Luxury and Unique Experiences

Historic Hotels in the UK: Top 6 Places

The United Kingdom, with its rich history and architectural grandeur, is home to some of the world’s most iconic hotels. From the bustling streets of London to the serene landscapes of Scotland and the lush countryside of Hampshire, each of these historic hotels offers a unique blend of timeless elegance and contemporary luxury. This journey through the UK’s finest hotels unveils a world where grandeur meets modern sophistication, and these historic hotels’ charm is seamlessly infused with present-day comforts.

In the heart of London, Claridge’s and The Dorchester stand as testaments to the city’s illustrious past and dynamic present. Claridge’s, established in 1812 and a favorite of Queen Victoria, recently underwent a multi-million-pound renovation, revitalizing its historic charm with modern luxury. The hotel’s subterranean spa, designed by André Fu, is a sanctuary of tranquillity beneath the bustling city streets. Meanwhile, The Dorchester, retaining its 1930s ambiance, has embraced a transformative refurbishment, introducing new rooms and suites that blend traditional elegance with contemporary style. The hotel’s renowned dining and the lavish Artists’ Bar exemplify its commitment to excellence.

Venturing north, Scotland’s Gleneagles and the Scottish Highlands’ Lundies House offer a different kind of allure. Gleneagles, an 850-acre estate set against the Scottish countryside, is a golfer’s paradise and a retreat for those seeking outdoor adventures. Beyond golf, its award-winning spa and culinary experiences make it a haven of luxury. Lundies House, a former clergy house, offers a serene escape in the Highlands, where Scandinavian design meets Scottish heritage, creating a haven of tranquility and natural beauty.

Ready to learn more about each hotel? Dive into our blog!


Gleneagles – Scotland

Gleneagles, one of the most known historic hotels nestled in the heart of Scotland on an 850-acre estate, is a hotel that instantly conjures images of luxury and grandeur. Since its opening in 1924, it has swiftly ascended to iconic status, renowned as one of the world’s most exquisite destinations for golf, relaxation, and exploration of the enchanting Scottish countryside. Gleneagles is not just a hotel; it’s a retreat that offers an immersive experience in Scotland’s natural beauty and sporting traditions.

Famed for its three world-class golf courses – the King’s Course, Queen’s Course, and PGA Centenary Course – Gleneagles cemented its reputation in the golfing world by hosting the prestigious 40th Ryder Cup in 2014. However, its appeal extends far beyond the golf green. The hotel is a favored destination for celebrities and discerning guests who indulge in outdoor activities like falconry, fishing, shooting, and archery, all set against the backdrop of Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes.

The hotel’s award-winning spa is a haven of tranquility, featuring two indoor pools, an outdoor thermal pool, and twenty treatment rooms. Here, guests can indulge in massages and treatments crafted with locally sourced ingredients and native Scottish botanicals, providing a unique wellness experience. Gleneagles offers a luxurious escape, combining the charm of Scottish heritage with modern amenities, making it an unforgettable destination for those seeking the quintessence of Scottish elegance and adventure.


Claridge's hotel entrance in Mayfair - famous 5 star luxury hotel


Claridge’s – London

Established in 1812 and once a favorite of Queen Victoria, Claridge’s is a historic gem in London, renowned since its mention in the 1878 edition of Baedeker’s guide as the city’s premier hotel. Despite its rich history, Claridge’s doesn’t simply rely on its past glory. Claridge’s, a luxury art deco hotel in Mayfair, London, recently completed a multi-million pound renovation spanning over seven years. This extensive makeover has brought the hotel back to profit after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The renovation included the addition of new suites and rooms, as well as a new penthouse.

The hotel, known for its illustrious guests ranging from royalty to celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and Kylie Minogue, has also planned further developments including a new restaurant and a junket room. This reinvention is part of the hotel’s continuous commitment to modern luxury while preserving its historic charm. Claridge’s has also dug deep to impress guests with its subterranean spa. Designed by André Fu (the Maybourne Bar in Beverly Hills), its limewood and stone textures and dreamy peachy hues are the backdrop for bamboo-stick massages and Cryo Oxygen Shot facials. The pool ripples beneath a vaulted ceiling, surrounded by stone columns and cushy cabanas. Claridge’s is no longer the only show in town, but it’s with good reason that every other heritage hotel in London still sees it as the benchmark.


Heckfield Place – Hampshire, England

Heckfield Place, set against the idyllic Hampshire countryside, is far more than your typical grand country-house hotel. Since its inception in 1924, it has evolved into an icon of luxury and relaxation, celebrated for its world-class golf courses and as the host of the 40th Ryder Cup in 2014. However, Heckfield Place transcends its reputation as just a golfer’s paradise. It’s a celebrity favorite for its array of outdoor activities such as falconry, fishing, and archery, set within its sprawling 850-acre estate.

