The Summer of 2020 will forever be remembered as the time feet stayed firmly on the ground, whilst we all travel a little closer to home. Red Carnation’s family owned collection of individual hotels, many with exclusive use, fully serviced private cottages and apartments, are located in some of the most picturesque spots across the British and Emerald Isles, from the outstanding beauty of Dorset to the wilds of Ireland. As restrictions are lifted, and with quarantine in place, this is the moment to hit the road and explore the very best these magnificent islands have to offer.
South Coast Capers at Summer Lodge & Acorn Inn
The Jurassic Coast is the ultimate destination for a carefree sea-salt adventure – with miles of beautiful countryside, picturesque bays, breath-taking coastal walks, and renowned foodie hotspots. Set in the heart of Hardy country, Summer Lodge Country House Hotel and the neighbouring Acorn Inn are located in the quintessentially English village of Evershot, Dorset, one of the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
With 18 comfortably cosy rooms and suites, each individually designed, vast gardens, tennis courts and swimming pool, Summer Lodge is an idyllic escape. Families and groups can enjoy adjoining rooms and suites to ensure plenty of space. Children can let off steam in the four-acre gardens, where specially prepared family picnics can be enjoyed in secluded corners. Guests young and old can spend the morning foraging in the expansive kitchen garden, and then savour their finds freshly prepared for that evening’s supper.
Summer Lodge’s private cottage is the perfect spot to cosy up for a weekend of complete seclusion with the added benefit 24-hour room service. The beautifully appointed Ivy Cottagehas two master bedrooms and a private garden and offers peaceful privacy with all the benefits of a five-star hotel. The outdoor hot tub is the ultimate extravagance and best enjoyed under the stars with a glass in hand.Just next door, the award winning 16th century Acorn Inn offers ten comfortable en-suite bedrooms and delicious food. Featuring original beams, oak panelling and flagstone floors, this is a typical English country pub and the perfect base for a walking holiday or long weekend.
Search for fossils and beach treasures at Lyme Regis or Lulworth Cove. Explore picturesque little villages including Worth Matravers and take in the epic walks of Studland Bay. Guests with time for an extended holiday can choose to drive onwards into Devon, to Salcombe and the beauty of Bantham Bay and onwards to the Cornish coast.
HOW: Summer Lodge is set to reopen on 4th July, with B&B rates from £350 per night. Ivy Cottage starts from £635 per night. www.summerlodgehotel.co.uk
An Island Adventure at The Old Government House & The Duke of Richmond Hotel
In late summer, when further movement is likely to become easier, turn a road trip into an overseas adventure, by hopping onto the ferry to the island of Guernsey. Just a 40-minute drive from Summer Lodge, the car ferry departs from Poole and is a three-hour scenic journey across the Channel. Guernsey is home to stunning beaches, spectacular coastal walks, hidden coves and beautiful countryside filled with wildflowers.
Choose to stay at one of Red Carnation’s two properties, both set in St Peter Port often described as Europe’s prettiest harbour town. The Old Government House Hotel & Spa, the only five-star hotel in Guernsey, is located a five-minute walk from the quayside.
Nearby, The Duke of Richmond Hotel overlooks a quiet park with views to the sea beyond. Guests can get out into the great outdoors to enjoy hikes, cycling, boating and fishing. Take a trip out along Guernsey’s south-east coastline for a chance to spot puffins, dolphins and seals in the freshest of sea air.
HOW: The Old Government House Hotel is now open, with rates from £189 per night. The
Duke of Richmond will reopen in due course. www.redcarnationhotels.com/ourhotels/guernsey
Escape to Ireland at The Historic Ashford Castle
For those seeking a true escape overseas, the wilds of Ireland await, a short ferry and a leisurely countryside drive away. The historic Ashford Castle, sitting on the shores of Lough Corrib, is one of the most prestigious properties in Ireland, once home to the Guinness family for over 100 years and visited by stars and royalty from George V to Fred Astaire.
Reopening in July with a smaller number of rooms, this will be the perfect opportunity to experience Ashford as one of very few guests, with 350 acres of grounds to explore and carefully curated activities for summer days, including falconry, golf, horse riding, fishing, boating, cycling, archery, clay pigeon shooting and zip-lining. One of the jewels in the Red Carnation crown, the castle has been lovingly restored by the family with carefully sourced antique pieces, exquisite fabrics, bespoke carpets, original artwork and marble bathrooms, sensitively complimenting the ambience and tradition of this iconic building while incorporating more modern technologies. A 32-seat cinema and Lego Room Service menu will keep younger family members entertained, whilst adults will appreciate the splendid billiard room, underground wine cellars and plenty of space to kick back and relax in comfort and style. Perhaps the ultimate destination for a post-lockdown break for two, Ashford’s Hideaway Cottage, right on the shores of Lough Corrib, offers enviable seclusion.
Guests staying at this elegantly converted former boathouse have access to all the amenities at the castle whilst enjoying the privacy of this lakeside retreat, complete with 24 hour in room dining, a well-stocked bar and bicycles for two. Accessed through secure gates and with private gardens and an outdoor terrace on the jetty, the idyllic property features hand-crafted parquet flooring, original artworks, lush fabrics and a blue Murano glass chandelier. The perfect place to take some time out in the freshest lakeside air.
HOW: Ashford Castle reopens on 22nd July. A deluxe room with views of the lake starts from €685 per night on a B&B basis. The Hideaway Cottage costs from €3,000 per night on a B&B basis. https://www.ashfordcastle.com
Space and Seclusion in the Capital at The Milestone Residences
For those country-bound during lockdown, this summer promises to be the perfect moment to experience the joy of London in the sunshine, without the usual hordes of tourists. The Milestone Residences, situated opposite Kensington Gardens, are splendidly spacious 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with private entrances and full hotel service.
The residences offer the most comfortable way to combine physical distancing with an unforgettable London experience. Whilst the parks are abundantly green and streets are uniquely quiet and museums and galleries are beginning to reopen, this may be the very best moment to experience London on your doorstep. The six apartments offer the indulgence of space and location, giving residents the opportunity to combine total privacy with the legendary Red Carnation service.
The residences can be accessed through the main hotel or by means of their own discreet private entrance, and guests have full access to all hotel amenities. Red Carnation’s six completely individual London hotels, from Kensington to Mayfair, Bloomsbury and Westminster, will begin to reopen as restrictions lift, offering unparalleled warmth and welcome in the capital.
HOW: The Milestone Residences are open now with rates starting from £1000 per night
with a three night stay minimum www.milestonehotel.com