From pubs-with-rooms to country house hotels, there are always new places coming on to the radar.
We asked Bonnie Friend, digital editor of the Good Hotel Guide, to spick out some of the best new entries from their list of hotels in the UK to visit in 2021.
Glengarry Castle Hotel, Highlands
This baronial Victorian mansion on the shores of Loch Oich is nothing short of enchanting. In the grounds are the ruins of Invergarry Castle — said to have hosted Bonnie Prince Charlie after the Battle of Culloden — the sense of history adds wonder to the already spectacular location. Meanwhile, luxurious details such as four-poster beds, loch views, spacious lounges and dinner served on silverware and fine china, give you the feeling that you yourself could be royalty.
Farlam Hall, Cumbria
Owned and manage by the Quinion family for 40 years, Farlam Hall retains its Victorian style inside and out, honouring its 19th century heritage. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the spacious Hay Loft room add another dimension to the sense of grandeur in this traditional country house, and keeping things traditional, even breakfast is waitress service.
The Newt, Somerset
This Palladian Hadspen House was a family home from 1785 to 1979, and after am interlude it has earned a reputation as an elegant but modern country house hotel. Beneath the historic facade, guests find the height of contemporary hospitality, blending a sense of casual comfort and luxury.
Rooms and suites look out over the estate’s orchards, gardens and deer park, and are decorated with a combination of antique furniture and characterful features such as a wood-burning stove or a roll-top copper bath — depending which rooms you stay in. Meanwhile, food takes most of its inspiration and many ingredients from the gardens themselves — in the Botanical Rooms chef Ben Champkin composes the menu based on items picked that day, while the Garden Café focuses on plant-based fare.
The Ellerby Country Inn, Yorkshire
Understated and unpretentious, The Ellerby Country Inn is a family- and dog-friendly village pub-with-rooms serving good pub grub and offering simple, quiet and immaculate rooms to stay in. This is every inch a wholesome experience — food for the soul as much as the walking wearing body. All rooms are equipped with fresh milk, robes and king- or super-king-sized beds. There’s dining in the garden on sunny days, and food ranges from Whitby scampi and home-made pies to sea bass or steak.
The Torridon, Highlands
On the shores of Loch Torridon, The Torridon is a luxury hotel and inn looking out across majestic mountains. Contemporary bedrooms combined with Victorian-style bathrooms, blazing fires in public rooms, and a restaurant known for its use of Highland produce. Spend your days here wildlife-watching, mountain biking, archery, Munro-bagging, stargazing and gastronomic grazing.
Maison Talbooth, Essex
Beside the River Stour, this former Tudor tearoom is now a luxury hotel. Each room is named after a poet and has its own unique features. Shakespeare has a sunken bath, Kipling a wet room, and Browning a roll-top bath and walk-in shower, while Shelley has a sublime view over Dedham Vale. Other charming features include a lovely pool house in its own walled garden, with an open fire in winter, honesty bar and lounge.
Nanteos Mansion, Aberystwyth
A Grade I-listed manor house sitting in tranquil seclusion in its own wooded grounds, Nanteos Mansion is a grand Georgian property that offers the best of old and new. Historic details and old fashioned charm, stained glass, carved fireplaces and a grand staircase are combined with exemplary, modern hospitality.
Food and drink in the chandelier-lit dining room is a feast of local cuisine, and a roam around the grounds is an idyllic opportunity to gather your thoughts.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire
Clearly this will be on most people’s bucket lists, for the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, English heritage meets French flair in famously sumptuous style. The 15th-century manor house has a been setting the standard for excellence for decades, with its elegant interiors, and postcard perfect gardens including a two-acre kitchen garden that serves the hotel restaurant.
Home to the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, the candlelit conservatory restaurant has held two Michelin stars since 1985. Guests delight in their five- and seven-course modern French menus cooked by Raymond Blanc and Gary Jones, all of which showcase heritage fruit, organic vegetables and micro herbs grown at the chefs’ request.
Baraset Barn, Warwickshire
This foodie haven near Stratford-upon-Avon was this year’s Cesar award winner for the newcomer of the year. It’s a wonderful combination of contemporary hospitality and traditional features such as a flagstone floor and barn-style building; and large windows that let in natural light.
However, while the style is undeniably wonderful, it’s the food that keeps people coming back time and again. Dishes such as scallops with sticky pomegranate, sesame pork belly and barbecue ribs come with ‘unusual but delicious’ watermelon, chilli, ginger and coriander are flavoursome and satisfying — just what a meal out should be!
Moor Hall, Lancashire
This beautifully restored Tudor manor house on a lake is both a restaurant-with-rooms and theatre that had earned two Michelin stars within 19 months of opening. Could there be a more delightful treat than the combination of dinner, theatre and a stylish place to rest for the night?
Food is creative using produce from the kitchen garden and glasshouse — favourites include black pudding with pickled gooseberry; Aynhoe Park fallow deer, kale and elderberry; and garden apples with birch sap and apple marigold. Meanwhile, accommodation in a neighbouring building blends rustic charm and oak beams with modern comforts.
Britain's spectacular coastline boasts all sorts of beautiful places to stay that are right on the water. Bonnie Friend, digital
If you're looking for a place to take the family in the holidays, Bonnie Friend of the Good Hotel Guide
Bonnie Friend, editor of the Good Hotel Guide, shares her tips for places that will not only welcome your dogs
We love family holidays; there's nothing like enjoying quality time with the children. Just not ALL the time.