The hotel’s recent renovation has brought a breath of fresh air to its grandeur, blending traditional aesthetics with contemporary elegance. The rooms, including the Ochre Room and Panelled Room, offer a harmonious balance of traditional furnishings with modern color schemes and luxurious amenities. The Marle and Hearth restaurants, guided by the culinary vision of renowned chef Skye Gyngell, embody a farm-to-table ethos with dishes inspired by the estate’s own farm and gardens.

Heckfield Place stands out not only for its luxurious offerings but also for its commitment to sustainability and connection to nature. From biodynamic agricultural practices to its events program featuring workshops with designers, the hotel integrates environmental consciousness with luxury. This fusion makes Heckfield Place a unique and inviting destination, offering an authentic and luxurious countryside experience just an hour from London.


The entrance of The Dorchester 5 Star Hotel on London's Park Lane, overlooking Hyde Park. 


The Dorchester – London

The Dorchester in London, opened on 18 April 1931, and it still retains its 1930s furnishings and ambiance despite being modernised. Standing proudly on Park Lane, it has recently embraced a remarkable transformation, marking its most significant refurbishment in thirty years. This iconic hotel, steeped in history and glamour – a place where Elizabeth Taylor famously signed her “Cleopatra” contract – has successfully merged its storied past with contemporary luxury, courtesy of Pierre-Yves Rochon’s design expertise.

The transformation unveils a refreshed ambiance in public spaces and introduces two new floors of elegant rooms and suites, keeping the penthouses and rooftop additions under wraps until 2024. The newly designed Artists’ Bar is a centerpiece of luxury, with a mirrored ceiling and Lalique crystal pillars, providing a sophisticated setting for savoring caviar and unique Petal Head cocktails. The walls of the Dorchester are adorned with an impressive collection of London-centric art, adding a distinctive cultural touch.

In terms of dining, The Grill by Tom Booton offers a modern twist on British cuisine, including the renowned squid bolognese à la Koffmann. The newly designed suites are inspired by an English garden’s color palette, offering a tranquil and luxurious escape. At around £902, the Dorchester continues to be a symbol of British elegance and a top choice for those seeking an unrivaled, luxurious stay in London.


Lucknam Park – England

Lucknam Park, a Grade II listed country house in Wiltshire, England, is one of the historic hotels that goes beyond just being a hotel. To elevate its stature as a luxury hotel, it also has a spa, and a restaurant. Having existed since the late 17th or early 18th century, it is steeped in history, as seen in its elegant Georgian architecture and sprawling estate. Since opening as a hotel in the late 1990s under its current ownership, Lucknam Park has been committed to maintaining its classic charm while providing modern amenities and services.

The hotel offers a range of facilities and activities that blend traditional English country living with contemporary luxury. This includes the Michelin-starred Restaurant Hywel Jones, which has retained its star since 2006, a testament to its culinary excellence. Additionally, guests can indulge in the hotel’s award-winning spa, which has been recognized as a top spa destination.

The estate also provides a variety of outdoor activities. Guests can enjoy horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, and archery, adding to the quintessential English country experience. The recent announcement of the hotel receiving multiple accolades, including being named the Best Countryside Hotel at the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2024, highlights its continuous efforts to provide exceptional experiences for its guests.


Lundies House – Scottish Highlands

A former clergy hous, built in 1842, Lundies House in the Scottish Highlands is more than just a typical hotel; it’s a serene escape that perfectly blends the tranquility of nature with contemporary comfort and style. Tucked away in the small village of Tongue, this boutique hotel, once a church manse, has been artfully transformed into a luxurious haven. It stands as a testament to the harmonious blend of Scottish heritage and Scandinavian design, offering guests a unique experience in one of Scotland’s most picturesque settings.

The bedrooms at Lundies House are designed as dens of relaxation, with a focus on comfort and style. The original wood floors, marble fireplaces, and a color palette of muted greys and natural linens create an atmosphere of understated luxury. The Flora Room, a standalone apartment in the eaves, offers additional privacy and comfort, making it ideal for those seeking a more secluded stay. Lundies House also boasts impressive culinary offerings. The dining room, adorned with a mural by French artist Claire Basler, sets the scene for a unique Highland-meets-Nordic dining experience. The focus on local produce, whether freshly shucked oysters or locally sourced game, ensures that every meal is an adventure in itself.


Each of these historic hotels, from the opulent Claridge’s to the tranquil Lundies House, represents a unique facet of the UK’s rich heritage. These historic hotels are not just places to stay; they are destinations that offer immersive experiences, where history is relived, and modern luxuries are enjoyed. Whether you are searching for historic hotels for a lavish stay in the city, a golfing escapade in Scotland, or a tranquil retreat in the countryside, these hotels provide unparalleled hospitality, making every visit a memorable journey through the UK’s historic hotels, past and vibrant present.

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