Tag Archives: Bespoke Hotels

Where to find the Best Riverside Hotels

There’s something about a short break at a riverside hotel nestling by the riverbank that really adds another dimension to a holiday.  Strolls by the water, picnics in the sun, and a leisurely pace of life all seem to go hand in hand with a waterside location. But which are the best riverside hotels to visit for such an experience?

Take for example The Arrochar Hotel in Scotland.  On the banks of Loch Long, the 19th century hotel is in an enviable location that combines the tranquil waters with the surrounding mountainous landscape in the kind of idyll that fairy tales are made of.

Riverside hotels Arrochar Hotel
Arrochar Hotel

However, for those after something a little closer to London, there’s also the aptly named Bridge Hotel in Chertsey.  Just 30 minutes from the buzz of the city, this riverside hotel sits quietly on the banks of the River Thames with spectacular views over the hotel’s own tributary, as well as the main river and the far reaching meads beyond the historic Chertsey Bridge.

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” So the thinking goes in The Wind in The Willows, and so it is that where there’s a river, one hopes there is a boat to sail away in as well. Which is precisely the case at Stonehouse Court in the glorious Cotswolds.

riverside hotels in uk

This 17th century manor house sits in six acres of stunning grounds overlooking the Stroud Water Canal and rolling hills of the Stroud Valley.  Surrounded by beautiful gardens, including a croquet lawn for a quintessentially British summertime experience, it’s also a wonderful spot for walking, picnicking, taking a boat trip, or hiring your own and pottering along the canal at a more leisurely pace.

The summer offers so many wonderful possibilities for whiling away the time in beautiful outdoor bliss, but whether it’s cities, countryside or somewhere near the coast, a little water goes a long, long way.

To book the riverside hotel of your choice just follow this link >>>

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 >>>>

Boutique Hotels

If you’re looking for something with a bit more character than is usually offered by large hotels, but with no less sophisticated facilities, a boutique hotel could be perfect for you. Boutique hotels have stylish character that both reflects and enhances their surroundings, whether that’s the middle of a major city or an idyllic resort.

What Are Boutique Hotels?

It’s not easy to reel off a list of what defines a boutique hotel, especially given that the term seems to be ubiquitous these days, but discerning guests tend to know one when they see it. It’s a medium-sized hotel, typically with between 10 and 100 bedrooms, but it’s neither an oversized small hotel nor an undersized property with aspirations to be a major hotel. It has a style all of its own.

Chester Grosvenor Boutique hotels
Chester Grosvenor

This sense of identity is key for boutique hotels. Whether a converted manor house or a chic designer building, each defines itself, and finds its particular character, reflecting its location.

Where Are Boutique Hotels?

Boutique hotels originated as a phrase in the 1980s, and was originally used to describe stylish, medium-sized hotels in cities like London and New York. The UK now has boutique hotels in cities like London, Manchester and Edinburgh, and the category has expanded to the extent that it can be found in most major cities round the world.

Boutique Hotels detail

But boutique hotels aren’t just an urban phenomenon. They can also be found in almost every environment where hospitality flourishes, from the heart of the aforementioned English countryside to the sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean. There are even boutique resorts in prime holiday locations, whether you want to explore the rugged Indian hills or sun yourself by the serene Mediterranean.

Why Use Boutique Hotels?

If all you want is to stop off on a journey, or an overnight stay ahead of an early-morning flight, there are plenty of anonymous but reliable brands. Or even, if you don’t mind getting nothing but the basics, a boarding-house might provide a personal touch.

Boutique Hotels Dunollie

What boutique hotels offer is both character and individuality without sacrificing the range of facilities. Most have a wide range of rooms and suites, often sumptuously designed, as well as all the extras you’d expect from a major hotel, from free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TV, to high-quality restaurants. Furthermore, many offer spa facilities that any self-respecting major hotel would be proud of.

In the end, boutique hotels tend to be perfect for visitors who value being a little different. Those who want a hotel that belongs to its location, rather than being imposed on it. Boutique hotels and resorts, for instance, are popular with eco-tourists, as well as visitors to major cities who want their hotel stay to be as memorable and unique as the host city itself.

If this describes you, why not discover how much more personal a boutique hotel can make your stay?

To check availability, prices and to book just follow this link >>>

Discover Indian Hotels in the Majestic State of Rajasthan

Rajasthan, which translates as ‘Land of Kings’, is India’s largest state, positively brimming with fortresses, palaces, wildlife, and a rich cultural heritage as well as a fabulous range of Indian hotels.  In other words, you can see why it was an important region for Bespoke Hotels to expand its portfolio with beautiful places to stay in this iconic part of the world.

Part of the expanded Bespoke International collection, which reached India in 2016, Rajasthan is known for encompassing the Great Indian Desert, the Aravilli Mountains, as well as national parks and artistic culture, juxtaposed with village life that remains steeped in tradition, as is typical across India. These days for example, turbaned men still barter for camels, before reporting to their other halves about successful deals via iPhone.

Indian Hotels Elephants

Think sweet teas, heat, spice, colour and sounds, saris, turbans and festivals. Rajasthan is all this and much more: an intoxicating combination of sensual experiences, and an experience we were looking to encapsulate with our partnerships in the region, alongside the principles of high standards and guaranteed service, minus the bank-breaking price tags. That is what our partners in our Indian hotels collection, Peppermint Hotels excel in.

Souvenir by Peppermint

At Souvenir by Peppermint for example, you will find a 60-bedroom hotel where each room has been individually designed, with careful attention to contemporary detail and expectations, boasting features including a gym, a rooftop pool and both alfresco and 24-hour dining. It’s on the northern outskirts of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, and is nestled alongside classic tourist attractions including forts, temples and museums.

Indian hotels Rajasthan

The 1799 Palace of the Winds is possibly the most recognised building in the area, while the Jantar Mantar Observatory with its 27-metre sundial is definitely worth a visit.  Alongside this, The Monkey Temple, a holy Hindi temple with three sacred pools all overtaken by thousands of monkeys swimming and bathing is quite a sight to behold.  On a more contemporary note, Elefantastic, which opened in 2012 to promote the wellbeing of elephants, is also understandably popular.  All of these give an indication of the diversity of experiences in the area.

Hotel Gandharva by Peppermint

In central Jaipur, on the other hand, is Hotel Gandharva by Peppermint. Another modern hotel, it boasts 43 rooms and a location conveniently close to both the airport and railway station. The hotel manages to capture the colour and character of this beautiful city with shocks of orange in contemporary soft furnishings and design alongside lots of natural light, dark wood fixtures and marble.

Monkeys on Building in Indian hotels Jaipur

The hotel is in the heart of the ‘pink city’, thus named because of the trademark colour of its 18th century buildings.  So it’s within easy reach of attractions including the 16th century Amber Fort and Palace, a red and white sandstone palace built by one of the first war chiefs Man Singh.  Alternatively, visit the Jal Mahal water palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, a most serene sight amidst the chaos of the city, and once the shooting lodge of the Maharajah.  Its light sandstone walls contrast beautifully with lush foliage and the blue of the water, embodying the majesty of India, which ultimately is what life here is all about.

To book these or any of the other Indian hotels in the Bespoke International Collection, just follow this link >>>>