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The best hotels in the UK and Europe revealed

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From the ex-headquarters for the British Secret Service to a spa boasting poolside views of the Aegean sea – the UK and Europe boast an incredible array of amazing hotels.

Highlighting some of the most spectacular offerings, Condé Nast Johansens has announced the winners of its 2017 UK & Ireland Awards for Excellence and 2017 Europe & Mediterranean Awards for Excellence.

The annual awards are based on a mix of responses from online voting, guest feedback, and local expert reports by the Condé Nast team.

Best Newcomer / Back on the Scene: Crossbasket Castle, Glasgow, Scotland

The 600-year-old Crossbasket Castle was rescued from ruin in 2011 and opened as a five-star hotel in 2016

The hotel boasts nine luxurious and palatial rooms each named after a former owner of the castle as well as a new ballroom which can seat up to 250 guests for corporate gatherings and special occasions

Six hundred-year-old Crossbasket Castle was rescued from ruin in 2011 and opened as a five-star hotel in 2016 leading to it winning the accolade of best newcomer.

The oldest part of the castle – the Lindsay Tower – dates back to the 16th century and is now a beautiful bridal suite which spans four floors reached by a spiral stone staircase.

The hotel boasts nine luxurious and palatial rooms each named after a former owner of the castle as well as a new ballroom which can seat up to 250 guests for corporate gatherings and special occasions.

Best for Romance: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Cumbria & The Lake District, England

Two country houses span two estates at The Gilpin Hotel and Lake House in Windermere

The title highlighted The Gilpin Hotel’s romantic accommodation of 20 country-chic bedrooms, garden suites (which include private cedar-wood hot tubs in their own decked gardens) and spa suites (which come with spa facilities and hot tubs) as the reason for its win 

Two country houses span two estates at The Gilpin Hotel and Lake House in Windermere. 

The title highlighted The Gilpin Hotel’s romantic accommodation of 20 country-chic bedrooms, garden suites (which include private cedar-wood hot tubs in their own decked gardens) and spa suites (which come with spa facilities and hot tubs) as the reason for its win.

The six-suite Lake House is situated a mile away in 100 acres of grounds on the shore of a small lake with boat house and jetty exclusively for the guests of the residence. Its Swedish-style spa is raised three metres into the tree canopy with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake. 

The restaurant has three dining rooms, all of which serve British dishes prepared from Lake District produce and West Coast seafood. 

Best Service: 41, London, England

The stylish monochrome décor, private entrance and mahogany-panelled executive lounge (left) and a striking bedroom (right)

Honing in on its private members’ club feel, this central London hotel won an award for its impeccable service.

The aromatherapy pillow menu, in-room treatments and even a pet concierge are just some of the exceptional services available at the property just on the doorstep of Buckingham Palace.

The stylish monochrome décor, private entrance and mahogany-panelled executive lounge complete the exclusive aesthetic.

Apartments boast crisp, white linen and fireplaces and smart technology is in place throughout.

Best Villa / Serviced Apartment: Cheval Three Quays at the Tower of London, London, England

The prime location of Cheval Three Quays’ five star serviced apartments offers breathtaking views over the Tower of London, the Thames and Tower Bridge, the Shard and HMS Belfast

Arranged across nine expansive floors, Cheval Three Quays’ five-star serviced apartments offer flexible city living throughout open-plan, one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments and penthouses.

The prime location offers breathtaking views over the Tower of London, the Thames, Tower Bridge, the Shard and HMS Belfast.

The apartments feature cutting-edge interior design with clever lighting and geometric shapes. 

Best Small and Exclusive property: The Old Rectory Hotel, Devon, England

The Old Rectory Hotel is perched high up on the cliffs of Exmoor National Park was once a Georgian rectory and the residence preserves its character while offering all modern comforts to travellers

The Old Rectory Hotel is perched high up on the cliffs of Exmoor National Park on North Devon’s coast affording guests breathtaking views of National Trust grounds, taking in an immaculate garden complete with a trout pond and a Victorian maze. 

As its name suggests the hotel was once a Georgian rectory and the residence preserves its character while offering all modern comforts to travellers. Eight bedrooms can be found in the main building while three are located in the neighbouring Coach House

The hotel is run by perfectionists Huw Rees and Sam Prosser who serve excellent food created from local seasonal produce, reveal Condé Nast Johansen.

Best for Families: Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon, England

Saunton Sands Hotel is set against dramatic backdrop of the famous South West Coastal Path and offers the perfect escape for urban travellers looking to breathe in the fresh air and revel in vast, open spaces

Saunton Sands Hotel is set against dramatic backdrop of the famous South West Coastal Path and offers the perfect escape for urban travellers looking to breathe in the fresh air and revel in vast, open spaces, claims the publication.

