Luxury country house hotels are already being booked up for for Christmas 2019 (even though it’s only September!) and with good reason: luxury hotels could be made for Christmas. Think of the best luxury country house hotels for Christmas and instantly you can picture the festive scene: comfy sofas, roaring fires, beautiful decorations and acres of grounds for the Boxing Day walk (or a top spa for some serious pampering).
Many luxury hotels, especially the best British country house hotels, offer two- or three-night festive breaks which wraps up the whole of the Christmas experience in a Christmassy package, often starting with welcome drinks, carol-singing and dinner on Christmas Eve, followed by Christmas morning cocktails and Christmas Day breakfast, the all-important Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, and then, if you’re lucky, a Boxing Day Ball. Sprinkled among all this festivity will be Christmas films, time for presents and the Queen’s Speech (Christmas at a luxury hotel is nothing if not traditional).
Added to this might be a luxury hotel spa, activities such as falconry, wine-tasting, treasure hunts, black tie dances, cocktail classes, Christmas games and quizzes (Father Christmas could even make an appearance) and probably the best thing of all: absolutely no washing up. You will be looked after, pampered, indulged and thoroughly cosseted and while all this comes at a price, well, it’s only once a year after all. However each hotel chooses to celebrate Christmas, you can be sure of three things: it will be memorable, it won’t be cheap, and there’ll be a massive Christmas tree. Feeling festive yet?
Below is a round-up of the best hotels for Christmas in the UK and what the best hotels are offering for Christmas 2019. The price of Christmas breaks is usually based on the cheapest room and so might be more expensive depending on what rooms the hotels have left. Where I haven’t been able to find a price for Christmas 2019 I’ve kept the price from last Christmas but will add a note to that effect. If any of these Christmas hotels take your fancy then be quick as many of these will sell out – and fast. I’ve included links so you can jump to the different regions or just scroll through the whole list for Christmas inspiration. Good tidings to all!
Best hotels for Christmas in the Cotswolds
Best hotels for Christmas in South East England
Best hotels for Christmas in the New Forest
Best hotels for Christmas in South West England
Best hotels for Christmas in the Midlands
Best hotels for Christmas in the North of England
Best hotels for Christmas in Scotland
Best hotels for Christmas in Wales
Best hotels for a Christmas spa break
Best hotels for Christmas in the Cotswolds
Dormy House, Worcestershire
The hotel: Above Broadway in the Cotswolds, Dormy House is the perfect boutique hotel, with an ultra-modern spa, cosy bedrooms, two restaurants and a great eye for what makes a lovely break.
The Christmas package: Snuggle up by the fire this Christmas for three nights of festivity at this award-winning boutique hotel. For Christmas Eve, enjoy afternoon tea and mulled wine on arrival, curl up by the roaring fire with a warming mug of hot chocolate and then feast on a three-course dinner at The Potting Shed or the Garden Room restaurants; on Christmas Day, celebrate with champagne and canape reception, followed by a five-course Christmas banquet with all the trimmings followed by a Christmas Day evening buffet. On Boxing Day, enjoy an all-day brunch offering at The Potting Shed, and then work off the Christmas treats with outdoor activities enjoying the Cotswold countryside and crisp winter air. In the evening, take your seat for another five-course tasting menu and matching wines.
Cost of Dormy House hotel’s Christmas package 2019: From £2,650 based on two people sharing an Intimate room.
Read what it’s like to stay at Dormy House here
The Painswick, Gloucestershire
The hotel: Cosy and charming award-winning boutique hotel in Cotswolds stone.
The Christmas package: Head to the Cotswolds and join this chic hotel for a three night Christmas break. Start off with cake, tea and Champagne on Christmas Eve before a three-course dinner and a stroll if you fancy it to Midnight Mass at St Mary’s church which is handily next door. Breakfast comes with Buck’s Fizz, followed by a five-course Christmas Lunch, the Queen’s Speech and a selection of board games to while away the afternoon. The hotel has loads of maps for Boxing Day walks – it’s right on the Cotswolds way – and then a Boxing Day dinner to reward hikers.
