Fabulous to the core

PUBLISHED: 01:16 30 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:40 20 February 2013

Fabulous to the core

Fabulous to the core

Jayne Lindill samples the new country lodges at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa

Jayne Lindill samples the new country lodges at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa

It cant be the weather thats persuading more of us to holiday at home. After all, its not lack of rain that makes our land green and pleasant.

So perhaps its because were watching our wallets. It cant really be that either because, frankly, a week somewhere in the sun, including flights and all the food and drink you can handle, frequently works out cheaper than driving across the other side of Britain, staying in a quaint country cottage and dining at the local gastropubs.

So, whats the attraction? I think I know. Its places like the new country lodges at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa.

The standard of holiday accommodation in Britain in general, and Suffolk in particular, has come on leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, and thanks to imaginative developments like this one at Stoke by Nayland its getting better all the time.

The hotel is already known for its stunning location in the Stour Valley, its luxury spa, championship golf courses, luxury rooms and superb AA Rosette restaurant, which never disappoints.

The country lodges take Stoke by Naylands offer to a new level luxury self-catering accommodation for couples, families and groups of up to 12 people.

There are five lodges, nestled among the trees on the banks of the lake and overlooking one of the fairways. Each comprises two apartments which can be booked separately or together.

They are truly outstanding. For a start theyre huge, with wide open living spaces for cooking, dining and relaxing, capacious bedrooms and generous en suite bathrooms. Each apartment has a wrap around balcony/verandah on two sides, perfect for enjoying warm summer evenings outdoors.

The apartments are named after apple varieties in recognition of the fact that the owners, the Peake family, began their business by planting orchards in the area.

The apartments are equipped to the highest specification and theyve been designed, decorated and furnished in a style that screams sophistication but still manages to be homely and comforting.

Whether for a week or a weekend, the lodges are a wonderful way to spend time together whatever the time of year. Theres plenty to do at the resort but if the weather confined you to a relaxing day in front of a cosy fire with a good book or a film, so what?

These are eco lodges, which means theyve been designed and built with minimum impact on the environment. Carbon emissions have been minimised by using sustainable building materials, and theyre powered by renewable energy sources. When you stay in the lodges you have full use of the hotels excellent facilities including the pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, Technogym gymnasium and golf courses, with special reduced-rate green fees. You also get a dedicated concierge to look after you. He or she can arrange everything from restaurant bookings to tee times.

If you simply cant tear yourself away from the comfort of your surroundings, it can all be brought to you blissful spa treatments, takeaway-style food, even a chef and a waiter to provide a private dining experience.

Correct me if Im wrong but I cant think of anything else in the county quite like this.

While you're in the area...

Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa is in Constable Country, an area made famous by Englands foremost 18th century landscape painter, John Constable. Other art-related attractions in the area include the Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum in Dedham, Gainsboroughs House in Sudbury and Colchesters new contemporary art destination, Firstsite.

The historic towns of Colchester, Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds are within easy reach as are the pretty villages of Dedham, Boxford and Kersey. A number of National Trust properties can be found in the area, including Lavenham Guildhall, Thorington Hall, and Bridge Cottage at Flatford Mill.

Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa Leavenheath, CO6 4PZ


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