Category Archives: cool hotels

Discovering Kerala Hotels with the Bespoke India Portfolio

Described by Lonely Planet as a ‘tropical symphony’, our Kerala hotels are in a coastal state in India’s deep south, characterised by its layered landscape and nearly 600km of coastline and beaches

With spice and tea covered hills the area is everything that the storybooks would have you believe – a soul quenching, fantastical part of the world, built for myths, legends and fulfilling travel and discovery.  Kerala in particular is known as home to wild elephants, exotic birds and even tigers, while it’s also rich with tradition and temple festivals overflowing with the kind of characterful energy that gives even its smallest villages a palpable buzz.

Kerala Hotels

Key amongst Kerala’s recommended experiences are those showcasing its wildlife and history at their best – the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Mattancherry Palace, Pardesi Synagogue, and the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary.  However, the Kerala hotels that you stay in also have the capacity to shape your experience and really give an insight into the hospitality and culture of the region.

The enticingly named Elephant Court, for example, is an ecological hotel in a 100-acre nature reserve and organic farm.  Rather than rooms, guests stay in one of 20 bungalows nestled into the Palni Hills, surrounded by one of the most important biodiversity spots on the planet.  As the name suggests, the hotel is close to the town of Kodaikanal, which is famed as an old elephant migration route and now extends into the wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala.  Meanwhile, the bungalows themselves are all unique, from the three-bedroom Peninsular Room, to the Tree House which is held aloft by a 100-year old Sizigium Cumini tree. So you can see how this particular hotel is an all encompassing experience in its own right.

Kerala hotels

Alternatively, Poovar Island Resort is an altogether more luxurious affair – a small village made of 78 land-based and floating villas surrounded by 25 acres of verdant green coconut gardens. The hotel has its own Ayurvedic Village – otherwise known as a wellness centre – that’s a spectacular 6,000 square feet of medicinal herbs and wellbeing based on ancient practices.  Meanwhile, there’s also a swimming pool, sunken bar, private beach, and all the trimmings that go with a decadent exotic holiday – one of the range of different Kerala hotels.

Showcasing the romantic diversity of this part of India, other hotels in the Bespoke India Portfolio, range from The Highland Heritage homestay hotel in Goa – featuring its own antique hand-crafted furniture – to the contemporary 14-bedroom boutique hotel The Richmond in the French Quarter of Pondicherry.  All are an indication of how you can experience multiple facets of Kerala and its history through its different locations and hotels.

Kerala hotels

A particular favourite of ours, however, has to be Destiny Farm Stay.  Set in the pristine, untouched valley of Avalanchi, this is a real wildlife adventure resort.  Here the views are of the hills and lake, while the hotel and farm operate on eco-friendly, self-sufficient methods, while producing their own fruit, coffee, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  It’s a nature lover’s paradise, but without losing that special sense of luxury, thanks to spa treatments, beautiful design, and incredible panoramas.  No wonder that it’s a popular hotel for weddings as well as those simply wanting to escape – India, and Kerala in particular, is an impossible place not to fall in love with.

Whichever one of our Kerala hotels takes your fancy follow the link to check availability, best rates and to book >>>>

Bespoke Hotels – a Bank Holiday Guide

The May bank holiday is fast approaching this weekend and the summer very much on its way, we’re all keeping our fingers and toes crossed for warm weather and blue skies.  Whether the sun emerges or not however, a three-day weekend gives us all the chance to really relax and unwind with our partners, families and friends.  So here’s what Bespoke Hotels recommend…

Hotels For Couples

Bespoke Hotels  Cotswold House Hotel
Cotswold House Hotel

Three days to ourselves is a perfect opportunity to have spend some quality time with our partners, because at other times it can be all too easy to rush around simply doing the things that we have to. If you haven’t already been, Castlemartyr Resort in Ireland is a wonderful location for making anyone feel loved thanks to the beautiful location and its rather spectacular spa.

With Bespoke Hotels, you have a choice between self-catering mews houses and contemporary lodges, or five-star hotel facilities with all the trimmings.  The grounds really are quite awe-inspiring, the kind of place that makes you feel wonderfully oppunlent, while the ESPA Spa is strikingly contemporary in design, and has been created and managed by the world-leading spa product brand itself, which bodes extremely well for the experience.

Alternatively, Cornwall’s Lugger Hotel offers the best of boutique British experiences by the sea, with spectacular seafood proving a key highlight for foodies.  While for those heading to Scotland, The Newton Hotel is an imposing Highland destination once regularly frequented by Charlie Chaplin – and between the grounds and the architecture you couldn’t imagine anywhere more romantic.

