Luxury Hotels Yorkshire – Rockcliffe HallIf you are looking for 5-star hotels in Yorkshire look no further! The stunning Rockcliffe Hall occupies 375 acres on the banks of the River Tees. It is home to hundreds of different species of wildlife, trees and plants and covers river banks and wetlands. Over 90 bird species have been recorded here as well as 20 of the 59 butterfly species found in Britain. Rockliffe Hall is clearly one of the best hotels in Yorkshire as it has won award after award! AA five red star status, Sunday times top 100 ultimate British hotel, Top 25 UK luxury hotel travellers choice trip advisor and many more! Once you have stayed at Rockliffe Hall it is easy to understand how this luxury hotel South Yorkshire has become so award-winning. Not only is the property and everything in it stunning, but I also experienced some of the warmest 5-star services I have ever encountered! But let’s get back to the arrival! Rockliffe Hall is not far from the main road and very well signed. It has one of those wonderfully majestic long driveways that always give me a strong sense of luxury hotel anticipation! This boutique hotel has an old hall, a new hall and then the spa building. Did I mention they also have a golf course? And self-catering mews style houses? There are 61 rooms across the two halls and multiple rooms for lounging in between! My personal favourite was the bright and light morning room.
Rockliffe Hall RoomsMy room at Rockliffe Hall was on the first floor of the new hall. The ground floor rooms have an outdoor patio. I had a small balcony overlooking the grounds. My room was huge!!! It had a 2.5 seater couch and a chaise lounge the same size! A small table and 2 chairs. A King size plus bed. Importantly it also came with a fantastic shower in the bathroom. This was a proper rainfall shower which was very high up but still had strong water pressure. And complete decadence – a flat-screen tv in the tub! THEN there was also a whole dressing area with separate table and mirrors. The entire room was beautifully furnished in stylish and oh so comfortable fabrics – soft carpet, soft fabrics on the couches – all so soft and lovely!
Rockliffe Hall RestaurantsAs one of the leading luxury hotels in Yorkshire, Rockliffe Hall, of course, serves amazing food in its 3 restaurants. The Orangery is the main restaurant and also where breakfast is served. The Brasserie is located near the spa and is more casual dining and suited to bathrobe wearing! And the clubhouse also contains a restaurant. There is a wonderfully decadent and colourful bar next to The Orangery. And best of all there is a fantastic wine cellar with the most fabulous sommelier! Daniel Jonberger looks to find small quantities of wines from all over the world that can’t be purchased elsewhere. Daniel will lead wine tastings based on your brief. If you don’t know much about wine he can design a more introductory tasting which explains the difference between different grapes etc. Or if you know what you like give him a brief and he will look to source some interesting choices for you. Tastings can and should be booked in advance. It is not necessary to be a guest of the hotel to book at a tasting. Gift certificates are also available for this service. Masterclasses are held Wednesday – Sunday for groups of between 2 and 8 people at a price of GBP 45 per person. I don’t think this type of service is terrible common in Boutique Hotels Yorkshire. OK back to the food! I had a fantastic dinner at the stunning Orangery restaurant. It is a beautiful room! The glass ceiling and sides let in loads of natural light. And there is so much attention to detail down to small things like the candle holders. The Orangery offers a 6-course tasting menu or a 3-course meal. I chose the 3-course menu. I started with the village crab which came with black garlic and cheese and was a parfait style texture – delicious. I couldn’t resist the Yorkshire lamb as my main! This is one of the signature dishes at Rockliffe Hall and I could quickly see why! The meat was so flavoursome and so delicate – just heavenly! Breakfast the next morning was a continental buffet. And then I had to order the Singing Hinny! Streaky bacon, poached Wensleydale free-range eggs and maple syrup. A deliciously naughty way to start the day!
