Buxton Crescent, the Midlands

The Best Hotels in the Midlands

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Smack-dab in the middle of the UK

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There’s the north of England and there’s the south of England. And then there’s the Midlands – the bit in between. Rich in history and culture, visitors can expect to find Shakespeare’s birthplace, remnants of the Industrial Revolution, Belvoir Valley, Rutland Water, mysterious fenland, and miles of empty rolling hills. Want to know where to stay? These are the best hotels in the Midlands right now. 

Best Private Houses in the UK

The Best Hotels in the Midlands

Some reviews are taken from this year’s Great British & Irish Hotels Guide. You can read the full reviews online or purchase your print Hotels Guide here

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Barnsdale Lodge, the Midlands

Barnsdale Lodge – Oakham, Rutland

Now in its 31st year of trading since it was converted by its owner, the Honourable Thomas Noel, Barnsdale Lodge Hotel has 46 individually decorated bedrooms with views of the countryside and private courtyard, as well as a plethora of original features including flagstone hallways, sash windows and cast iron stoves. Today, the hotel – actually a centuries’ old farmhouse and hunting lodge on the Exton Estate in the picturesque county of Rutland – is run with great passion by managing director Ed Burrows and, for the quality of the rooms, food and location, represents superb value for money.


+44 (0)1572 724678 / barnsdalelodge.co.uk

Buxton Crescent, the Midlands

Buxton Crescent – Buxton, Derbyshire

Set on the edge of the Peak District, Buxton has a history of being a spa destination ever since Roman times and the discovery of its natural thermal spring. Later, the fifth Duke of Devonshire commissioned John Carr of York to design The Crescent, a magnificent sweep of Georgian buildings to rival those in Bath. Now, after a sensitive decade-long restoration that included repairing the original painted ceilings, fluted columns and stained glass windows, it houses the Buxton Crescent hotel and spa – putting the town on the holistic wellness map once more. Alongside the mineral-rich thermal pool, highlights at the Ensana spa include an infra-red sauna, aroma steam room, salt cave and a rooftop pool.


+44 (0)1298 808999 / ensanahotels.com

Cavendish Hotel Chatsworth

The Cavendish Hotel – Baslow, Derbyshire

For a warm Derbyshire welcome with panoramic views, this 250-year-old coaching inn-cum-country house hotel on the Chatsworth Estate ticks all the boxes. Guests can walk across parkland and fields dotted with Limousin cattle towards Chatsworth House – resplendent after its 10-year restoration. The Cavendish maintains a personal touch: interiors overseen by the Duchess of Devonshire, supremely comfortable bedrooms, and walls crammed with artwork. There’s a thrilling dining experience to boot – especially at the chef’s table amid the bustle of the kitchen. Head chef Adam Harper’s sublime cooking is served in the elegant Gallery restaurant and open-all-day Garden Room, matched only by the much lauded wine list. One thing’s for certain: once you’ve soaked up the views and tranquillity , you won’t want to leave.


+44 (0)1246 582311 / cavendishbaslow.co.uk

Hambleton Hall, the Midlands

Hambleton Hall – Oakham, Rutland

Of all the luxury British country house hotels that have opened in the last half-century, just one, Hambleton Hall, has remained impervious to fortune and is as magical and enveloping as the day its owners, Tim and Stefa Hart, opened it in July 1980. Contented but never complacent, it offers sophisticated yet deeply comfortable classic English interiors, the brilliant, locally sourced cooking of chef Aaron Patterson (the hotel has held a Michelin star for over a record 35 unbroken years) and a joyous wine list curated by revered sommelier Dominique Baduel. Ideal for a getaway in the Midlands.


+44 (0)1572 756991 / hambletonhall.com

Hart's Hotel, the Midlands

Hart’s Hotel – Nottingham

Hart’s is an award-winning 32-bedroom boutique hotel in Nottingham city centre with a private car park and secluded garden. One of the highest-rated hotels in the region, it was purpose-built on the old ramparts of Nottingham Castle in 2003, with striking lines, curved buttresses and a dashing yet welcoming lobby. Bedrooms are faultlessly equipped, with high ceilings and plenty of natural light. Six have private terraces with access directly into the garden, and most inward-facing rooms present an unexpected bonus: far-flung views across the city to the Midlands countryside beyond.


+44 (0)1159 881900 / hartsnottingham.co.uk

Langar Hall

Langar Hall – Langar, Nottingham

There’s always been a strong female line at Langar Hall: Imogen Skirving’s great-grandmother bought the house in 1860, and her grandmother started the local WI. Its transformation from private house to hotel, is the achievement of Imogen who, over 26 years, remoulded her apricot-washed Georgian house into an instantly likeable home-from-home, blending personality with country charm. Although Imogen died five years ago, aged 78, all is not lost: she lives on in the portrait that graces the pillared hall and in her granddaughter Lila, who took the reins aged 22, and ensures that nothing has changed – including the vibrant atmosphere.


