As Brits fall in love with travelling in their own country again, The Good Hotel Guide 2022: Great Britain & Ireland, published on 4th October, provides plenty of inspiration on where to stay for a short break this autumn.
Each year, 10 César awards are presented to a selection of hotels which have demonstrated consistent excellence in their field. Named after César Ritz, these are known as the Oscars of the hotel industry. This year, 4 of the 10 award winners are from the South West of England. A Scandi-designed 18th century thatched cottage on the Isle of Wight, a Wiltshire pub which offers wild camping and whose owner has been awarded an OBE for services to farming, a Somerset Countryside retreat by the sea and a fully restored, much loved listed Georgian rectory in Devon.
Island hotel of the year: Hillside, Ventnor, Isle of Wight.
18th century thatched cottage on the outside, Scandinavian-inspired world within, Hillside overlooks the Victorian seaside splendour of Ventnor and is palpably infused with hygge harmony. Danish-born owner Gert Bach openly displays his passions for both food and art: his seasonal menu is a French-Scandi fusion; his collection of vivid avant-garde canvases is seriously enviable.
Inn of the year: Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, Bishopstone, Wiltshire.
Champion of all that is organic, and awarded an OBE for services to farming, Helen Browning runs a characterful pub and inn – set amid 1,500 acres of farmland in the beautiful Wiltshire Downs – with passion. There are 12 irresistible bedrooms named after different fields, and farm safaris and wild camping are on offer. As you’d expect, everything from milk to meat is supplied from the surrounding fields and is splendidly wholesome.
Newcomer of the year: Locanda on the Weir, Porlock Weir, Somerset.
Caught between the untamed allure of Exmoor and the compelling draw of the sea, this eclectic and intimate restaurant with rooms stands in the impossibly pretty harbour of Porlock Weir. After an aperitif by the fire, dinner awaits – expertly created by owner and chef Pio Catemario di Quadri – promising joys such as Calabrian onion tatin, local 31-day aged chateaubriand, and vibrant, fresh-picked produce from the kitchen garden
Small hotel of the year: Plantation House, Ermington, Devon
Chef patron Richard Hendey delights guests with his home-grown and local ingredients on a nightly-changing menu with pressed guinea fowl with pistachio, Cointreau and duck a particular highlight. Sublime back massages can be enjoyed from the contemporary comfort of your bedroom in this Georgian country house a five-minute drive from the market town of Modbury, in the glorious South Hams
The awards will be celebrated with a presentation at this year’s Independent Hotel Show at Olympia, London.
Established in 1978, the Good Hotel Guide is the only truly independent UK hotel guide. In addition to the ten César winners, the 2022 Editor’s Choice* section highlights the top 10 hotels in 20 categories, with 14 categories in print and online (Foodie, Romantic, Seaside, Spas, Restaurants-with-rooms, Dog-friendly, Country House, Gardens, B&Bs, Budget, Pubs with rooms, Family, Walking and Fishing) and six online-only Editor’s Choice categories (Weddings, Golf, Eco-friendly, Historic, Quirky and Rooms with a view).
This year’s Gardens Editor’s Choices include Barnsley House, Gloucestershire, with its Rosemary Verey-created English country garden
This year’s Spa Editor’s Choices include Homewood’s pretty outdoor pool and cosy, sheltered divans on which to lounge near Bath
The Good Hotel Guide 2022: Published on Monday 4th October 2021, priced £16 (including p&p within the UK) 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. Good Hotel Guide gift vouchers are also available, in denominations from £50 to £500.