Cost of staying at the Painswick for Christmas 2019: From £1,440 for three nights based on two people sharing, suites are £2,115.
Read what it’s like to stay at The Painswick here
Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire
The hotel: Family-friendly Cotswolds luxury hotel (owned by the group behind Barnsley House, The Painswick and Lord Crewe Arms) set in 220 acres of Cotswolds countryside. Smart rooms, large spa and its very own pub make this a self-contained Cotswolds retreat.
The Christmas package: Guests are welcomed on 24th December with Christmas cake and mince pies in front of roaring log fires. That evening there’s a dinner glass of fizz followed by dinner
in The Conservatory and later, carol singing by local choristers for a spot and hot toddy and mince pies for people attending Midnight Mass. Christmas begins with a Champagne breakfast, then a traditional Christmas Lunch. Clay-pigeon shooting is on offer on Boxing Day or a stroll round Calcot Manor’s 220 acres and the Christmas break is finished off with a Champagne reception and dinner.
Price of Christmas 2019 at Calcot Manor: Rooms start at £1,170 per person based on two sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Calcot Manor here
Whatley Manor, Wiltshire
The hotel: Quintessential country house hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant, top spa and beautiful ornate gardens.
The Christmas package: Four days of indulgence and celebration await guests at Whatley Manor starting with a bottle of chilled Champagne in your room, afternoon tea and then a 12-course dining experience on 23rd December. There’s wine-tasting, a candlelit dinner on Christmas Eve, plus transport to Midnight Mass at Malmesbury Abbey. There’s a traditional lunch on Christmas Day plus board games and evening buffet, and then Boxing Day treats include a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum, a festive wine-tasting and a five-course black tie Gala dinner followed by dancing.
Cost of Christmas 2019 at Whatley Manor: From £3,750 per room including full use of spa based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Whatley Manor here
Manor House, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
The hotel: Splendid historic manor house with beautiful grounds in the heart of picture-perfect Cotswolds village Castle Combe.
The Christmas package: Start with a festive cream tea and Champagne and canape reception before a four-dinner Christmas Eve dinner with singers on shared tables. Stroll to the local church for Midnight Mass. Traditional Christmas Dinner in its Bybrook restaurant followed by a film and buffet, and then on Boxing Day try your hand at laser clay-pigeon shooting, golf or festive games before a four-course gourmet dinner.
Cost of 2019 Christmas package 2019 at Manor House: Three night stay from £1,100 per person based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Manor House here
Barnsley House, Gloucestershire
The hotel: Gorgeously cosy and charming boutique hotel in a beautiful little Cotswolds village, with Rosemary Verey gardens, spa and private cinema.
The Christmas package: The three-day break includes a Champagne afternoon tea and three-course dinner on Christmas Eve, Champagne reception with canapes and three-course Christmas Day lunch, buffet dinner Christmas Day evening and a Boxing Day pie and quiz night at The Village Pub just yards away.
Cost: From £2,303 for a junior suite based on two people sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Barnsley House here
Bowood hotel, Wiltshire
The hotel: A smart golf and spa hotel on the beautiful Bowood Estate
The Christmas package: A two-night break promising a ‘fabulously Christmassy atmosphere’ including Chistmas Eve Champagne afternoon tea and 3-course dinner, Christmas Day stockings, traditional Christmas lunch followed by a visit from Father Christmas, entertainment on Christmas afternoon and a buffet dinner in the evening with entertainment. Access to spa facilities and the golf course available at extra cost.
Cost of Christmas break at Bowood hotel and spa 2019: From £440 per person for a two-night break
Read my review of Bowood hotel here
The Lygon Arms, Worcestershire
The hotel: A four-star luxury coaching inn in Broadway, the heart of the Cotswolds. Sister hotel to Cliveden and Chewton Glen.
The Christmas package: Champagne afternoon tea on arrival followed by a Champagne reception with carols, three-course dinner with wines. Christmas Day breakfast at leisure, then a pre-lunch Champagne reception and four-course Christmas lunch with wines, followed by cream tea, Christmas cocktails and canapes and buffet dinner with wine. On Boxing Day wave-off the North Cotswold Hunt from the front door of the Lygon Arms and look forward to a three-course gala dinner with wines and dancing.
