Discover staycations with character this autumn. As al fresco evenings make way for cozy nights in, here’s where to curl up in the UK’s best boutique boltholes.
1 The Gallivant, East Sussex
A beachfront motel mingling British seaside style with Hamptons chic, The Gallivant is a 20-room hideaway that invites its guests (both two and four-legged) to switch off, sit down and soak up East Sussex’s coastal beauty. There’s plenty of fun (and feasts) to be had here. Complete with a boutique massage hut, plenty of lounging space and an award-winning restaurant, head here for a gourmet gallivant.
The historic town of Rye is a mere five minutes’ drive away – perfect for a day’s adventuring through its cobbled streets. Guests can arrive via train here, whilst London is about a two hour drive away.
A former 1960s motel, interiors draw inspiration from New England and sleek Hamptons beach style. Complete with a pretty coastal garden, the reception area and restaurant are filled with laid-back decor – with plenty of cozy spaces designed for sitting, sipping and chatting.
There’s even complimentary afternoon tea, served daily in the restaurant, that adds to the ambience – and also offers guests a chance to mingle over a slice of something sweet.
There’s a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from the smaller Original Garden rooms to the swoon-worthy Luxury Garden abodes. The latter are our favourite – think huge spaces filled with quirky decor (vintage framed swimsuit, anyone?) as well as oak floors, enormous Hypnos beds, flamboyant headboards and rolltop baths. The bubble baths alone, courtesy of full-sized Bramley toiletries, are worth checking in for.
Rooms from £95 per night for midweek stays. Visit thegallivant.co.uk to find out more or make a booking.
2 The Eastbury, Dorset
When you find yourself in dire need of peace, poise and a few platefuls of delicious produce, head straight for The Eastbury in Sherborne. In its Georgian heyday, The Eastbury was once a private residence. Now, the period listed townhouse is a charming 26-room hotel owned (and styled) by Peter and Lana de Savary complete with mini spa.
As well as its comfortable rooms and suites located in the main building, The Eastbury has recently added an additional five luxury ‘Victorian Garden Potting Shed’ suites to its portfolio. Set within the tranquil walled garden, these unique Victorian Garden Potting Sheds hide country chic bedroom accommodation within, as well as large and spacious bathrooms.
Think a brick walled space complete with private terrace, huge rooflight, smooth linens, bright patterned fabrics and the sister sleepover essentials – two sets of fluffy robes hanging in the wardrobe.
Of course, the devil’s in the detail – an array of teas, a complimentary tipple of port (nightcap, anyone?) and a Magimix coffee machine are all little touches that help a guest settle in to the cozy surroundings. It’s also dog-friendly for those that want to pack up the pooch – the perfect companion for a countryside getaway.
Rooms start from £195 per night, based on two people sharing. To find out more and make a booking, visit theeastburyhotel.co.uk
3 The Forest Side, Lake District
For something magical, book The Forest Side, a fairytale restaurant with rooms in the heart of the Lake District. Surrounded by the stunning countryside of Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere, this foodie abode holds four AA Rosettes and one Michelin star.
Head Chef Paul Leonard creates dishes which celebrate provenance as an ethos with the culinary experience designed to be a reflection of the landscape of the Lakes in which it sits.
Introducing his own take on Forest Side’s signature 6-course ‘Lal ‘Un’ (£80) and 10-course ‘Grand ‘Un’ (£105) tasting menus, Paul’s dishes include seasonal delights such as Cured seabass, apple, turnip; Tartare of deer, English caviar, cured yolk; Forest Side garden carrots, preserved green walnuts, young sheep’s cheese; Aged duck, beets, berries. When a sweet tooth strikes, finish it off with the likes of Pear, buttermilk, sorrel, as well as a selection of cheese from The Courtyard Dairy.
Rustic and rural, the dog-friendly hotel sits upon 43 acres of woodland surrounding the property – whilst Lake Windermere is a short a 15-minute drive south.
Nightly rates at The Forest Side start from £229. To find out more and make a booking, visit theforestside.com.
