'Rule of six' breaks: holiday homes with hotel benefits ideal for smaller groups

Nine luxury holiday houses to book this autumn

Carbis Bay Beach Lodge, Cornwall
The interior of a Carbis Bay Beach Lodge, Cornwall

With most of Europe off limits for the moment, thoughts are once again turning to holidays at home. So what could be more appealing this autumn than a self-contained house serviced by a hotel or enjoying hotel-quality services? Here are our favourites.

The Dower House at Coworth Park, Berkshire

This Grade II-listed private cottage in the grounds of Coworth Park was built the year before the main house, in 1775. Today, it’s a great alternative to a stay at the hotel, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in September and has an excellent spa and a renowned equestrian centre and polo fields.

The Dower House at Coworth Park

While the house is only a couple of minutes’ walk away from the main mansion, it has its own private gated entrance and couldn’t feel more private.

There are three en-suite bedrooms, two working fireplaces, a drawing room, study, dining room and a fully-equipped kitchen with an AGA. You can also enjoy the services of both a chef and a butler on request. 

From £5,500 per night, with a two-night minimum stay; dorchestercollection.com

Queenwood Lodge at Bowood Hotel, Wiltshire 

Bowood Estate has been in the Lansdowne family since 1754 - the 9th Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne still live in Bowood House, amidst 100 acres of Capability Brown parkland. It’s also home to Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort - and Queenwood Lodge (pictured top).

The lodge is a Georgian house with four bedrooms (sleeping eight) set within its own private grounds on the estate. Guests can use all the hotel facilities and you’re only a stroll from the stately home and formal gardens.

Queenwood Lodge at Bowood

Golfers will love Queenwood Lodge’s proximity to the estate’s Dave Thomas-designed 18-hole PGA golf course and academy, which you can see from its private patio (with barbecue area) and garden. With its stylish but relaxed, book-filled drawing room with an open fire, this house is perfect for a family.

You can take it on a fully hosted basis (with chef and housekeeper) or do your own thing. 

From £465 per night; bowood.org

Long White Cloud at YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island Estate, Berkshire

Monkey Island Estate, the hotel which opened early last year in two Palladian follies on a seven-acre island in the Thames at Bray, recently launched six Private Residences. These are all off-island on the Bray side of the river (a footbridge connects the two), in historically interesting buildings.

The Drawing Room at Long White Cloud, Monkey Island Estate

The closest to the hotel and the loveliest is Long White Cloud, which sits right on the river’s edge, was once owned by Stirling Moss and where Elgar often stayed. After a complete restoration, it has emerged freshly contemporary with four en-suite bedrooms, a spacious kitchen and an indoor swimming pool.

Long White Cloud is also right next door to another of Monkey Islands’ new private residences, the three-bedroom Sundial Cottage which was the home of Thunderbirds creator Sylvia Anderson (also the voice of Lady Penelope) until she died. The houses come with full use of all the hotel facilities, 20% off treatments at the excellent Floating Spa (located on a barge) and 10% off food at the restaurant.

The hotel is due to open on October 31st.

Long White Cloud costs from £950 per night; monkeyislandestate.co.uk  

Seabreeze, Tresco Estate, Isles of Scilly

Following in the footsteps of Charles and Diana, who often took Princes William and Harry to the sub-tropical Isles of Scilly for holidays when they were little, The Cambridges have decamped to the archipelago for a quick holiday before George and Charlotte start school again and have been spotted walking on Tresco (Charles has a house on the neighbouring island of St Marys). Should the same idea appeal to you, consider booking the newest and most luxurious holiday house in the Scillies, Seabreeze.

The airy, beachy dining room at Seabreeze cottage on the island of Tresco Credit: David Butler

Sitting right on the water’s edge overlooking Ravens Porth Beach, Seabreeze cottage has five en-suite bedrooms, a cosy living room and spacious open-plan kitchen-dining room, a yoga deck and a private garden with a barbecue, outdoor kitchen, firepit and direct access to the beach. 

Set within the Tresco Estate, the house has access to Sea Garden Spa, (a two-minute walk away) with its indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym and tennis courts and elsewhere on the estate, on the neighbouring island of Bryher, so close you can walk over there in wellies on a Spring low-tide, is Hell Bay Hotel, with its award-winning restaurant.

