Five Romantic Retreats for LGBT couples
21 Jan 2016
Need some Valentine's Day inspiration? From fairytale treehouses to sumptuous hotel suites, Visit Britain offers its on some of Britain's most romantic gay-friendly places and spaces in which to spend a relaxing break, and maybe even pop the question…
1. A treehouse for two
Looking for a luxurious hideaway? Where could be more secluded than among the treetops. Book into Harptree Court's Treehouse near Bristol, set in the grounds of a grand country house. Cosy and snug, the treehouse nevertheless comes with luxurious trimmings such as a large veranda, wood-burning stove, king-size bed, large copper bath, fridge, Wi-Fi and iPod dock. www.harptreecourt.co.uk/treehouse.php
And for couples who like to get up close to nature but still enjoy home comforts, the bed inside Castle Cottage Treehouse, Sussex, southeast England, is set right between the branches of a giant sweet chestnut tree. With a glass-roofed shower room and a large balcony with swing seats, this is back-to-nature-style comfort at its best.
2. An Italian escape
On a rugged clifftop in north Wales sits the enchanting Italian-style village of Portmeirion, surrounded by sandy beaches and 145 acres of sub-tropical woodlands. This romantic, colourful village was inspired by a visionary architect's love of classic Italian towns and a desire to prove that development did not have to mean destruction of the natural environment. Stroll around the Central Piazza and maybe treat yourself to something sweet at Cadwalader's Ice Cream Café. For a gay-friendly accommodation choice check into Castell Deudraeth, close to the entrance of Portmeirion. www.portmeirion-village.com/stay/castell-deudraeth
3. Sumptuous suites
Follow in Kylie Minogue's footsteps and book in the fabulous Moulin Rouge suite at Malmaison Manchester – she was the first ever guest to stay in it. The suite is pure glamour, decked out in red, black and gold, complete with a four-poster bed and deep-plunge bath. You can also ask for the Love Suite Love package, which includes Champagne on ice, chocolate-dipped strawberries, aromatic oils and candles and Champagne breakfast in your room.
Want to head to London? To experience some real London luxury with your loved one, check into luxury boutique hotel Hazlitt's, surrounded by the restaurants and clubs of Soho. Owners Peter and Douglas were personally involved in the creation and design of each room. Take it up a notch and stay in the Duke of Monmouth Suite, with its four-poster canopied bed, velvet curtains, giant bathtub, a fridge full of Champagne and a pretty roof terrace. Or take a trip down to Brighton – just an hour by train from London - where you'll find Hotel Pelirocco's 19 individually themed rooms. Each offers something to arouse everyone's interest, whether it's the leopard print Betty Paige-inspired Betty's Boudoir with its own balcony, or the decadent Kraken's Lai" suite with a mirror canopied bed, giant plunge bath and pole dancing facilities. The hotel is situated on the seafront in the centre of Brighton, very close to the vibrant North Laine shopping area and restaurants, pubs and LGBT clubs.
4. Posh pampering paradise
Perched upon a cliff with panoramic beach views, The Scarlet Hotel is a beautiful adults-only, eco hotel overlooking Cornwall's Mawgan Porth Beach in south-west England. With clifftop hot tubs, a natural swimming pool and an Ayurvedic-inspired spa, it's a magical spot for couples who want to combine romance and pampering in a coastal setting.
North Star Club
For nature lovers looking for a stylish escape, head to North Star Club, nestled in the English woodland of the peaceful Yorkshire Wolds, 45-minutes' drive from York. The chic club, with eight private woodland suites decorated in a modern rustic style – think fur throws, antlers, wooden furniture and spa-style bathrooms, show off the artistic credentials of the owners, both award-winning designers.
North Star Club
Stargaze on your own veranda and enjoy a range of in-room pampering treatments with the club's resident beauty therapist, or a delicious Yorkshire supper delivered straight to your door. www.northstarclub.co.uk
5. Cuddle up in the Cotswolds
Oak House No 1, an art lover's Georgian townhouse in the village of Tetbury, is decorated with intriguing objects with some rooms featuring wallpaper inspired by iconic gay performance artist Leigh Bowery; owner Gary Kennedy studied fine art at renowned Saint Martins School of Art in London.
For the ultimate weekend, the hotel can arrange the hire of a classic car such as a convertible ‘E' Type Jaguar, as well as activities including shooting and polo lessons. www.furtherafield.com/oak-house-number-one-tetbury-the-cotswolds