Category Archives: Wedding hotels

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!

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Forget Ascot, Let’s Go To Chester For Racing and a City Break!

One of the great summer events in the British calendar is horse racing at Ascot, but while Ladies Day has its merits, it’s Chester Racecourse that really knows how to have fun in style…

The oldest racecourse in Britain, perfect for a city break, you haven’t seen creative millinery until you have come here. The colours, the characters and the general hum of entertainment and excitement begin in May and run throughout the summer months, in addition to a healthy spectrum of polo events.

City Break at BW Premier Queen Hotel Chester - Lobby
BW Premier Queen Hotel Chester – Lobby

On a race day the whole town plays out like a pantomime, bringing to life a sense of tradition that belies its Roman origins and Tudor architecture. The pubs brim over with brightly coloured dresses and teetering heels, happy faces and a sense of anticipation. For the sake of reverie we will imagine that on these days the sun always shines (it certainly does in our experience).

After the races, when the party vibe has reached fever pitch, the jovial atmosphere continues as crowds make their way back into the centre of Chester itself. They totter along the cobbled roads and past the designer boutiques to dine out on the day’s triumphs and tribulations, surrounded by historic sites and ancient city walls.

City break at BW Premier Queen Hotel Chester Bar

There’s a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafes available during your city break in which to find your preferred tipple (the people of Chester certainly know how to have a good time) but when the day is royally spent and you’re ready to lay your head down, go to the BW Premier Queen Hotel at the heart of the city.

Sitting next to Chester Railway Station (travel does not get more convenient than that), it’s welcomed the likes of Charles Dickens and businessman and politician Cecil Rhodes over the years, sating a breadth of taste and preferences amongst its patrons and, who knows, perhaps providing literary or entrepreneurial inspiration at the same time.

City Break at BW Premier Queen Hotel Chester - Bedroom
BW Premier Queen Hotel Chester – Bedroom

The hotel which is ideal for your city break, has many an asset to its name but key amongst them is the food. Referencing its past as well as its location, there are three options for eating and drinking in various degrees of formality. The Waiting Room Bar and Lounge is the place to go for homely food and locally sourced drinks and cask ales, while the Albert Lounge is famous for afternoon teas by the fire, so much so that they have been serving them for more than 150 years. It is the Kings’ Quarters Grill and Cocktail Lounge however that’s a personal favourite, and no doubt the name gives a bit of a hint as to why.

Not only do they serve a mean cocktail, but they specialise in a range of regional dishes combined with a relaxing atmosphere, which particularly after all that excitement on the racecourse provides some welcome respite at the end of the day. If the sun is shining (as we are assured it will), then you can also sit outside and enjoy a drink in the afternoon sun on one of two Italian terraces surrounded by landscaped gardens – a welcome surprise in the heart of a city.

City Break at BW Premier Queen Hotel Chester - Bedroom

Beyond the dining, the hotel is a feast of little surprises fusing contemporary design with a strong sense of history; it’s not afraid of bold colours and whimsical features such as elaborately illustrated feature walls. It also has a ‘Secret Sanctuary’ for beauty treatments and easily transitions from being an ideal location for meetings and conferences to weddings and special occasions, or simply the setting for that long awaited glass of red whilst pondering the day’s events. No wonder it’s been such a longstanding favourite amongst the good and the great for a relaxing city break.

So follow a different crowd this summer and head to Chester. You never know, today could be your lucky day…

Wow-Factor Weddings: What Really Matters?

On average I seem to be going to at least three weddings a year at the moment, and if I am entirely frank while each event is cause for happy celebration, the details of each often blur into one. There’s a white dress, a big building and a sizeable cake. So what separates your bog standard nuptials from something really spectacular?

Weddings

Wow-Factor

While the bride is obviously the focal point of any wedding, the setting has a lot to answer for, and some locations have considerably more wow-factor than others.

While whatever constitutes wow-factor is subjective, I don’t think many things beat a potent mix of historic architecture and beautiful surroundings, which to my mind are the things that make the Welcombe Hotel, Spa and Golf Club stand out. The proximity to Shakespearean Stratford-Upon-Avon helps with the whole romantic vibe as well – everyone loves a good storybook location don’t they?

Cotswold House Weddings 1
Cotswold House Wedding

Nibble Issues

One thing that I think can ruin even the most spectacular of weddings is a short supply of sub-par canapés. A wedding that I went to recently bypassed the nibble issue with spectacular class by laying on a full afternoon tea complete with cucumber sandwiches, mini-scones and petit-fours. That was all before the monumental spread that constituted dinner.

The upshot was a thoroughly enjoyable affair through which I successfully ate for around four hours straight. For any bride-to-be considering the allocation of her wedding budget, I urge you to prioritise those canapés and invest in a wedding venue known for its food.  For inspiration consider the likes of the Inn on the Lake in Cumbria or Cotswold House Hotel and Spa in Gloucestershire.

Weddings 1

Say it with style

Finally, location is a biggie both in terms of convenience and style. I have a particular friend who decided to have her reception at a venue that was a good 45 minutes on the train away from the church, and it didn’t offer remotely acceptable parking either. Major off-put when it comes to RSVP-ing.

So style wise, are you thinking country, city or seaside? Will people need somewhere to stay? Or if that guest list is bulging at the bridal seams, would you like to find a reason to discourage a few long-distance travellers? (I am sure you have never thought of such a thing).

For what its worth, as far as city destinations go, I am a real fan of the Prince Regent Hotel in London which combines the best of country and city thanks to its proximity to the 6,000-acre Epping Forest and, rather poetically, is a converted chapel. For something a little more rural however, Pembrokeshire’s utterly regal Lamphey Court Hotel and Spa is pretty hard to beat for upmarket elegance, spectacular grounds and the sense that you are lord and lady of the manor for the day.

So there you go, that’s my ten pence worth on the matter – huge congratulations and I look forward to getting my invite. Here’s to a year of memorable nuptials and ample canapés!