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

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

by Press room

Admittedly, the sun is shining. Spring lambs are scampering about and we’re aware that others have loved Callow Hall. But a gilded reputation does not always help. Heightened expectations can be dangerous. But not here.

Callow Hall, on the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire, is a stylish but not stylised hotel where everyone can feel welcome. All-inclusive in the strict sense; bang on trend from an interiors perspective (Penny Morrison fabrics, Robert Kime wallpaper, Fermoie lampshades) and firing on all its new (it opened last year) cylinders.

The house dates back to the 1850s (and the cedar tree near the front door is 800 years old). 

Callow Hall (pictured), on the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire, is a stylish but not stylised 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 18th century style

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

The 15 rooms at the hotel come in three categories: Fabulous, lovely and cosy (pictured). The Inspector stays in a 'cosy' room and describes it as 'fabulous and lovely in its teeny-weeny way'

The 15 rooms at the hotel come in three categories: Fabulous, lovely and cosy (pictured). The Inspector stays in a ‘cosy’ room and describes it as ‘fabulous and lovely in its teeny-weeny way’

It’s now the first project of a company called Wildhive, run by a couple of public schoolboys who managed to raise some £7 million to transform not only the Grade II-listed house but also the surrounding woodland, where you can stay in treehouses and ‘hives’ built on stilts. Halfway down the drive is the Coach House, which is now the spa.

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

The 15 rooms come in three categories: Fabulous, lovely and cosy. I can’t speak for ‘fabulous’ or ‘lovely’, but our cosy is both fabulous and lovely in its teeny-weeny way. 

The Inspector writes: 'The big reveal is the glass box housing the restaurant and bar (pictured)'

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

The restaurant and bar, the Inspector says, 'is a fabulous space broken up by four huge olive trees - they¿re fake, but you would never know'

The restaurant and bar, the Inspector says, ‘is a fabulous space broken up by four huge olive trees – they’re fake, but you would never know’

'To wander around the ground floor before dinner, accompanied by a large Negroni, is a joy,' says the Inspector. Above is one of the hotel's communal areas

‘To wander around the ground floor before dinner, accompanied by a large Negroni, is a joy,’ says the Inspector. Above is one of the hotel’s communal areas 

Callow Hall is the first project of a company called Wildhive, run by two public schoolboys who raised £7 million to transform the Grade II-listed house and the surrounding woodland. Pictured is a 'fabulous' room

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

It has red ticking wallpaper, Chelsea textiles bedside tables, supremely comfortable duvet and pillows, natty little shower room and a view of the cedar tree.

To wander around the ground floor before dinner, accompanied by a large Negroni, is a joy. 

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

You can stay in treehouses and ¿hives¿ (such as the one pictured) built on stilts in the woodland that surrounds Callow Hall

You can stay in treehouses and ‘hives’ (such as the one pictured) built on stilts in the woodland that surrounds Callow Hall

The hotel features a gym, map room and you can hire bikes (some electric) to explore the Peak District National park. Pictured here is a room in one of the woodland 'hives'

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

'Callow Hall has had rave reviews. They are justified on all fronts,' the Inspector declares

‘Callow Hall has had rave reviews. They are justified on all fronts,’ the Inspector declares 

This mesmerising picture shows the woodland treehouses and the rolling countryside beyond them

This mesmerising picture shows the woodland treehouses and the rolling countryside beyond them

‘Everyone behaving themselves?’ I ask in a sergeant-major sort of way.

‘Yes, and that’s the problem,’ barks back the oldest member of the group, well into his 70s.

The big reveal is the glass box housing the restaurant and bar. It’s a fabulous space broken up by four huge olive trees. They’re fake, but you would never know.

We flit between the Best of April and a la carte menu. Everything is delicious and we like how some Greek and Portuguese wines are sold by the glass. Callow Hall has had rave reviews. They are justified on all fronts.

TRAVEL FACTS

Callow Hall, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 2AA.

Doubles are priced from £159, room only. For more information call 01335 300900 or visit wildhive.uk.

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