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Sense and Sensibility

posted by in Lust List

As much as I love tropical weather, being in the city heat is not glamorous, especially when your 31 week old pregnant belly acts like a permanent portable heater. I would give anything to step out of my ratty loose tank tops and slippers and into a flowy summer dress and tweed jacket to have a splendid picnic worthy of Downton Abbey in the gardens of any one of these spectacular properties featured by our partner site .

I can just imagine myself sipping tea or reading a book under a beautiful flowering tree, listening to the birds chirp and watching the butterflies flit from bloom to bloom, the cool fresh wind in my hair… Never mind the occasional spring shower, as my very own Mr. Darcy would offer me his jacket as we make a run for cover by an isolated garden pergola, sharing a romantic rain-soaked kiss…. Sigh.

Daydreaming in this crazy Manila heat… Love and Light, Stephanie

Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, 5*

Where is it? West Sussex, on England’s southern coast, an area settled by the Saxons in the late 5th century.

What is it? Located near a road that once saw Roman traders ply their wares, the hotel proudly states that the oldest part of the building contains a founding stone dated 1608. Surrounded by 120 acres of wooded gardens, rolling hills, and lush parkland, Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa is a prime destination for customers seeking a luxurious getaway amid rolling countryside and manicured grounds. The award-winning Union Spa stuns with its lavish design, offering 25 treatment rooms and a variety of unique, bespoke treatments, while features that cater to both leisure and business travelers ensure a perfect fit for any type of guest.

Customers say: “I stay in a lot of hotels, both in the UK and around the world and I have not been this impressed in years. Courtesy and a can-do attitude make this a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable stay.” – Michelle, UK

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Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, 4*

Where is it? Kent, on England’s southeast coast, which is known as The Garden of England for its lush countryside and plentiful orchards.

What is it? Built in 1868 and passed down through families that included a pony breeder, a butcher, and the Lord Mayor of London, Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa was converted into a hotel in 1987, and has been pleasing guests ever since. Extensively renovated in 1994, it sits among a pastoral British landscape of lush greenery and working farmland, near to important local attractions, castles, and gardens. Its Utopia Spa is a luxurious Roman theme with two floors, 19 treatment rooms, and a variety of pampering services to choose from.

Customers say: “We had an amazing weekend break. Beautiful room with the best bed I have ever slept in. Restaurant had lovely atmosphere with excellent food. The pools and spa were unique and extremely relaxing. We can’t wait to go again!” – Jacqueline, UK

The Palace Hotel

Where is it? The small town of Buxton, slightly north of England’s center, which is almost completely surrounded by Peak District National Park.

What is it? Built in 1868 by noted architect Henry Currey, the Palace Hotel is located in an area known as far back as Roman times for the supposed healing powers of its water. Located nearly in the center of town, it lacks expansive gardens in and of itself, but in a town this green, it’s hardly necessary. Golf courses, botanical gardens, national parks and large cave systems are nestled in the countryside and rolling hills that surround Buxton, and provide a beautiful and easy way to enjoy the area just a few minutes outside the hotel’s front entrance.

Customers say: “The breakfast was one of the best I have had in a hotel in England, if not the best. Staff are friendly and the room was large, with a big television. Already looking to go back with the kids as there is lots to do in Matlock and Buxton.” – Ian, UK

Lifehouse Spa and Hotel, 4*

Where is it? Essex, on England’s southeast coast, part of the Metropolitan Green Belt, which limits development to protect the area’s natural beauty.

What is it? A focus on wellness and rejuvenation sets this hotel apart, a measure of which is anchored in the 12 acres of English Heritage gardens that guests can enjoy. The Lifehouse Spa and Hotel got its start as a ‘spiritual home’ for Lord and Lady Byng, who bought the property in 1913. Lady Byng worked tirelessly to ensure that the gardens reflected her years of travel, and installed many rare and non-native flora under the guidance of noted gardeners and designers. The hotel’s facilities are perfect for couples or families, and the wide selection of spa treatments can be tailored to fit any need. For full treatment, guests can enjoy the full hydrotherapy pool, steam area, and even a salt inhalation room. Complimentary slippers and robe are provided – indeed, they seem to be the standard attire for guests strolling in the gardens!

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Hilton London Syon Park, 5*

Where is it? London, England’s grand, historic, stately, and modern capital that needs no introduction.

What is it? Sitting on the edge of the Syon House Estate, a 200 acre garden that has been the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland for over 400 years, the Hilton London Syon Park is an exquisite 5-star property modeled on an old stable block which once served the park. Although only 7 miles from the London city center, it’s easy for guests to imagine they’ve stepped back in time while wandering the grounds, which includes the 180-year old Great Conservatory, areas for fishing, biking, picnicking, and of course plenty of great photo opportunities.

Customers say: “Syon Park is an excellent place to stay if you want to get out of the city for the weekend. Great walks nearby and the hotel served excellent food! The breakfast and dinner were exceptional!” – Laura, UK

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Marhall Golf & Spa Resort, 5*

Where is it? Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city and one of its oldest and most important centers for education, trade, commerce, and politics.

What is it? Mar was one of the seven ancient Scottish districts, and the structure at Marhall reflects this historic pedigree in fine style. Built with stone from local quarries and Canadian oak imported specifically for its construction in the mid-1800’s, Marhall Golf & Spa Resort was further upgraded with a complete restoration in 2004. Directly north and east of the hotel is the 18 hole Earl of Mar Golf Club, bordered by the River Clyde, while south and west lay sloping green hills and the dense patch of Big Wood forest.

Customers say: “My husband and son enjoyed the golf, and we all enjoyed the pool and the quality of food. Will most certainly return.” – Dawn, UK                                                                                       

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Writer. Traveller. Wino. Foodie. Bohemian at heart. "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself." - Buddha


We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

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