Hotels For Families

Bespoke Hotels Noel Arms Restaurant

Bank holidays are made for family breaks it seems, as there’s just never enough time to do everything on a normal Saturday and Sunday.  So these long breaks are precious to all of us who want to spend time with parents, children, uncles, aunts and anyone else we can welcome along.

The question, therefore, is finding somewhere that caters to everyone’s needs so that all involved can relax and unwind. If you fancy a trip overseas, Amsterdam is easy to get to and Bespoke Hotels offers you the four-star Memphis Hotel in the prettiest part of the city is within walking distance of the museums, the Vondelpark and the main shopping district.

The hotel has triple rooms ideal for young families, and the city is known for its cycling culture which adds another joyful dimension to the experience.  What we love about the city and hotel is that it’s a highly cultured experience, yet at the same time one that the whole family can enjoy.

A little closer to home there are of course some beautiful places in the UK that welcome families, with The Cotswolds in particular providing a scenic haven.  Stonehouse Court is 17th century manor house hotel surrounded by six acres of grounds for the kids to explore.  While mum and dad can sit in the garden with a glass of Pimms, while the children enjoy the great outdoors in blissful British summer style.  Alternatively, the Noel Arms Hotels is nearby and also welcomes families with a traditional twist.

Hotels for Groups

Bespoke Hotels Lamprey Court Hotel
Lamprey Court Hotel

Travelling with friends isn’t always top of the agenda over the bank holiday, but with wedding season on the horizon hen parties are in full swing and a trip replete with L-plates isn’t for everyone. For some it may be a simple chance to enjoy quality time, and that goes for those of us who have no particular reason for holidaying with friends other than the simple fact of enjoying one another’s company.

Restored Georgian Mansion Lamphey Court in Pembrokeshire is a beautiful experience to share with a group this bank holiday. The welsh coastline nearby was named the second best in the world by National Geographic, while the hotel itself is straight out of a storybook. There’s also a golf course for those who play or want to give it a go, a spa, and of course the area is fantastic for exploring on foot.

Alternatively, Bespoke Hotels the Lifehouse Spa and Hotel in Essex is ideal for groups of girls wanting a health break, thanks to the staff’s vast knowledge surrounding wellbeing, beautiful gardens to mill about in, excellent food, and contemporary design.  The spa experience is integral to your stay and packages are tailored by the resident naturopath, so if you have a particular wellbeing concern you want to address, this is the place to do it.  In short, it’s just a lovely place to unwind and feel extremely good about yourself with one, two or more of the people you most like to spend time with!

Whatever you decide, we wish you a wonderful bank holiday!

For late offers for your favourite Bespoke Hotel follow this link >>>

Half Term UK Breaks – Family Packages

Half term is easy to overlook, compared to the major school holidays, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy a short break at a family-friendly hotel. Here are just a couple of ideas for half term UK breaks that all the family to enjoy.

Bespoke Hotels Marwell
Marwell Hotel

Zoofari at Marwell Hotel, near Winchester

What child doesn’t love the zoo? Nearby Marwell Zoo is one of the best in the country and features hundreds of animals, including giraffes, penguins, chipmunks and tigers, as well as the opportunity to learn about how to save endangered animals — and, if there’s time for a break from all that, three adventure playgrounds. Zoofari includes a one-night stay for two adults and two children in one of Marwell’s family rooms.

If you prefer to arrange your own programme for your half term UK breaks, Marwell also offers the Family Fun package. The children can enjoy a wide selection of indoor and outdoor activities and a range of local attractions. Besides the zoo, there’s Peppa Pig World, Intech Science Centre and Planetarium, as well as the beautiful New Forest to explore.

Bespoke Hotels Noel Arms
Noel Arms

Cotswold Wildlife Break at Noel Arms Hotel, Chipping Campden

From a picturesque base in the heart of the stunning Cotswolds, this one-night break includes a day at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford, where you’ll see animals ranging from lions to gibbons, crocodiles and meerkats.

You can watch some animals being fed and get close to many others in the children’s farmyard. The zoo also has a narrow-gauge railway and an adventure playground, so there’s loads to do while you’re out, and all the facilities of the Noel Arms to return to in the evening.

Cotswold House Hotel

Activities at the Lambert Arms, Watlington

Situated at the edge of the Chiltern Hills, near Oxford, the Lambert Arms is surrounded by attractions for the family perfect for half term UK breaks. You can enjoy a trip by steam train on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, walk along the Ridgeway and keep an eye open for a rare red kite, or learn more about one of the best-loved children’s authors at the Roald Dahl Museum.

On the other hand, you may have to negotiate with the kids as to whether you visit the famous Bicester Village shopping outlet or have fun swinging around at Go Ape! The Lambert Arms has several family rooms and welcomes pets with responsible owners.

These are just a few of the half term packages available across the UK, so instead of sitting at home why not have a great time as a family and book your half term UK break now?

