5-Star Hotel Guide

The Home Counties

Luxury beyond the M25

The Home Counties
The Home Counties
Luxury Hotels in The Home Counties
Luxury Villas in The Home Counties

5-star hotel guide to the Home Counties

Although London offers the bright lights and 5-star luxury hotels of the capital city, outside of the M25 ring road there are plenty of country escapes to discover in the area around London, known as the 'Home Counties'.

If you live in London, it's not uncommon to want to escape from the city from time-to-time, for a weekend in the country or along the coast. For visitors to the UK, visiting country villages, seeing the rolling English countryside and experiencing English country house hotels is often high on the agenda.

The Home Counties spans the eight counties immediately around London in the South East of England:  Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Sussex and Surrey, but we have also included Oxfordshire as it hosts two of our favourite countryside escapes.

Our absolute favourite country escape is Raymond Blanc's eponymous Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, a legendary 5-star country house institution. This is a hotel that is, literally, close to our hearts, as our travel editor was married there! Finding peers that match up to this standard is hard, but that's our intention, even though, in the process we have decided not to list many we visit.

We also highly recommend Heckfield Place in Hampshire, a 5-star dream come true after years of planning and oh so much effort. We were the first to visit and were completely blown away by this environmentally sensitive, stylish and beautifully concieved luxury hotel.

Another recent addition to our collection is the stunning Beaverbrook Hotel in the Surrey Hills, once the home of Lord Beaverbrook.

Exclusive use on a grand scale

For private rental on an exclusive use basis, Thorpe Manor in Oxfordshire sets new standards in staycations. With 14 beautiful bedrooms, this Georgian manor house is the perfect place to host large family gatherings, luxury staycations, celebrations or weddings. Renovated from tip to toe to 5-star standards and complete with butlers, chefs and housekeepers, this is a place that can match an Italian Palazzo for style and service - but within easy reach of the Cotswolds.