Feeling frazzled? Sometimes the best thing to do in these situations is to give up and clock out for a while before total burnout hits. Self-catering apartments and buzzy city breaks have their place, but what you need when you’re overwhelmed is serious five-star treatment in a peaceful spot far from the madding crowd. So stop running around, switch off your phone and let someone else look after you for a change. We’ve found just the place…
Close to Lake Windermere with a chocolate-box backdrop of nothing but hills, dry stone walls and sheep, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House’s two-venue boutique hotel is everything you need to revive the soul. Prepare to sink into opulent cosiness the moment you step through the door; I wore slippers for drinks and garnered no odd looks, and looked out on some fuzzy resident llamas from a hot tub. Armchairs that hug you even make an appearance at starched-tablecloth lunches, and the bottle of champagne that waited for us in our suite was the perfect precursor to a dip at dusk in the hot tubs. Dinner is five-course, five-star and don’t-give-a-damn decadent.
If you go as a couple, follow the Jetty Spa Trail by the hotel’s four-acre private lake, which allows for serious alone-time – you’ll have the pool and sauna to yourselves, followed by a salt scrub and massage, then a walk through the woods to the Boat House, where afternoon tea is served looking out on the water. Then it’s back to visit the llamas, with champagne on the side…
Rooms from £335 per night including dinner, bed and breakfast, based on two sharing. At weekends, there is a two-night minimum stay. Visit thegilpin.co.uk or call 015394 88818