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Apr 20, 2006:

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- Five of the Best Luxury UK Hotels!

by: Dale Lovell

It may not have the weather of the Caribbean or Dubai, but when it comes to the luxury of a high class hotel, no where does it better than Britain. From five star country house retreats to lavish London luxury, discover five of the UK’s best luxury getaways.

The Drawing Rooms, Builth Wells, Mid-Wales

Not content with winning a top accolade from the Good Hotel Guide, The Drawing Rooms in Builth Wells, Mid-Wales has also recently won the AA Restaurant of the Year award for Wales, too, and it’s easy to see why. Describing itself as a ‘restaurant with rooms,’ the Drawing Rooms is a beautiful five-star, two-rosette restaurant with rooms that originally started life as a Georgian country residence in 1725.

With a string of successful restaurants and hotels behind them, it has taken husband and wife team Colin and Melanie Dawson less than two years to have gained a formidable reputation for excellent food and service, most of which sourced in the local area. “There is an incredible range of fresh produce in this area, and it provides me with endless inspiration,” comments Colin Dawson, on his Mid-Wales location. Rooms are individually designed, with stunning bathrooms and underfloor heating, as well as flat screen TVs, DVD and internet access. In the heart of Wales, Builth Wells is a true rural getaway destination close to the Brecon Beacons National Park, where there are numerous walks and outdoor activities available. Take a two night midweek short break at the Drawing Rooms, complete with a three course evening meal, full breakfast, and tea with ‘Bara Brith’ on day of arrival from £180 per person.

The Manor House, Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Nestled in a beautiful village on the edge of the Cotswolds, close to the breathtaking Georgian city of Bath, is one of the most delightful hotels in Britain. The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club is part of the Exclusive Hotels chain and set within 365 acres of parkland, landscaped Italian gardens and river setting, the hotel is indeed a great place to get away from it all. The hotel itself dates back to the 14th century and the look and feel is in keeping with its lordly heritage. All 48 bedrooms in the Manor House and Mews Cottages are individually designed in a traditional style and are very large and spacious, with superb en suite facilities. The award winning Bybrook restaurant serves up an exquisite array of cuisine using fresh organic ingredients, while nearby places of interest include Bath, the Cotswolds and Lacock Abbey, used in such Hollywood films as Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice and Emma. For Special Offers from £150 per room, per night, with a three course meal included visit

Ballathie House, Perthshire, Scotland

On the outside of Perth and gateway to the Highlands, Ballathie House is one of the best country house hotels in the country. Set within private parkland overlooking the River Tay, the hotel could not be set in a more beautiful country location: the building, dating back to the 17th Century still has many of its original features and gives off an elegant air to any visitor.

All 42 rooms are individually furnished with en suite facilities, and the hotel is a regular in the AA top 200 list. The restaurant, with lovely views over the river Tay, under Head Chef Kevin MacGillivray serves dishes that combine traditional Scottish classics with a modern twist. And wine aficionados will not be disappointed by the extensive wine list, which has a particular emphasis on claret, with over 60 current drinking vintages to sample. Nearby places of interest include Perth and the inspirational Scottish Highlands. Stay at Ballathie House for two nights mid week on a B&B basis based on 2 people sharing Sunday - Thursday for only £85 per person until 21st December, 2006.

The May Fair Hotel, Central London

The iconic May Fair Hotel has just reopened after a massive £75 million refurbishment programme, which has seen the 80 year old hotel renovated from top to bottom. The renovation takes five star luxury to the extreme, and, not surprisingly for a 400 room hotel, the theory that bigger is best is evident throughout. The Crystal Room, which can seat up to 180 dinner guests at a time, harks back to the hotel’s glory days during the swinging 1920s and is lavish in the extreme – the crystal chandelier which hangs in the middle of the room is a massive six metres by three metres in size and is the largest commercial piece ever commissioned by world-famous Parisian design house Baccarat.

The chandelier alone is worth more than £1million. Elsewhere, the hotel also boasts London’s largest private cinema and a unique spa, which offers surely one of the most romantic, or messy, experiences the capital can offer in the shape of the ‘Cleopatra’ mud bath for two! For the real high-rollers, the May Fair boasts 10 unique luxury suites, all of which feature stunning London views, giant Bang and Olufsen plasma TVs and more. Superior Rooms from £295 per night, two-bed suites from a staggering £5,000 per night!


Hackness Grange, North Yorkshire

The Georgian Hackness Grange Hotel on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park overlooks its own tranquil lake set within private grounds. It is an out-of-the-way location ideal for lazy love-ins or outdoor adventurers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With just 33 beautiful en suite rooms, the hotel manages to maintain a laidback and quiet atmosphere too, and amenities on offer include: a heated indoor pool, tennis court, pitch & putt golf and mountain bike hire. The restaurant serves a contemporary menu and has excellent views of the nearby river Derwent. Local attractions include the quaint fishing town and home to Captain Cook, Whitby, the seaside resort of Scarborough and magnificent Castle Howard, setting for the acclaimed TV series Brideshead Revisited. Prices from £67.50 per person per night, including a full English breakfast.

About The Author
Dale Lovell is Editor of




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