+44 (0)1949 860559 / langarhall.com

Peacock at rowsley bedroom

The Peacock at Rowsley – Rowsley, Derbyshire

Charming and elegant, The Peacock at Rowsley is a stylish boutique hotel and celebrated gastronomic destination where guests can expect first-class service, comfortable bedrooms and superb food. Showcasing the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary design, there are 15 distinctively decorated bedrooms with gleaming marble bathrooms, a fine dining restaurant (look for the carved mice in the original Mousey Thompson furniture), and a splendidly atmospheric bar. Food is at the heart of the place, with acclaimed head chef Dan Smith creating new menus each season, including a spectacular nine-course tasting menu and bar lunch – a favourite with the locals. It’s an ideal base for exploring the Peak District, with extensive dry fly wild trout fishing on the doorstep.


+44 (0)1629 733518 /  thepeacockatrowsley.com

Park Lodge

Park Lodge – Bromley, Staffordshire

An elegant Grade II-listed hunting lodge that originally formed part of the grand estate of neighbouring Blithfield Hall, Park Lodge has a sporting history dating back to the early 19th century. It’s now part of the Bagots Park Estate, which offers pheasant and partridge shooting as well as simulated clay shooting days. The lodge is the ideal location for your sporting week or countryside weekend. Tucked away down a secluded, two-mile-long private drive, the eight-bedroom house (which sleeps up to 15) was built in Tudor-Gothic style and boasts authentic features like the wood-panelled reception hall, original shutters and open fires.


+44 (0)7795 275098 / parklodgeweddings.co.uk

The Duncombe Arms

The Duncombe Arms – Ellastone, Staffordshire

When Johnny and Laura Greenall drove past the boarded-up 19th-century inn that had once been the hub of their nearest village, they dreamed of giving it a new lease of life. After a renovation that included creating a state-of-the-art kitchen and a light-filled dining space, they opened in 2012. Now, it’s a Michelin Guide restaurant with a garden (a new pergola with a retractable roof has recently been added) that serves up pub classics and modern British fare. Everything from the bread to the ice cream is homemade and the impressive 200-strong wine list has been developed with Bibendum.


+44 (0)1335 324275 / duncombearms.co.uk

The Elms Hotel & Greenhouse Spa

The Elms Hotel & Greenhouse Spa – Abberley, Worcestershire

Just outside the city of Worcester, The Elms honours all that’s great about the English countryside, like beautifully preserved Queen Anne architecture, manicured lawns and acres of parkland. However, there’s nothing formulaic about this rural escape. Quirky design touches and surprising features – such as the luxurious three-bedroom apartment-style Gladstone Suite – set the hotel apart. And each individually designed bedroom and suite in the Queen Anne mansion is nothing short of glorious. Additional accommodations include the Hot Tub Garden rooms tucked away in the coach houses.


+44 (0)1299 896666 / theelmshotel.co.uk

Hut nestled in the woods

The Tawny – Consall, Staffordshire

Set in the heart of Staffordshire, The Tawny combines all the best bits of a traditional hotel – a fabulous restaurant, seamless service, and amazing facilities – with your own private space. Spread across the estate (which dates back to 1246), the 55 eco-conscious rooms – including wildwood huts, treehouses and romantic boathouses – are chic and cosy with superlative views, and all feature an outdoor bath on a private decking. Headed up by executive chef Chris Alexander (Michelin and Rosette-trained), The Plumicorn serves an inspired menu amid stunning vistas, created using the best of local produce. Guests can also order a picnic to enjoy in the grounds’ undulating 70 acre landscape. The adventure continues in bordering Consall Nature Park or the winding local canals – and the Peak District is only a stone’s throw away.


+44 (0)1538 787664 / thetawny.co.uk

University Arms

University Arms – Cambridge

Cambridge’s leading luxury hotel is by far its most exciting. The 19th-century façade facing the parkland of Parker’s Piece – where the first game of FA rules football was played – has been restored, with stained glass windows throughout and an extra floor of suites featuring classic Edwardian interiors, bespoke furniture and private terraces. The hotel’s articulated roof line is ingenious, the real triumph being architect John Simpson’s neoclassical design: the elegant new porte-cochère on Regent Street, which heralds the building with stately impact, inviting visitors through one of three handsome front doors.


+44 (0)1223 606066 / universityarms.com

Wildhive Callow Hall

Wildhive Callow Hall – Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Surrounded by 35 acres of gardens at the edge of the Dove Valley, Victorian Callow Hall has just emerged from a top-to-toe refurbishment (it’s the first opening from Wildhive, a new hotel brand focusing on rural getaways). Stay in the main house where rooms with an eclectic, playful feel are the vision of interior designer Isabella Worsley, or in a cosy, tucked-away woodland hive. There are also two spectacular self-contained treehouses, each with an outdoor tub on the deck. This is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in the natural glow of the Midlands.


+44 (0) 1335 300900 / wildhive.uk

Featured image: Buxton Crescent

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