Cost of Christmas 2019 at The Lygon Arms: Prices start from £2,580 per room based on two sharing
The Fish hotel, the Cotswolds
The hotel: The Fish bills itself as a ‘back-to-nature bolthole’ with a little touch of luxury and is owned by the group behind the excellent Dormy House (see review at the top of this article).
The Christmas package: Afternoon tea on arrival on Christmas Eve and dinner in seafood-inspired restaurant Hook. Christmas Day begins with a hearty Cotswolds breakfast followed by Christmas Day lunch with all the trimmings and for those who still have room, graze on the Christmas day buffet in the evening. There’s more food at the Boxing day brunch, an afternoon filled with tea and cakes, as well as chance to stroll off the calories in 400-acres of field and woodland before a farewell dinner before another Cotswold breakfast and farewells.
Cost for Christmas 2019 at The Fish hotel: Prices from £1,175 based on two people sharing a medium room.
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Best hotels for Christmas in South East
Best hotels for Christmas in Bedfordshire
Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire
The hotel: A stunning, five star luxury hotel on the Bedfordshire border which has starred in several films including Four Weddings and a Funeral and Eyes Wide Shut. The vast 1,065 acre estate is perfect for a Christmas ramble and the hotel has its own championship golf course and fleet of London taxis to ferry guests around.
The Christmas package: There’s a packed schedule of festive fun at Luton Hoo this year. On Christmas Eve guests can take part in gin-tasting or a history tour, Christmas card making, traditional afternoon tea, a family swim or watch a festive film before champagne and carols, dinner in the award-winning Wernher restaurant before transport to Midnight Mass and returning for hot toddies and mince pies. Christmas Day starts with gifts from Father Christmas, Christmas lunch, children’s story time before more films, a family quiz, the Queen’s Speech, tea and Christmas cake followed by a buffet dinner and snooker competition. There’s a food and wine quiz on Boxing Day, plus clay pigeon shooting, crossbow and archery on the lawn, a champagne reception and a race night dinner.
Cost of Luton Hoo’s Christmas package 2019 : From £915 per person for three nights or £995 for four nights, based on two sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Luton Hoo here
Best hotels for Christmas in Berkshire
Cliveden House, Berkshire
The hotel: A 350-year old country house set in 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and woodland, Cliveden is one of Britain’s grandest country houses and fittingly promises an ‘iconic’ Christmas house party. The hotel where Meghan Markle spent the night before marrying Prince Harry is a Grade 1-listed stately home complete with antique furniture and a thoroughly modern spa and guests can expect a Christmas celebration worthy of Downton Abbey.
The Christmas package: Christmas Eve starts with mulled wine and mince pies and a champagne reception with carol singers followed by a three-course gourmet dinner with wines, while there’s a three-course Christmas lunch with wines on the big day itself. On Boxing Day there’s a brunch buffet followed by a ‘butler’s tour’ of the stunning building, then dinner with wines and dancing.
Cost of Cliveden House hotel’s Christmas package 2019: Prices start from £3,765 based on two sharing a Classic Room.
Read what it’s like to stay at Cliveden here
Coworth Park, Berkshire
The hotel: Five-star Michelin-restaurant hotel near Ascot, set in 240 acres of Berkshire parkland. Coworth Park is the only hotel in the UK with its own polo fields and also has an award-winning spa.
The Christmas package: Festive Champagne afternoon tea on arrival followed by Christmas card-making, family board games and cinema in the Tower House followed by a three-course dinner at Restaurant Coworth Park or The Barn and live entertainment until midnight and optional transfers to Sunningdale Parish Church for midnight service. Father Christmas will be in the lobby on Christmas morning followed by champagne, canapes and entertainment in the Drawing Room and a four-course Christmas lunch at The Barn or six-course lunch at Restaurant Coworth Park and live entertainment in the evening. Boxing day there’s a chocolate masterclass, childrens’ party and wine-tasting followed by a three dinner and entertainment.
The cost of the Christmas package at Coworth Park: Rooms from £1,370 per room, per night based on double occupancy, suites from from £1,600 per room per night.
