/ Travel & Leisure

Where are your favourite UK hotels?

We’re now publishing hotel reviews online for the very first time. So, where are your favourites? Let us know – we might pay it a vist in the future!

Our Travel team sends undercover inspectors to hundreds of hotels every year.

They rate them on a range of criteria to find the ones that offer the best service and facilities at the best price, but last week was the first time those reviews have been published online.

With the warm weather lately they’ve definitely inspired me to take a look at a few destinations I haven’t considered before – some of them do look absolutely stunning.

As a result of our recent survey, we know that members enjoy visiting towns on the UK coast, so for this first set of reviews (10 in total) the team chose seaside hotels across a range of different budgets.

The secret inspectors found some fantastic seaside stays, as well as a nightmare property that wasn’t even rated one star.

These inspections happen anonymously, too. The hotel cannot influence the rating, so there’s no special treatment and nothing hidden from the full reviews.

Share your hotel stories

Our hotel inspectors are keen to hear about your hotel experiences – the good and the bad! So if you’ve experienced a nightmare stay or perhaps amazing service let us know below.

We might even pay the hotel a visit in the future.

Have you ever stayed somewhere a little different? I’d definitely never considered a 12th-century castle until last week…

I enjoy the odd country escape for walks and cycling and have had some good Airbnb experiences on the way, but one of my personal favourite hotels is the Ilsington in Dartmoor – perfect for long walks on the moors then relaxing in a spa in the evening.

So where are your favourites in the UK? Have you had a great experience somewhere? Where would you recommend your fellow Convo readers check into for a few days away?

We could all do with a summer break, so let us know your tips.


If you’re ever in York, the York Marriott overlooking Tadcaster Racecourse currently serves the best food we’ve ever had. Hotel food is rarely that wonderful, but the manager of the hotel originally trained as a chef and managed Ceaser’s Palace as well as hotels in New York. It’s fair to say the quality of the Marriott offering this time exceeded that of the two starred Michelin The Royal Monceau in Paris, or the three starred Ramsey’s in London. Sadly, managers change so he might not be there that long.

I stayed at the Grosvenor Pulford hotel on the Welsh border for a wedding in April. It is a beautiful location, excellent breakfast and really spacious rooms if you upgrade to an executive room. We loved it so much we went back a few weeks ago! The staff are very attentive and the rooms are super clean – a real sticking point in some hotels for us! It’s a little bit pricey but you get a lot for your money and you’re within 10min drive of wonderful Chester.

We stayed at the Best Western Crianlarich Hotel over Easter and we loved everything about it. This review does it justice: https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/crianlarich/crianlarichhotel/index.html but do find out for yourselves. 🙂

Some of my favourites include

The Seamill Hydro, at Seamill in Ayrshire.

The Midland Hotel at Morecambe.

The Haven Hotel at Sandbanks, Poole.

I’ve just realised it has been ages since I last stayed in a hotel! I normally go for self catering these days.

I had my honeymoon in Hotel Una in Brighton. Gorgeous hotel which managed to have both eccentric modernity and a traditional feel.

Our family always went self catering; hotels were too expensive for anything decent and more restrictive. We could choose when and where to eat (in or out), somewhere to relax (other than a bedroom) if anyone was under the weather. OK, you had to wash up, tidy up and make your own beds.

I stayed in Torquay on a sports holiday recently for £60 a night dinner b&b. Not much, so how bad was it?The hotel was a little tired, but clean, the public rooms and facilities excellent, nice grounds, and really decent food with a good selection. Not gourmet, but you looked forward to eating.

Some of my favourite places are like that. There is a hotel called the Falcon’s Nest in Port Erin in the Isle of Mann. I have very fond memories of a somewhat shabby hotel but clean, friendly and the food was tasty. This was well over 20 years ago though – it would be interesting to see if it has changed over the years.

Rob H says:
17 July 2019

It has to be Larkbeare Grange B&B in East Devon for us. Set between Exeter and Honiton, this converted Georgian house is surrounded by orchards and green fields – think lots of peace and quiet but with great access to the A30/M5.

Charlie is ex-Savoy Group, The Halkin and St James’s Club in London so brings a hotel pedigree to running this relaxed B&B. Julia drives their eco credentials which means Larkbeare can offer a degree of luxury that treads lightly. They’re very nearly self-sufficient in the energy that they use to run the business thanks to solar panels and a biomass boiler on-site.

Together they have won countless awards for their sustainability and also have a big focus on growing their own food – eggs were the latest addition when we stayed last month and the Aga cooked breakfast is one of the best we’ve had anywhere – delicious marmalade made from their own fruit. The house is a beautiful, brilliant base to explore East Devon and the Jurassic coast from, and is also pretty much in the centre of loads of great pubs and restaurants so ideal for foodies.

We ate at The Five Bells at Clyst Hydon (10 minutes away). It’s a real rural beauty – thatch, massive beer garden, local owners and very good food – pub classics (amazing Scotch egg) mixed with more refined daily specials – as well as a drinks selection that is almost entirely local, even the lager.

Would highly recommend a visit.

If anybody ventures towards Anglesley, I’d recommend Chateau Rhianfa. It can certainly be quite pricey but you can get some great package deals when shopping around. Beautiful surroundings and views of the Menai Straits.