Co-edited by Adam Raphael and M. Astella Saw, the 2018 Guide has 424 main entries – selected purely on merit – based on visits by a team of experienced inspectors and reports from trusted readers. Hotels featured within the Guide do not pay to be included, unlike many of today’s hotel guides, hence reviews are completely impartial. A Shortlist section contains an additional 416 establishments. These include new entries of a notable standard and other properties that remain ever-popular.
Co-editors Adam Raphael and M. Astella Saw say: ‘Our 2018 César winners must be celebrated for their individuality, warm hospitality and meticulous service, which set them apart from their competitors. This year’s 40th anniversary is a milestone for the Good Hotel Guideand we are proud of the fact that there is still a place for a published hotel guide, even though the Guide’s online presence is growing. The Guide provides the chance to recognise the UK and Ireland’s most revered and wholly independent properties, from refined gastropubs to plush country house hotels.’
Each year ten César awards are presented to a selection of hotels which have demonstrated excellence in their field. Named after César Ritz, these are known as the Oscars of the hotel industry. Here are the Good Hotel Guide’s 10 César winners for 2018, the Guide’s 40th anniversary year:
Newcomer of the year
The Mash Inn, Radnage, Buckinghamshire
The superlative meals at Nick Mash’s restaurant-with-rooms, in a Chiltern Hills village, draw the crowds. Stay in simple, modern bedrooms in the refreshed 18th-century inn; toast your good fortune with turmeric ginger beer at breakfast.
Seaside hotel of the year
Soar Mill Cove Hotel, Soar Mill Cove, Devon
The bedrooms come with binoculars at Keith Makepeace’s family-friendly hotel on a Devon hillside – all the better to spot the dolphins in the sea below. Lunch on chowder and fishcakes before walking to the beach, under the gaze of neighbouring cows.
Luxury hotel of the year
Hambleton Hall, Hambleton, Rutland
Wonderfully spoiling, Tim and Stefa Hart’s country house hotel overlooking Rutland Water has it all: delightful gardens, Michelin-starred dinners, exemplary breakfasts and an outdoor swimming pool for lazy summer days.
B&B of the year
St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses, Northumberland
A jug of monastery mead accompanies the morning porridge at this former church in a coastal Northumberland village. Dedicated owners Jeff and Jill Sutheran serve the taste of the place: village-bakery bread, local-smokehouse kippers and Northumbrian Bubble & Squeak.
Romantic hotel of the year
Forest Side, Grasmere, Cumbria
In the Lake District, Andrew Wildsmith has created a modern rustic setting at this elegantly understated Victorian Gothic mansion standing in acres of landscaped gardens and dappled woodland.
Country house hotel of the year
Judges, Yarm, North Yorkshire
The Downs family’s traditional hotel on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors wins fans for its professional yet friendly approach to hotelkeeping. Among the little touches guests love: sherry in the lavishly decorated bedrooms.
Inn of the year
Red Lion Freehouse, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire
Chef/patrons Guy and Brittany Manning run their thatch-roofed inn in a village bordering the River Avon. After a Michelin-starred dinner, retire to a bedroom decorated with flair.
Scottish hotel of the year
Burrastow House, Walls, Shetland
A peat fire burns at Pierre Dupont’s laid-back small hotel on the remote west side of Shetland – just right for the library of books to read in front of it. The 18th-century house stands on the bay; all around is extraordinary beauty.
Welsh restaurant-with-rooms of the year
Llys Meddyg, Newport, Pembrokeshire
In a coastal Pembrokeshire village, this affable restaurant-with-rooms is run by owners Edward and Louise Sykes with genuine charm and more than a dash of local flavour. The food is sophisticated, the bedrooms are snug and serene.
Irish hotel of the year
Viewmount House, Longford, Co. Longford
Open fires, fresh flowers and Irish literature fill the rooms of Beryl and James Kearney’s Georgian mansion. Most appealing are the congenial hosts, who encourage a relaxed, easy air throughout the house.
Just four hotels have been in the Guide each year since it was launched. They are Ballymaloe House in County Cork; Currarevagh House in County Galway; Lastingham Grange in Yorkshire andRothay Manor in Cumbria. Says Adam Raphael: ‘These four hotels are to be highly commended for maintaining their excellent standards for so many years.’
In addition to the ten César awards above, the Guide’s Editor’s Choice section highlights the top 10 hotels in 16 designated categories – This Year’s Discoveries, Romantic, Spas, Seaside, Restaurants-with-Rooms, Dog-friendly, Country House, Gardens, Rooms with a View, B&Bs, Value, Pubs-with-Rooms, Family, Walking, Boutique and Weddings.
Hotels are asked to make a modest payment for a website listing. The website (www.goodhotelguide.com) also features four online-onlyEditor’s Choice hotel categories: Fishing, Golf, Eco-friendly andHistoric.
The Good Hotel Guide 2018: Great Britain & Ireland will be published on 9 October 2017, priced £16 (including p&p within the UK) from The Good Hotel Guide, 50 Addison Avenue, London W11 4QP (Tel: 020 7602 4182; www.goodhotelguide.com) or priced £20 from all good bookshops. The latest informative monthly newsletters can be viewed online at: https://www.goodhotelguide.com
Discount vouchers worth a total of £150 are included in each copy. They enable a 25% saving off one night’s normal B&B price at participating hotels. Good Hotel Guide gift vouchers are also available in denominations from £50 to £500.