Best hotels for Christmas in Buckinghamshire
Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire
The hotel: Luxury country house hotel and spa with 90 acres of land and impeccable customer service.
The Christmas package: A three-night break at Hartwell promises to be a luxurious and traditional affair, with cream tea, Champagne reception and four-course dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas lunch and Queen’s Speech with tea and Christmas cake, and a farewell black tie casino evening with Prosecco reception, three-course dinner and wine pairings.
Cost of staying at Hartwell House for Christmas 2019: From £1,100 based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Hartwell House here
Best hotels for Christmas in East Sussex
Ashdown Park, East Sussex
The hotel: The view from the hotel’s terrace will take your breath away – rolling lawns surrounded by Ashdown Forest (which inspired Winnie-the-Pooh creator AA Milne). The 106-bedroom hotel in 186 acre-estate is full of beautiful historic rooms and even boasts its own spa and chapel.
The Christmas package: Ashdown Park is offering three and four-night packages starting with a Christmas Eve champagne and canape reception with carols, a candlelit dinner in its Anderida restaurant, hot toddies and mince pies to welcome people returning from Midnight Mass. Christmas Day begins with breakfast, mince pies and mulled wine – and a visit from Father Christmas – and continues with a buffet lunch, afternoon champagne quiz and then a five-course traditional Christmas Dinner in the evening. Boxing Day treats includes clay pigeon shooting, archery and a falconry display, a quiz and a treasure hunt and after a Black Tie gala dinner, a casino evening with roulette and live music. Spa access included throughout the stay
Cost of Christmas 2019 at Ashdown Park hotel: From £999 per person for three nights, £1,134 for the four-night package based on two people sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Ashdown Park hotel here
Best hotels for Christmas in Surrey
Pennyhill Park, Surrey
The hotel: 120-bedroom luxury hotel with one of the finest hotel spas in the country, covering 45,000 sq ft and with eight indoor and outdoor pools (one with underwater music), saunas, steam rooms, bubbling hot tubs, ice-cold plunge pools and a salt scrub ice cave. There’s also a gym, nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and 120 acres of parkland with paths and cycling trails and several restaurants and bars.
The Christmas package: Start the celebrations off with a welcome High Tea and a glass of fizz, or relax in the vast spa. Later there are carol singers by candlelight and a four-course dinner before a trip out for those who want to attend Midnight Mass. Christmas starts with more pampering in the spa followed by a Christmas buffet lunch, then games and a film and the Pennyhill Park Christmas quiz. Boxing Day offers a three-course lunch and then an afternoon of falconry followed by a Champagne reception and three-course dinner with live entertainment.
Cost of Christmas 2019 at Pennyhill Park: From £899 for a two-night stay based on two people sharing, and from £1,099 for the three-night package.
Read my review of Pennyhill Park here
Best hotels for Christmas in West Sussex
Bailiffscourt, West Sussex
The hotel: Just yards from Climping Beach, Bailiffscourt feels far older than its 90 years, with four-poster beds and its own 13th-century chapel in its 30 acres – but its large spa is bang up to date.
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve for a Sussex Sparkling afternoon tea, a mulled wine drinks reception accompanied by carol singers, buffet dinner and Midnight Mass followed by mulled wine and home-made mince pies. Christmas Day starts with full English breakfast and Bucks Fizz, a sparkling wine reception with canapés followed by a traditional Christmas lunch, tea and Christmas cake and a light buffet supper. For Boxing Day there is mulled wine with marshmallows by the open fires, tea and home-made cake followed by a gala dinner on shared party tables. Full use of the spa and swimming pools included.
Cost of spending Christmas 2019 at Bailiffscourt: From £1,085 per person based on two people sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Bailiffscourt here
Ockenden Manor, West Sussex
The hotel: In the pretty village of Cuckfield, 28-room Ockenden Manor combines the history of an Elizabethan manor house with a first-class modern spa
The Christmas package: Start off with an indulgent afternoon tea, a Sussex sparkling wine reception with carols around the tree then dinner in the elegant restaurant on shared party tables, Midnight mass followed by mulled wine and home-made mince pies. For Christmas Day there’s a continental breakfast, sparkling wine reception with canapés followed by a six course lunch, tea and Christmas cake, light buffet supper with harpist accompaniment in the evening. Boxing Day: Full English breakfast with Sussex sparkling wine, full afternoon tea with Christmas Cake and cocktails before a gourmet dinner – plus full use of its award-winning spa and swimming pools
Cost for Ockenden Manor’s Christmas package 2019: From £1,025 per person based on two sharing.
