Hotel review

UK hotel review: Why the Peak District’s Callow Hall lives up to its ‘golden reputation’

Of course, the sun is shining. The spring lambs are frolicking and we know others have loved Callow Hall. But a golden reputation doesn’t always help. Heightened expectations can be dangerous. But not here.

Callow Hall, on the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire, is an elegant but not stylized hotel where everyone can feel welcome. All-inclusive in the strict sense; right on trend in the interior (Penny Morrison fabrics, Robert Kime wallpaper, Fermoie lampshade) and firing on all cylinders (it opened last year).

The house dates from the 1850s (and the cedar by the front door is 800 years old).

Callow Hall (pictured), on the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire, is a smart but not stylized hotel where everyone can feel welcome, the inspector writes

The room above, set up for private dining, features a mural of the countryside depicted in the style of the 18th century

The room above, set up for private dining, features a mural of the countryside depicted in the style of the 18th century

The hotel's 15 rooms fall into three categories: fabulous, charming and comfortable (pictured).  The inspector stays in a room

The hotel’s 15 rooms fall into three categories: fabulous, charming and comfortable (pictured). The inspector stays in a ‘comfortable’ room and describes it as ‘fabulous and lovely in its own tiny way’

It is now the first project from a company called Wildhive, run by a public school couple who have managed to raise some £7million to transform not just the Grade II listed house but also the surrounding woodland, where you can stay in treehouses and ‘beehives’ built on stilts. Halfway up the aisle is the Coach House, which is now the spa.

There’s yoga, a gym, a map room and you can hire bikes (some electric) to explore the Peak District National Park.

The 15 rooms are divided into three categories: Fabulous, lovely and cozy. I can’t say “fabulous” or “lovely”, but our cozy is both fabulous and charming in its own way.

The inspector writes:

The inspector writes: ‘The big reveal is the glass box housing the restaurant and bar (pictured)’

The restaurant and the bar, said the inspector,

The restaurant and bar, says the inspector, “is a fabulous space divided by four huge olive trees – they are fake, but you would never know it”

“Walking downstairs before dinner, accompanied by a great Negroni, is bliss,” says the inspector. Above is one of the common areas of the hotel

Callow Hall is the first project from a company called Wildhive, run by two public schoolchildren who have raised £7million to transform the Grade II listed house and surrounding woodland.  Pictured is one piece

Callow Hall is the first project from a company called Wildhive, run by two public schoolchildren who have raised £7million to transform the Grade II listed house and surrounding woodland. Pictured is a ‘fabulous’ piece

It has red wallpaper, Chelsea textile bedside tables, extremely comfortable duvet and pillows, a lovely little shower room and a view of the cedar.

Strolling downstairs before dinner, accompanied by a great Negroni, is bliss.

One room, set up for private dining, features a mural of the countryside depicted in the style of the 18th century; another serves as a library, where a family has gathered for a drink.

You can stay in treehouses and

You can stay in treehouses and ‘beehives’ (like the one pictured) built on stilts in the forest surrounding Callow Hall

The hotel has a gym, a map room and you can hire bikes (some electric) to explore the Peak District National Park.  Pictured is a room in one of the

The hotel has a gym, a map room and you can hire bikes (some electric) to explore the Peak District National Park. Pictured is a room in one of the woodland ‘hives’

'Callow Hall has had rave reviews.  They are justified on all fronts,” says the inspector

‘Callow Hall has had rave reviews. They are justified on all fronts,” says the inspector

This mesmerizing image shows the cabins in the woods and the rolling countryside beyond

This mesmerizing image shows the cabins in the woods and the rolling countryside beyond

“Is everyone behaving well? I ask like a sergeant major.

“Yeah, and that’s the problem,” barks the oldest member of the group, well past his 70s.

The big reveal is the glass box housing the restaurant and bar. It is a fabulous space divided by four huge olive trees. They are fake, but you would never know it.

We oscillate between the Best of April and the à la carte menu. Everything is delicious and we love how some Greek and Portuguese wines are sold by the glass. Callow Hall got rave reviews. They are justified on all fronts.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Callow Hall, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 2AA.

Double rooms are available from £159 room only. For more information call 01335 300900 or visit wildhive.uk.

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