Five Bespoke hotels to visit this Easter for five different experiences

Easter is a lovely time of the year to get away to one of the UK Bespoke hotels. It’s the first holiday when it really starts to feel like spring, and with any luck the sun will come out, the daffodils will be in full bloom, the days begin to get significantly longer, and the clocks will be changing.

All in all, there’s a positive feeling in the air and long, lazy summer evenings to look forward to. Just because we’re enjoying the same time of year however, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we’re all looking for the same things in our Easter break. So here are five hotels to visit for very different experiences over the bank holiday weekend.

Bespoke Hotels Cotswold House Hotel
Cotswold House Hotel

Spring gardens: hopefully the Easter weekend will bring blue skies and warmer weather, and if you’re anything like us then one of the great joys of this time of the year is getting out into the fresh air. After all those winter months of cuddling by log fires (because of course that’s what we spend all our time doing from November to March), now is the time for walking in the garden, smiling at the daffodils, and watching the blossom as it scatters from the trees.

With that in mind, Cotswold House Hotel and Spa in Gloucestershire, with its tranquil gardens that lead to the spa at the end of a cobbled path, is an idyllic place to spend the weekend. It probably goes without saying given that the Cotswolds as a rule are chocolate box perfect, but peace, quiet, tranquility, and exceptional food coupled with gardens that are just manicured enough without being pretentious makes for an escape that encapsulates the best of British.

Bespoke hotels  - The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury
Bespoke – The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury

Sunday roast: food is one of the great priorities at Easter, and whatever you find yourself doing on the Saturday, there can surely be no debate that Sunday is about the perfect roast lunch before tucking into that chocolate egg… With a spectacular view of both Lake Ullswater and the Helvellyn mountain range, the aptly titled Inn on the Lake in Cumbria from Bespoke Hotels has won Cumbria Tourism Awards for Large Hotel of the Year as well as Outstanding Customer Service. It has 15 acres of grounds sweeping to the shores, and five star standards in addition to the awe-inspiring location.

Food is every inch as important as all the other details at this hotel, and as such the Lake View Restaurant has two AA Rosettes and emphasises local produce. Of particular note on this occasion, you guessed it, is their Sunday lunch, which features a traditional roast with a luxurious touch complete with all the expected trimmings for a perfect Easter weekend.

Bespoke Hotels Tulloch Castle
Tulloch Castle

Romantic mini-break: as it is a school holiday it’s always a little bit of a juggling act between finding hotels that are suitable for families and those who want to get away for a long romantic weekend together, but few things spell romance quite like a castle befitting a role in the best loved fairytales. Tulloch Castle in Scotland fits just that bill. Dating back to the 12th century it has a lively history of changing fortunes and scandalous intrigue.

These days it’s all a little calmer without the Chief of the Clan ruling the roost, but with painstakingly restored original features, a 250-year old paneled great hall and 20 well-appointed bedrooms filled with character and charm, not to mention fantastic food, it’s an escape to the country that’s ideal for couples who want some peace and quiet over the weekend.

Bespoke Hotels The Spa at Night

Spa break: despite the abundance of chocolate eggs at this time of year, spring is a brilliant time to clear away any remaining cobwebs from the winter months and make yourself feel fresh as a daisy for all those summer holidays that you’re doubtless looking forward to. For that reason, a spa break over the Easter weekend can prove the perfect way to simply start feeling better, especially with a few more days to play with than your average weekend allows.

The Lifehouse Spa and Hotel in Essex is surrounded by 12 acres of English Heritage gardens, and combines a historic background (including visits from the likes of JM Barrie and Winston Churchill), with a contemporary glass building. It’s light, airy and the spa itself is overseen by naturopath Sue Davis who curates spa breaks with her expert eye to make sure you achieve what you want to, whether that’s simple time out and feel good factor, a full-on detox, or tackling a particular health concern. The knowledge on hand is extensive without being domineering, making it ideal for everyone from seasoned spa goers to those who are quite literally dipping their toe in the water.

Family friendly: of course, nothing beats happy smiling faces on Easter morning, and with school holidays in full swing it’s about quality time for families where everyone can relax and unwind – not always an easy thing to achieve, but let’s give it a go. Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire combines a fantastic location on the edge of Sherwood Forest with contemporary design and a welcoming atmosphere, family friendly restaurant, and their New Leaf Spa as well.

Crucially there are plenty of activities available on site for guests of all ages, as well as others nearby such as pony trekking, cycling, walking, and the Clumber Jungle, which offers everything from archery to laser tag and Segway trails. Suffice to say, there really is something to make sure everyone has a happy Easter!

So what are you waiting for, book your favourite of our Bespoke hotels by following this link >>>>>