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Bespoke Hotels has launched a new award to champion more stylish guestroom design for disabled travellers. The UK-based group, which operates properties such as Hotel Gotham in Manchester and My Hotels in Bloomsbury, Chelsea and Brighton, has teamed up with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the inaugural Bespoke Access Awards.

Comprising three strands – architecture, product design and service design – there is a total prize fund of £30,000, with judges including Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson and architect Sir Alan Stanton.

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Robin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels, and Paul Vaughan, Bespoke Access Awards project director, explained to Business Traveller why hoteliers needed to provide a more inclusive experience for disabled guests, who were all too often subjected to “joyless”, hospital-like rooms.

“A disabled room shouldn’t feel like a downgrade – they should be something to be enjoyed,” Vaughan said. “If we can make a 1 per cent difference, that will be a significant achievement in getting people to feel differently.”

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It’s something that Sheppard has personal experience of, having previously suffered from the debilitating Guillain-Barré syndrome. “Ideally these should be the ‘champagne supernova’ rooms that give even more delight – that feel like an upgrade,” he said.

He added that he hoped the initiative would help the issue to gather momentum in the wider industry.

Entries were received from around the world, including as far afield as Hong Kong, Russia, and the USA. Winners to be announced on December 1.

www.access.bespokehotels.com

Bespoke Hotels - The Talbot

The Talbot Reopens Following Extensive Refurbishment Works

Following substantial refurbishment works and a star-studded launch event, The Talbot has reopened its doors in the heart of Ripley, breathing new life into this historic Surrey coaching inn, which has played host to everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton during its 250-year history.

Bespoke Hotels - The Talbot

Bespoke Hotels – The Talbot

Having benefited from a £1 million investment, encompassing soft enhancements to the bedrooms and suites, the restaurant and bar areas, as well as the property’s substantial events and wedding facilities, The Talbot sees itself reinvigorated and ready to make its mark in the South East once again.

The addition of the renowned Michelin Starred figure of Martin Blunos to the role of Executive Chef has also helped to transform the Talbot’s culinary offering, with a brand new menu comprising modern flourishes alongside time-honoured British favourites, with an emphasis on versatility and locally sourced produce.

Bespoke Hotels - The Talbot

Bespoke Hotels – The Talbot

“The Talbot has always been a property brimming with personality”, said Graham Marskell, Managing Director of Bespoke Hotels. “We are delighted to have been able to bring out this unique character through a schedule of extensive refurbishment works, as well as an exciting new menu and dynamic team. We at Bespoke are looking forward to re-establishing the property both on a local and national level.”

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Bespoke Hotels and Criterion Capital to Unveil Properties Across London

Bespoke Hotels has announced its agreement with Criterion Capital to operate a number of properties across London, scheduled to open in the final quarter of 2016 and throughout 2017.

The inaugural property will be an 86-bedroom MGallery, London, Leicester Square, situated on the North side of Leicester Square and set to open in late 2016. This will be followed by further sites in Leicester Square, Piccadilly and Greenwich.

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“We are delighted to unveil the signing of contracts to open these extraordinarily well-located hotels, as well as to have the opportunity to engage with the outstanding team at Criterion Capital,” said Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels.

Michael North, Head of Hotels at Criterion Capital, added: “This is a significant strategic investment for Criterion Capital, with a series of hotels scheduled to open in rapid succession across London. We have been working with Bespoke Hotels for several months and are delighted to have secured their managerial expertise.”

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Thomas Dubaere, Managing Director of Accor Hotels UK & Ireland, said: “MGallery Leicester Square will be a landmark upscale boutique hotel in a heritage site in the heart of London. Strong organic franchise growth is one of our strategic priorities in the UK and we’re delighted to be working with such strong partners as Criterion Capital and Bespoke.”

Bespoke Hotels Lake DIstrict Hotels Collection

Spotlight on the Lake District Hotels

Popular for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and historic literary associations, The Lake District is one of the UK’s scenic trump cards. From Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, to Wastwater, its deepest lake, as well as beautiful market towns, spectacular walking routes and water sports in between, it’s a peaceful holiday destination and a treasure trove of discovery, exploration and inspiration. Particularly if you know the best Lake District hotels to stay in while you’re there.

For walkers

Lake District Hotels Ennerdale COuntry House Hotel

It’s a tall order to find a more beautiful part of the world for walking than the Lake District. Combining countryside and coastline, Ennerdale Country House Hotel is beautifully located in five acres of gardens close to the seaside town of St. Bees, making it an ideal base from which to tackle the Coast to Coast Walk which takes you from the town itself to the awe-inspiring Robin Hood’s Bay. Chances are you’re not going to cover the complete 190 miles, at least not on foot, but you can head out as far as you fancy and then potter back for tea at the Grade II listed building, which has been painstakingly restored with its original fireplaces and ceilings on display. And even if you don’t fancy being quite so energetic as to head out to the coastal paths, you will be pleased to know that this Lake District hotel’s own gardens provide equally stimulating vistas with significantly less effort, thanks to the tranquil landscaped gardens surrounding a picturesque Italian fountain.

For water sports

Lake District Hotels Lodore Falls Lodge

Alternatively, at Lodore Falls Lodge it’s almost impossible to beat the dramatic beauty of the Lodore Falls themselves within the hotel grounds. The water cascades over huge boulders from a distance of some 30-metres, set contrastingly against a backdrop of unmoving mountains and placid lakes. The 200-year old hotel sits within 40 acres of grounds, and while walking is still an unmitigated pleasure here, so too is kayaking from the Lodore jetty on Derwentwater, or simply sitting in the outdoor hot tub and admiring the unrivalled views.

Lake District Hotels for foodies

What would an utterly British holiday be without a good afternoon tea? Unbearable, we say. And fortunately The George Hotel in Penrith stands out as an elegant experience known for its fine dining as well as its excellent lunches and afternoon teas. It’s something of a social hub with events peppered throughout the year, and while it’s supremely elegant with wood paneling, antique furniture and open fires, it’s also extremely friendly. Children and well-behaved dogs are all welcome, and its location makes it a splendid spot from which to explore the town as well.

For special occasions

Lake DIstrict Hotels Storrs Hall

A Grade II listed Georgian Mansion, Storrs Hall sits on the edge of the famous Lake Windermere and as a result has unparalleled views of the water. It combines everything as far as a holiday in one of the Lake District hotels goes, with incredible scenery, proximity to the water, beautiful walks, excellent food served in a restaurant that boasts three AA Rosettes, and that’s not to mention the hotel’s own grandeur and elegance at the centre of it all. In addition to 31 bedrooms the estate is home to nine log cabins to stay in and beautiful landscaped lawns to stroll throughout. So if you’re going to have an introduction to the Lake District, and take in all that makes this region so unique, it’s the perfect place to start!

But whatever your tastes a visit to this beautiful part of England and a stay in one of the Lake District hotels is a must this Summer. To check availability and book your choice just follow this link >>>