Hotel of the week


By Anthea Gerrie, March 11, 2010

Given all the chocoholics in the world, it's surprising it took so long for a hotel to arrive that is dedicated to their whims, and OD'ing on the sweet stuff is not hard to do at the 13-room Chocolate Boutique Hotel in the West Cliff area of Bournemouth.

An Edwardian house painted Milky Bar cream piped in chocolate brown, its rooms are named for the varieties foodies are likely to seek out in their local Waitrose. 


Moddershall Oaks

By Jenni Frazer, March 4, 2010

My dentist thinks this spa is no good for my teeth. He is right: an over-abundance of brown in the interior decoration, and an insistence on dreadful Muzak - sometimes played at earbleed volume - certainly led to an unhealthy level of molar-gnashing on my part.

On the other hand, Moddershall Oaks - just off the M6 between Stafford and Stoke - could just be the fun place for you to get an enjoyable couple of days' worth of rest and relaxation.


The Randolph

By Anthea Gerrie, February 18, 2010

No British hotel is quite so bound up with its home town as the Randolph (which we are now supposed to call the Macdonald Randolph since it fell under ownership of the Scottish hotel group).

You could blame this on Inspector Morse (an episode of the iconic ITV series was filmed here and Morse's creator, Colin Dexter, is a regular in the Morse Bar).However, the hotel was famous long before TV became the norm - it was a favourite for decades with Oxford's flamboyant academics.


The Ring

By Anthea Gerrie, February 11, 2010

In a town centre overloaded with the baroque, The Ring Hotel is a breath of fresh air. Aficionadoes of Vienna will know that an edgy, modern city lurks below the veneer of olde worlde grandeur, but until recently you had to head into distant neighbourhoods to discover the handful of hip boutique hotels already in place.


Hotel Du Vin

By Stephen Pollard, February 4, 2010

Visit any Hotel du Vin, and there are three things of which you can be assured: you’ll sleep in a luxurious bed, you’ll bathe in a room bigger than some flats and you’ll eat a fantastic breakfast.

The chain specialises in taking old buildings and turning them into hotels, and one of the more recent additions to the roster — Poole — is a typical transformation. The old Mansion House, located in the quaint backstreets of this South West harbour town, is a grand building with a sweeping central staircase.


Seaham Hall

By Anthea Gerrie, January 28, 2010

Once envisaged as a grand Georgian port on the Durham coast, Seaham segued into a mining village before the pits closed 30 years ago. Now the black beaches have given way to a romantic wild coastal strip, the little town is to be revitalised by a new marina and Seaham Hall, where Lord Byron wrote his Hebrew Melodies, has metamorphosed into one of the hospitality jewels of north-east England.



By Gideon Schneider, January 21, 2010

When Tina Green was looking for somewhere to hold Sir Philip’s £5 million, 50th birthday bash, she picked the Anassa, taking over the 177-room Cyprus property and flying in a slew of celebrity guests to entertain the Topshop boss.

You can see why. Designed as a kind of faux Provencal village (though not many of those have £15 million lavished on them for renovation and refitting), it has a main building and a series of whitewashed, pastel-shuttered villas set amid luxuriant gardens.


The Mark

By Richard Burton, January 7, 2010

I’m sitting by the window holding a TV-style handset making the blinds (sorry, drapes) go up and down as I dim the lighting and adjust the room temperatures. Bit cooler in the bedroom, up a bit in the bathroom, methinks.

It’s raining outside and I’m indulging myself with the coolest boy toy that one of the slickest hotels on the Upper East Side, has to offer. And there’s girlie stuff too: the bathroom is lined with Frederic Fekkai smellies and, for those who can afford it, he even has a salon downstairs.


101 Hotel

By Anthea Gerrie, December 17, 2009

It took almost a decade after it became a hip, clubbing capital for Reyjkavik to get the hostelry it was crying out for. The 101 Hotel, named for the central postal district where it stands, remains the height of cool. Where else could you bump into Bjork in the bar or find yourself sharing the hot tub with visiting rock stars?


Tylney Hall

By Simon Rocker, December 10, 2009

Henry James observed that few things in life can be more agreeable “than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”. Not everyone adheres to the ritual in the way James had in mind. But the novelist could rest content knowing that at Tylney Hall in Hampshire, tea is taken seriously, with white cloths and china cups, served in a stately lounge with a view of a croquet lawn.

In fact, from the imposing red-brick façade with its fountains, to the wood-panelled luxury within, and the gardens and grounds, Tylney gets the country house thing right.