So we’ve scoured the UK for the smartest and chicest stays for a quintessentially British weekend away, that come in at under £200 a night. Thank us later.
Richmond Harbour Hotel & Spa, Richmond
Sitting at the top of Richmond Hill, a few minutes’ walk from the north-west corner of one of London’s most renowned royal parks, the Richmond Harbour Hotel has the feel of a country hideaway but is only 40 minutes from central London. The white-fronted Georgian mansion was completely refurbished last year — now the vibe is boutique design hotel meets cosy country cottage, complete with a rainbow display of Hunter wellies, available for any guest who fancies tramping through the park on a rainy day. Admittedly, though, with a spa as good as this one, why go anywhere? Featuring an indoor pool, outdoor hot-tubs, saunas and 13 treatment rooms, the focus is on total relaxation and detox. Try the signature Marine, Mind & Body treatment — it combines facial, full body massage and exfoliation, and left me feeling blissed-out for days afterwards.
Details: Rooms from £140 a night.
The Bradley Hare, Warminster
Straddled on the border of Wiltshire and Somerset, surrounded by rolling green hills, The Bradley Hare is a traditional English pub with chic rooms. Recently taken over by Andrew Kelly and interior designer James Thurstan Waterworth, formerly of the Soho House group, it reopened last summer. Rooms in the main house are decorated in pretty Hamilton Weston wallpaper and dark moody shades of Farrow & Ball. Food, overseen by head chef Nye Smith, is seasonal, locally-sourced and excellent, with the kitchen running a strict zero-waste policy. This is a fantastic spot for a quintessentially English weekend in the country with all the trimmings — be sure to stay for the Sunday roast.
Details: Rooms from £135 a night midweek and £150 on weekends, including breakfast.
The Fig, Rye
Over in East Sussex, with its cute cobbled streets and timbered houses, fabulous pub selection, abundant antique shops and nearby vast sandy beach at Camber Sands, Rye is having a resurgence among hip day trippers. Make a weekend of it and book into one of the recently opened retro rooms above The Fig, a cafe on the high street serving up fresh healthy brunch options, Latin American-inspired small plates and cocktails. Each of the four boutique rooms has its own distinct style, complete with stylish mid-century Teak furniture. Treat yourself to a night in Indo, which will transport you to Indonesia with its tropical jungle-like vibe and a large freestanding tub overlooking the surrounding Sussex hills.
Details: From £180 a night.
The Rectory, Cotswolds
It’s hard to believe that any of the chic rooms at The Rectory, a stunning Cotswolds country house with its own outdoor pool, come in at below £200, but I’m happy to report thatsome do. Set in Crudwell, a delightful Wiltshire village, surrounded by beautiful gardens and complete with a croquet set for leisurely afternoons in the sunshine, this hotel boasts classic, cosy interiors and a laid-back atmosphere — no stuffiness here. Meals are a treat and served in the light-filled glasshouse, do enjoy a couple of pre-dinner cocktails by the roaring fire in the sitting room.
Details: Rooms from £150 a night bed and breakfast all year round.
Hope Cove House, Devon
Heading to the seaside but don’t want to splurge? Hope Cove is a picturesque seaside village with two sandy beaches, near Salcombe, in the South Devon area of outstanding natural beauty. This family-run hotel overlooks the bay on Inner Hope, with a restaurant and terrace, where on sunny days guests can enjoy a BBQ-cooked lunch. Each of the eight rooms are comfortable, clean and TV-free — so you can concentrate on the stunning sea views.
Details: From £145 a night including a continental breakfast, with a two-night minimum stay.
The Pheasant Inn, Hungerford
Only 30 seconds off the M4, The Pheasant Inn, near Hungerford in Berkshire, is the ideal weekend escape for town mice who don’t want to stray too far from the city — you can be sipping pints of Pheasant Ale by the fire within an hour and a half, max. With Highclere Castle (where ITV’s Downton Abbey is filmed) and the North Wessex Downs within easy walking reach, guests can enjoy fresh air and panoramic views, before washing it all down with hearty dishes and crawling upstairs to one of the 11 beautifully decorated rooms by interiors guru Flora Soames.
Details: Doubles from £95. The Pheasant Inn runs a Settle in Sundays offer, spend more than £100 in the restaurant and have a room for free.
Francis Hotel, Bath
Bridgerton fans, assemble! The former Roman spa town of Bath is one of the best city breaks you can do in the UK, fact. And now you can squeeze in a tour of filming locations for the Netflix series in between getting your Jane Austen fill. The Francis Hotel offers fantastic value for money given its location in the heart of the city. The 19th-century Grade I-listed building comprises seven merged Georgian townhouses overlooking a garden square. The 98 rooms are each individually decorated, with bright, quirky, interiors and plenty of original features — some also feature four-poster beds.
Details: From £139 a night including breakfast.
Hart Shoreditch, London
Planning a city break right here in the Big Smoke? Hart is a cool 126-room hotel which opened in the middle of lockdown. Interiors take influence from east London’s industrial past, rooms and suites are decorated in contemporary greys, corals and burnt orange, with copper mirror accents and are dotted with trinkets, ornaments and books that all hark back to the area’s history of craftmanship. Despite being surrounded by some of London’s coolest restaurants, a visit to Barboun, Hart’s Levantine restaurant, is well worth it. On weekends it serves a popular champagne brunch with Eastern Mediterranean dishes cooked over an open flame.
Details: From £189 a night on room-only basis.
Kylesku Hotel, The Highlands
If total isolation is the brief then you’d be hard pushed to get much more remote than Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands, one of the most sparsely populated parts of the UK, where lies the Kylesku Hotel, a former coaching inn and destination seafood restaurants in its own right among hikers. You’ll have to work to get there of course — it’s a two-hour drive from Inverness — but the breathtaking backdrop and slap-up meals will more than reward your efforts. Feast on the freshest of fresh lobster and langoustines, hand-dived scallops and rope-grown mussels from the clearest of clean waters at Loch Glendhu and Glencoul, before retiring to one of the pup-friendly rooms, complete with cute tartan interiors. Just be sure to book in advance, rooms here get snapped up fast.
Details: From £147 a night for two guests, including a hearty Scottish breakfast.
The Hare & Hounds, Newbury
This traditional 17th-century Georgian red-brick pub, near the Newburyracecourse, is steeped in history andthe wider racing community. Having undergone a complete refurb, thepub reopened earlier this year with 30 unique bedrooms, spread across four buildings. A fun, equestrian themeruns through the decor and livelyrooms, kitted out with Bramley shower products and some also boast roll-top copper bath tubs.
Details: From £120 a night including breakfast.
Fancy something a little different? Selina is a popular nomadic “stay and work” concept — bear with me here — which opened in Brighton in 2020. Situated right on the oceanfront — do book a sea-view suite if you can — it boasts outstanding rooms offering insanely good value for money in this holiday hotspot, where nightly rates in peak season often average north of the £300 mark. Bright boho interiors in hues of corals and teals give almost a Miami feel to the restaurant and bar area downstairs. This is an ideal spot for anyone wanting to socialise and make friends while staycationingthis summer.
Details: Rooms from £100 a night.