Destinations

The most romantic hotels in the UK

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Lake District
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House impeccably mixes stylish luxury and private-home intimacy.

An insider's guide to the most romantic hotels in the UK – from lavish country piles to spa hotels and sumptuous city boutiques – including the best for rooms with antique furnishings, rolltop baths and four-poster beds, Michelin-starred restaurants, historic interiors, private gardens and cosy bars, in London, the Cotswolds, Berkshire, Hampshire, Scotland, York, Bath, the Lake District, Devon, Cornwall, Wales, Brighton, Dorset, Somerset and Manchester.

London

Blakes, London. England

Blakes Hotel

Kensington, London, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

Designed by Anouska Hempel with great verve, Blakes is the original boutique hotel and has been going for over 30 years. From the dark grey exterior to the opium-den lobby with its scented candles and twittering lovebirds, the message is clear: Blakes is different, so come on in and enjoy yourself. The 47 bedrooms are a tour-de-force of atmospheric design featuring four-poster beds, rich fabrics, antique furniture, global curios and dark colour schemes. Read expert review
From £ 240 per night
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The Rookery Hotel, London

The Rookery

The City, London, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

Open fires, sumptuous Georgian detailing (about which the owners knowa lot), wonky floors and bulging bookshelves complete the picture. There’s an Honesty Bar downstairs – and even a tiny garden terrace for the summer. There are 33 rooms and two singles. All are as quirky as the building, sharing only rich 18th-century colours, antiques, glowing woods and modernised mad plumbing. Go for the extraordinary top floor Rooks’ Nest, with its mezzanine floor, 40-ft octagonal spire, trompe l’oeil and Turkey carpets. Read expert review
From £ 149 per night
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Claridge's, London, England

Claridge's

Mayfair, London, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

This is a hotel with impeccable pedigree that has long been a favourite stop for aristocrats, statesmen, film stars and supermodels. All 203 rooms are unique and come with comfort levels that encourage one to immediately hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign. Claridge’s Bar attracts a buzzy crowd, while the snug Fumoir is a 1930s jewel-box bar with original Lalique glass panels. Fera at Claridges is Simon Rogan’s (of L’Enclume fame) London showcase and a wild (Fera means wild) success. A low-key, curtained doorway leads to a lovely room that combines original Art Deco elements with an organic, forest feel, all green, with wooden tables and a ghostly fossilized tree at its centre. Read expert review
From £ 390 per night
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The Levin hotel Knightsbridge, London

The Levin

Knightsbridge, London, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

The Levin has just 12 bedrooms arranged around a staircase that spirals through five floors, with a dramatic, shimmering installation, mimicking a chandelier, that cascades down the stairwell from top to bottom. With fabrics by William Yeoward and Designer’s Guild, rooms are suave, with particularly good lighting. You’ll find it hard to leave: each one is equipped with a brilliant selection of pristine paperbacks and a Champagne bar: all the ingredients, and recipes, for the perfect Champagne cocktail. Read expert review
From £ 228 per night
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The Bingham

Richmond, London, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The listed Grade II Georgian building may face a fairly busy road to the front, but at the back is the hotel’s most prized feature: terraces, lawn and flowerbeds leading to the Thames’s towpath and the peaceful river beyond. Those who stay there include in-the-know locals who have discovered the Bingham’s romantic, comfortable and subtly glamorous restaurant (the Bingham is billed as a restaurant-with-rooms); brides and grooms who choose the Bingham for their weddings (the ground-floor function rooms and covered terrace are cleverly separated from the rest of the hotel); and anyone wanting a break in an absorbing location. Read expert review
From £ 108 per night
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Cotswolds

Barnsley House

Cirencester, Cotswolds, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden.The six bedrooms in the main house range from large attic suites with fabulous views over the garden to the hotel’s smallest, but still generously sized, double room looking on to the front drive. Bathrooms are a big thing – literally as well as in terms of style: Room 14 in the stable yard has a dramatically glass-sided bathroom up spiral stairs; Room 15 has a sunken Turkish bathtub. Complete seclusion is provided at two idyllic hideaways: the Secret Garden Suite and the rustic-chic Potting Shed. Read expert review
From £ 232 per night
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Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds, UK

Foxhill Manor

Broadway, Cotswolds, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

This is an eye-poppingly glamorous, boldly luxurious retreat. It has more of an atmosphere of a club or hip home than a hotel, with retro-chic furniture, original stucco work on ceilings, and shelves around the house lined with books chosen by the Sorensen family, who own the estate. Across the estate lies sister hotel Dormy House and its state-of-the-art spa that Foxhill guests are welcome to use (staff will drive you over). Outdoor options are abundant, from walks to activities arranged by the estate, such as archery and clay pigeon shooting. Read expert review
From £ 365 per night
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Thyme hotel, Gloucestershire

Thyme

Southrop, Cotswolds, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

This serene, foodie outfit is pleasingly stylish and beautifully set in postcard-pretty Southrop (so pretty Kate Moss chose to get married here in 2011). It comprises a choice of cottage and farmhouse hotel accommodation – some of which can be separately rented by groups – along with a cookery school and pub. Thyme farmhouse has eight good-looking bedrooms decked mostly in creams and browns. Some have roll-top baths; some creak under beams and eaves; all are generously sized. Three cottages are effectively suites set over two floors and decorated with much charm. Read expert review
From £ 253 per night
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The Royal Oak, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

The Royal Oak

8 Telegraph expert rating

This handsome tavern, dating from the 1780s, has been been infused with music and real local buzz. There’s a warm bar/saloon on the ground floor, complete with two fireplaces, a reconditioned jukebox and a bar fashioned from recycled church panelling. There’s also a restaurant upstairs, under wonderful beams and wrought-iron chandeliers. All the rooms are kitted out with evocative Bisque Tetro radiators and are decorated in soothing browns, greens and creams. For a treat, book the spectacular Oak Lodge suite. Read expert review
From £ 75 per night


Berkshire

Cliveden, Taplow

Cliveden

Taplow, Berkshire, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

This has to be one of the loveliest spots for a hotel, overlooking a spectacular 19th-century parterre and surrounded by acres of ancient woodland running down to the Thames. The house has witnessed much intrigue over the years – it was the setting for the infamous Profumo affair – and a hint of naughtiness remains. There are 38 rooms and suites, each named after a figure from the house’s past and furnished to match. The finest suites are The Lady Astor and The Prince of Wales on the first floor of the main house. Read expert review
From £ 340 per night
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Hampshire

Lime Wood

New Forest, Hampshire, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special and why it will stand the test of time. The oak doors are thick, the paint finishes lush, the brickwork laid to the architect’s design; soft floor lights switch on automatically as you walk into the bathroom; a million-pound glass roof retracts above the inner courtyard at the press of a button; stylized sitting rooms melt one into the other, pale lemon into lilac into mint green, each with an open fire. Rooms are Gorgeous and sexy; Pavilion rooms melt into their New Forest surroundings. Read expert review
From £ 245 per night
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Scotland

Prestonfield House hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland

Prestonfield House

Edinburgh, Scotland

8 Telegraph expert rating

Although a quiet, country-house setting, this Baroque-meets-Georgian mansion is shamelessly seductive. With swags and columns, brocades and velvets, rich colours and intimate corners, it is wildly opulent. Drama, theatre, romance and passion hang heavily in the air. Minimalism be damned; more is definitely more. It proves Oscar Wilde’s maxim that 'nothing succeeds like excess'. Rooms are irrepressibly romantic in a husky-throated boudoir sort of way. Read expert review
From £ 190 per night
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The Witchery by the Castle

Edinburgh, Scotland

9 Telegraph expert rating

This extraordinary collection of fantasy suites is the ultimate romantic hideaway: sumptuous, indulgent and slightly (delightfully) mad. The nine suites are an antique dealer’s dream: the rooms set-dressed with fascinatingly eclectic clutter; all jewel-coloured velvets, silks and brocades, carved wood, gilding and candle-light - think decadent ecclesiastical. Beds are dramatically draped or four-postered (or both); chin-deep bateau baths are perfect for sharing. Read expert review
From £ 235 per night
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The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Three Chimneys and The House Over-By

Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, Scotland

9 Telegraph expert rating

Following a badly needed refresh and refurb, this destination restaurant with rooms is back doing what it does best, with a new chef, updated look and reinvigorated sense of discipline and purpose. The essential ingredients are there: attentive service, attractive rooms with mesmerising views and a talented young chef. The suites, in an adjacent building designed to capitalise on the views, are airy, high-ceilinged and gently contemporary, with a Scandi-meets-Scotia feel to the decor: pale, sophisticated simplicity in shades of sea, sky and sand. Read expert review
From £ 345 per night
Isle of Eriska, Argyll, Scotland

Isle of Eriska Hotel

Argyll & Bute, Scotland

8 Telegraph expert rating

A 19th-century mansion in Scottish baronial style on a private island accessible by a bridge, amid glorious scenery in the west highlands. Family-owned, it is a member of the Relais & Chateaux portfolio and boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, an ESPA spa and a wide range of activities in 350 acres of grounds. Spacious rooms in the main building in soft, neutral shades exude comfort and Country Life style Three spa suites are more contemporary, with outdoor hot tubs in private gardens. Read expert review
From £ 350 per night
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Bath

The Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath, UK

The Royal Crescent

Bath, Somerset, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The hotel, located at 16 Royal Crescent, stands at the centre of John Wood the Younger’s magnificent curved terrace of 30 houses, overlooking a huge expanse of grass, the Lawn, with views to the city beyond. The essential Georgian character of the house is largely unchanged, best exemplified by the admirably plain entrance hall, with its open fire and chequerboard floor, and the two well-proportioned sitting rooms. The restaurant and Montagu champagne bar are across the other side of the pretty garden, along with the Spa. Read expert review
From £ 251 per night
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The Bath Priory

Bath, Somerset, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The crunch of gravel in the courtyard in front of the late-Georgian, Bath stone mansion, and the sweeping lawns, giant cedar trees and heated outdoor swimming pool in the three acres of gardens to the rear, deliver country-house style in spades. As does the hotel’s plush lounges, with their ticking clocks, real fires and large-scale colonial-era, militaristic and sporting paintings. The spa has a more contemporary feel. There's also a heated outdoor swimming pool in the gardens. Expect rooms with pelmeted curtains, classic prints on walls, and plenty of plumped-up cushions. Read expert review
From £ 155 per night
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Lake District

Askham Hall hotel, Cumbria

Askham Hall

Penrith, Cumbria, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

The Hall, which dates back to medieval times, has great character and commands superb views over its gardens, the River Lowther and the fells beyond. A mixture of family furniture and paintings have been combined with more modern, or quirky pieces to create something both charming and unusual. The restaurant has patterned encaustic tiles, while the hall and stairs are given a modern twist with pendant lighting and arresting portraits by the owner, Juno Lowther. The whole place feels part stately home, part private club, but mostly unique. Read expert review
From £ 150 per night
Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Lake Windemere

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Lake Windermere, Lake District, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The fact that Gilpin Lodge is family-run by two generations hand in hand makes it special. Their private former fishing lodge set on its own tree-fringed lake a mile from Gilpin Lodge, into a six-bedroom mini-hotel known as Lake House. It's expensive, but worth every penny for the tranquillity that pervades and the impeccable mix of stylish luxury and private-home intimacy. There are flowers everywhere, charmingly arranged; a homely utility-room-cum-office has stairs to a light-filled indoor pool and sauna, and a terrace by the tarn with hot tub, outdoor heaters, deck chairs and private corners. Read expert review
From £ 215 per night
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The Samling, Lake District, UK

