This restaurant with rooms is a culinary feast in a gorgeous setting. Owned and run by a husband and wife team whose dream to return to their home county has been realised through this venture, this old doctor’s house has been beautifully refurbished to include limestone baths, walk-in showers, and locally-woven blankets and fabrics.
As the hotel is an ideal base for exploring the Pembrokeshire coastline, you are sure to work up a healthy appetite and this is just as well as the undoubted star of the show at Llys Meddyg is the food. Local produce features heavily on a well-crafted menu. The cosy cellar restaurant offers the perfect setting for a romantic meal with excellent and unobtrusive service. The soft candle light and belting wood burner will be a perfect antidote to a chilly winter’s evening.
Breakfasts are a feast of local produce, including some lovely touches such as their gloriously tasty home-smoked salmon (it was so good we even took half a side home, a very popular late addition to our Christmas menu.) After a lazy start, enjoy some of the coastal walks on offer or potter around the pretty villages of Newport or St David’s (a scenic half an hour drive away). Returning to the hotel you can indulge in a soak in the deep luxurious bath tub before pulling up a stool at the friendly bar to explore their serious home-flavoured gin and vodka selection!
South Kensington is one of the most luxurious neighbourhoods in London, and the Ampersand Hotel definitely fits. The hotel has been privately owned since its creation in the 1800s as the Norfolk Hotel and is one of London’s original boutique hotels. The stylish and quirky design is inspired by the culture of the neighbourhood – music, ornithology, botany, geometry and astronomy. These themes are cleverly incorporated into the overall design and décor, with clever maps of London cut into hummingbirds outside the lift, bird designs on the chairs in the café, and each of the 111 rooms cleverly integrated into the themes.
Your room has a complimentary mini-bar (soft drinks only) and tea and coffee facilities. The digital touches really bring the luxury hotel experience into the 21st century. This includes your ‘do not disturb’ notice and a button for calling service to your room. It’s the small touches that impressed me – an international adapter in the desk, sophisticated electronics panel in the desk, breakfast served in your room if you request before 3am, dressing gowns, Miller Harris toiletries (including make-up remover, vanity kit and other easily forgotten items), slippers and your own rubber duck. You can choose from a range of rooms, from the smaller simpler double and single rooms through to the suites situated on the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel.
Breakfast is served either in your room or downstairs in Apero restaurant, yet again with slick contemporary design. You can choose from the continental buffet which includes treats such as spinach and ricotta pastries, brioche, homemade bread, eggs, fruit, cereals, there is something for everyone.
South Kensington is perfect for lots of classic London experiences. You’re only a short stroll from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Royal Albert Hall, as well as only a couple of hundred metres from South Kensington tube station if you want to explore further. Alternatively, the hotel can arrange for a taxi to shuttle you to your desired destination.
Set in a series of fine Georgian townhouses which look out over a private garden in a 100 year old square, the award-winning Blythswood Square hotel was once the clubhouse of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club and a starting point for the 1955 Monte Carlo rally. It’s now the most stylish hotel in the city centre, catering to business people, tourists and visitors attracted by easy access to the many close-by music venues – including many a rock star making use of the expansive penthouse, complete with complimentary Dom Perignon on arrival.
Blythswood Square is within walking distance of many Glasgow attractions, bars, restaurants and the best of the city’s excellent shopping. Within the hotel, there is a bar and a restaurant, both lively and popular with locals and guests alike. The bar is well known for cocktails but is also a must for whisky lovers. With 200 Scotches to choose from, you’ll never been short of options for a wee dram.
I stayed in a classic room which was compact but not cramped and featured a marble bathroom which could open onto the bedroom if you fancy soaking in a bath while watching TV. When I struggled to get to grips with the TV, somebody was knocking on my door within five minutes to help, which was typical of the high service standards. The comfortable rooms are furnished in a modern, unfussy style and there was a small welcome tray of chocolates in the room when I arrived.
The hotel’s spa includes a ‘thermal experience’ – a journey though an array of steam rooms, dry heat rooms, crystal steam room and large hydro pools. I had the entire place to myself when I took advantage of the free use for guests early in the morning. There is even an ice fountain if you want to rub ice on your body to cool off – I didn’t, lest my piercing screams panic the spa staff.
Staff at the hotel exuded typical Scottish warmth, hospitality and humour. It’s the perfect base for exploring Glasgow and the surrounding area, confident in the knowledge that you have a warm welcome and a comfortable bed awaiting you on your return.
The only thing better than flopping down on the plush couch in my two-bedroom flat at Think Earl’s Court in London was flipping on the TV directly to an episode of Doctor Who. My corner apartment instantly had me relaxed.
Think shies away from the traditional one-room hotel and instead offers serviced apartments. The apart-hotel’s concept brings in all the standard amenities and more – not only did I have two bedrooms, but I had a living room and dining room, two full baths, a washer/dryer combo, free wi-fi, and a fully-outfitted kitchen. Housekeepers come by once a week, and regardless of whether you’re staying for one night or a year’s worth, you will immediately feel at home. And families take note; Think has a strict no-party policy, so you can be sure the quiet comfort retains its silence.
The cherry on top of my London apartment life experience came courtesy of the genial and generous front desk staff. My apartment wasn’t ready when I arrived, and they paid special attention to my every need as I sat in the lobby. I was greeted in true English fashion with tea and a fresh croissant, given a map and guidebook, and set down in a deep comfy chair by the television to wait for my room in luxury.