Sometimes, luxury is as simple as a hot tub of bubbling water and pressure jets. A jacuzzi might not seem like much, but it can be the difference between a good stay and a great one. Here’s our pick of the best UK hotels that include this inviting feature.
Starting on the more unusual end of the spectrum, No Man’s Fort, in Hampshire, is a former sea fort in the Solent strait which has been reopened as a one-of-a-kind marine hotel. It’s accessible by boat from Portsmouth, and immediately on arrival the hotel lays on social activities with an introductory dinner with the other guests, followed by time spent roasting marshmallows by an open fire. The hot tubs can be found at the very top on the roof terrace, close to the dining room. The hotel has its own pub and a wealth of naval artefacts to discover.
Carbis Bay is named for the Blue Flag beach which it overlooks, itself clinging to the furthest tip of Cornwall. Impressively, the beach is privately owned and operated by the hotel, the only one of its kind in the UK. The jacuzzi is situated in a rentable beach hut just short of the sand. If you’re feeling more energetic, paddleboards, canoes and even an eight-person yacht are available for hire. Otherwise, head to the spa for a treatment, sizzle in the sauna or simply spend some time on the terrace before returning to your colourful Victorian-style room to be soothed to sleep by the waves.
Bedruthan is another addition to the coastal roster, backing directly onto Mawgan Porth Beach just outside the surfer haven of Newquay. The Cornwall hotel has three outdoor pools, an indoor infinity pool and the hot tub itself – a classic wooden model lit up by lanterns next to the sauna. It’s worth mentioning that the tub overlooks the coast — so if you develop a hankering to take to the waves, you can always try the hotel’s beginner surf lessons.
Low Wood is one of several upscale hotels to sit on the banks of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, and with competition so rife it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. Low Wood manages this by catering to many crowds. The nearby watersports centre is more family orientated, but couples and solo travellers will appreciate the spa which has two outdoor hot tubs, an infinity pool, sauna, steam room and a range of other treatments – all of which allow you to gaze out over the lake. The hotel has various lounge areas, and the rooms are smartly dressed with velvet throws and other creature comforts.
The Holbeck Ghyll is another Lake District fixture overlooking Lake Windermere. The 19th-century former hunting lodge offers a traditional experience – stone walls covered in ivy, antique furniture, stained glass, oak panelling – but you’ll still find a modern spa that’s home to an outdoor hot tub. Book it out any time for private use and enjoy one of the best views the hotel has to offer. The hotel has a large lawn, a tennis court and a restaurant with upmarket taster menus.
Pulteney Street enjoys the reputation of being one of Bath’s most attractive streets, which is really saying something. The Georgian Grade-I listed building fits perfectly into the setting, and the hotel is something of a celebration of the city’s culture. A lot of the art was created by Bath Spa students and many of the hotel’s other features were made by local artisans and craftsmen. Many of these works extend into the recently added Spa 15, which sidesteps the trap of trying to be too Romanesque and instead opts for more of a lodge feel, extending to the cedarwood hot tub, sauna and steam room. The rooms blend modern (big flat-screen TVs) with charmingly classical (china cups) and the restaurant offers dishes served in antique copper pots and cocktails in chemistry beakers.
Named after former Liverpool football captain and all-round legend Bill Shankly, this hotel manages to remain peaceful even though it sits a short walk away from Lime Street station in the epicentre of the city. In terms of design, it functions in part as a museum to Shankly’s legacy, and likewise a cool place to hang out and breathe in the city, including an astroturfed rooftop bar. The hot tubs are located in the larger luxury and party-size rooms, so you’ll have to splash out to get one (no pun intended), but the rooftop bar has hosted hot tub outdoor cinema nights in the past, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on the schedule.
Located a little way south of Tower Bridge in London’s transformed Bermondsey neighbourhood, this hotel feels very much like a totem for urban rejuvenation. It looks somewhat unremarkable on the outside, but inside you’ll find a friendly atmosphere with unexpected amenities like a small library, old-school arcade games, air hockey and beautiful old photographs of London in the common area. As far as the hot tub is concerned, you’ll need to book the Lucy in the Sky Diamond Suite (all the rooms are named after songs by the Beatles), the most expensive room the hotel offers. This comes alongside a private terrace, huge lounge area and some of the best city views that can be found anywhere south of the Thames.
Feversham Arms feels in many ways like an American hotel, with the swimming pool acting as the central point which all the rooms surround, inviting a kind of community vibe among the guests. The hot tub neighbours the pool, and is elegantly encircled in treated wood. The lounge area that surrounds all this is a welcoming space to sit and eat or sink a few glasses of wine, and the Verbena Spa offers a huge range of treatments including a salt inhalation chamber. It even serves food. There is a main restaurant too and guests with deeper pockets can book spa suits with balconies and bigger bathrooms.
The Linthwaite is the first foray onto British soil for South Africa’s Leeu Collection hotel group, and it’s a hell of an opening volley. Perched on the edge of Lake Windermere, it takes the bones of an Edwardian manor and transforms it into a luxury lodge, with deep armchairs, wood floors and modern art from the owner’s private collection. The Hot Tub suite offers a sizeable tub letting out onto a stone terrace which itself overlooks the gardens, enabling its guests to step straight out of the water and situate themselves out in the sun. Further down the green activities like croquet on the lawn and rowing boats are available.
If you’re sensing a correlation between Lake Windermere and hotels with luxurious amenities, you’d be right. The Gilpin Hotel gives the other lakeside retreats on this list a run for their money with a range of different rooms spread across the main building, detached suites and the Lake House, which itself sits in private 100-acre (40ha) grounds. The hot tubs are found in the Lake House area, alongside pools and saunas, making for an all-encompassing experience. The garden suites in the main grounds also feature jacuzzis, from which guests can admire the llamas and alpacas that graze in the gardens.