Tag Archives: country hotels

Want a Luxury Hotel then Treat Yourself Like a King and Stay In a Bespoke Castle

When it comes to castles, no other building is quite so steeped in history. Once occupied by the elite in the land, many have since found new lives welcoming the rest of us mere mortals inside their high walls. Savvy travellers can now enjoy sumptuous suites, grand views and fantastic dining spaces once reserved exclusively for the aristocracy. If you’ve ever dreamed of peering out from a lofty turret or gazing across a grand moat, now’s the time to channel your inner princess or knight in shining armour and book a stay at one of Bespoke’s former castles turned luxury hotels.

Popular castles in Great Britain may have been built hundreds of years ago, but some can be over 1,000 years old. A lucky few people still live in castles, others get married in them and some like the ones below have been transformed into luxury hotels.

What is a castle?

Castles can be described as fortified structures, predominantly built in Europe and the Middle East. The earliest ones were occupied by royal families and ruling officials throughout the middle ages.

The fortification element is vital to any castle and explains why so many are associated with the curtain walls and arrow slits that grace postcards and innumerable blockbuster films.

The Normans in particular were expert castle builders, especially after the programme of construction ordered by William the Conqueror following the famed battles of 1066. At this time, the UK saw a great deal of castle building, beginning across Southern England and ultimately growing to cover the entirety of Great Britain.

William I used stone to build enormous castles which became spectacular residences for the various Lords of the Manor and their families, with enough soldiers and supplies thrown in to defend themselves from attack.

Finding that they were significantly outnumbered during the period, the Normans placed great emphasis on the use of castles as an effective means of preventing and suppressing any uprisings from the local population.

A good place to visit and live?

The very earliest of the castles were simple wooden buildings, constructed on the tops of hills in order to gain a vantage point and ensure it was possible to see oncoming enemies. In line with this siege mentality, these early castles contained everything a person could need to survive inside their walls for months on end.

It was only after the Normans felt that they had controlled the British people that they took the time to replace the wooden buildings with large stone entities, which are easily recognisable today.

The castles provided a great place for people to live, especially against the increasingly better-armed invading forces. Plus, as many builders created a wide and deep moat all around the property, with just a drawbridge providing access to the inside, it prevented any attackers from easily gaining access.

The Bespoke Castles

Massive stone walls and historic baronial bedrooms are tucked away in some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes. These are the ideal sports for history lovers, sitting high above landscapes of olive groves and forests. Exuding a strong sense of Scotland’s past within their fortified walls, each one has its own unique spin and character.

For example, Stonefield Castle is a superb example of Scottish baronial architecture. Built in 1837, it retains many of its original furnishings, with wood panelling, ornate ceilings and marble fireplaces all on show.

Beyond its internal splendour, Stonefield Castle is set in 60 acres of woodland gardens by the shores of Loch Fyne, with 32 individual en suite bedrooms complete with views over the garden and waters. It is just two miles from the idyllic fishing village of Tarbert, one of the most attractive places to visit on the Mull of Kintyre peninsula.

Meanwhile, Tulloch Castle dates back to the 12th century, with a rich history allied to its ever changing fortunes. Nowadays, it’s a magnificent luxury hotel, perfectly equipped to welcome both leisure and business travellers.

As with Stonfield Castle, Tulloch retains many of its period features, including the 250-year old panelled Great Hall and painstakingly restored original fireplaces and ceilings.

In days of old, only the local laird or the chief of the regional clan would have been able to set foot inside a Scottish highland castle. Today, Tulloch Castle has 20 en suite bedrooms, each with their own unique character and charm for all to experience.

This summer, why not take a break at one of Bespoke’s castles where luxury hotel facilities meet ancient, historic charm. Check out the latest deals here.

Choose the Right Family Hotel when Travelling with the Whole Family

Sometimes travelling with a young family can be tricky. Often it can be difficult to find a hotel that’s child friendly and doesn’t leave you feeling out of place by bringing the little ones along with you. Country escapes can seem like adult only destinations, but more and more family hotels are starting to crop up in quiet, secluded locations as hotel owners come round to the idea that many families want their children to experience all there is to see in the world, including being able to stay at chic or boutique hotels without feeling unwelcome.

In order to book the right hotel, it’s important to conduct some research before you set out. Just because a hotel looks beautiful and promises everything under the sun doesn’t mean it necessarily delivers. Only you know exactly what your family will need during your stay, so don’t rely simply on hotel advertisements to make your choice.