A three mile beach lies in front of the hotel and is a hotspot with surfers. At neighbouring Croyde Bay a surf and music festival, Gold Coast OceanFest, is held every June.

All year round activities at this picture postcard perfect location include horse riding, cliff-top walking, cycling trails and sand dune frolicking.  

Best Luxury Value: The Manor House Hotel, Gloucestershire & The Cotswolds, England

The 16th century Manor House Hotel is a former coaching inn-turned-upscale boutique escape which retains an informal and friendly style.

However, it has attracted numerous famous names in its time: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother stayed here during World War II and the 13th century market town of Moreton-in-Marsh itself inspired scenes in J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

An enchanting garden at the hotel features a 300-year-old mulberry tree and mature evergreen oak complete with a sun terrace – a favourite spot for afternoon teas, drinks and gatherings.

Best Dining Experience: Chewton Glen, Hampshire, England

There are plenty of activities at Chewton Glen to please the whole brood, with a luxury spa, indoor and outdoor pools, croquet lawn, tennis and nine hole golf course

This New Forest overachiever is deserving of all its awards and glory, according to Conde Nast Johansens, which praises the suite treehouses in the woods.

There are plenty of activities to please the whole brood, with a luxury spa, indoor and outdoor pools, croquet lawn, tennis and nine-hole golf course. 

Its restaurant is commended as it’s where executive chef Luke Matthews whips up amazing dishes from fresh local produce alongside an impressive wine list.

Best Hotel with Spa: Alexander House Hotel and Utopia Spa, West Sussex, England

Whether its enjoying some fizz in the Champagne Bar, being kneaded in the Grecian-style spa, or lounging in a luxurious lodge room, this Sussex hotel and spa offers the ultimate romantic mini break

Conde Nast Johansens loves that the hotel is cosy in every season thanks so summer courtyard sunshine and wintry fireside lounging

Whether its enjoying some fizz in the Champagne Bar, being kneaded in the Grecian-style spa, or lounging in a luxurious lodge room, this Sussex hotel and spa offers guests the ultimate romantic mini break.

Conde Nast Johansens praises the hotel for being cosy in every season thanks to summer courtyard sunshine and wintry fireside lounging.

They recommend indulging in the afternoon tea of clotted cream scones and sandwiches followed by a stroll around the garden before admiring the 1609 Champagne Bar’s menu which lists more than 175 Champagnes, wines and cocktails. 

Best Destination Spa: The Spa at Coworth Park, Berkshire, England

The spa at Coworth Park, which is partially submerged into the surrounding hillside, enjoys breathtaking views, while its guests enjoy luxuriating in the relaxing retreat

This Dorchester Collection property goes above and beyond the average countryside hotel, claim Conde Nast Johansens.

The spa, which is partially submerged into the surrounding hillside, enjoys breathtaking views, while its guests enjoy luxuriating in the relaxing retreat.

The hotel also has three restaurants and a chocolate room, where a Chocolatier whips up decadent treats. 

Best Waterside Hotel: Cary Arms, Devon, England

The luxurious Cary Arms inn opened six luxury huts this summer. Set within gardens along the water’s edge, each cliffside beach hut has a large sea-facing sun deck with loungers, with views across Lyme Bay to Portland, in Dorset

The luxurious Cary Arms inn opened six luxury huts this summer. Set within gardens along the water’s edge, each cliffside beach hut has a large sea-facing sun deck with loungers, with views across Lyme Bay to Portland, in Dorset.

Inside, the chic huts feature a clean layout with white walls, grey flooring and colourful striped carpet on the stairs leading to the mezzanine level, where guests can enjoy magnificent views of the sea from their king double bed.

On the main level, there’s a sitting area with a comfortable sofa, a wood-burning stove, wet bar and a bathroom. Guests can order in room service when they’re feeling peckish. Designers aimed to incorporate traditional seaside charm and New England cool inside and out, said the boutique hotel. 

Best Countryside Hotel: Dormy House, Worcestershire, England

Stand out features at Dormy’s House Spa include 16-metre infinity pool, nail parlour, six treatment rooms, mud room and two gyms

Today, chic and charming, Dormy House was once a 17th-century farmhouse and is located high on Willersey Hill in Broadway, Worcestershire – known as the ‘jewel of the Cotswolds.’

The region is a hub for the art, antique and outdoor loving enthusiast.

Guests can enjoy more than 50 treatments at Dormy’s House Spa with stand out features including a 16-metre infinity pool, a nail parlour, six treatment rooms, a mud room and two gyms.

Best Urban Hotel: The Bloomsbury, London, England

This neo-Georgian building – designed by the renowned British architect, Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (renowned for the Cenotaph in Whitehall) – is nestled minutes from London’s theatreland.