Read my review of Ockenden Manor here
South Lodge, nr Horsham, West Sussex
The hotel: Part of Exclusive Hotels group (which also includes Pennyhill Park and Manor House), South Lodge is a luxury hotel in West Sussex overlooking the South Downs, with a brand new spa and individually-designed bedrooms.
The Christmas package: Arrive to mulled wine and mince pies before finding your very own Christmas tree in your room (surprise gifts will appear here throughout the break). There’s a sparkling drinks reception with a choir in the evening, followed by a three-course welcome dinner in The Camellia restaurant or six-course tasting menu. The spa will be open throughout the festivities. A traditional Christmas lunch (or luxury carvery for those on a two-night break) on Christmas Day is followed by a buffet and quiz in the evening. On Boxing Day enjoy the fresh air with clay-pigeon shooting and archery lessons or take a ride on hotel bicycles. There’s a family cinema room for a local pantomime, while in the evening there’s wine-tasting and a three-course dinner.
The cost of the Christmas package at South Lodge: Two-night stay from £990 per person, three-night stays from £1,185 per person, based on two sharing.
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Best hotels for Christmas in the South West
Best hotels for Christmas in Cornwall
Headland Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall
The hotel: Five-star luxury hotel in Newquay with private self-catering cottages set on an exclusive clifftop overlooking Fistral beach. The hotel says it’s a mix of ‘discreet English ambiance and decadent hospitality’ and offers ocean views, a top spa and fine -dining.
The Christmas package: There’s festive tea and cake followed by carols from the Newquay Town Band on Christmas Eve, before a Champagne reception and jazz-accompanied candlelit dinner before a ‘race night’ as The Headland takes on Ascot. Christmas Day starts with a Buck’s Fizz breakfast and an appearance by Mrs Claus, then a five-course festive lunch, carols around the piano. The Cornish coastline is a great place for a Boxing Day stroll and in the evening after dinner there’s a ‘Casino Royale’ themed black tie event.
The cost of Christmas 2019 at The Headland hotel: Three-night minimum stay is £250 per room per night based on two people sharing including breakfast and dinner each day.
Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes, Cornwall
The hotel: Bought by Olga Polizzi in 1997 and completely redesigned, Tresanton’s 30 rooms all have views across the sea to St Anthony’s lighthouse.
The Christmas package: Christmas Eve carols in the sitting room with a glass of Prosecco, followed by dinner and Midnight Mass at St Just in Roseland church followed by hot cocoa. At 3am Christmas elves will leave stocking at every door. Christmas lunch is at 12 noon or 3pm with mince pies and a visit from Santa followed by a light buffet supper. On Boxing Day there is a Christmas Quiz with prizes awarded after lunch. A Christmas film is shown in the afternoon, followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Cost: Prices from £1,110 per stay, bed and breakfast only, lunch and dinner a la carte prices (based on 2018 prices)
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Best hotels for Christmas in Devon
Bovey Castle, Dartmoor National Park
The hotel: A stunning but welcoming grand historic hotel in the heart of Dartmoor
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve for lunch and a host of festive activities including cider and sloe gin making, plus afternoon tea with carol singing. The evening includes welcome drinks, a candlelit dinner and the opportunity to attend Midnight Mass at the local church. On Christmas Day take part in Bovey Castle’s scavenger hunt, then enjoy the beautiful scenery with a guided walk followed by a drinks reception and Christmas Day lunch. A buffet will be served in the Great Western that evening, then a nightcap while a storyteller weaves tales in front of the fire. After brunch on Boxing Day, sign up for the golf tournament or a guided walk, enjoy ferret racing or nearest the pin golf competition, with hot chocolate and mulled wine. The day finishes with a five-course black tie dinner and entertainment in the Great Western Restaurant.
