We asked you to tell us your dream hotel destinations for the year ahead: the places which, after a season of cancelled trips and cabin fever, you yearn to escape to. And you told us – more than 4,000 of you! A massive thank you to all who voted, and hearty congrats to our winners…


1. Best Southwest Staycation:

Camel Estuary Hideaway, Cornwall

This stunning four-bedroom cottage comes with 14 acres of private land, a tennis court, vintage-chic interiors, and panoramic views over the Camel Estuary near Padstow. But it’s the raised semi-circular pool which stole our hearts – and, judging from the number of votes, yours as well. Fringed by aromatic shrubs and swaying grasses, it’s easy to imagine you’ve left Blighty far behind. But it’s only a 10-minute walk down to sandy Porthilly Cove, and a short drive to the surf mecca of Polzeath (the house has wetsuits and bodyboards to borrow). Cycle the family-friendly Camel Trail, hike the southwest coastal path, dine in Michelin style at Rock or Padstow. This is the best of Britain in an idyllic, infinity-edged package.

Runners up: Hotel Tresanton, Upcott Farm, Blackdown Hills Hideaway

 

 

2. Best Southeast Staycation:

The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent

Who would not want to escape to such a delightfully green and pleasant setting, immersed in the ‘Garden of England’, yet just 2 hours from central London? That idea certainly appealed to the majority of you – and that’s before we even mentioned the delicious 25-mile menu, the superlative spa treatments, the beautifully renovated bedrooms with Bramley toiletries and fluffy robes, or the terrace where you can tuck into wood-fired pizzas and Kentish wines. The hiccup? Finding availability over a weekend this side of Easter could be tricky. But trust us: after Easter it will only get harder – so don’t wait!

Runners up: Blue Door Barns, Cartshed Cottages, North House

 

 

3. Best Cotswold & Midlands Staycation:

Bloxham Hideaway, Oxfordshire

This 4-bedroom Cotswold cottage is one of a pair of super-stylish rentals tucked away amid the rolling hills and sleepy hamlets near Chipping Norton. Like many houses hereabouts, it’s built of honey-coloured limestone, clad in wisteria and fringed by striped lawns. But this one boasts stunning interiors, with three lounges (including an adults’ only snug and a kids’ TV/foosball room), four chic bedrooms with arty objets and rolltop tubs, and – best of all – a dipping pool for those sunny days we got so used to in the spring of 2020. Same again in 2021, please (only without the lockdown)!

Runners up: Crown CottageThe Peacock, The Swan

 

 

4. Best Northern Staycation:

Augill Castle, Cumbria

This fabulous folly castle in the Eden Valley is perfect for family adventures. Complete with turrets, a 12-seat cinema, a children’s library and 20 acres of grounds, the little ones will be in heaven from day one – come rain or shine. Choose one of the 12 grand but informal bedrooms – many of which sleep 4 – or book a two-bedroom cottage for more independence. If the British weather comes up trumps, there’s a tennis court and croquet lawn, plus hikes in the Pennines or boat trips in the Lake District. Or brave the Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine: a family-bonding, screen-free adrenalin rush!

Runners up: The Hut B&BStow House, The Talbot

 

 

5. Best Scottish Staycation: 

The Colonsay, Hebrides

If it’s the sound of silence you’re seeking – and it appears many of you are – then the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay is just what the doctor ordered. Midway between Islay and Mull, warmed by the Gulf Stream and long summer days, this 15-square-mile island has just one hotel, which can fairly claim to be Britain’s remotest (though there are regular ferries from Oban). Endless sandy beaches, sea cliffs, migratory birds, sea-kayaking and sailing trips draw families and outdoors types alike, as well as stressed-out city folk. We felt many, many miles from home; yet instantly at home.

Runners up: The Dunstane HousesMonachyle MhorWindlestraw

 

 

6. Best Beach Staycation:

Flying Boat Cottages, Isles of Scilly

Here’s another remote and idyllic British island which we – and many of you – love. In the southwest corner of our (currently much debated) British waters, the white-sand Scillies feel halfway to the Caribbean; they’re actually 1/100th of the distance. These 3-5 bedroom beach houses on Tresco showcase the owner’s passion for local art and creature comforts; and they come with use of the island’s indoor pool, spa, bar and restaurants. From your terrace garden you can step down onto the sand: swim, sail or cycle to beaches, forests and moors. Impossibly romantic for two, utterly magical for children.

Runners up: OceanBlue Coastal Retreats, Pentire Penthouse, The Sandy Feet Retreat

 

 

7. Best Self-catering Staycation:

Foxham Boutique Barn, Wiltshire

It’s the sense of space which we loved – and it seems you sensed it too. This beautifully converted two-bedroom barn sits among 200 acres of peaceful meadow and woodland, with an apple orchard (for fresh pressed juice), three miles of walking paths, and a private lake with jetty and rowing boat (for secret wild swims). This is the perfect antidote to cabin fever; the ultimate place for holing up with a loved one or escaping with the kids. And it’s only 2 hours from London, or less than 1 from Bristol.

Runners up: The Dorset Craft HouseCrackington HideawaysHaseley House

 

 

8. Best Budget Staycation:

Star & Garter, Cornwall

This is the perfect place for an affordable adults-only break in a delightful and often under-rated Cornish town. At the vibrant end of Falmouth’s high street, surrounded by boutiques, bars, galleries and a thriving port, sits this popular gastropub, with its 3 self-catering apartments upstairs. From just £80/night, you get an open-plan living/kitchen area, a double bedroom and a bijou bathroom. It’s all cosy and light, with sloping ceilings, beautiful linens and high quality bedding. Head downstairs for award-winning pub food and British beers, served with a sweeping sea view.

Runners up: Mhor 84 Motel, The King’s Arms, The Cow at Dalbury

 

 

9. Best Family Staycation:

South Sands Boutique Hotel, Devon

We love the New-England decor, fresh Quba sail furniture and tranquil views across the Salcombe estuary. Our kids – everyone’s kids – love the golden-sand beach right out front: perfect for sand-castling, splashing, swimming and SUP-ping. Take the sea tractor and ferry, or walk for half an hour and you’re in the heart of Salcombe. This picturesque Devon sailing haven, favoured by well-heeled yachties and outdoorsy families, has boutique shops, decent eateries and a launch across the water to yet more pristine beaches and fine coastal walks.

Runners up: Bude HideawaysBarsham BarnsCowley Manor

 

 

10. Best Wild Staycation:

Croft 103, Scotland

Ah, to sit here and gaze out at what our reviewer called “a land of infinite splendour – of soaring mountains, of aquamarine seas, of views that stretch for miles under a vast sky”. This is the top left-hand corner of our small island, and one of the most beautiful places on our planet: craggy 200-foot cliffs, plunging sea birds, beautiful beaches, desolate lighthouses. These 2 seriously cool boltholes have walls of glassan open-plan lounge-kitchen-diner, and a vast double bedroom. You’ll need to be self-sufficient: it’s 5 miles from the nearest shop, and 5 hours from Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Runners up: Elmley Nature ReserveStarbed HideawaysSwinton Bivouac

 

 


 

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