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.
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.
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 >>>
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
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
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
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 >>>
Looking for a budget-friendly short break option that represents the best value for money Bespoke Hotels has to offer? Check out these quick tips for getting more from your money this spring, whether you’re on a romantic trip with your significant other, or wreaking havoc with the family.
Are you planning a short break this spring to an idyllic location such as the Cotswolds or the Scottish Highlands; a Country House hotel or a chic retreat? When looking for the best value for money options there’s no need to include just the lowest rated accommodations. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy a three-star hotel and still have your short break stay within whatever budget you set. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few quick tips for selecting a hotel in the right location for you.
Look for the Right Amenities
When doing your research on the best value for money short break, your accommodation should include certain amenities that enable you to keep your costs under control. For one thing, you may prefer a suite to a regular room, because that way you’ll have more space for all the family members to spread out.
These days it’s also important to look for complimentary wi-fi. Chances are your children (and maybe even your spouse!) will wish to stay connected to the internet to play games, watch movies or listen to music. Finding free internet access is important for getting the most value for your money during a holiday stay. After all, roaming costs can spiral quickly!
Finding a short break hotel with Freeview TV is also a great way to add more value for money. If you plan to be travelling with kids, as much as we can be loathe to admit it, TV is an important consideration.
Quite honestly, nearly every family wishes to travel during the school holidays. When it comes to booking a short break while the kids are out of the classroom this is always a factor. Who doesn’t want to enjoy several days or more of relaxing in the beautiful Cotswold countryside, in the Scottish Highlands, or even at the seaside? So finding the best short break deal may take a bit of research, but it certainly isn’t impossible if you’re after a discounted rate for the family.
Bespoke Hotels spring short break packages represent amazing best value for money as they include 2 nights’ accommodation,breakfast on both mornings, dinner on one night, a cream tea along with a glass of fizzor wine on arrival, and are all available until 30th April 2014 from as little as £99 per person per night.
When it comes to researching the perfect short break this spring, you can bank on finding the best value for money break at a Bespoke Hotel by using these tips as your guide. Then all that’s left to do is book using the code on the website available here.
People often ask about the history of Valentine’s day – that time of year when people open their hearts and spoil the special person in their lives. Well here at Bespoke Hotels we’ve researched the matter extensively. And that’s just as well, seeing as all our properties are very much involved in this wonderful occasion.
We’ve learned that the history of Valentine’s Day is obscure and rather clouded by various whimsical legends. The holiday’s roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. This was subsequently recast by Pope Gelasius I around 496 as a Christian feast day, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.
Which St: Valentine, Bespoke Hotels would like to know?
Which St. Valentine this early pope intended to honour remains a mystery: according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by that name. One was a priest in Rome, another a bishop in Terni, and of the third almost nothing is known except that he met his end somewhere in Africa! Rather astonishingly, all three Valentines were said to have been martyred on Feb. 14.
Most scholars believe that the St. Valentine we celebrate was a priest who attracted the disapproval of Roman emperor Claudius II. However, after this initial point of agreement, the factual ends and myths have a tendency to intertwine. According to one legend, Claudius II had prohibited marriage for young men, claiming that bachelors made better soldiers. Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies and was eventually apprehended and put to death. Bespoke Hotels has discovered another legend that Valentine, imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed “from your Valentine.” However, the most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is one centred on religious love, rather than passion, in which the unlucky Val was martyred for refusing to renounce his beliefs.
In 1969, the Catholic Church revised its liturgical calendar, removing the feast days of saints whose historical origins were questionable. St. Valentine was one of the casualties.
Chaucer’s Love Birds
Bespoke Hotels’ investigations now move to the 14th century when this Christian feast day became definitively associated with love. According to the scholars, it was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance.
In 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honour of the engagement between England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. As was the poetic tradition, Chaucer associated the occasion with a feast day. In “The Parliament of Fowls,” the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine’s Day are linked:
“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.”
Hardly the most romantic of images!
Tradition of Valentine’s Cards
Over the centuries, the holiday has evolved, and by the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on Valentine’s Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards of lace and ribbons, featuring cupids and hearts eventually spread to the American colonies. The tradition of Valentine’s cards did not become widespread until the 1850s, when Esther A. Howland, an American national, began mass-producing them. Today, of course, the day has become a booming commercial success with around 25% of all cards sent each year being associated with Valentine’s Day.
Now this is a more modern tradition that has its roots in the 20th century. Restaurants and hotels use the evening and night to encourage love! Bespoke Hotels is no different, and all our hotels offer special Valentine’s menus and special room rates that have added features like Champagne, roses and chocolates for that special someone. Check out your local hotel here to book dinner, or here for a great break. But hurry it’s barely a week away!