The Samling

Lake Windermere, Lake District, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The house sits amongst 67 rolling acres at the northern end of Windermere. Surrounded by woods and neatly-trimmed lawns, it feels deliciously secluded, and the grounds are dotted with modern art. It's accessed via a very steep drive: good for isolation and views. The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant is overseen by chef Ian Swainson, whose previous credits include L’Ortolan and Becasse, it’s unashamedly starchy fine dining: expect haute cuisine dishes such as pan-fried turbot with squid pearls, sea vegetables and Asian broth, and pork with wild garlic, morels and asparagus. Read expert review
From £ 220 per night

Eltermere Inn

Lake District, Cumbria, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

Once a gentleman’s residence, the Eltermere Inn offers lovely views over the little lake of Elterwater, and has stylish Georgian decor and direct access to the shoreline of the lake. There are 12 in total. Each has its own character: we particularly like Robin Ghyll, with its A-frame beams and oak bed, and Willy Goodwaller, with its freestanding tub and rococo furniture. Unsurprisingly, the priciest rooms have the best views: Lingmoor and Loughrigg have romantic window seats looking out across the lake. Read expert review
From £ 110 per night
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Devon

Hotel Endsleigh, Devon

Hotel Endsleigh

Tavistock, Devon, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

A verdantly gardened, Grade 1-listed Eden between Dartmoor and Exmoor, with shell houses and hidden glades for romantic tête-à-têtes. Purposefully low-tech, the rooms don’t have televisions, Wi-Fi or mini bars, and only a couple have proper showers. Decorated in Regency pastiche, Room five is the winner, with original hand-painted wallpaper, poetry-inspiring views of the River Tamar and a chaise longue that’s made for swooning. Room four wins points for quirkiness: the ensuite bathroom, accessible down steep stairs, was the Duke’s chapel. Read expert review
From £ 165 per night
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South Sands Boutique Hotel

Salcombe, Devon, England

7 Telegraph expert rating

South Sands is set right on the beach, with wonderful views across the estuary. If you love walking or watersports (all on hand: South Sands Sailing, based in a converted Methodist chapel is literally next door and offers everything from stand up boards to powerboats), then look no further than this hotel. Decoration is in appropriate New England style and there’s a glamorous spiral staircase in between. Rooms with a view are best. The decoration is right for the view: simple and fresh, with good bathrooms. Read expert review
From £ 95 per night
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Dorset

The Pig on the Beach, Dorset

The Pig on the Beach

Studland, Dorset, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

The house, now extended and painted yellow by its current owners, is a quirky fantasy that reminds one, with its overlapping tiled Portland stone roof, of the witch's gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. It’s cosy inside, full of antiques and curios, and relaxing outside, with terrace, huge lawn and walled kitchen garden. All the rooms are delightful, many with interesting original features; two are delightful two-story thatched follies overlooking the kitchen garden, and another is in a converted shepherd’s hut under the trees, with its own bathroom. Read expert review
From £ 209 per night
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Alexandra Hotel, Lyme Regis, Dorset

Alexandra Hotel & Restaurant

Lyme Regis, Dorset, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

No hotel in or around Lyme offers better views out across the west of the Jurassic Coast, in grey skies and sunshine. Throw open the windows for a delightful seaside breeze, or climb the garden's folly tower for a private kiss. Direct access to the beach means barefoot walks across the golden sands is easy, or couples can stroll along the Cobb to relive a little of The French Lieutenant's Woman (filmed in Lyme). Modern and traditional mix here, and sundowners on the deck can be spectacular. Easy walk to Mark Hix's Fish House but really loved-up couples share fish and chips from one of the beachside kiosks. Read expert review
From £ 188 per night
Hotel du Vin Poole, Dorset

Hotel du Vin Poole

Poole, Dorset, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

Accessible luxury from the Hotel du Vin group, but very much real luxury. Contemporary rooms, all with deliciously comfortable beds, are somewhere to linger — for top romance and accommodation to impress it has to be the Dom Perignon suite (pictured), with an oversized sleigh bed, twin freestanding clawfoot tubs and an enormous monsoon shower room. There's a modern French bistro with inhibition-lowering cocktails, which can be taken in a number of snug, cosy areas in the bar. Read expert review
From £ 48 per night
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Cornwall