Conde Nast Johansens praises the bold fabrics, striking colours and geometric lines in the rooms and suites which create a contemporary edge. Luxury details include duck down pillows and duvets, underfloor bathroom heating, Nespresso coffee machines and free WiFi.

The Bloomsbury Club Dining Room serves traditional British dishes with a gourmet flair by executive chef Paul O’Brien.

Best Green Hotel: The Green House, Dorset, England

A Grade II listed Victorian villa, The Green House in Bournemouth keeps ‘green’ at the core of what they do.

Rooms are filled with wooden furniture crafted from storm-felled trees, beds covered in fairtrade cotton sheets, low-impact power supplies and walls decorated with sustainable paper.

All ingredients are locally sourced and deliveries are made daily.

Best for Conferences/Meetings: No 1 Whitehall at Royal Horseguards, London, England

This iconic Whitehall address has existed under several guises over the decades, most interestingly as headquarters for the British Secret Service during World War I

Some suites now boast spectacular views, none more so than the grand Tower Suite’s 270-degree river panorama

This iconic Whitehall address has existed under several guises over the decades, most interestingly as headquarters for the British Secret Service during World War I.

The first Secret Intelligence Service chief, Sir Mansfield Cumming, lived and worked here (the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s ‘M’) and it’s said a network of underground tunnels once used by Sir Winston Churchill is hidden behind its walls.

Some suites now boast spectacular views, none more so than the grand tower suite’s 270-degree river panorama.

Best for Weddings, Parties and Special Events: The May Fair Hotel, London, England

The bar at The May Fair is highly praised by Conde Nast Johansens – at first it seems purely an achingly cool watering hole but in fact offers a fine selection of vintage wines and Champagnes

Suites at The May Fair are vast and feature vibrant colour schemes and plenty of old-fashioned decadence.

The bar is highly praised by Conde Nast Johansens  – at first it seems purely to be a trendy watering hole but in fact it offers a fine selection of vintage wines and Champagnes.

Other rooms to watch out for are the Cigar Room, the Italian leather trimmed 201-seat private cinema, the exclusive casino and poker room, and the spa. 

Condé Nast Johansens Readers’ Award: Seaham Hall, Durham & Tyne & Wear, England

Seaham Hall is today a leading spa hotel but this Georgian manor has been many things over the years including an aristocratic home, military hospital and whisky storehouse.

The hotel’s spa includes 17 treatment rooms and an 82ft pool where up-to-the-minute treatments feature alongside ancient therapies. 

THE TOP HOTELS IN EUROPE AND THE MEDITERRANEAN REVEALED

The winners of Condé Nast Johansens’ 2017 Europe & Mediterranean Awards for Excellence have also been announced.

The awards saw hotels win accolades including Best Service, Best Dining Experience, Best Destination Spa and Best for Romance. 

 Spain boasts the most wins in Europe but there were also noteworthy addresses worth adding to your bucketlist in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Breathtaking backdrop: Ca’ Sagredo Hote in Venice, Italy won the title of Best for Weddings, Parties or Special Events

Coastal playground: The Readers’ Award went to Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa, Antalya, Turkey

An eco conscious stay: Casa Modesta in Algarve, Portugal won an award, Best for Green Practices

Kick back in style: Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden in Tenerife, Spain won Best Hotel With Spa

Room with a view: Bohemia Suites & Spa in Gran Canaria, Spain won Best Service

Luxury for less: Hotel Brunelleschi in Florence, Tuscany, Italy won Best Luxury Value

Eat your heart out: Hotel Gardena Grödnerhof in Tyrol and Dolomites, Italy won Best Dining Experience

Retreat into nature: Terra Nostra Garden Hotel in Azores, Portugal won Best Countryside Hotel

Classic style: Grand Pigalle Hotel in Paris, France won Best Urban Hotel

Romantic bolthole: Dating back to the 14th century La Borde in Burgundy, France won Best Small and Exclusive Property

Endless serenity: Guests can enjoy glorious mountain views at SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante, Spain which won the Best Destination Spa award

A fantasy escape: Boasting striking views it’s no wonder Astra Suites in Santorini, Greece won the award Best For Romance

New arrival: Vintage House Hotel in Oporto, Portugal won the award for Best Newcomer / Back on the Scene

Nirvana Lagoon Villas Suites & Spa in Antalya, Turkey won the Best For Families award

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club in Algarve, Portugal was awarded Best Villa or Serviced Apartment

Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahía Real, Fuerteventura, Spain won the Best Waterside Hotel accolade

Condé Nast Johansens announced the winners of its 2017 UK & Ireland Awards for Excellence and 2017 Europe & Mediterranean Awards for Excellence, this week

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