Cost of Bovey Castle’s Christmas package 2019: From £2,700 per person for a three-night stay based on two sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Bovey Castle here
Cary Arms and Spa, south Devon
The hotel: A charming boutique hotel right on the coast at Babbacombe Bay and just a few miles from Torquay. From the welcome glass of sloe gin to the excellent locally-sourced food, cosy spa and luxury beach suites, Cary Arms is a memorable place to stay.
The Christmas package: Cary Arms is throwing a Christmas ‘house party’ for its guests – a three-night stay including cocktail parties, dinners and entertainment. Arrive on Christmas Eve and settle into your room with its wild and wintery sea views with a glass of mulled wine before a Christmas Eve cocktail party and supper and ‘fun-filled pig races’. Christmas Day arrives with a Champagne English breakfast, then a five-course feast and an afternoon relaxing over billiards before a Christmas quiz. Boxing Day can be spent in its spa or enjoying a blustery walk along the bay, ending up with dinner accompanied by the resident pianist.
Cost of Cary Arm’s Christmas package 2019: Starting from £1,815 for a double room based on two sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Cary Arms and spa here
Lympstone Manor, Devon
The hotel: A Grade 2-listed 21-bedroom Georgian manor house with 28 acres and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines.
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve to mince pies and mulled wine before joining other guests for wine-tasting. In the evening enjoy aperitifs and canapés with live music from the Swing Kings, followed by an eight-course tasting menu in the Georgian fine dining rooms. Afterwards there’s the option to have a chauffeured service to Midnight Mass at Exeter Cathedral. There’s a champagne breakfast on Christmas Day, followed by a five course Christmas lunch menu – plus chef Michael Caine’s mum’s famous Christmas pudding, then on Boxing Day take a stroll around the grounds of Lympstone Manor or join a guided walk for an exursion along the coastline and River Exe with a local guide.
Cost of Christmas 2019 at Lympstone Manor: Three nights from £819 per night based on two people sharing.
Boringdon Hall hotel, Devon
The hotel: Five-star16th century country manor house near Plymouth with an award-winning Gaia Spa with indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, Finnish sauna, crystal salt steam room and alfresco hot tubs.
The Christmas package: Festivities commence at 5pm with a cocktail showcase with Boringdon Hall’s cocktail mixologist and a festive drinks reception in the Great Hall. Before dinner guests can partake in Christmas carols by the fire. Guests should prepare for an evening of unexpected events with a Christmas tale of murder mystery and evening entertainment by the Candlelight Theatre Company over a three-course dinner with wine. Christmas Day starts with a Champagne breakfast and an optional Christmas Day walk on Dartmoor (the spa will also be open) followed by five-course Christmas dinner. Guests are encouraged to participate in Boringdon Hall’s Christmas Day tradition, the ‘Call my Bluff’ wine game. In the evening, a Christmas buffet dinner will be served, and The Swing Kings will perform live music in the Great Hall while Boxing Day activities include a falconry presentation and four-course black-tie dinner with live entertainment.
The cost of spending Christmas 2019 at Boringdon Hall: Three night Christmas break from £2,000 per couple, four-nights from £2,300 per couple
Hotel Endsleigh, Devon
The hotel: A Grade 1-listed historic house set in 100 acres of woodland, follies and grottos and owned by hotelier Olga Polizzi.
The Christmas package: Three days of festive treats starting with Christmas Carols, mulled wine and mince pies around the Christmas tree in the main hall. Dinner in the restaurant followed by the option of Midnight Mass at St Eustachius’ parish church (and if you’re lucky elves might leave a little treat by your hotel bedroom door). On Christmas Day after presents from Father Christmas there’s a traditional Christmas lunch while Boxing Day guests can take part in a group falconry session or a Boxing Day walk along the river to the local pub.
Cost: From £1,110 for the three-day Christmas break (2018 prices)
Best hotels for Christmas in Dorset
Alexandra Hotel, Lyme Regis
The hotel: Charming traditional hotel with stunning gard