Rockliffe Hall SpaThe spa at Rockliffe Hall is award-winning and it is easy to see why! It is one of the largest and most luxurious spas in Britain at 50,000 square feet! It is also one of the leading boutique spa hotels Yorkshire has. After leaving the changing room of the Rockliffe Hall Spa the first thing you will see is the 20-metre main pool. The room is stunning. The end wall is glass top to toe and the sidewall has a range of beautifully coloured stained glass windows. What a place to swim! There are loads of loungers so it is an area to relax and read or swim some laps. There is a snack bar at the end of the pool that also offers juices and wine – very civilised! Next door is a very impressive hydrotherapy pool. In the majority of luxury spas I have visited in the past the main pool and hydrotherapy pool are integrated. It is not common to see a 20-metre pool and then a completely separate large hydrotherapy pool in the UK! The hydrotherapy pool at the Rockliffe Hall spa has several different sections with timed options. Recline on air beds and allow tiny air bubbles to massage your body or direct the body jets on the seated area to massage your lower back. A foot spa is also in this area which alternates hot and cold massaging bubbles. There are then lots of different rooms at different temperatures. This includes a Tepidarium with a warm body shaped beds, a Caladrium which provide a hot steam bathing which is infused with aromatic oils, a Tropicarium which is like a sauna but with moist heat, a classic roman sauna, an igloo which provides hot and cold therapy AND an outdoor hot tub. I also enjoyed one of the signature NEOM body treatments at the Rockliffe Hall spa which was just lovely. The spa itself is beautifully decorated – quite modern and rick in feel. It almost feels Asian but not quite. The staff are incredibly friendly like the rest of the hotel. My NEOM massage used hot oil and there was quite a bit of spritzing and aromatherapy which I very much enjoyed! After my massage, I was taken to the extremely comfortable relaxation area to recover! The spa also offers treatments using Caudalie and Comfort Zone products. The gym has a 50 piece Technogym equipment with a fitness timetable and fitness specialists on hand.
Rockliffe Hall Spa GardenThe Rockliffe Hall Spa Garden is a unique experience that blends the indoors and outdoors. I haven’t seen anything like this on offer before. Essentially this is like a mini spa that you can book and enjoy as a private experience – on your own or as a couple or as a group. The Spa Garden has panoramic views and a stunning infinity pool. The outdoor pool is warm with different pressures of hydrotherapy massage. There is a glass-fronted sauna, fire and water features, hot and cold experience showers and Tepidarium beds. It is all rather lovely and perfect for a special day or as a gift. Rockliffe operates as a day spa or the general facilities are available to all hotel guests during their stay.
Things to do at Rockliffe HallThere is a lot to do at Rockliffe Hall! Several walks can be done around the beautiful grounds – from a woodland stroll to a 3km or 5km walk to Hurworth. There are many connections with CS Lewis as he lived nearby. There are sculptures etc using elements and characters from Alice in Wonderland throughout the grounds. Rockliffe Hall also offers seasonal fun activities around Alice in Wonderland. Rockliffe Hall has a croquet lawn and a golf course. Bring your own bike or Rockliffe will provide you with one. The North Yorkshire moors and dales are perfect for cycling. Fishing, shooting and horseback riding can all be booked in advance.
How to Get To Rockliffe HallRockliffe Hall is in County Durham in between Hurworth and Croft on Tees. Darlington is the closest railway station and Durham Tees the nearest airport. If you’re driving it’s off the A1(M). It’s no wonder Rockliffe Hall is considered one of the best places to stay in Yorkshire – and probably one of the top 5 star hotels in Yorkshire.
Things to do near Rockliffe HallOK, I am going to suggest something that is not super near Rockliffe Hall but is absolutely the best thing to do within a reasonable distance of Rockliffe Hall! Head to York and see York Minster! Since the 7th century, York Minster has been the centre of Christianity in the north of England and is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world. It is still an extremely active working church and it is a fascinating place to visit. Free guided tours of York Minster are run daily. Each weekday at 130pm a special free tour is run which focuses on the stained glass windows of the Cathedral. I highly recommend taking this tour! The stories that the stained glass windows tell are utterly fascinating. The Hidden Minster Tours are also well worth taking. It is possible to go inside the Cathedral roof and see how the church was built – and to understand how difficult it would be to restore. Grab some lunch at the House of Trembling Madness. While you’re in York don’t miss indulging your sweet tooth at Betty’s Cakes and Fudge Kitchen. Don’t just choose one – go to both. You’ll thank me.