One such hotel that can accommodate the demands of your family is Worplesdon Place, the latest edition to the Bespoke Hotels family just outside the town of Guildford, Surrey.

Worplesdon Place features 21 bedrooms, as well as a bar and grill, and is ideally situated for those accompanied by young ones, being close to a range of family attractions such as Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures, not to mention shopping in Guildford and some wonderful countryside to explore.

Speak with the hotel

If you’re looking to get away from the family hotels that exist solely to cater to children, yet still want your destination to be family friendly, then Worplesdon Place is ideal for you due to the excellent balance it strikes. You can check out their recently relaunched website online, or call the hotel to find out, as things change from one day to the next, so the most up to date information is often only available over the phone.

For example, this month Worplesdon Place is pleased to offer a great “Surrey Summer Getaway”. This deal consists of 2 nights bed & breakfast in a double or twin room, as well as dinner on one night in a standard double room, for only £84.50 per night (subject to a minimum 2 night stay).

Remember that boutique hotels provide a unique experience for families, so don’t expect everything to be super child friendly. After all, there’s a difference between kid friendly and family friendly. But of course you want to make sure that your family will be comfortable.

Questions will abound, like does the hotel provide complimentary baby beds or cots? Are there local attractions for your family to enjoy? Does the hotel provide a swimming area? Is there a restaurant on the premises or a short walk from the hotel?

Once you have all of your answers, you’ll see that Worplesdon Place is a great destination for you. Don’t believe us? Speak to them and find out for yourself! We’re sure they’ll be able to satisfy you and your family’s needs.

Additionally, Worplesdon Place brings you their “Family Theme Park Break” this summer. This package is for 2 adults and up to 2 children for 2 nights Bed & Breakfast in a family room, with dinner on one night plus 20% discount off tickets to nearby Thorpe Park and Chessington Theme Park. This is priced at just £89.00 per night during August for a minimum 2 night stay, and £99.00 per night during September.

What more could you ask for?

Family hotels strive to cater to families as a whole and not fall down on the side of either adults or children. It’s all about striking a balance that the whole family can enjoy. So, if a balance is what you’re after this summer, why not book a visit to Worplesdon Place now by clicking here!

Boutique Hotels Offer Travellers Understated Luxury

Travellers who want to experience an elegant getaway away from the beaten track, without having to rely on the larger well-known hotels, should look for destination boutique hotels. These have become known as the antithesis of the large chain hotels that all seem to offer the same expected amenities and similar room setups. The attraction of a boutique hotel is that it allows you to experience a destination in a unique setting.

Some hotels can appear very basic and nondescript from the outside, only for the interior to wow you with its luxurious and elegant appearance. Take the Grosvenor Hotel in Shaftesbury, for example. It offers its own restaurant with a centrepiece pizza and bread oven, as well as a bar. Others, depending on the speciality services of the hotel, offer music, dancing, spa services, or peaceful landscaping that inspires you to kick back and escape it all.

What Makes Boutique Hotels Unique?

Every hotel is different, and when it comes to finding the best room for your travels the combination of luxury and quirkiness make boutique locations different from all other hotel experiences. The Grosvenor is located in the hustle and bustle of the historic market town of Shaftesbury. The frontage is steeped in this historic tradition, but once inside you’re transported to a chic world of fun and relaxation.

Other boutique properties are set apart from the business of the city and located in a more serene environment. These luxurious hotels offer picturesque surroundings of gardens and rolling hills, whilst simultaneously providing excellent, personal service unlike that which you experience in a large chain. These hotels may be venerable old homes that have been refurbished into hotels, but the staff strive to transport you to another era during your stay.

Enjoy the Same Amenities with Extra Perks

Boutique hotels
often offer similar amenities to larger chain hotels. Your hotel may have a pool, gym, and complimentary coffee and tea in your room. The perks of staying at these hotels are the settings and the personal service that’s often not in place when staying at larger hotels. The surroundings of most of these luxurious hotels also make them special. Country hotels are often set on acreage that’s landscaped with mature trees and flowers, sculpted to meld with a traditional ascetic that’s nigh on inimitable.

At the Grosvenor you’ll be able to take advantage of a boutique hotel in a historic, beautiful town. But if you want something even more serene, there are plenty of these hotels set amongst the lush countryside as well.