From £5,355 for seven nights. tresco.co.uk

Lake Suites at Linthwaite House, Cumbria

After last year’s £12m refurbishment by new owners, Linthwaite House emerged with a new restaurant by Simon Rogan (chef-owner of two-Michelin starred L’Enclume nearby) and six Lake Suites, just a short stroll from the main house, close to the hotel’s private tarn (small lake).

The Lake Suites at Linthwaite House

These suites are split between two new barn-like structures – three in each - which share their own private lawn and drive. All have floor-to-ceiling windows and two suites in each have a hot tub.

The hotel has just launched a package offering all six suites together, including ingredients for a gourmet picnic from Rogan’s new restaurant at the hotel, Henrock.

From £8,200 for two nights; leeucollection.com

The cottages at Lucknam Park, Wiltshire

A Palladian mansion-turned-country house hotel near Bath, Lucknam Park, which is hoping to re-open on 14 July, sits at the end of a lime and beech tree-lined Avenue.

Set within 500 acres of listed parkland, it’s got a great spa with in-and-outdoor pools, tennis courts and a riding school but also a Michelin-starred restaurant and an excellent cookery school.

A bedroom at Squire's Cottage

There are two tucked-away cottages – one in a courtyard near the entrance to the estate, the other close to the spa. The former, Keeper’s Cottage, which opened in 2018, sleeps six in three en-suite bedrooms and Squire’s Cottage, which opened last autumn, sleeps eight in four en-suite bedrooms.

Each cottage is individually decorated but both are elegant and cosy with wood-burning stoves and enclosed gardens. Each comes with daily linen change and a welcome hamper with champagne, Nespresso capsules and other ‘essentials’.

Keeper’s Cottage cost from £1,150 per night and Squire’s Cottage from £1,550, with a three-night minimum stay. lucknampark.co.uk

Ivy Cottage at Summer Lodge, Dorset

On the edge of a pretty village in the Dorset hills, Summer Lodge is the only five-star hotel in the area. It is staunchly floral, but in this setting it works.

The terraced garden at Ivy Cottage at Summer Lodge

The hotel is well known for its excellent spa and world-class wines – a winning combination. For a bit more privacy while still enjoying all the facilities, book a stay at Ivy Cottage, an idyllic 400-year-old stone chalet next door, where the bold English florals continue.

The house sleeps four in two double bedrooms – one with a splendid freestanding tub - and has an open fire and a pretty little sheltered garden with a hot tub. Room service is available 24 hours a day and you can dine by candle light under the stars. 

From £635 per night; summerlodgehotel.co.uk

The Townhouse at YTL Hotels’ Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, Somerset

For something more urban, consider The Townhouse at Gainsborough Bath Spa, the only hotel in Bath with direct access to the city’s thermal waters, brilliantly situated right in the centre of the city.

The freestanding tub in The Townhouse at Gainsborough Bath Spa

The Townhouse, an elegant Georgian home adjacent to the main hotel, sleeps five in three bedrooms and spread over four floors, it offers both privacy and space. The characterful house, which also has an outdoor patio, is filled with unique Georgian antiques and furniture and a few particularly decadent touches like a copper bathtub in the master suite. A daily turndown by hotel staff is included unless you request otherwise.

From £795 per weeknight; thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk

Carbis Beach Lodges at Carbis Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Just before you get to St Ives you hit Carbis Bay – home to the most extraordinary expanse of golden sand, lapped by turquoise water. It is also home to Carbis Bay Hotel, which owns and maintains the beach and recently built eight new Beach Lodges on it, with direct beach access.

The interior of a Beach Lodge at Carbis Bay Hotel

Seven lodges sleep six and Lodge Eight, at the end of the row so the most private-feeling, sleeps eight. Each has great big windows, an open-plan living and dining space, a private garden and a surf-facing hot tub. The hotel can arrange private dinners in your lodge.

In-lodge dinners would normally be prepared by the chef in front of you, but in the current circumstances, they will be prepared at the hotel and delivered to your door. The hotel can also arrange for you to have your own private barbecue on the beach. 

Lodges start from £1,500 per night; carbisbayhotel.co.uk

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