse in Bath, which snaps up the award for Best City Hotel
Michelin-starred cuisine, elegant bedrooms and red squirrels in the garden are a recipe for success for this 20-room hotel. Chef Paul Leonard sources 90 per cent of his produce from a ten-mile radius. Light and airy bedrooms feature Herdwick wool carpets and Bramley toiletries. The icing on the cake? Glorious walks from the door.
Details: B&B doubles from £199 (theforestside.com).
BEST CITY HOTEL
No. 15 by GuestHouse, Bath
Named after the three Guest brothers who own it, this boutique property occupies a trio of Grade I-listed Georgian town houses.
The rooms are all different, with touches of whimsy such as a coffee maker in a dolls’ house or wallpaper inspired by the pergola in Henrietta Park opposite. All have a turntable and access to the complimentary pantry.
Details: B&B doubles from £149 (guesthousehotels.co.uk).
Cambridge House, Reeth, North Yorkshire
Cambridge House (above) in North Yorkshire bags the title of Best B&B in the prestigious awards. Guests can look forward to a warm welcome and sweeping views over Swaledale
A warm welcome with cake isn’t the only thing guests enjoy at Sheila and Robert Mitchell’s B&B. Rooms have sweeping views over Swaledale, exposed stone walls, bathrobes and Noble Isle toiletries.
Sheila and Robert can advise on the surrounding area. Particular praise is heaped on the breakfasts, which include pancakes, smoked haddock, local eggs, croissants from the village bakery and Sheila’s award-winning marmalade.
Details: B&B doubles from £110 (cambridgehousereeth.co.uk).
BEST PUB WITH ROOMS
The Double Red Duke, Clanfield, Oxfordshire
The gong for the Best Pub with Rooms goes to Oxfordshire’s The Double Red Duke, where rooms have a country-chic air
Pubs with rooms become more and more stylish — and the Duke is no exception. The rooms in Georgie and Sam Pearman’s 17th-century inn have a country-chic air. They grill meat and fish over cherry and apple wood — you can sit at a counter and watch the chefs in action. The pub attracts a glitzy crowd of locals and weekenders.
Details: B&B doubles from £180 (countrycreatures.com)
BEST SOUTHERN HOTEL
The Pig in Brockenhurst, New Forest, Hampshire
Pick of the bunch: The Pig in Brockenhurst, named the Best Southern Hotel in the awards, boasts shabby-chic interiors
A whole litter of pigs has entered the world since Robin Hutson opened the first in 2011. While they’re all special, it’s this mother pig which can claim to have reinvented the English country hotel, with food sourced from a 25-mile radius and its kitchen garden. The ethos is hip not hooray, and there’s nothing too hammed up about the shabby-chic interiors.
Details: Room-only doubles from £225 (thepighotel.com).
BEST SOUTH-WESTERN HOTEL
The Henley, Bigbury-on-Sea, South Devon
South Devon’s The Henley (pictured in the foreground), which offers spectacular sea views, scoops the prize for Best South-Western Hotel
B&B doubles at The Henley (above) are priced from £159
It’s worth booking into this seaside bolt-hole just for the views over the sands to Burgh Island. Guests also appreciate the friendliness of owners, Petra Lampe and Martyn Scarterfield. Take the path down to the beach, sit on the decked terrace and tuck into Martyn’s evening meals.
Details: B&B doubles from £159 (thehenleyhotel.co.uk).
BEST EAST ANGLIAN HOTEL
Morston Hall, Holt, Norfolk
Birdwatchers and bon vivants alike beat a path to Tracy and Galton Blackiston’s Michelin-starred restaurant-with-rooms, with Blakeney nature reserve on the doorstep. At night, feast on the seven-course tasting menu of local or home-grown produce.
Details: Dinner and B&B from £190 per person (morstonhall.com).
BEST MIDLANDS HOTEL
The Falcon, Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire
Take a yoga class or book a nature trail on the grounds of The Falcon in Northamptonshire, which has been voted the Best Midlands Hotel
There’s a reason they call Lord Northampton the Mystic Marquess. He and his wife have placed wellbeing at the core of their reinvented 16th-century coaching inn on the Castle Ashby estate. Take a yoga class or a gong bath, book a nature trail in the estate’s grounds and swim in the lake designed by Capability Brown. The beautiful interiors are intended to relax you, with earthy, mossy tones reflecting the surrounding countryside.
Details: B&B doubles from £165 (thefalcon-castleashby.com).
BEST NORTHERN HOTEL
Westmorland Hotel, Penrith, Cumbria
Formerly a motorway service station, Westmorland Hotel (pictured) on the M6 in Cumbria offers quiet rooms with fell views. It earns the title of Best Northern Hotel
Bed and breakfast doubles are priced from £111 at Westmorland Hotel
Talk about reinventing the motorway service station. Formerly Tebay Services Hotel, this Lake District hotel on the M6 offers quiet rooms with fell views. Created by the resourceful Dunning family after the M6 carved up their hill farm, its delicious yet unfussy food features fresh farm produce.
Details: B&B doubles from £111 (westmorlandhotel.com).
BEST SCOTTISH HOTEL
Eddrachilles, Scourie, Highlands
Eddrachilles (above) in the Highlands – a hotel that was a youth hostel in the 1950s – takes the coveted title of Best Scottish Hotel
Some rooms even have loch views at Eddrachilles, where B&B doubles are priced from £150
This spot overlooking Badcall Bay was a youth hostel in the 1950s but is as far from a world of dormitories with lumpy beds and even lumpier porridge as you can imagine. Cream tea is served in the conservatory, there’s a choice of 60 malt whiskies in the bar, and the menu changes nightly. Some rooms even have loch views.
Details: B&B doubles from £150 (eddrachilles.com).
BEST WELSH HOTEL
Penally Abbey, Penally, Pembrokeshire
Penally Abbey in Pembrokeshire (above) has been named the Best Welsh Hotel. Upon your visit, expect to spy antiques, French market finds, blowsy wallpapers and Persian rugs
Owner Melanie Boissevain is an interior designer and it shows in the stylish, soothing rooms in this Strawberry Hill Gothic house which is a five-minute drive from Tenby. Antiques rub shoulders with French market finds, blowsy wallpapers and Persian rugs.
Enjoy modern British cuisine and views over the bay to the Gower Peninsula through the dining room’s romantic cusped windows.
Details: B&B doubles from £135 (penally-abbey.com).