For nine hectic months in 2018, the Country Living editorial team, as well as producing the lovely pages of the magazine, were kept busy designing and planning the very first Country Living Hotel. For Editor Susy Smith it was the culmination of a long-held dream - to open a hotel that would invite its guests to ‘step inside the pages of Country Living’. Working in partnership with SLG (Coast & Country) Susy’s dream came true when the Country Living Hotel, Bath opened its doors in May 2018, followed shortly by the Country Living Hotel, Harrogate.
To achieve exactly the right feel for the hotels, the team spent months pouring over mood-boards and sample books, then donning their hard hats to check progress as things took shape on site. The editorial team worked with the hotel’s interior designer to completely transform both buildings – the goal was to create comfortable, welcoming hotels where guests can ‘escape their every day’, kick back and relax surrounded by beautiful interiors. The redesign took in every detail from the wall-colours, fabrics and flooring, through to the taps, teaspoons, staff uniforms and fluffiness of the duvets.
And the result is two hotels that exude relaxed charm and offer understated, stylish luxury, along with a warm country-house welcome. Each hotel has a slightly different look - arriving at the Bath Hotel, elegant high-back chairs in colour-pop umber sit either side of the Georgian fireplace in reception. The intimate Bar, with chic sage green walls and charming French doors, is the ideal spot to sip a G&T looking out over the shady terrace.
Harrogate meanwhile has a more rugged country-house vibe - wellies stand lined up by the door, plump plaid-covered sofas and armchairs are ready for guests to curl up in, and the Drawing Room is great for a sociable afternoon tea of cakes and warm scones.
Like all good country houses, the hotels have Libraries stacked with enough books and magazines to read away a good few hours, and both have restaurants serving classic British dishes with English country garden twists. And finally, the bedrooms and bathrooms combine welcome, comfort and modern luxuries - with plaid throws on the beds, a tray of mugs for tea and, of course, cosy duvets.
With the shops and sights just a short walk away, the hotels make a great base from which to explore both Bath and Harrogate, and the lovely countryside beyond – and your dog can come too – both hotels are dog-friendly. The Harrogate hotel is also the very best place to stay if you are visiting the Country Living Christmas Fair in Harrogate, it’s literally just a hop and a skip across the road to the hotel’s Dog & Duck Bar for a post-Fair Prosecco.win a fabulous stay at either hotel. And if you aren’t lucky enough to win – go and stay anyway!