The Scarlet

Newquay, Cornwall, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

While many eco-hotels sacrifice style and comfort in pursuit of green credentials, The Scarlet more than lives up to the hype. The Ayurvedic spa has proved a big success and there are wide outdoor terraces on each level with designer loungers, log-fired hot tubs, and a reed-filtered natural swimming pool. Rooms are all individually styled with luxurious sateen sheets on deep mattresses, blonde wood furnishings, oval baths – often in the bedroom itself – and powerful rain-showers. Most have a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that slides back to access outdoor space, all cleverly designed to give privacy. Read expert review
From £ 240 per night
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Hotel Tresanton

Saint Mawes, Cornwall, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

While managing to be welcoming to all – from toddlers to grandparents and the trendy to the tweedy – it was the first truly fashionable, truly chic contemporary British seaside hotel. It still effortlessly holds its own, 11 years on, but mercifully without any of the pretension – and the spas – of newer, glossier addresses. The all-white restaurant and the huge ship’s deck of a terrace are just right for stylish summer dining, with simple but effective menus and excellent breakfasts. The biggest rooms are the best. Read expert review
From £ 243 per night
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Somerset

The Talbot Inn hotel, Somerset, England

The Talbot Inn

Somerset, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

In the delightful estate village of Mells, The Talbot stands opposite the Walled Garden (open to the public) and next to medieval New Street, one of the earliest examples of town planning, with a school (long defunct) and houses built in a row. Expect sawn logs in fireplaces, painted tongue and groove panelling, mixed with an appropriately traditional, pubby atmosphere. All rooms are different, all quietly stylish, with superb beds and generous toiletries in big bottles. Good, straightforward cooking is served in the cosy dining rooms; meat and fish is cooked on an open fire at weekends. Read expert review
From £ 97 per night
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Wales

Plas Bodegroes Hotel, Gwynedd, Wales

Plas Bodegroes

Gwynedd, Wales

9 Telegraph expert rating

The house, trimmed by a pretty wrought iron Victorian veranda covered in a profusion of flowers in summer, is enchanting, and much larger than it looks on the outside. A fine collection of Welsh paintings distinguishes the interior, which has an instantly welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. A clever touch is the well stocked bar, which masquerades as a wall mirror until it is opened up each evening. A lovely staircase leads to the bedrooms, and there’s an open fire in the sitting room. Tables are set in the lovely courtyard, perfect for pre or post dinner drinks and coffee by candlelight. Read expert review
From £ 140 per night


York

Middlethorpe Hall and Spa hotel, York, United Kingdom

Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

York, Yorkshire, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

Smart but not pretentious; sophisticated but not showy. Yes, there are creaky floors and wonky door frames - and the spa is tiny, but it is a 300 year-old country house. Mercifully, there are no gauche or misjudged touches here, just spacious drawing rooms full of character, antiques, deep carpets and a brandy-by-the-fire feel. Dinner is served by candlelight in the wood-panelled dining room, which dates from 1699, and dishes include locally sourced produce (from Whitby sea trout to Dales lamb) and vegetables straight from the garden outside. Read expert review
From £ 103 per night
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Grays Court

York, Yorkshire, England

10 Telegraph expert rating

Guests are almost entirely repeat bookings and no one seems in a hurry to share this wonderful secret. There is a palpable sense of history in the wood-paneled long gallery where Kings have dined and in the grand formal rooms; other features include a collection of rare Gyles painted glass, leaded windows, thick wooden doors and limestone fireplaces. Breakfasts are exemplary and involve omelettes, kippers, pancakes and traditional fare. Plump for the black pudding full English served outside with the sound of blackbirds and the Minster bells and you will be in seventh heaven. Read expert review
From £ 150 per night
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Brighton

