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Grantley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire
More of a retreat than a hotel, you can easily stay a few days here, sampling the four restaurants proudly using Yorkshire produce, walking in the extensive grounds including a serene Japanese garden, or further afield in the scenic Yorkshire Dales. The spa is outstanding, with indoor and outdoor pools and even a snow room; you'll want to linger in the massage chair, freshly made smoothie in hand, after indulging in a treatment. The hotel is a joy to walk around, fresh and uplifting, with accents of gold from the chandeliers to the dado rails - expect quirky renditions of antique portraits, life-size white marble sculptures and service that stands out. Roomy ritzy suites with exceptionally comfortable beds complete the offering: this is somewhere you'll visit again and again.
Fountains Abbey is fascinating; an ancient abbey that's a World Heritage Site and offers insight into Medieval monastic life, later privately owned which is when the renowned water garden was created.
The hotel is in the Yorkshire Dales, a short drive from the cathedral city of Ripon.
By car: the hotel is one hour from Leeds, 2 hour 10 mins from Manchester and 4 hours 30 mins from London. Free private parking on-site.
By train: London Kings Cross to York takes around 2 hours 30 mins. The station is a 30-minute taxi ride from the hotel. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Perfect if you enjoy country pursuits but appreciate luxurious surroundings, and ideal for a longer break with a choice of restaurants and bars. The enclosed glass roof top terrace, complete with pretty bench seating, ornamental trees and tasteful animal sculptures is a place of serenity.
Service & Facilities
Driving up the long entrance and being met by an impeccably dressed doorman to take your bag, and a valet to park your car, set the tone for good service.
- Swimming pool
- Beauty treatments
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The Galphay Suite is spacious but homely due to gorgeous hardback artsy books and classy objet d'art, plus jaw dropping garden views. The heated Villeroy & Boch loo, with an automatic lifting lid, and the shower that turns into a steam room, are both nice touches
Deluxe Room, Executive Room, Junior Suite, Grand Suite, Superior Suite, Presidential Suite, Royal Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, bathrobe, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The Bread, Butter, Dripping, Beef Tea is a memorable bread course, highlighting Northern English classics such as beef dripping and beef broth but Michelin style. The turned-on-its-head, rhubarb rice pudding is incredible too; compressed al dente rhubarb, rhubarb gel, delicate rhubarb crisps, nutty puffed wild rice and a warm nostalgic 'school dinner' rice pudding flavoured espuma.
Shaun Rankin: Michelin-starred, fine dining. Open Weds-Sun for dinner and Sunday lunch. Set menu from £130 per person.
Fletchers: all-day dining, British and European. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mains from £24.50.
EightyEight: Yorkshire produce and Asian flavours. Open daily for dinner and weekends for lunch. Mains from £18.