Hotels with history: We take a look at three historic house hotels
Hartwell House, Middlethorpe Hall and Bodysgallen Hall make up Historic House Hotels. In 2008 Historic House Hotels and all its interests in the three hotels, became the property of the National Trust, by donation, to ensure their long-term protection with all profits henceforward benefiting the houses and the charity.
Today each of these hotels continues to celebrate history. A stay in each one of these houses will entice guests to reconnect with their over three-hundred year histories.
Hartwell House and Spa (Buckinghamshire)
Hartwell House and Spa is a country house hotel in the village of Hartwell, Vale of Aylesbury in leafy Buckinghamshire. The long-leasehold from the Ernest Cook Trust is owned by donation from Historic House Hotels to the National Trust, and the beautifully restored 17th century stately home is set amongst 90 acres of estate with guest rooms both in the main house and the 18th century converted coach houses. Magnificent spaces furnished with antiques and paintings reflect the importance of Hartwell’s most famous guest – Louis XVIII, exiled king of France.
• Stay in one of the six Royal Rooms on the first floor of the Main House.
• Explore over 90 acres of gardens landscaped by a contemporary of Capability Brown with a Tree Guide.
• Dine in the two AA Rosette restaurant and enjoy traditional British cuisine.
• Attend an event including Royal Horticultural Society Luncheons throughout the year.
• Enjoy a spa treatment by Aromatherapy Associates and take a swim in the indoor pool or play tennis on one of the two outdoor tennis courts.
• Explore surrounding National Trust properties including Waddesdon Manor built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874.
Middlethorpe Hall and Spa (York)
Middlethorpe Hall and Spa is a 17th century William and Mary country house standing in 20 acres of manicured gardens and parkland just outside of the historic medieval city of York. Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu, the celebrated 18th century diarist, moved into Middlethorpe Hall in August 1713. Famous for introducing her knowledge of the Ottoman practice of inoculation against smallpox to the UK, it was in later life that she was finally praised for introducing the practice here. A large painting of Lady Mary greets guests as they climb the staircase to their suites including the Lady Mary suite.
• Stay in the Lady Mary Suite with views of the beautiful peaceful gardens.
• Explore over 20 acres of gardens dating back to 1705 when Francis Place was commissioned by Thomas Barlow to landscape the garden. Look out for the kitchen gardens too.
• Dine in the two AA Rosette restaurant and enjoy contemporary British cuisine with traditional influences in a wood panelled dining room.
• Enjoy afternoon tea including the Piper-Heidsieck Sublime Chocolate and Champagne Tea.
• Relax in the boutique spa with treatments by NEOM and Decleor.
• Explore surrounding National Trust properties including Goddards House and Garden, once home to the Noel Goddard Terry of the famous chocolate making firm.
Bodysgallen Hall and Spa (North Wales)
Bodysgallen Hall and Spa is a restored 17th century house with views across to the mountains of Snowdonia and the World Heritage site of Conwy and its Castle, and is well placed for visiting the castles, the coast and mountains of North Wales. It was originally built in 1250 as an outlying watchtower to Conwy Castle, whilst the rest of the house was built between 1620 and 1905. Over 200 acres of award-winning gardens include several kitchen gardens. Follies, a walled garden, lily-pad pond and a rare 17th century parterre of box hedges filled with colourful sweet herbs and a formal rose garden, to keep visitors busy throughout the seasons.
• Stay in a cottage with separate lounge and bedroom and private outdoor space leading to the gardens.
• Dine in the three AA Rosette restaurant and enjoy award-winning Welsh cuisine.
• Relax in the spa with full length indoor pool and luxury spa treatments by Darphin.
• Castle hunt. With a Celtic heritage dating back some 2500 years, home to around 641 castles, Wales has developed a reputation as a destination to discover history.
• Garden! Volunteer in the gardens or attend one of the gardening events with Head Gardener Robert Owen. The gardens appeared on BBC show ‘Glorious Gardens from Above’.
The service guests receive at each Historic House Hotel is characteristic of the traditions of such houses in the past, now well suited to their present role. Guests should not expect modern hotels like new establishments but will experience history celebrated at its best with all profits returned to the National Trust.
Enjoy a break in a historic setting in the knowledge that each stay benefits the National Trust, a charity founded in 1895.