The Good Hotel Guide round up ten of the best hotels in British cities and towns
At this time of year, bright lights, culture and retail opportunities can hold greater appeal than a rural idyll. Here, from the newly published 46th edition of The Good Hotel Guide, is the editor’s choice of ten of the best hotels in British cities and towns. From Scottish metropolis to Welsh seaside and the English South Coast.
The Pig in the Wall
Wedged into the medieval city wall, a Georgian, stucco-fronted, castellated mansion and former Whitbread pub, is now home to the smallest member of the Pig family. Its 12 bedrooms, from snug to spacious, are furnished in the signature shabby-chic style. Step inside to find a deli counter, cosy corners, assorted tables and chairs, comfy sofas, a log burner, produce sourced from the kitchen garden at the mother Pig in Brockenhurst. A perfect base from which to explore this vibrant, historic port city.
Room only, doubles from £200, continental breakfast £12, cooked £16. thepighotel.com
The Old Vine
Jane Austen must have passed this hotel and pub/restaurant, part of a run of listed historic buildings, when she lodged in College Street. In her day it was a private house without the grapevine that now adorns it. The bedrooms are spacious and splendid, furnished with fabrics by the designer after which each is named. Osborne & Little, with mahogany pencil-point four-poster, overlooks the cathedral green. There is a menu of pub classics and more adventurous dishes, including veggie options. On Wednesday evenings hear the bellringers practising their Plain Bobs and Reverse Grandsire Cinques.
B&B doubles from £130. À la carte £30. oldvinewinchester.com
Hop into the lift in Caledonian Chambers, a grand Edwardian railway office building beside Glasgow Central, and ascend to a fun penthouse hotel, where a welcome awaits with coffee and cake, and they cut prices not corners. You could not be better placed to explore the city’s shops and cultural venues. Bedrooms have original features, bespoke ash laminate furniture, a king-size bed, handmade wallpaper, a Grohe power shower and posh toiletries. There is a sitting room, but the kitchen is the hub, dispensing breakfast, daily treats and weekday deli suppers.
B&B doubles from £90. À la carte £17. grasshoppersglasgow.com
Built to award-winning eco standards, this sleek, modern hotel is a sister venture to Hambleton Hall, Tim and Stefa Hart’s much-loved, luxury country house hotel on Rutland Water. Light pours through floor-to-ceiling windows into smart bedrooms. Dog-friendly ground-floor garden rooms have French doors to a private terrace. Even the smallest rooms have a king- or super-king-size bed, a minibar, tea and coffee with fresh milk, 24-hour room service. You can dine alfresco when the sun shines, or in Hart’s Kitchen, from a short menu of such dishes as potato gnocchi with wild garlic, morels, miso butter.
B&B doubles from £145. À la carte £38 (vegetarian/vegan £32). hartsnottingham.co.uk
Number Thirty Eight Clifton
Enjoy panoramic city views from this very grown-up B&B conversion of a hilltop Georgian merchant’s house. Designed to offer an alternative to corporate blandness, it is both stylish and friendly, with a bar, library, lounge and suntrap roof terrace in which to relax with a coffee or cocktail. All bedrooms have a Hypnos mattress, minibar fridge, smart TV, a Roberts radio, 100 Acres bath products; most have a bath and walk-in shower. As well as grazing a terrific breakfast buffet, you can order cooked options for a small supplement, and good restaurants are close at hand.
B&B doubles from £150, cooked breakfast £5 supplement. No children under 12. number38clifton.com
A Soho townhouse where the essayist and critic William Hazlitt lodged in his last days, still penning pieces for The London Weekly Review, is presented in period style so faithful to a bygone age, you can half imagine strolling to see Sarah Siddons’ Ophelia at the Drury Lane Theatre. Heritage colours, gilded mirrors and antiques abound. The Duke of Monmouth suite has a sitting room with working fireplace, a garden with sliding glass roof, a marble bath with spread-eagle tap. It’s fun, theatrical, but with modern comforts such as air conditioning, minibar and 24-hour room service.
Room only, doubles from £279. hazlittshotel.com
For more than 30 years The Good Hotel Guide has commended the Cooper family’s B&B, a pretty, pink-washed Georgian house in a small town between the sea and the Preseli hills. With its home-from-home ambience, it’s a great place to unwind after walking the hilltop golden Road, or the Coast Path just five minutes away. At breakfast you can choose a full Welsh, and there is a fair choice of local pubs, cafés and restaurants for an evening meal.
B&B doubles from £95. cnapan.co.uk
Jesmond Dene House
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Norman Shaw, no less, with local architect Frank Rich, created this Arts and Crafts mansion from an existing Georgian house, surrounded by mature gardens, in a wooded valley and historic park, a five-minute Metro ride from the city centre. Designed for entertaining, it has been run as a hotel since 2005. Most of the stylish bedrooms have a king- or super-king bed, rich fabrics, a modern bathroom with underfloor heating. Ambitious, locally sourced modern British dishes are served in Fern dining room.
B&B doubles from £150. À la carte £52. jesmonddenehouse.co.uk
The Old Rectory
In a Georgian rectory on the edge of the historic and increasingly hip Old Town, designer Lionel Copley has created a B&B that really justifies the word ‘boutique’. Each of the chic but quirky bedrooms has its own character. Tackleway, overlooking the walled garden, has original 1970s Sanderson wallpaper, a huge Carrara marble shower room with rainfall shower. In the hand-painted breakfast room, a locally sourced breakfast includes home-made sausages, home-cured bacon, home-baked bread, smoked salmon, kippers, and organic apple juice. Treatment rooms are open seven days a week.
B&B doubles from £115. No children under ten. theoldrectoryhastings.co.uk
2 Blackburne Terrace
At the heart of the cultural quarter, on a carriage drive behind a row of lime trees, two late-Georgian townhouses combine as one fantastic B&B. Each of the four bedrooms has unique style and charm. Room 1, with tall Georgian windows and original shutters, has a velvet sleigh bed, a 19th-century mahogany compactum wardrobe, a free-standing bath and separate shower room. The dining table is set with silverware, crystal and porcelain, for a freshly prepared communal breakfast, and owners Sarah and Glenn Whitter are perfect, attentive hosts.
B&B doubles from £220. 2blackburneterrace.com
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