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The best hotels in the UK for a Mother’s Day break

Whisk your mum away for a night’s stay in one of the UK’s smartest hotels

Ianthe Butt,Shivani Ashoka
Saturday 11 March 2023 12:17 GMT
Take a break from the daily grind and treat your mum this Mother’s Day
Take a break from the daily grind and treat your mum this Mother’s Day (Getty/iStock)

Does anything beat a night in a good hotel? We don’t think so. With freshly ironed bed linen (imagine!), complimentary chocolates, and nothing to worry about except sheer relaxation, it’s the ultimate indulgence. Treating that somebody special to time away is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, making it an ideal gift for your mum this Mother’s Day.

We’ve scoured the best hotels across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to find places to kick back together and enjoy some quality time. Want to treat mum to a slap-up meal? In addition to Michelin-starred dining, Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir has 32 individually designed rooms to slope off to after feasting. Keen to work on your handicap? As well as award-winning spa facilities, Galgorm near Belfast is also home to a six-hole pitch and putt. Or if you’re simply seeking some R&R where you can catch up over a drink and a super view, we’ve found some of the best spots in Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire and the New Forest to make this Mother’s Day sensational.

The best hotels in the UK for a Mother’s Day break:

Best for a Roman spa experience: The Gainsborough Bath Spa

Location: Bath

Direct access to Bath’s ancient springs
Direct access to Bath’s ancient springs (The Gainsborough)

As famed for its pretty honey-hued Georgian buildings as the ancient thermal waters it was founded on, Bath makes for a brilliant wellness break. The place to bed down is the Gainsborough Bath Spa, which has 99 bedrooms with restful monochrome palettes and is the only hotel with a spa directly fed by Bath’s mineral-rich spring water. A handful of spa bedrooms even have the thermal water piped straight into roll-top bathtubs.

The Spa Village’s centrepiece is a dramatic mosaic-tiled thermal pool surrounded by Romanesque columns. This, combined with two smaller soaking pools, an ice alcove and relaxation terrace, forms an invigorating self-guided bathing circuit. Unknotting aromatherapy and Swedish essential oil massages are on offer in 10 treatment rooms, and the gym and complimentary weekend yoga classes will keep active types happy. IB

The best hotels in Bath

Best for swish surrounds: Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park

Location: Knightsbridge

You’ll never want to leave the luxurious suites
You’ll never want to leave the luxurious suites (Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London)

Sandwiched between Hyde Park and Knightsbridge’s fancy boutiques, with The Saatchi Gallery and Royal Court theatre on the doorstop, Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park pairs a brilliant location with slick service and wolf-whistle dining at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Bedrooms with gentle apple green, blush and peacock blue shades pay homage to the hotel’s Royal Park neighbour with leafy motifs, luxed up with onyx chandeliers, record players, Diptyque toiletries and GHD hair straighteners. Top-level suites have terraces or balconies and personal butlers. Other highlights include spotting the Household Cavalry clip-clop past the property in the mornings, and there’s a ritzy spa with a 17m pool, amethyst crystal steam room and mani pedis by nail guru Bastien Gonzalez. IB

The best hotels in London

Best for British quirk: Wildhive Callow Hall

Location: Derbyshire

The Garden Room restaurant
The Garden Room restaurant (Callow Hall)

Proving that you don’t have to be eye-wateringly expensive to do luxury, Callow Hall is a spoiling, sustainably minded gateway to the rugged Peak District. Isabella Worsley has given interiors at this grand stone house a lift with liberal sweeps of colour – think red-and-white striped upholstery and gilt-edged mirrors by roaring fires. There’s also a clutch of Hives – luxed-up cabins – and two treehouses high in the woodland, with terraces filled with blackbird song. The candlelit Garden Room restaurant feels like a romantic indoor olive grove, and David Bukowicki’s seasonal, tasty dishes come served by cheery, unpretentious staff. There’s also a dinky wellness centre for massages using heavenly 100 Acres oils, and facials using honey from onsite hives. IB

Best for a rural retreat: Lime Wood

Location: New Forest, Hampshire

Let your cares melt away
Let your cares melt away (Lime Wood)

Set in the New Forest National Park, where wild ponies meander through woodland and violet-tinged heather scrub, Lime Wood is perhaps the ultimate rural retreat. The 13th-century lodge, transformed into a country house hotel with glorious grounds, has cosy lounges with roaring fires, an Italian restaurant helmed by Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder, and 33 rooms with botanical artwork, antique furniture and bloom-festooned cushions.

Facilities at the calming, three-level Herb House spa include a 16m indoor lap pool (floor-to-ceiling glass windows mean front crawl comes with a side of forest views), two hydropools and 10 treatment rooms for unknotting massages – using seaweed-infused VOYA or Bamford products – reflexology sessions and OPI mani-pedis. Personal trainers are on hand in the Technogym to ramp up workout regimes, there are al-fresco pilates and yoga classes in the herb-filled rooftop garden, and delicious, healthy meals – think freshly pressed greens and ginger juices and nori rolls – at Raw and Cure restaurant. IB

Doubles from £495

Book now

Best for budget: The Royston

Location: Powys

Located near Snowdonia National Park
Located near Snowdonia National Park (The Royston)

We’d wager that this chic guesthouse in the lush Cambrian countryside – about an hour’s drive from Shrewsbury – is enough to tempt even hardened city folk into lacing up their hiking boots. Near Snowdonia National Park and the Cardigan Bay coastline, most visitors plan to head out in search of the area’s impossibly pretty waterfalls and woodlands. But with mesmerising views of Powys’s rolling hills, and lip-smackingly good flatbread pizzas (all food is prepared and served by owners, Rob and Clive, largely using ingredients grown onsite), many end up staying put in the lounge or alfresco at the fire-pit – setting the world to rights by way of the honesty bar. Not that we’re judging; between the original fireplaces, the antique furniture and the cosy linen in each of the seven bedrooms, even making it downstairs seems impressive. SA

