Relax at some of the UK's finest hotels
Looking for a rural retreat? Booking into the right hotel can turn a pleasurable holiday into a memory to treasure. Crisp linen sheets. A crackling log fire. Total relaxation. You'll find plenty of choice throughout Britain.
Indulge in the high life of a past era: roaring fires, billiards rooms, rolling parkland and dressing for dinner. Cliveden, with its whiff of 60s scandal, has to be the ultimate rural retreat - unashamed luxury overlooking the Thames.
You can sample the lifestyle of a Scottish laird at Skibo Castle. Exclusive and luxurious, with its own golf course, beauty spa and Victorian conservatory pool, it's easy to see why Madonna chose this venue for her wedding! Or, why not unwind at the luxurious Stoke Park Club. If you are lucky, you might see the odd celebrity guests, as the club has previously been used for movies such as James Bond and Bridget Jones.
Plenty of luxury hotels cater for the sports-minded guest - and not only golf. Tennis and swimming may be obvious and widely available but you could also enjoy a few days of fishing or falconry - check out the options at Gleneagles between Edinburgh and Glasgow, or Celtic Manor, home to the Ryder Cup in 2010.
If a break away means taking part in some activity, Swinton Park may have the answer. Dating from the 17th century, Swinton Park, a luxury country hotel near Ripon in North Yorkshire, houses a cookery school in the 18th-century stable block. Those taking the course are encouraged to bring their partners to stay in the hotel where they can enjoy a programme of activities including golf, fishing, riding, shooting and falconry on the estate.
On the other hand, you might want to lie back and relax while others do the work. Pamper yourself at one of Britain's many spa hotels. Four Seasons Hampshire, a luxury country house hotel situated 45 minutes outside London has an elegant, well-equipped spa, including an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, bespoke heat treatments, sauna and steam room. Alternatively, if your therapy is just being out in the open countryside with beautiful scenery, then stay at Youlston Park and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of North Devon.
If you are looking for a romantic retreat, then Chewton Glen is for you. A luxury hotel, spa and country club situated between the ancient New Forest and the sea, the setting is undeniably romantic. Or, Whatley Manor, a beautifully restored Cotswold manor house with an award-winning spa, and what could be more romantic than taking a beautiful walk in the Cotswolds. To make your stay complete, the Lygon Arms offers open fireplaces and snugs to really compliment a romantic break.
Classic British Hotels, is a collection of finest hotels, offering luxury accommodation throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Each property is unique, and whether grand, romantic or intimate, you can be guaranteed it will be individual. Alternatively, for that special occasion, why not try Elite Hotels and stay for example at the aptly called Grand Hotel, Eastbourne.
Welsh Rarebits, an elite collection of 44 quality hotels across Wales. The group, which can be only be joined by invitation, contains some of the UK's top country house hotels. Also included are restaurants with rooms and modern rustic properties that reflect today's cosmopolitan tastes.