4 Limewood, Hampshire
It’s the tiny details that count – and this pretty Hampshire hotel is full of them. With stylish sitting rooms, oak doors and delicate interiors, it’s as charming on the inside as it is on the out. Enjoy Italian dishes courtesy of chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder – along with a host of other culinary treats.
Once a mediaeval hunting lodge dating back to the 13th century (no chance of room service back then ), this stately manor was reclaimed for royalty by the Duke of Clarence in the 1740s. Nowadays, check-in to explore landscaped grounds, sleek interiors, a pampering spa and cuisine worth getting stuck in the New Forest’s inevitable animal traffic for.
Rooms from £395 per night. To find out more and make a booking, visit limewoodhotel.co.uk.
5 The Spread Eagle, West Sussex
There are few country towns more charming than Midhurst, set in idyllic West Sussex. The only thing irks is the confusing road system, which swerves and twists around the buildings like a narrow maze. At the end of the town however, awaits a hotel worth battling your Sat Nav for – the historic Spread Eagle hotel and spa, a 39-room hideaway dating back to 1430.
It’s quaint from the outset, a white-walled beauty dotted with lattice windows which was once one of England’s oldest coaching houses. Nowadays, the horse and carriages have been updated to newer models… there’s usually a Bentley purring on the drive.
Inside awaits a further mix of archaic charm and modern luxury. The hotel is filled with antiques and the floors creak with every step upstairs – but this is mingled with an airy conservatory, terrace and contemporary spa. With 39 bedrooms, it’s petite in size but big on character. Some rooms even come with classic four poster beds for that added authentic feel.
The Spread Eagle’s modern spa is the golden egg of this property. Indulge with a swim in the pool with a Scandinavian-style vaulted ceiling or pamper yourself with one of four treatment rooms and a range of facials, massages and soothing body wraps. There’s also a small but well equipped gym, plus exercise classes too.
Rates for The Feature Four Poster Room start from £289 per night. Visit hshotels.co.uk/spread-eagle to find out more or make a booking.
6 The Pig on The Beach, Dorset
This little piggie went to Dorset. Chic and petite, The Pig on The Beach features 23 abodes, including three private Hideaways and two suites. Enjoy treatment rooms, a kitchen garden, free WiFi throughout, Hunter wellies and brollies to borrow. In rooms: flatscreen TV, retro Roberts digital radio, larder (aka minibar) packed with local produce, Nespresso coffee machine and tea-making kit, and pampering Bramley toiletries await.
Interior wise, think cosy, contemporary country-house style, with marble sinks, reclaimed floorboards and super-comfy beds. There’s also an outdoor spa, set in a wild meadow, with two treatment cabins serving up simple facials and massages using organic Bamford products. Book in advance, of course.
Visit thepighotel.com/on-the-beach to find out more or make a booking.
7 Calcot & Spa, The Cotswolds
William Wordsworth once waxed lyrical that “Nature never did defy the heart that loved her”. Such wisdom is etched into the honey-tinged bricks of Calcot & Spa, a luxurious hotel hidden away in the idyllic Cotswolds landscape.
Once a 14th-century barn, the sheep, cows and chickens have since been replaced with 35 elegant rooms, as well as a modern spa and two separate restaurants.
There’s far more to this property than its beautifully quaint interiors, however. Set within 220 acres of postcard-worthy meadowland, Calcot & Spa conjures a feeling of secluded tranquility as soon as your car wheels crunch over the gravelled drive.
With a blend of rustic elements combined with contemporary furnishings, book The Tetbury, an enormous deluxe family suite nestled outside the main building for something both spacious and secluded.
Spread across two floors, unwind in the large living room, vast master bedroom (complete with four poster bed) and fully kitted out bathroom. There’s also a further bedroom, with two single beds.
The little details conjure Cotswolds charm in the shape of complimentary full-size spa products, Nespresso machines and welcoming fruit bowls piled high with plump satsumas. There’s also mini chocolate boxes too, for those seeking a different kind of sweet.
Rooms from £369 per night. Visit calcot.co to find out more or make a booking.