Latest members, The Airds Hotel and Gilpin Hotel & Lake House increase Pride of Britain Hotels’ northern presenceLooking out over Loch Linnhe and the mountains of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula beyond that, The Airds is a country house hotel on the west coast of Scotland, not far from Oban. Situated in the pretty hamlet of Port Appin, the hotel has 11 bedrooms and suites all decorated in fabrics and wallpapers by the likes of Colefax and Fowler, Zoffany and Designers Guild.
Relax in the various lounges, soaking up the splendid views, reading the papers and feasting on afternoon tea by the fire, or unwind in the well-stocked whisky bar. Alternatively, let the hotel arrange an aromatherapy treatment or massage in the comfort of your own room.
The hotel’s food has been awarded three Rosettes, and has held a place in the Good Food Guide for an impressive 37 years. Local suppliers provide exquisite seafood, delivered daily by west coast fishermen, while many of the vegetables and herbs come from the hotel’s own kitchen garden. Make the most of these with the seven-course tasting menu and gourmet wine dinners.
The hotel’s ideally placed for exploring the area, whether it’s a day trip to the islands of Mull or Skye, or activities closer to home: mountain biking, walking, horse riding on the loch shores or embarking on a boat trip looking out for seals, birds of prey and porpoises. A night’s half-board stay at the hotel costs from £145 pp (two sharing) including breakfast and dinner. However the hotel is offering a special rate in January only from £99 pp (two sharing) including breakfast and dinner if quoting Pride of Britain Hotels when booking.
Family-owned and run since 1987, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House is a friendly, unpretentious, luxury hotel near Windermere in the Lake District, comprising two country houses and spanning two estates. Set in 22 acres of gardens and grounds, all 20 bedrooms at Gilpin Hotel are spacious with designer interiors, most opening on to the gardens, while the six luxury Garden Suites each have a private deck area with their own hot tub.
Wander through the grounds and you’ll stumble across a llama paddock, a croquet lawn and a Japanese rockery, as well as terraces which provide the ideal spot for a pre-dinner drink in summer. In winter, snuggle by the fire in the comfy lounge, or relax in the bar with its open-plan wine cellars. Dine in the 3 AA Rosette restaurant where you can enjoy local Cumbrian produce and west coast seafood with carefully-matched wines.
Just a mile away, Gilpin Lake House is a sanctuary with six stylish suites enjoying exclusive access to 100 acres of private grounds, including a beautiful four-acre lake, indoor pool, salt snug, Japanese Ofura tub, boat house and the fabulous Jetty Spa, a Swedish-style treatment room overlooking the lake.
The epitome of relaxation has to be the Jetty Spa Trail, a few hours of completely private pampering which starts with an aroma consultation and ends with champagne in the hot tub. Meals throughout the day are served at the Lake House, whilst in the evenings the chauffeur whisks you down to the restaurant.
A night’s half-board stay at the Gilpin Hotel costs from £168 pp (two sharing) including breakfast and dinner, while a stay at Gilpin Lake House costs from £243 pp (two sharing) including breakfast at the Lake House and dinner at the hotel.