These staycation destinations have the royal seal of approval.
From the distant Scottish Highlands to the bustling heart of London, these are the Royal Family’s favourite British hotels and guest houses, having hosted the whole lot from King Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding reception to Prince Philip’s stag do.
Some even have ‘Royal Suites’ that you could check into to get a taste of the royal treatment. Scroll down for more on the crowning glories of the UK hospitality industry…
The Savoy Hotel – London
The Royal Family have been ‘intrinsically linked’ to The Savoy for the reason that London hotel’s opening in 1889. Above is the Royal Suite
Throughout the Forties, the Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret, would attend dinners and dances at The Savoy. ‘There was no special treatment, only a call from the Palace to The Savoy, informing them of the princesses’ plans, and the royal party could be seated at a discreet table within the Thames Foyer (above) for dinner and dancing,’ the hotel says
Elizabeth at the marriage reception of Vicary Gibbs and Captain Hon. A.G.V. Elphinstone at The Savoy in 1946
This photograph taken on the Elphinstone wedding in The Savoy caught Elizabeth standing beside a ‘handsome man in uniform’ – Prince Philip. ‘This was their first public appearance as a pair,’ the hotel says
Diana, Princess of Wales (centre) attends The Savoy’s Centenary Ball in 1989
The hotel sits on the River Thames in the guts of town of Westminster
‘The Royal Family have been intrinsically linked to The Savoy since its opening in 1889,’ says the hotel. The connection began with the Prince of Wales (later Edward the VII), who ‘ceaselessly dined on the hotel with various friends, romantic entanglements and at times his wife’.
The esteemed establishment, which sits on the River Thames in the guts of town of Westminster, welcomed Queen Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret throughout the Forties – the sisters would attend dinners and dances on the hotel.
‘There was no special treatment, only a call from the Palace to The Savoy, informing them of the princesses’ plans, and the royal party could be seated at a discreet table within the Thames Foyer for dinner and dancing. The princesses left their coats in the identical cloakroom as all the opposite women present and checked their make-up in the identical mirrors. Margaret especially loved to bop and would pretend not to note when her sister indicated it was time to go home,’ the hotel reveals.
In 1946, when Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the marriage of Vicary Gibbs and Captain Hon. A.G.V. Elphinstone, which had its reception at The Savoy, a photograph was taken (above) that caught the princess standing beside a ‘handsome man in uniform’ – Prince Philip. ‘This was their first public appearance as a pair,’ the hotel says, adding: ‘A few years later the completely satisfied couple would spend their wedding anniversary [in] certainly one of the hotel’s private dining rooms.’
Later, within the Eighties, King Charles and Princess Diana also ‘favoured’ The Savoy, with Diana attending fundraising events and award ceremonies corresponding to The Savoy’s Centenary Ball of 1989. Diana ‘often greeted her admirers outside our river entrance’, an announcement notes.
Its royal ties are only as strong today – recent years have seen The Savoy host multiple events for the Prince’s Trust, a charity established by King Charles in 1986.
On the time of writing, doubles at The Savoy are priced from £874 (www.thesavoylondon.com).
Cliveden House – Berkshire
Berkshire’s Cliveden House, pictured, has hosted royalty from King George I to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
Queen Victoria often travelled to Cliveden by boat from Windsor Castle to take tea along with her friend the Duchess of Sutherland. Pictured is the hotel’s Sutherland Suite
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the night before Meghan’s royal wedding to Prince Harry in 2018
Rooms at Cliveden are priced from £503 per night
Cliveden House, set on a 376-acre estate in Berkshire, has an interesting origin story – it was in-built 1666 by the second Duke of Buckingham as a present to his mistress Anna Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury.
Its royal connections are many, with the hotel explaining that it ‘has hosted royalty from King George I to Queen Elizabeth II’.
Megan Markle is certainly one of the more moderen royal guests.
The National Trust notes that ‘it was, for some time, within the 18th century the house of Prince Frederick of Wales’.
It continues: ‘The present Grade I listed house owes its elegant architecture to Sir Charles Barry, who’s best known for designing the Palace of Westminster. His Italianate masterpiece was built for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland within the 1850s and is the third house here, the opposite two having burned down.’
The hotel’s website adds that ‘Queen Victoria often travelled to Cliveden by boat from Windsor Castle to take tea along with her great friend the Duchess of Sutherland, arriving at Cliveden’s secluded Spring Cottage on the banks of the Thames’.
What’s more, ‘George VI and Queen Elizabeth were guests at Cliveden with their two daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret’, the hotel reveals. More recently Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and her mother, Doria Ragland, spent the night at Cliveden before her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
On the time of writing, rooms at Cliveden House are priced from £503 per night (www.clivedenhouse.co.uk).
