Luxury comes in many forms, whether that's a peaceful country escape, a night of traditional elegance or your own slice of high-end urban style...
Maison Talbooth, Essex
Rooms start at £215
Arriving at Maison Talbooth can be a little confusing. Follow signs saying Talbooth and you might just end up at Le Talbooth, the group’s riverside restaurant, instead. Not that that mistake would be too awful. The beamed building serves up some surprisingly fine dining – think elegantly presented poached lobster tail or braised snails - plus the staff are more than happy to drive you to your intended destination, which is just up the road.
Maison Talbooth, a grand manor house enjoying expansive views of the surrounding greenery, feels as though it is in the middle of lush Essex countryside, though it’s actually just a short drive from Colchester town.
Each of the hotel’s 12 rooms are inspired by a British poet, with a book of their poetry tucked within the plush interior. On the first floor of the hotel you’ll find day spa The Treatment Rooms - the Dermalogica facial comes highly recommended – though the real jewel in Talbooth’s crown is its pool house: a gated, secluded area, with a headed pool, sunbeds, a hot tub, changing rooms and a cosy covered space with honesty bar, squishy sofas and magazines. It really comes into its own during the summer months. When we visited the weather was positively Mediterranean – so we skipped dinner for a few extra hours soaking in the hot tub.
The Landmark London
Rooms start at £300
Just outside Marylebone station sits The Landmark London: an imposing red-brick hotel which channels all the glamour of rail travel in years gone by – and thankfully none of the overcrowded realities of travelling through London in rush hour.
The Landmark London is a big hotel, with 300 elegant and classically designed rooms as well as four restaurants, but it is far from intimidating or impersonal, earning its 5 stars with the little touches: fancy coffee machines, generous supplies of Molton Brown toiletries and permanently smiley staff who are helpful, whether you’re asking for an ironing board or help taking a photo over breakfast in the impressive Winter Garden.
The Winter Garden is the heart of the hotel. A grand room, with a glass ceiling eight stories high, complete with palm trees and the tinkling of piano keys, it’s an incredibly distracting place to eat and one that should definitely not be missed.
Your stay wouldn't be complete without a trip to the hotel’s basement spa either, which boasts a state of the art gym, treatment rooms which use indulgent VOYA products and a delightfully quiet pool.
The Hoxton, Shoreditch
Rooms start at £49
Venture into the east of London and luxury takes on a slightly different form. Right in the heart of Shoreditch, just off Old Street, sits The Hoxton, a bustling bar and busy grill which sit underneath 208 cool and cleverly designed rooms, with views of the City’s dramatic high rises as well as the area’s graffitied roof tops and terraces.
The Hoxton’s rooms might be small but they sure do pack a lot of style into their square footage. You won’t be able to swing a cat – there isn’t room for a bath in the bathroom – but the space you do have is utilised to its full potential and a lot of thought has gone into each room’s design, from the quirky cushions on the bed to the huge mirrors on the walls.
Breakfast comes in takeaway bags hung on your door - convenient for business trips as well as eager guests keen to make the most out of their time in the capital. But breakfast-on-the-go or not you shouldn’t stay at The Hoxton without a trip downstairs where you can enjoy an array of cocktails in the bright and airy conservatory, or roll up your sleeves for a generous American-style dinner. Think spicy shrimp, giant racks of ribs, burgers too big to get your mouth around and creamy New York cheesecake. Just don’t eat lunch beforehand. And maybe take your belt off before you embark on your starter…