Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire
This 18th-century mansion feels like a private country club probably because it doubles up as one, says Kate Hilpern in The Independent. And that's a major part of its appeal. It means the hotel maintains an upmarket, exclusive atmosphere, but also feels relaxed rather than stuffy. It also means guests get use of all the club facilities spa, tennis and championship golf course.
There are vast grounds to explore all 300 acres of them and "there's a superb spa and exceptional restaurant". Just be aware when booking that "rooms in the Pavilion are more bland and less opulent than those in the main house".
Prices start from £290, room only (stokepark.com).
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This hotel may be owned by tennis champion Andy Murray, but thankfully he has steered well clear of operating a themed hotel there's no sign of either tennis, or Murray himself about the place. You could still be forgiven for being sceptical, says The Times: "Great tennis player, but what, we wondered when this place opened in March, would he know about doing up a country hotel?" The answer, it turns out, is "quite a lot".
Murray pulled in Inverlochy Castle Management, "the brains behind some of Scotland's most highfalutin' hotels", while award-winning chef Albert Roux oversees the kitchen. "The absence of a spa is the only black mark."
Doubles from £200, including breakfast (cromlix.com).
Calcot Manor, Berkshire
"Calcot manages to be everything to everyone, so whether you want a romantic spa weekend, family break or girlfriends' getaway, your expectations will be surpassed," says Hilpern. "The rooms are chic and the spa is blissful." There is a crche and free bike hire.
Rooms cost from £280, including breakfast (calcotmanor.co.uk).
The Ickworth, Suffolk
The Times has named this the UK's best family hotel. It's set in the wing of a grand 18th-century house, within 1,800 acres of National Trust parkland, so there's plenty to do. There's a free creche for the under-nines, but what matters is the "bicycles, the indoor pool and the lawns, where you can play badminton and footie, or throw a Frisbee.
The effect is miraculous. Tightly wound kids sense the space and suddenly seem to grow."
Family rooms from £165, including breakfast (ickworthhotel.co.uk).
Number Sixteen, South Kensington
"Sumner Place looks like a picture-perfect set for My Fair Lady a quiet, tree-lined street," says Cond Nast Traveller. Here, four early-19th-century town houses have been converted to make "one of London's most comfortable boutique hotels".
The hotel is impressive throughout,but "the best bit is the conservatory, which opens onto a private garden". There is no restaurant, but there is 24-hour room service from the attentive, friendly staff, who can finesse "everything from getting you a table in the restaurant du jour to finding the very best local dry cleaner".
Rooms cost from £252(firmdalehotels.com).
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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