Penolva holiday cottage – Cornwall
Penolva holiday cottage was in-built the early Nineteen Sixties by Dick Wilkins, a detailed friend of the Queen Mother
‘It’s documented that the Queen Mother and other members of the Royal Family often visited Wilkins and stayed at Penolva,’ the guest house reveals. Above is certainly one of its bedrooms
This holiday cottage, which might host as much as 12 people, is about in the beautiful Cornish harbour village of St Mawes, and was in-built the early Nineteen Sixties by Dick Wilkins, a detailed friend of the Queen Mother.
The owners reveal: ‘It’s documented that the Queen Mother and other members of the Royal Family often visited Wilkins and stayed at Penolva coming ashore from Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia [which was in service between 1954 and 1997] via the slipway originally built for that purpose.’
In response to the owners, the ‘jewel within the crown’ of the property is its private jetty, which offers guests access to the ocean for swimming, kayaking or ‘just floating about’.
Penolva is open for rental, and costs can be found upon request (www.stmawesretreats.co.uk/properties/penolva).
Claridge’s – London
Claridge’s received its first royal visit within the 1860s when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert graced its rooms and corridors
Within the hotel’s Royal Suite, lots of the design motifs and materials reflect the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, taking inspiration from the ‘intricately embroidered gown’ that she wore within the 1953 ceremony
King Charles and Princess Diana attend a state banquet held by the King of Morocco at Claridge’s in 1987
A venerable London institution, Claridge’s received its first royal visit within the 1860s when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert graced its rooms and corridors. ‘The hotel soon [became] a favorite of heads of state and royalty throughout Europe,’ the hotel’s website explains.
King Charles and Princess Diana hosted their wedding reception within the establishment in 1981. The Royals also arranged to have a personal dinner on the hotel for Queen Elizabeth’s sixtieth birthday in 1986, and it’s here that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary the next 12 months.
Within the hotel’s Royal Suite, lots of the design motifs and materials are said to reflect the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, taking inspiration from the ‘intricately embroidered gown’ that she wore within the 1953 ceremony.
On the time of writing, double rooms at Claridge’s are priced from £840 (www.claridges.co.uk).
Coworth Park – Ascot
Coworth Park, dating back to the 1700s, could be found on the borders of Windsor Great Park
In 2018, Prince Harry spent the night at Coworth Park before his wedding to Meghan Markle
Rooms at Coworth Park are priced from £570. Above is the lavatory in certainly one of the suites
This stylish country house hotel, dating back to the 1700s, could be found on the borders of Windsor Great Park.
‘The Prince and Princess of Wales, the long run Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, stayed at Coworth Park in 1879 and 1883 once they attended the races at nearby Ascot,’ the hotel reveals.
It has also attracted the contemporary royal crowd – in 2018 Prince Harry spent the night here before his wedding to Meghan Markle.
On the time of writing, rooms are priced from £570 (www.dorchestercollection.com/en/ascot/coworth-park).
Lygon Arms Hotel – The Cotswolds
The Lygon Arms Hotel, set in The Cotswolds’ village of Broadway, counts King Edward VII and King Edward VIII amongst its royal guests
Guests can check into the Charles I suite (above), where King Charles stayed before launching into battle through the English Civil War in 1649
Rooms at The Lygon Arms Hotel are priced from £259 per night. Pictured is the hotel’s eye-catching pool
This Cotswolds gem, set within the village of Broadway, has been hosting guests for the reason that sixteenth century.
Today, visitors can check into the Charles I suite, where King Charles I stayed before launching into battle through the English Civil War in 1649. A coat of arms sits above the fireside to mark his royal visit, and a four-poster bed ‘continues the regal theme’.
The hotel adds: ‘Royal visitors [also] include King Edward VII – who motored to the hotel in 1905 – and in 1913 his young grandson, the playboy Prince of Wales and future Edward VIII, who in 1936 was to abdicate over his determination to marry the American divorcee, Mrs [Wallis] Simpson.’
Notable non-royal guests include Oliver Cromwell, said to have occupied a room here immediately before the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
On the time of writing, rooms are priced from £259 per night (www.lygonarmshotel.co.uk).
