Fife Arms, Braemar SCOTLAND
Entering the Fife Arms is like stepping through the looking glass into a brilliantly bonkers fairytale. Nestled in a picturesque, tiny town in the Cairngorms, this former coaching inn is steeped in history and full of character. As the first hotel by gallerists Hauser & Wirth, it’s no surprise that the sought-after property is packed with art: a Freud here, a Picasso there, not to mention a sketch by Queen Victoria (whose beloved Balmoral is ten minutes away). Decor is part trad Scottish, part Victorian gothic, with tartan walls, quirky vintage treasures and a menagerie of watchful taxidermy, while bedrooms range from cosy Croft Rooms to grand, antique-filled suites.
The 2 Best Honeymoon Hotels in England of 2021 Photo Gallery
But don’t hole up for too long – head out for massages in the spa or explore lochs, forests and mountains with only deer for company. Worked up an appetite? There’s fine dining in the chandelier-lit Clunie Dining Room (the roasted celeriac is divine), or huge plates of comfort food in The Flying Stag, the hotel’s welcoming pub. End the night with cocktails in the Drawing Room, an elegant space where you half expect to bump into Oscar Wilde or Sherlock Holmes. After all, with a winged stag hovering over the pub bar and decades of history in every nook and cranny, the Fife Arms is the perfect place for your imagination to take flight.
THE LUXE TOUCH To see the stunning scenery of the remote Cairngorms in true VIP style, ask the hotel about organising a helicopter tour of the area.
Gara Rock, Salcombe DEVON
With its chic English Riviera vibe, you’d expect to find plenty of delightful hotels around the popular village of Salcombe. But, surprisingly, there hasn’t been anything exciting to shout about from the rooftops of its pastel houses, until now. This property has had many guises over the years, but its latest incarnation is more than a cut above its predecessors. Just a few miles outside the village, you’ll find the modern grey structure hugging a cliff on a slice of secluded coastline. Look up to gaze at the endless sea meeting sky; look down and the beach below might as well be private, it’s so isolated – keep an eye out for seal pups! Inside, you’ll be blown away by the sheer detail in the Scandi-style design, with no price-hike to room rates in return.
So you can snuggle by the bar’s wood burner for a home-made cordial, smug in the knowledge that you’ve found a value-for-money gem. And for what looks like a smallish operation, the facilities are impressive: with a cinema room, spa and indoor and outdoor pools, there’s so much to do, it’s the ideal place for a mini-moon in summer or winter. In fact, the latter is almost more special. Morning views of dramatic weather rolling in as you tuck into kippers on toast are breath-stealing. THE LUXE TOUCH We hear the brand new ‘Secret Suite’ (a totally private bolthole set apart from the main hotel) is set to be a major contender for one of the very best honeymoon escapes in the country.