Drakes hotel, Brighton, England

Drakes Hotel

Brighton, East Sussex, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

This fabulous boutique hotel spans two late Georgian townhouses and has a great location almost opposite the pier and Brighton Wheel. Full of Art Deco-style detailing and with a locally renowned restaurant on the lower-ground floor, Drakes has been wowing guests for the last 10 years. Superior and feature rooms have freestanding baths facing floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can splash in the tub while enjoying the twinkly lights of the pier. Book the Cristal Suite for the ultimate romance. Read expert review
From £ 94 per night
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Hotel du Vin, Brighton

Hotel du Vin & Bistro Brighton

Brighton, East Sussex, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

This boutique hotel is part of the Hotel du Vin chain and features a locals’ favourite Parisian-style bistro, sprawling bar and clubby-looking pub. Labyrinthine passageways lead to 49 chic and seaside-style bedrooms, each one having nice individual touches spanning driftwood wall hangings, retro leather bedheads, Victorian fireplaces, monsoon showers or roll-top baths set by the window. Just up from the sea, the hotel is also ideally placed for The Lanes and the city’s major attractions. Read expert review
From £ 109 per night
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West Sussex

Amberley Castle hotel, Amberley, West Sussex, England

Amberley Castle

Amberley, West Sussex, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The 900-year-old castle began life as a manor house for the Bishop of Chichester and was fortified in 1377. After the Civil War, cloth merchant John Butler acquired it and built the present brick and timber manor, and the barrel vaulted Great Hall within the castle walls. It stands in lovely grounds next to the parish church in the village of Amberley, known locally as the ‘pearl of Sussex’. This is a romantic place, though proposals are best made in one of the garden gazebos rather than in the staid, hushed dining room. Read expert review
From £ 175 per night
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Norfolk & Sussex

Cley Windmill, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom

Cley Windmill

Holt, Norfolk, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

This early 19th-century windmill turned cosy guesthouse is in a scenic coastal location. There are superb views over the reed beds and saltmarshes towards Blakeney Harbour. A brick-built five-storey tower, with a domed cap and four, whitewashed sails, the building has been run as a non-profit making guesthouse since the early 1980s. The ground floor of the mill is a circular sitting room with a wood burning stove plus games, books and complimentary sherry available. The original, 18th-century warehouse houses a small, beamed dining room. Read expert review
From £ 159 per night
The Bildeston Crown, Suffolk

The Bildeston Crown

Suffolk, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

In a quiet village, a short drive to the medieval wool town of Lavenham and within easy reach of Constable Country. The interior is deceptively larger than it looks from outside, and designers have had great fun choosing paint colours – you’ll find warm reds, duck-egg blues and terracottas. The front bar has no-fuss, scrubbed pine tables and leather-winged armchairs pulled up around an open log fire. Take your pick from four-posters, damask bed coverings, gothic headboards and fluffy cushions in the 12 bedrooms. Read expert review
From £ 80 per night


Manchester

Great John Street Hotel, Manchester, UK

Great John Street Hotel

Manchester, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

Toweringly high ceilings allow 26 of the 30 rooms in this hotel to be duplex and massive windows span both floors. All are en-suite with walk-in showers and giant tubs – some have his-and-hers roll-top baths. Each room is unique but shares the same sense of decadent style with crushed velvet fabrics, ornaments and books scattered on the bookshelves, and enormous beds. The Oyster Bar on the ground floor serves drinks and afternoon tea and offers a small food menu. Read expert review
From £ 103 per night
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Hotel Gotham, Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Hotel Gotham

Manchester, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The grand, Art Deco building designed by Edwin Lutyens was formerly a branch of the Midland Bank. Aiming to be an exclusive venue with a cheeky twist, there’s a private members’ club with a rooftop terrace and views across the city, and a restaurant with a small menu of modern classics. The 60 rooms and suites are dark and decadent with grey walls, large comfy beds, leather bed heads and faux fur throws. Five Inner Sanctum suites have leather-clad black walls, with no windows, and a huge 'wonderwall' with a projection of the city skyline. Read expert review
From £ 125 per night
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