The Dorchester – London
The Dorchester has long been ‘favoured by royalty and celebrities, hosting countless state banquets and legendary parties’. Above is the lavatory within the Elizabeth Taylor suite
Before she was made Queen, Elizabeth attended her first charity ball dance at The Dorchester. Pictured is the Eisenhower Suite
In 1947, Prince Philip held his stag night party at The Dorchester. Above is the hotel’s panoramic rooftop
The Dorchester, which lies beside London’s Hyde Park, has been welcoming guests since 1931
Queen Elizabeth II dancing on the Midsummer Festival Ball at The Dorchester in 1951
This revered hotel – set by London’s Hyde Park – opened in 1931 and has long been ‘favoured by royalty and celebrities, hosting countless state banquets and legendary parties’.
The royals have passed through its doors on many occasions – before she was made Queen, Elizabeth attended her first charity ball dance at The Dorchester.
Listing the opposite royal engagements, the hotel notes: ‘[Queen Elizabeth] attended an event at The Dorchester the day prior to the announcement of her engagement to Prince Philip on 10 July 1947.’
What’s more, in 1947, Prince Philip held his stag night party at The Dorchester.
The hotel continues: ‘The Dorchester celebrated the coronation of [Queen Elizabeth] in 1953 by inviting leading British stage set designer Oliver Messel to embellish the hotel facade.
‘The decorations were said to be one of the best in London.’
The hotel notes that, within the years that followed, Queen Elizabeth visited The Dorchester various times for state visits, and when the hotel reopened after a refurbishment in 1990, Prince Philip unveiled a plaque within the lobby.
On the time of writing, rooms are priced from £894 (www.dorchestercollection.com).
The Goring Hotel – London
The Goring Hotel, a family-run establishment that dates back to 1910, lies in London’s Belgravia, a brief stroll from Buckingham Palace
The Goring was honoured with a Royal Warrant in 2013 – it is the ‘only hotel to have been granted a Royal Warrant for hospitality services’
The penthouse Royal Suite (above) has a ‘unique collection of royal artefacts, from handwritten letters and stationery to military regalia’ and a ‘life-size’ portrait of Queen Victoria on the wall
The Goring Hotel, a family-run establishment that dates back to 1910, lies in London’s Belgravia, a brief stroll from Buckingham Palace.
‘The Goring has been a firm Royal favourite for a few years, because it first opened its doors,’ says an announcement from the hotel. ‘The coronations of George VI and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth saw the hotel crammed with royalty attending these great occasions from all around the world. The Queen Mother also famously enjoyed Eggs Drumkilbo – a lobster and egg-based dish that continues to be some of the popular dishes in The Dining Room.’
It continues: ‘In 1990, the late George Goring accepted an O.B.E. from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace for “services to the hotel industry”. This was followed by the appointment of a Royal Warrant to The Goring in 2013 – the one hotel to have been granted a Royal Warrant for hospitality services.’
The hotel notes that Royal Warrants of Appointment ‘are a mark of recognition to those that supply goods or services’ to members of the Royal Family.
Guests may feel closest to the monarchy with a stay within the Royal Suite – the penthouse suite has a ‘unique collection of royal artefacts, from handwritten letters and stationery to military regalia’ and a ‘life-size’ portrait of Queen Victoria on the wall.
On the time of writing, rooms at The Goring Hotel are priced from £684 (www.thegoring.com).
The Granary Lodge – the Scottish Highlands
The Granary Lodge is a bed and breakfast on the grounds of The Castle of Mey, the vacation retreat purchased by the Queen Mother in 1952, within the Scottish Highlands
The Seventeenth-century lodge was used as a garage to deal with cars utilized by the Queen Mother, and likewise held guest rooms that were utilized by her chauffeur and staff
In response to Clarence House, the official London residence of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, the B&B is owned and operated by The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust
King Charles opening the 10-bedroom property in 2019
The Granary Lodge is a ‘luxury’ bed and breakfast on the north coast of the Scottish Highlands within the grounds of The Castle of Mey, the vacation retreat purchased by the Queen Mother in 1952.
One a part of the Seventeenth-century lodge was used as a garage to deal with cars utilized by the Queen Mother, and the accommodation section, which today houses guest rooms numbered seven and eight, was utilized by the Queen Mother’s chauffeur and staff.
When the Queen Mother died in 2002, an animal centre was opened within the lodge under The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust. The centre was moved to a latest facility in 2016 when the constructing underwent restoration to show it into the cosy guest house it’s today, with the assistance of King Charles’ charity The Prince’s Foundation. King Charles himself – wearing a tartan kilt – formally opened the 10-bedroom property, which offers sea views over the strait of Pentland Firth to Dunnet Head and Orkney, in 2019.
In response to Clarence House, the official London residence of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, the accommodation is owned and operated by The Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust, and profits raised go towards ‘maintaining and operating the estate as a tourist destination’.
On the time of writing, double rooms are priced from £165 (www.castleofmey.org.uk/hospitality/granary) .