Weddings, so long in the planning, have a way of going by in a blur, but you should remember your honeymoon for ever. Whether you plan to take a long, far-flung break or not, a night or two in a special hotel close to home is as good a way to celebrate as any. Here, The Good Hotel Guide recommends 10 great honeymoon hotels, ranging from lavish and luxurious hideaways to cheaper options, in romantic, far-flung corners of the country.
Hambleton Hall, Hambleton, Rutland
The society hostess Eva Astley-Cooper entertained Noël Coward at this Victorian hunting lodge in beautiful gardens, now overlooking man-made Rutland Water. The interiors are glamorous and the chef has won the hotel a Michelin star (dress for dinner in the elegant dining room). Middlehurst, the second-biggest bedroom, has a bed with 19th-century French corona marble bathroom, views over the gardens to the lake. For the greatest privacy rent the Croquet Pavilion. Master bedrooms £460-£390, Croquet Pavilion £550, all B&B. 01572 756991, hambletonhall.com
Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
A spa hotel in the heart of the New Forest, Lime Wood has hosted the weddings of Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum, and Noel Gallagher and Sara MacDonald. For starry – or just starry-eyed – couples, the spa has a double treatment room with stream room, garden, outdoor bath. There is modern cooking by Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder. "Generous" rooms have a free-standing bath in the room, as well as good bathroom. Forest Hideaway Suites, some with an open fire, have a lounge, dining area and bedroom.
Generous rooms from £510 a night, Hideaway Suites from £660, all room only. 02380 287177, limewoodhotel.co.uk
Chewton Glen, New Milton, Hampshire
The epitome of country-house luxury, Chewton Glen stands in 130 acres on the edge of the New Forest National Park, a stroll from the sea. For dinner you have a choice of beautiful conservatories and intimate dining spaces. Junior suites have a terrace, balcony or courtyard garden, but most romantic is a Treehouse Hideaway Suite, built high among the trees, with dining area, large deck and outdoor hot tub. Spa treatments are available, and breakfast arrives in a hamper.
Doubles £325-£1,595, Treehouse Hideaway Suites from £1,250, all room only. 01425 275341, chewtonglen.com
Barnsley House, Barnsley, Gloucestershire
This William and Mary house has a particularly romantic setting, with a knot garden, statues and laburnum walk. Home-grown fruit and vegetables and seasonal Cotswold produce feature in the Potager Restaurant. The Secret Garden suite has a glass front overlooking a private decked garden area and comes complete with an egg-shaped bath in the bedroom, and double walk-in shower in the bathroom. The spa has an outdoor hydrotherapy pool.
Doubles £200-£310, Secret Garden Suite from £439, all B&B. 01285 740000, barnsleyhouse.com
Montagu Arms, Beaulieu, Hampshire
There is Michelin-starred cooking at this Georgian country house and former inn within the New Forest National Park. Four-poster suites have some original features and views of village or gardens. Add an "intimate" package for those honeymoon essentials: flowers, chocolates and chilled champagne. Guests have use of the spa at a sister hotel, Carey Manor, where Thai-trained therapists will ease tired muscles and restore inner peace.
Four-poster suites from £319, B&B. 01590 624467, montaguarmshotel.co.uk
Hotel Endsleigh, Milton Abbot, Devon
Olga Polizzi’s beautifully restored Grade I historic ducal hunting lodge has been described as "magical." It stands among gardens, woodlands and streams on the banks of the Tamar, with follies and grottoes created by Humphry Repton. The bedrooms have hand-painted wallpaper, rolltop baths, shelves lined with books, while a suite in the thatched gatekeeper’s lodge has a wood-burning stove and private garden. B&B from £190, gatekeeper’s lodge from £325. 01822 870000, hotelendsleigh.com
The Pig on the Beach, Studland, Dorset
The Good Hotel Guide's Romantic Hotel of the Year, this turreted Gothic manor is one of Robin Hutson’s superb stable (let’s not say "sty") of Pig hotels. The rooms in the main house are immaculate, but for an unforgettable night choose a shepherd’s hut, with sea views, log-burning stove and decking, or a dovecote with four-poster, bathroom with bath and monsoon shower, and views of kitchen garden and coast. Doubles £129-£275, shepherd’s hut £209-£255, dovecotes £219-£310, all room only. 01929 450288, thepighotel.com
Isle of Eriska, Eriska, Argyll & Bute
You cross a rickety chain bridge to reach this Scottish baronial mansion, in wooded grounds on its own island at the mouth of Loch Creran. It is run as an upmarket Relais et Chȧteaux hotel and spa with Michelin-starred restaurant. An open fire burns in the hall and dinner is served in a panelled dining room. You can drink cocktails in the library bar, play croquet on the lawn, sail, windsurf and plenty more. In the grounds there are luxury spa suites, each with private garden and hot tub. B&B from £350. 01631 720371, eriska-hotel.co.uk
Ynyshir Hall, Eglwysfach, Powys
This 17th-century manor house, in a sublime setting between sea and mountain, was once a retreat for Queen Victoria – many of the tall trees you see today were planted for her. Today it is a Relais & Chȧteaux hotel with Michelin-starred cooking. The rooms are named after artists. New garden suites Miro and Chagall are in an annexe overlooking the gardens, with a view of the Cambrian mountains through floor-to-ceiling windows. A thousand acres of the estate is run as a bird reserve by the RSPB. At night the silence and the starry sky are revelations. B&B from £250. 01654 781209, ynyshirhall.co.uk
La Sablonnerie, Sark, Channel Islands
This whitewashed 16th-century farmhouse stands in cottage gardens on a car-free island. You’ll be collected from the harbour by a pony and trap. The bedrooms (including honeymoon suite, with a sweet sitting room) are in the main house and nearby cottages, all of which are rustic, cosy and charming. There is an open fire in the beamed lounge, and in summer you can eat outside, as the bees buzz among the roses and honeysuckle. Open Easter-October. B&B from £80. 01481 832061, sablonneriesark.com
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