Two luxury English country hotels

A Georgian manor set in 240 acres of Berkshire parkland versus an opulent hotel attached to a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire

Twenty-five years ago chef Raymond Blanc took over Great Milton's manor house and turned it into one of the country's best restaurants. Now it is a whole lot more than that. Thanks to Blanc turning his fastidious eye for detail from the kitchen onto the rest of the property, it is one of the best country hotels England has to offer.

How they rate it

"The Manoir is about food, about nature, about fun, about art, about masculinity, about the female form," says Blanc himself. Put that into reality and you have a manor house with "lavish, gently themed bedrooms" and grounds that reflect every aspect of Blanc's cultured life, says Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph. There are Japanese gardens, ponds, Asian gardens, herb gardens, vegetable gardens, lavender walks, a mushroom valley, croquet lawn, and a cookery school. This is opulence with a pervadingly edible theme the hand of the great chef can be seen in every detail.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

The menu

The two Michelin-starred restaurant is, unsurprisingly, excellent. Dishes include pan-fried sea bass with Scottish langoustine and smoked mashed potatoes and a star-anise sauce.

The cost

Double rooms costs from £460, B&B. Find out more at, or call 01844-278881.

Coworth Park, Berkshire


The Dorchester, one of London's most luxurious and expensive hotels, now has a sister in the countryside. Coworth Park, a Georgian manor set in 240 acres of parkland, is just as glamorous as her urban relative.

How they rate it

The hotel is a "throroughly modern, thoroughly British affair, crammed full of covetable pieces by up-and-coming British artists", says Susan d'Arcy in The Sunday Times.

"It's whimsical rather than trendy." There are 'cable-knit' sofas and chandeliers fashioned from copper pots. But "stunning as Coworth's interiors are, this place isn't about strutting indoors but striding outdoors", so the grounds are unkempt wild-flower meadows, rather than manicured lawns. This is a hotel for those who want a rugged country walk before they relax in luxury.

The menu

Michelin-starred chef John Campbell cooks up locally sourced British cuisine with surprising twists.

For example, he recommends that guests enjoy their crab starter with a beer rather than wine.

The cost

A double room costs from £235, B&B. For more information, visit, or call


What the travel writers are saying

The Garvault Hotel in Scotland may have no tourist board ranking, few frills, and only eight bedrooms, which often go unbooked. But it has made it on to "a select list of the best places in the world to get away from it all", says Simson Johnson in The Daily Telegraph. Forbes has named the family-run guesthouse as one of the top ten most-remote hotels in the world. The Garvault is in Sutherland, two hours' drive north of Inverness, and is set in 40 acres of grounds between three shooting estates. "There is literally nothing for miles. Guests can trek over the Highlands, go salmon and trout fishing or birdwatch, then get warmed up over a traditional peat fire," says Monte Burke in Forbes. If you crave solitude you will struggle to get further away from the crowds than at the Garvault. Rooms cost from £130 (

If you fancy going further afield to find some peace, other hotels that made the list include Bloomfield Lodge in Cairns, Australia (pictured). To get to the hotel in the Daintree Rainforest you'll have to charter a plane, drive for a few hours through the outback, then take a boat down a river. But there are abandoned beaches, fishing and rainforest hikes awaiting you at the end of the journey.

A double room costs from A$1,520 for four nights (

Or you could try the Andean Cottage in Peru. Guests have a private beach and dock at a retreat on a private island in Lake Titicaca. There are no cars, electricity, or television, but you do get a 24-hour butler. Double rooms cost from $750pn (