· · · · ·

5 stylish English hotels

These five hotels show the diversity of properties available in England. They take in coast and country as well as a tranquil base for a visit to the capital. Although these five hotels are set in contrasting environments, they are all renowned for their style, service and great food. 1. The Cary Arms and Spa, Babbacombe, Devon Back in Victorian times, the Cary Arms was popular with royalty. A few hours on one of those new-dangled steam trains brought them to the English Riviera at Babbacombe Bay, Devon. Though on days of azure sea and sky this could be the French Riviera with motor boats and water skiers skimming across the waves. The beach suites and beach huts are the pick of the luxury accommodation at this boutique hotel styled by experienced hotelier Peter de Savary. There’s a New England feel to the clapper board chic of the beach huts with the bedroom on the mezzanine level giving views of the Jurassic coast through an ocean-liner style porthole. The Cary Arms and Spa is the classic English inn on a beach but with the bonus of a spa featuring a waterfall hydrotherapy pool and Thalgo treatments. 2. Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham, Kent Set in 22 acres of tranquil parkland, in Kent, the Garden of England, Chilston Park Hotel would make for a perfect Antique Road Show venue. The house, restored by Hand-Picked Hotels to palatial splendour, features many antiques dating back to the 17th century. Think four-poster beds, high ceilings, water-colours of peaceful country life, expansive marble fire-places, wing-backed deep leather chairs and long-handled brass bed warmers. A dozen miles east of Maidstone, and conveniently close to the M20, Chilston House is the perfect base for visiting Kent’s famed Hever and Leeds castles. Or Canterbury with its Cathedral and Chaucer exhibitions. Visitors to Chilston often enjoy a day of refined shopping at Royal Tunbridge Wells’ Pantiles. As well as housing suites and feature rooms, the main mansion includes a two AA rosette restaurant. 3. Middlethorpe Hall and Spa, York Have you ever wanted a sleepover at a National Trust property? At Middlethorpe Hall and Spa, on the fringes of York, you step into the 18th century, sleep in a four-poster bed to live like lords and ladies of a bygone era. Owned by the National Trust and managed by Historic House Hotels this mellow red-brick piece of English history is not open for general viewing. Though you can book to visit for afternoon tea, a meal in the two AA rosette restaurant or a stay of as many nights as you choose. As a porter with gold-braided uniform takes their luggage, guests feel as if they have joined the nobility at an elegant house that features architectural echoes of Hampton Court. Afternoon tea or pre-dinner drinks on the terraces provides serene views over Middlethorpe’s gardens. Many of the specimen trees were planted centuries ago. In 2022 a blue plaque will be unveiled to commemorate the work of Fanny Wilkinson (1855 – 1951) the UK’s first female landscape gardener. 4. Roseate House London Each of the rooms of this stylish boutique hotel on Westbourne Terrace has original art. Oil portraits and landscapes, curated by Antiques Roadshow expert Jonty Hearnden, make every room a private art gallery. In 1842, when a white stucco row of elegant wedding-cake townhouses were constructed, Westbourne Terrace, was almost in the country. Today, with three of those houses making up Roseate House London, the hotel is sheltered from the capital’s bustle by rows of maple-leafed plane trees. Just five minutes walk from Paddington, Roseate House London is well-placed for central London’s highlights. The Hyde Bar takes things seriously. They keep some of their whisky in the safe. Plan ahead if you are thinking of a glass of the Old Mock, a bourbon distilled in 1916 and bottled in 1933. Fortunately, other more affordable drinks are available. Roseate’s executive chef, Maharjan, brings his experience of working in India, Dubai and the UK to the innovative menu. 5. Talland Bay Hotel, Looe, Cornwall at on the 630 mile South West Coast Path, Talland Bay Hotel embodies the true spirit of elemental Cornwall. This stylish 4* hotel looks out over shimmering seas in an unspoilt nook of south Cornwall. It is just over a three mile walk to Looe and not far to Polperro. One of Cornwall’s prettiest fishing harbours with its cottages perched on the hillside. Head chef Glen Merriot and his team source local Cornish produce for the menu. Fish and seafood fresh off the boat are always popular with guests. Warm Gulf Stream winds encourage geraniums to bloom early and palm trees to thrive in a Mediterranean-style garden, reminding visitors that it is only a short drive to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project. Around the croquet lawn, the sun-loungers stay in position through winter, for guests to snatch a few hours of sun. As you walk through those gardens to reception, sculptures of a pig, galloping horse, fairies, pixies and a sun-bathing balding senior citizen send the message that Talland Bay Hotel is different with a whimsical sense of humour.  

Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards is a travel writer from Oxfordshire, UK. Although Michael had his first travel pieces published nearly four decades ago, he is still finding new luxury destinations to visit and write on.

Did you enjoy this article?

Receive similar content direct to your inbox.


  1. This collection shows what a rich heritage of hotels we have in England. What other country is dripping with hotels where aristocracy and royalty have rested their weary heads?

  2. The Cary Arms has an idyllic seaside location. Imagine waking up with those views. I’m surprised that I haven’t heard about it before.

  3. I think The Roseate in London would suit me very nicely as a stylish bolthole for when I spend time in London.

    1. Moya,

      The Roseate is a surprisingly quiet cocoon of tranquillity for a London hotel that is only a 5 minute walk from Paddington. Behind the shutters and thick lined curtains I slept for 11 hours when I stayed there. Though that may have had something to do with a nightcap selected from their bible of global whiskies.

  4. We sometimes forget how privileged we are in the UK to have so many historic properties where we can escape for a few days or a weekend break. I’d love to live the aristocratic life at that luxury hotel in York. That’s one for my wish list.

  5. Why do some of these hotels remind me of settings in movies or tv shows? I feel like I’ve seen them before. Anyway, all of them are beautiful in their own way, but I’m more of a city guy than a country one. Roseate House has the best location, but the one is Cornwall has the best views and more my style of decor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *