Thinking caps on... where to take your beloved mum for Mother's Day this year, that is the question? Here at Cool Places we have a wonderful selection of places where you can treat her in style, ranging from seaside hotels with views and spas to country pads with quality restaurants. March 31 is rapidly approaching – best get cracking!
Situated on the border between Devon and Cornwall, this fairy-tale hotel is the country cousin of the excellent waterside Tresanton in Cornwall, both of which are owned by the renowned designer and hotelier, Olga Polizzi. The eighteen rooms and suites range from 'Classic' through the more spacious 'Repton' and 'Bedford', to a number of well-appointed suites. All are artfully and individually decorated, with a stylish mix of old and new pieces, wooden floors, painted wallpapers (across which fly exotic birds), original roll-top baths and book-lined shelves. They do a lovely afternoon tea too.
You couldn't get much more central to the New Forest than by staying in this sumptuous spa hotel located in the heart of the national park, just outside Brockenhurst. The larger, older sister of the excellent Montagu Arms in nearby Beaulieu, many people come here for spa breaks, and we don't blame them – the SenSpa here is as good as it gets. The spot it also home to the Cambium restaurant, which is one of the best places to eat for miles around.
Vanessa and Les Scott opened Strattons in Norfolk well over twenty years ago now, and either they were remarkably ahead of the curve, or they have adapted it to be almost the epitome of a new breed of British boutique hotel, with an attractive historic building, a great restaurant, on-site cafe and extremely comfortable rooms that are contemporary and welcoming – and a little bit quirky. Overall you couldn't be in better surroundings, enveloped by the fruits of Les and Vanessa's magpie-like travels and ultra-vivid imaginations.
Lots of hotels advertise rooms with sea views, but very few actually offer one from every room. And what views! The Atlantic Hotel is well named, occupying an enviable location perched on a headland high above the beaches far below, halfway between the centre of Newquay and Fistral beach. The spa facilities, too, make the most of the vistas, and there's both indoor and outdoor heated pools and hot tubs, plus a sauna and steam room. Their bar and restaurant – Silks – is a stylish venue and AA Rosette rated too, the first in Newquay to achieve this status.
If you love the Lake District but lazily write it off as being somewhere for the duffle-coat and rucksack brigade, with facilities to match, then you should think again. The region has changed quite a bit since the days of Wainwright, and nowhere more so than at the Brimstone Hotel, one of the Lakes' new breed of dazzling boutique hotels, housed in a slate-clad building perfectly in keeping with its surroundings. There's also a pool, sauna and steam room which makes this a very relaxing sort of place all round.
Set on a splendid private estate of lawns, mature woodland and a private 9-hole golf course above the lovely Helford River in South Cornwall, this is not simply an engagingly traditional country house hotel. With a huge swimming pool and intimate little spa, it is also the perfect choice for families – both nuclear and multi-generational. They also have a number of self-catering cottages and holiday homes available.
We love a country house hotel, and the great thing about Calcot Manor is that it delivers everything you would expect without standing on ceremony – and doesn't expect you to do so either. The hotel has a beautiful spa, with a great indoor pool, gym, a steam room and sauna and any number of treatments to enjoy, and there's also an excellent restaurant, The Conservatory, and a proper in-house pub, The Gumstool. Also worth keeping in mind are nearby sister hotels Barnsley House and The Painswick or northern cousin Lord Crewe Arms.
The Maison Talbooth is an agreeable country house in Essex's 'Constable Country'', overlooking a lovely rolling green landscape punctured by spires and red roofs. The name aside, it's all oh-so English and very definitely on the intimate, boutique side of things, with just 12 gorgeously styled guest rooms, each deliberately different and named after a renowned poet. Oh, there's a spa too, and when the time comes for dinner you can be whisked off in the hotel's Range Rover to their nearby fine dining restaurant, Le Talbooth, two minutes away by car.
Overlooking the lovely Tamar Valley almost bang on the Devon-Cornwall border, the Horn of Plenty is a swanky place indeed, with first-rate service, attention to detail and impeccable designed guest rooms. The food is bang up-to-date and is the other star attraction: expect admirably executed and perfectly formed menus that are full of delicious, original choices, from local wood pigeon and wild rabbit to Brixham mackerel and Dartmoor lamb.
This contemporary seaside boutique hotel is in a gorgeous location, set in spacious, beautifully manicured grounds overlooking the Camel estuary in Cornwall. Its 20 rooms are bright, modern and cosy, many with far-reaching views, and it's a relaxed, chic kind of place. Why not book your mum in for a treatment at their spa before treating her to lunch at their top-notch eatery?