October 10, 2016 | Good Hotel Guide
The Good Hotel Guide 2017: Great Britain and Ireland, the UK’s wholly independent guide to the UK’s best hotels, is published today (10 October 2016).
Co-edited by Adam Raphael and M. Astella Saw, the Guide is an unbiased selection of the best hotels, inns and B&Bs with personality and character across the UK and Ireland. This year’s 2017 Guide features 414 main entries, 16 Editor’s Choice categories (with an additional four Editor’s Choice categories online) plus 411 hotels in the Shortlist section.
Hotels are chosen solely on merit and the entries are rewritten each year. Readers’ reports are painstakingly scrutinised, and reports from inspectors are based on anonymous visits, the cost of which are borne by the Guide, so reviews are never swayed by special treatment.
Each year 10 César awards are presented to the Guide’s most celebrated hoteliers who have demonstrated excellence in their field. Named after César Ritz, these are known as the Oscars of the hotel industry. Here are the Good Hotel Guide’s 10 César winners for 2017:
Country House Hotel of the Year: Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex – The Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house has 17 bedrooms and is set in impeccable gardens in the Sussex countryside. Rising star and resident chef George Blogg’s Michelin-starred dishes draw inspiration from the vast kitchen garden.
City Hotel of the Year: Brocco on the Park, Sheffield, South Yorkshire – With a Scandi-chic interior and buzzy neighbourhood kitchen serving adventurous cuisine, this handsome Edwardian villa has eight bedrooms and welcomes guests with cupcakes.
Inn of the Year: The Nobody Inn, Doddiscombsleigh, Devon – Tucked away between the Haldon Hills and the Teign Valley, just six miles from Exeter, this atmospheric and much-loved village pub features blackened beams and an inglenook fireplace. The varied menu is complemented by an extensive range of wine, whiskey and local cider.
Newcomer of the Year: The Royal Oak, Swallowcliffe, Wiltshire – Saved by a group of villagers after closing for seven years, this 19th century thatched pub in Wiltshire houses six serene bedrooms and a thriving restaurant. The pub is well-located for Stonehenge, Salisbury and the National Trust’s Stourhead.
Seaside Hotel of the Year: Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher, Scilly Isles – With many bedrooms boasting sweeping views of the Atlantic, Hell Bay Hotel has a much-deserved reputation as a chic coastal retreat. The restaurant uses the very best fresh ingredients and the seasonal Crab Shack serves three seafood dishes daily.
Family Hotel of the Year: The Blakeney Hotel, Blakeney, Norfolk – This picturesque quayside hotel on the North Norfolk coast has views across the estuary to the seal colony at Blakeney Point. Popular with multigenerational families, there is crabbing and mud sliding on the quay for children, an indoor swimming pool and top-notch food.
Value Hotel of the Year: Battlesteads, Hexham, Northumberland – This eco-friendly 22-bedroom hotel with its much-revered restaurant using prime local ingredients is set under starry skies in the village of Wark, near Hexham. Guests can combine stargazing with their stay as the village boasts a dark-sky observatory.
Scottish Hotel of the Year: The Cross at Kingussie, Kingussie, Scottish Highlands – A former tweed mill set in the Cairngorms National Park, The Cross is set beside the River Gynack and has a high-quality restaurant with a riverside terrace, eight cosy bedrooms and lounges with log fires and board games.
Restaurant-With-Rooms of the Year: The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Wales – Provenance is everything at this friendly restaurant with rooms – local Wye Valley produce is served bang on season and bedrooms come equipped with cosy Welsh blankets.
Welsh Guest House of the Year: Ael y Bryn, Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire – Expect a genuinely warm welcome with steaming pots of tea and tiered platters of home-baked cakes at this Pembrokeshire B&B. The house is filled with paintings and sculptures and there is even a snug library. Breakfasts are impressive.
According to Good Hotel Guide co-editors Adam Raphael and M. Astella Saw: “This year’s César award winners reflect the rising standards of hotel-keeping across the country. All 10 properties have been chosen for their immaculate service, warm welcome, fine hospitality and memorable individuality.”
In addition to the 10 César awards above, the Guide’s Editor’s Choice section highlights the top 10 hotels in 16 designated categories – Discoveries, Value, Family-friendly, Seaside, Country House, Boutique, Gourmet, Gastropubs, Dog-friendly, Walking, Weddings, Gardens, Spas, Romantic, Bed & Breakfast and Rooms with a View.
The Good Hotel Guide 2017 is also available online; hotels are asked to make a modest payment for a website listing. There are a further four online-only Editor’s Choice hotel categories: Fishing, Golf, Green and Historic.
The Guide’s new look website www.goodhotelguide.com has better imagery, a more relevant and useful search ability (including proximity searching which takes distance into consideration) and is fully device-responsive.
The Good Hotel Guide 2017: Great Britain & Ireland, published today (10 October 2016), is priced £15 (including p&p) from The Good Hotel Guide, 50 Addison Avenue, London W11 4QP (Tel: 020 7602 4182; www.goodhotelguide.com) or priced £20 from all good bookshops. The Guide’s latest informative monthly newsletters can be viewed online at: https://www.goodhotelguide.com/register.aspx.
Discount vouchers worth a total of £150 are included in each copy of the Good Hotel Guide. They enable a 25% saving off one night’s normal B&B price at participating hotels. Good Hotel Guide gift vouchers are also available in denominations from £50 to £500 – the perfect gift – and Good Hotel Guide apps for iPhones, Android and Windows can be downloaded free of charge.