Sometimes we travel far when we have sheer romance closer to home. A staycation has never sounded so appealing! While there is some uncertainty around international travel, there’s never been a better time to experience luxury without going to the airport. In the UK, many properties are erring on the side of caution about opening dates, while things are a little more relaxed on the USA side of the Atlantic. Either way, the clever romantics are calling to book now to secure the great staycation getaway.
If the romantic musings of Emily Bronte and Jane Austen inspire you to experience your own grand country house escape, Grantley Hall’s Palladian good looks are as handsome and imposing as they come. Nestled in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounded by wooded parkland, it’s the place to stay put or a base to explore. You may have trouble tearing yourself away from the exquisite bedrooms or suites, but when you do go downstairs, you’ll find the Three Graces Spa ready to iron out lockdown urban creases. There’s even a snow room and an 18-metre pool. Unusually for a country house hotel there are four restaurants which include a Michelin star amongst them, and three bars. If you fancy time away from the grounds, Rippon and its beautiful Cathedral is close by as is the quintessential market town of Pateley Bridge. Antique and boutique shopping are in Harrogate just 30 minutes away. Due to re-open in mid-May 2021, you must not delay to secure your spot.
There is a luxury travel buzz about this Hadspen House built in 1690 which is the classic example of the Georgian country home, but with a twist. Interior design journalists are waxing lyrical about the sensational melange of old and contemporary that is both surprising and beautiful. There’s so much to The Newt it also has a grand Palladian façade, but like a treasure trove other beautiful and achingly romantic aspects come into view. Like the egg-shaped Parabola walled garden, planted with a collection of 460 trained British apple trees, of 267 varieties, arranged in a baroque-style maze. Then there’s the cyder press, bottling plant and bar, mushroom house, History of Gardening Museum, farm shop, treetop walk, thatched ice-cream parlour and wild swimming ponds. It’s farm to table, and a paired back look that is slightly Scandinavian rather then heavy embellishments. Croquet on the lawn, vaulted cellars, huge sofas to curl up in, and a discreet spa, it feels like a beautifully curated voyage of discovery. Just 23 rooms, so you’ll feel almost as if you have come to stay at the home of some very stylish friends with sensationally good taste. Somerset never looked so good.
Summer at the seaside in England doesn’t come more eclectic cool than Brighton with such an easy non-stop train commute from central London. Plenty of day trippers but the savvy visitor who likes a little rock and roll in their romance will revel in Hotel Una and its Kings Road look and feel. Set on a Regency Square with fabulous sea views, it’s tucked slightly in from the front so eschews any noise other than shrieking guls saying I can see the sea. All of the 17 rooms have been specially curated by the owners and loaded with designer furniture. Huge beds laden with crisp fresh linens make the perfect cloud in which to laze with the object of your affection. Opening early July, you’ll need to nab your suite now for the early summer sun. You’re right on the doorstep of walking to some fabulous restaurants, fish and chips in deck chairs on the beach, or candy floss at the funfair on Brighton Pier. With coffee in the Lanes, it’s a colourful super cool escape.
Newport Rhode Island has always had the provenance of the grand waterside escape for the who’s who of American society. The essence continues at the Ocean House a Relais and Chateaux property on beautiful Bluff Drive. There’s some a little Great Gatsby about escaping here and the perfect spot for a little weekend romance. The Veranda Raw Bar is the spot in the sunny months, and no where better to crack a bottle of icy rosé and share a dozen oysters. If you need a little pampering there is an immodest 12,000 square foot spa, or just pull up two sun loungers, hold hands and look across the water, it’s just heavenly.
If you want your very own cottage set in 113 acres, then Winvian Farm is hard to beat. Each is entirely different so you’ll need the lovely people at the Farm help you choose from stargazing in the glass skylights of the Greenhouse, to the rustic Beaver Lodge, or if you’re adventurous, the fabulous Treehouse. Farm to table dining here is hard to beat given they have their very own organic farm onsite. This is the perfect place to surprise your love with a farm stay that isn’t about mucking out the stables. Conversely, if you are not luxuriating in the surrounds, you can go horse riding or take your lover up in a hot air balloon for a sunrise or sunset moment you’ll not forget. If you have fur children aka doggies, they are welcome too.
Quite a way out of town but the Adirondacks are a must on the romance travel wish list. Especially if you are booked into The Point which was originally the camp for William Avery Rockefeller and his family. This could be the set for a Ralph Lauren shoot, it is every you could imagine of the classic all-American place on the lake. There are only 11 bedrooms but the prize is the Boathouse which has the most breath-taking views on Saranac Lake imaginable. On the romance scale this is 10 out of 10 at any time of the year. It’s all inclusive so you can enjoy the hospitality as if a special guest without having to sign tabs all the time. Once you go and experience the 75 acres, you will be talking about it for the rest of your lives.
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