Come Christmas time, every property in the Fine Individual Hotels collection goes to extraordinary lengths to style itself for the season. With decorated Christmas trees and roaring log fires, each hotel creates its own interpretation of a welcoming, wintery retreat where guests can relax in comfort and enjoy the best of the festivities. To further embrace the Christmas spirit, many of the hotels have also put together some tempting Christmas packages, combining luxury accommodations and sumptuous dining with seasonal extras like carol concerts, cocktails and – just possibly – a visit from Santa Claus himself.
One of the most temping Christmas deals is being offered at the aptly named ‘Angel Hotel’ in the peaceful country town of Bury St Edmunds. This historic coaching inn is has been tastefully brought up-to-date by marrying its traditional Georgian elegance with the finest in contemporary design. Located just across the street from the magnificent cathedral (handy for those wishing to participate in Midnight Mass) and with the rolling Suffolk countryside close at hand, this is the perfect place to enjoy a quintessentially English Christmas. The hotel’s three-night Christmas package costs from £490 per person (based on two sharing) to include full-board accommodation with carol singers, Christmas stockings, a pantomime performance and an appearance from Santa bearing gifts – but only for guests who have been good!
Those looking for a spa treat this Christmas could opt for the special package at Losehill House, which bills itself as ‘the best-kept secret in the Peak District’. Set within some of the most stunning countryside in the region (perfect for burning off the hearty, four-course Christmas lunch), the hotel is perhaps best known for its spa facility, which boasts an indoor, heated swimming pool and sauna, plus a hot tub on the terrace offering commanding views of the surrounding hills. Losehill’s three-night Christmas package includes full-board accommodation along with full use of the spa facilities and a complimentary half-hour treatment of your choice; and costs from £495 per person, based on two sharing. Particular highlights of the experience include a traditional Boxing Day ascent to the summit of Losehill (complete with packed lunch of turkey sandwiches) and a Black Tie Dinner featuring entertainment from a magician and a musical duo.
For guests preferring the romance of the Lake District, it would be hard to find a more perfectly situated country retreat than Borrowdale Gates. This fine country house hotel is situated in what Alfred Wainwright (the celebrated Lakeland author and fell-walker) called ‘the loveliest square mile in Lakeland’ – and with its picture-perfect views towards the towering Lakeland fells, it’s not hard to see why. The cosy bar and beamed lounge are ideal for relaxing beside the fire after a bracing winter walk, perhaps with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie or two. Prices for the hotel’s three-night Christmas package start from £540 per person (based on two sharing), to include accommodation on dinner, bed and breakfast basis plus a lavish Christmas Day lunch with all the trimmings. Special Christmas activities such as a carol concert by the Borrowdale Singers are also included.
The hills may be smaller down in the Cotswolds, but Christmas is no less jolly – and especially so at Mill House. This historic country house hotel (it’s even listed in the Domesday Book) occupies a superbly converted stone mill set within ten acres of manicured lawns and gardens. Pretty villages like Stow on the Wold and Chipping Campden – famed for their grand, honey-coloured houses – are within easy reach for a gentle exploration, while the more energetic can work up an appetite with a hike through the beautiful Cotswold scenery. Appetites will be more than satisfied for guests booking the three-night Christmas package, which costs from £600 per person (based on two sharing) and includes a Cotswold cream tea on arrival and a six-course Christmas Day lunch. Accommodation is on full-board basis and the package also includes dinnertime entertainment from a harpist and Christmas Eve carols, as well as a visit from Father Christmas bearing presents for every guest.
There are more Christmassy treats to be found on the south-west tip of Scotland, where Knockinaam Lodge lies within 40 acres of private gardens that lead down to a private, sandy beach. Another rural gem that combines traditional style and contemporary comforts to spectacular effect, this wonderfully atmospheric property has ten very individual guestrooms and an elegant, candlelit restaurant that will be the centre of attention on Christmas Day as the venue for the splendid Christmas feast. The hotel only has three rooms still available for its special three-night Christmas package, which costs from £1,050 per person (based on two sharing) and includes accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis plus the traditional Christmas lunch. Walks on the beach to burn it all off, of course, are free!
Equally elegant is the Lake Country House and Spa, a luxurious Welsh retreat set in 54 acres of picturesque parkland. As if the peaceful countryside setting weren’t enough, the property also has an on-site spa to ensure guests enjoy the ultimate in relaxation, while the house itself oozes charm thanks to its tasteful mix of contemporary furnishings, fine antiques and abundant fresh flowers. The three-day Christmas package costs from £730 per person (based on two sharing), with accommodation on full-board basis. The Christmas festivities kick off with champagne and canapés in the lounge before moving onto the five-course Christmas feast, followed perhaps by a stroll along the river, a swim in the pool – or maybe even an indulgent nap in front of the fire. It is Christmas, after all.« View all blog articles.