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Destination Hotels

 

From historic grandeur to contemporary chic, England wrote the book on luxury places to stay.

 

The world is filled with fabulous hotels but England does things differently. Only here will you experience five-star luxury laced with centuries of history, genuine warmth, and a certain charm and eccentricity you won’t find anywhere else. As Robin Hutson, one of the country’s leading hoteliers, puts it, “England’s luxury hotels are about friendly, efficient, intelligent personal service with a spirit of generosity. Above all, luxury hotels must anticipate what the guest wants before the guest has even thought about it – that’s luxury.” We couldn’t agree more.

So where to start? If you’re looking for something in the country, try Summer Lodge, in a pretty West Dorset village. It’s immaculately decorated, blending stately home grandeur with country home ease. The Whisky Bar, which stocks 230 whiskies, will make you feel like you’ve been invited into the gentleman of the house’s study, while the spa is a sanctuary of another sort. In short, arriving here feels like coming home.

And if our home was on the coast, it would be somewhere exactly like Tresanton, Olga Polizzi’s chic, sunshine-and-sea-air retreat in Cornwall’s St Mawes. The icing on the cake is Tresanton’s magnificent classic yacht: all aboard for a trip around sparkling Falmouth Bay and home in time for a lunch of locally caught fish and seafood.

Hutson’s own take on luxury is a secluded hideaway in the New Forest: the gloriously glossy Lime Wood, a fusion of heritage and contemporary design. There’s plenty here to keep you occupied. Go foraging for wild mushrooms in the surrounding forest then eat them at the old oak kitchen table as staff bustle about around you; visit the hotel’s wine cellar for a tasting with the sommelier; or just kick back, throw another log on the fire in your forest lodge and order up room service. And don’t forget to say hello to the locals: the famous New Forest wild ponies that roam the park.