First Nights

First Nights

Match the excitement of your wedding day with a romantic hotel suite. These five hotels are an hour or less away from airports, too – perfect for your first night if you’re jetting off on honeymoon

For country-house charm…

Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire
With its roaring fires and sofas that you can melt into, 16th-century Calcot Manor in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, is all about cosiness and comfort and, despite its child-friendly tag, there are plenty of secluded spots for newlyweds. The décor has a colour palette that complements the Cotswolds countryside, with exposed beams, brickwork and antique furniture, combined with modern florals, geometrics or stripes.

For honeymooners, the rooms in the main house are spot on, with their Hypnos beds, Frette linen and Aromatherapy Associates toiletries. After the adrenalin rush of the big day, head to the spa for the Elemis Garden of England Rose massage – a deliciously scented, hydrating treatment for post-wedding fatigue. The outdoor hot tub is also perfect for romantic Champagne-sipping soaks, whatever the weather.

For dinner, bag a table in the Conservatory – a formal dining option with great views of the countryside – and tuck into locally sourced food. We couldn’t get enough of the slow-cooked fillet of Calcot organic beef with baby leek and shallot mash. For a more relaxed vibe, the Gumstool offers gastro-pub fare and has a fabulous suntrap terrace.
Book it: Rooms from £209 per night including breakfast.

For rich history…

The Witchery, Edinburgh
In the heart of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh’s 16th-century The Witchery at the gates of the city’s castle is a dramatic medley of old fireplaces, rich tapestries and gilded ceilings. Its nine opulent suites have a glorious sense of theatre, with rich drapes, awesome antiques and roll-top baths for two. And in the morning, you have the choice of a romantic candlelit cooked breakfast in the original oak-panelled Witchery dining room, or a continental breakfast hamper delivered to your room.
Book it: Around 30 minutes from Edinburgh Airport. Suites, from £345 per night, including a bottle of Champagne.

For seaside traditions…

Cary Arms & Spa, Devon
Looking out over tranquil Babbacombe Bay in Devon is like rewinding several decades. The award-winning inn on the beach, Cary Arms & Spa channels coastal charm with whitewashed walls, nautical stripes, seaside motifs and idyllic beach huts and suites. Our favourite place to enjoy dishes such as Lyme Bay lobster is the sloping terrace overlooking the water.
Book it: Just over 30 minutes from Exeter Airport. Rooms, from £245; beach huts, from £375; beach suites, from £425; all prices include breakfast.

For rural chic…

The Pig, Somerset
The Pig near Bath in Somerset is a tranquil country house that modestly describes itself as a restaurant with rooms – but, wow, what rooms! The Comfy Luxe and Big Comfy Luxe categories both come with a freestanding bath to soak dance-weary feet and a ridiculously romantic four-poster for the sweetest dreams. After a well-deserved lie-in, refuel with a Pig breakfast. What can’t be grown in their impressive kitchen garden and vegetable beds is sourced within a 25-mile radius.
Book it: Less than half an hour from Bristol Airport. Comfy Luxe rooms, from £220 per night room only.

For city vibes…

Vintry & Mercer, London
Where better to toast your married status than at a new hotel named after the wine and silk merchants of the Middle Ages? From the team behind The Ampersand in South Kensington, Vintry & Mercer in Garlick Hill is in the heart of the City’s livery guilds district. Be one of the first to enjoy its luxury suites, glorious views over the Thames and roof-terrace restaurant. There’s even a basement bar styled after a 1920s Prohibition speakeasy.
Book it: Around 40 minutes from London City Airport. Rooms from £175 per night.

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Jul/Aug/Sep 2019

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