WHERE OUR HOTELS ARE
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WHAT OUR HOTELS WERE
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SOMEWHERE SPECIAL, SOMEWHERE DIFFERENTLooking for boutique hotels, luxury hotels, hotels with spas? You'll find them all on this unique website - and all are hotels that stand out from the crowd. What makes them special is what makes them different: each has a past that's unique, a present that's packed with character, and an appeal that's every bit as individual as you are. That's why it's our pleasure to present these distinctive hotels.
BROWSE... CHOOSE... BOOK... ENJOY...
AND THE PLEASURE'S ALL YOURS!
PAST & PRESENT: Fit for a king
Two kings and a queen have lived here. Now you can book a stay...
If walls could talk, Hartwell House would likely be the biggest name-dropper on this website. Portraits of the exiled French king, Louis XVIII, who held court here for 16 years, and his queen, Marie-Josephine - whose parents, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, were sent to the guillotine in 1793 - hang on those walls.
And another exiled king, Gustav IV of Sweden, also lived in the house which dates from the early 1600s and passed, through marriage, to ancestors of General Robert E. Lee, Confederate Commander-in-Chief during the American Civil War.
That house still stands today, but flick the calendar of history back 1,000 years or so, and an earlier Hartwell was the seat of William the Conqueror’s second son, William, who succeeded him on the throne in 1087; and later of John, brother of Richard the Lionheart, who became King of England in 1199.
One Ernest Cook, whose grandfather Thomas Cook founded the famous travel agency, bought the present house in 1938. Not long afterwards, the shadow of World War II reached Hartwell House, and it became an Army billet for British and American troops. A very different mood prevailed in 1956, when it was a girls’ finishing school. Neither guise enhanced the appearance of the house, which was however restored to its former glory - as you can see from the picture, above, of the Morning Room - after Historic House Hotels took on the lease in 1983.
Now an Historic House Hotel of the National Trust, Hartwell is a superbly presented property which will entrance all who stay within its walls – and none more so than those who relish history, for here you can almost hear its whispers.
Wouldn’t you rather stay somewhere really special?
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