⇒ Looking to explore the South and South West of England? Check out my posts on Sussex, wonderful Winchester, Brighton, Exeter and its coffee culture, Exmouth, and spa hotels in the South West of England.
Yorebridge HouseLovely Yorebridge House is a much smaller property than Rockliffe House and one of the most romantic boutique hotels Yorkshire has on offer. This luxury hotels Yorkshire Dales property is at the edge of lovely Bainbridge and in the heart of rolling green landscapes, stone walls, sheep and cows and all things Yorkshire dales-esque! Since Yorebridge House opened January 2008 it has won over 77 awards!!! These include the most romantic hotel in the UK according to trip advisor twice, best small hotel in England according to Visit England twice, loads of local awards and in 2019 they are up for best independent hotel in the UK at the Caties – the most prestigious catering awards in the UK (they have been finalists for the last 4 years).
Yorebridge House RoomsI hardly know where to begin with these amazing rooms! They must have more of a story than the rooms at any other Yorkshire hotels! Ok, I am going to start with the story of this hotel. David and Charlotte own and run Yorebridge House. David has extensive experience in the hospitality industry and Charlotte had developed an interiors business which also consulted to hotels and restaurants. As such, David knows all about how to run a hotel and service and Charlotte knows how to make everything look absolutely stunning! The interiors are all sourced from the best possible designers. British companies, of course, when they can but Danish furniture, hand made silk curtains and my favourite, the modern take on the four-poster bed designed by Charlotte herself!
⇒ Heading to Scotland? Check out my itineraries for 10 nights in the Scottish Highlands, 7 nights covering Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye, things to do in Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire, my guide to climbing Ben Nevis and 9 great Scotland Spa Breaks.My room was Niskhiki on the ground floor in the corner – named one on the United Kingdom’s most romantic bedrooms. I was of course there on my own! The huge modern 4 poster plush bed was wonderfully comfortable. My room contained everything you could think of! A Nespresso machine, a big jug of water and glasses, proper milk in a silver thermos (why don’t more hotels do this??), truffles, Molton Brown toiletries, a thick bathrobe, slippers and best of all a hot tub! Yes, my own hot tub! If you were looking for luxury hotels Yorkshire with hot tub your search is over! I enjoyed a dip in the hot tub and honestly it was like I had just ingested multiple sleeping pills! The jets on my back were the best thing ever pre-bed and I had an amazing sleep!
Yorebridge House RestaurantThe restaurant at Yorebridge House has had 3 rosettes for 6 years. Yorebridge House’s location in Wensleydale means that all of its beef and lamb are sourced locally and of the highest quality. Yorebridge is in the “skinny” part of England which means it can look to both the east and west coasts to source the highest quality local fresh fish. Indeed, fresh fish is delivered to Yorebridge house six mornings a week. Yorebridge grows their own vegetables, herbs and fruits (you can see them) and they even have their own honey, made by their one million bees! They make their own butter – to which they add marmite and sea salt and it is amazing! All the bread and the ice cream is made in house – it is no wonder that everything tastes so damn good!
⇒ Heading to London? Check out my posts on 13 Unusual Experiences in London, the best London Food Tours, some great places to eat in Earlsfield, near Clapham Junction and near Victoria Station, a mad hatter afternoon tea party and day trips to Brighton and the Cotswolds.I had an amazing dinner at Yorebridge house which started with homemade rolls and the wonderful marmite butter. This was followed by a delightful amuse bouche soup and then Orkney scallops as my starter. I couldn’t not order Yorkshire spring lamb prepared in three different ways with peas and edamame. Then a raspberry and white chocolate parfait with chunks of white chocolate and raspberries for dessert. What a meal! Unsurprisingly the breakfast buffet was full of the highest quality ingredients – local ham, local yoghurts, proper ripe fruits and even some parma ham. I also treated myself to eggs benedict made with local bacon!