The Good Hotel Guide has now revealed the winners of its 12 César Awards for 2024: a collection of outstanding hotels, inns and B&Bs across Britain and Ireland, recommended by readers and backed up by professional inspection.
This year, The Good Hotel Guide César winners include a former harbourmaster’s Welsh home, a capital city hotel with resident cat, a glassworks-turned-boutique-hotel in Norfolk, a secluded Scottish stay with a footpath directly to its own private cover, and a Grade II-listed Jacobean manor house in Kent with fireplace panelling from Windsor Castle.
The 12 César winners for The Good Hotel Guide 2024 are as follows:
Best country hotel
The Retreat at Elcot Park, Newbury, Berkshire
A fraction of the price of many traditional country-house hotels, The Retreat at Elcot Park offers bedrooms with a modern English feel, a pool, a spa and an overall relaxed, fun air. Yu, the pan-Asian restaurant is not to be missed.
Best city hotel
The Rookery, Clerkenwell, London
Spot Bagheera the cat snoozing by the fire and enjoy rooms with mahogany panelling in this homage to yesteryear that’s hidden down a narrow lane near Smithfield market. Expect modern touches too, such as 24-hour room service.
Dorset House, Lyme Regis, Dorset
Lyn and Jason Martin describe their B&B as ‘breakfast with rooms’ and given the morning menu (think honey-baked figs with rose-scented ricotta) it’s obvious why at this Georgian house with smart and uncluttered rooms.
Best pub with rooms
The Inn at Whitewell, Lancashire
On the River Hodder, in the Forest of Bowland, this manor house comes with flagged floors, open fires, impressive food from chef Jamie Cadman and a cheery welcome from third-generation members of the Bowman family.
Best Hotel in the South of England
Boys Hall, Willesborough, Kent
Kirstie and Brad Lomas opened the doors of this 17th-century manor and Grade II listed building in 2023, where the bedrooms are better than in many top hotels. Food is a highlight, with traditional dishes served differently.
Best Hotel in the South West of England
Plumber Manor, Dorset
A country-house hotel with a heart, Plumber Manor is run by the Prideaux-Brunes, who treat their guests as family. Richard and his wife Alison host, while brother Brian cooks. Traditional interiors are filled with antiques and artwork.
Best Hotel East Anglia
The Harper, Langham, Norfolk
Former home of Langham Glass, The Harper has glass animals in reception and stained-glass windows in public rooms. Relaxed and refined, it has artfully mismatched furniture, rustic-chic bedrooms and complimentary cocktails.
Best Hotel Midlands
The Olive Branch & Beech House, Clipsham, Rutland
A trio of farm labourers’ cottages house a gastro pub, a shop and a wine store. Rooms are over the road in Beech House and are food-themed. Choose Berry for its gardens and autumnal colours or Double Cream for its antique bed.
Best Hotel in the North of England
Hazel Bank, Borrowdale, Cumbria
Fantastic food, good wine, stylish bedrooms and Lake District walks from the doorstep mean Hazel Bank ticks all the right boxes for a country-house hotel. Bedrooms have views across the valleys and the fells, with Scafell Pike in sight.
Best Hotel in Scotland
Knockinaam, Portpatrick, Dumfries & Galloway
Enjoying a knock-out position on a private cove where the road ends and the Irish Sea begins, Knockinaam charms guests with its unstuffy, relaxed air. The views are superb and the food is a daily changing menu of local specialities.
Best Hotel in Wales
Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron
Named after different historic sailing ships, the maritime-themed rooms in the former harbourmaster’s house all have sea views; the top-floor suite is particularly sought after. There are plenty of local specialities in the restaurant.
Best Hotel in Ireland
Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, County Cork
Foodies flock to this legendary hotel set on a 300-acre working farm, which comes with a cookery school, café and shop. Opened 60 years ago by the late Myrtle Allen, it is still family-run today.
The new guide is now live online and features over 700 hotels, including 73 new entries for this year. The Good Hotel Guide has been around for 45 years and is truly independent: no payment is accepted for inclusion, and inspectors do not accept free hospitality during their anonymous hotel visits.