Doubles from £131

Book now

The best hotels in Wales

Best for an ethical stay: Saorsa 1875

Location: Pitlochry

The UK’s first 100 per cent vegan hotel
The UK’s first 100 per cent vegan hotel (Saorsa 1875)

Although countless hotels ham up their sustainable credos nowadays, few tend to deliver under the magnifying glass. However, this homely 11-key pad – which became the UK’s first vegan hotel when it opened in the Scottish Highlands in 2019 – comes out swinging. Not only does it exclusively use cruelty-free suppliers – whether that’s the Glaswegian food co-op advocating for human rights or the property’s fairtrade textiles (not a hide of leather in sight) – but it also demonstrates a strong environmental commitment, from powering the stoves using offcuts of the birch wood onsite to planting a tree in the UK’s most deforested areas for every meal served. Which brings us to the food: forget what you think you know about vegan restaurants or communal dining. This might just be the most exciting “plant-curious” cooking in the country. SA

Doubles from from £198

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The best luxury hotels in Scotland

Best for countryside and coast: The Grove of Narberth

Location: Pembrokeshire

Take in the tranquil surroundings
Take in the tranquil surroundings (Owen Howells Photography)

With views out to the Preseli Hills, this country house sits in gorgeous Pembrokeshire, just a few miles from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which has high-drama coastline, 600 miles of trails, golden sandy beaches and quaint harbour villages. Interiors combine heritage features – ceramic fireplaces and grand hallways – with vintage Welsh lace and love spoons, and contemporary artwork by local talent. As well as 13 rooms in the main house, there’s also a stone-walled longhouse and a handful of cottages with oak-beamed loft rooms. Triple AA rosette The Fernery serves up modern Welsh cuisine with considerable flair – think delicate plates of homegrown vegetables and Black Bomber cheese and morel tart – while Artisan Rooms is more laidback and a perfect place to kick off your boots and enjoy a leisurely post-ramble bite to eat. IB

Best for golfers: Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort

Location: Ballymena, Country Antrim

The Vitality pool
The Vitality pool (Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort)

Surrounded by 132 acres of parkland by the tranquil River Maine, 40 minutes from Belfast, the atmosphere at the 124-room Galgorm is refreshingly relaxed and jolly (it has a 400-strong gin library for one thing). Accommodation ranges from business-style bedrooms to Scandi-style cottages and rustic log cabins. There’s a variety of restaurants, including laidback Italian joint Fratellli.

The property’s Spa Village is one of Europe’s largest thermal spas, and flashpoints include an outdoor infinity hydrotherapy pool, riverside hot tubs for leisurely soaks with a glass of fizz, an indoor pool, snow cabin, salt room, aroma grotto and herb caldarium. Massages use Aromatherapy Associates oil, and the Forest & Photo Therapy combines a massage with a no-touch Dermalux LED facial (where coloured lights are used to target concerns) and a mud mask. IB

Location: Oxfordshire

One of the suites at Le Manoir
One of the suites at Le Manoir (Belmond Hotel)

Offering a flourish of France in Oxfordshire, Le Manoir, helmed by culinary maestro Raymond Blanc, has long been a foodie pilgrimage site. At this honey-hued Cotswolds stone manor house surrounded by Provencal lavender and a herb-filled garden, guests dine on two-Michelin wizardry at the restaurant. Hand-dived scallops with caviar rub up against strawberries with sorrel sorbet, paired with Chateau d’Yquem vintages, and very polished service. Afterwards, retire to one of 32 bedrooms, with interiors inspired by Monsieur Blanc’s travels; some evoke Asia with dark timber and draped curtains, others feature Venetian masks. Inspired to ramp up your own skills? Join the cookery school or a gardening workshop. IB

The best hotels in Oxfordshire

Best for impressive grounds: Grantley Hall

Location: Yorkshire

Spectacular lit up at night
Spectacular lit up at night (Grantley Hall)

This stately home exudes such a palpable sense of tranquillity, your shoulders drop as soon as you walk through the door. Located on the banks of the River Skell, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, you’re surrounded by rolling heather-covered hills, acres of forested parkland and a pretty flowered stream – as well as the property’s pastoral showpiece, one of the country’s oldest Japanese gardens. Little wonder, then, that the hotel works hard to preserve the environment and uplift the community around it; from BREEM-standard architecture to operating a distinctly luxurious outfit under strong ethical principles. SA

The best hotels in Yorkshire

Best for a city pad: Artist Residence

Location: Bristol

This Bristol hotel is one of the best
This Bristol hotel is one of the best (Artist Residence)

The newest member of Britain’s most creative hotel group may well be its best. Credited with being one of the first hotels to showcase local artists, the five-strong Artist Residence group – which began when co-owner Justin Salisbury overhauled his family’s Brighton B&B – is also known for repurposing both furnishings and buildings to create lived-in interiors. It’s something that its Bristol outpost (a former boot factory and Georgian townhouse in Stokes Croft) does brilliantly; it’s an ode to the city’s community. Its artwork is by Bristolians – including internationally acclaimed Rose Vickers, as well as members of staff – and the property’s approach throughout is almost entirely sustainable, meaning the community is key to its progress, whether that’s a healthy and happy workforce or buying local. While each of the 23 bedrooms are unique in design, the “Lookout” is split-level and has a beautiful four-poster bed. You won’t want to miss the all-day cafe and bar, though; this is where the hotel’s “Best of Bristol” approach comes into its own – from musicians to craft gin. SA

The best hotels in Bristol

Read more on Mother’s Day hampers, affordable gifts and best flowers.

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