THE northern end of the Derbyshire Peak District is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful areas in the British Isles. As long as you explore them in the daytime.
My wife and I set off for a short break at Losehill House Hotel and Spa, in the lovely village of Hope, one dark and rainy evening and it was one of those miserable journeys that seemed to go on forever.
Arriving at the long sweeping driveway that leads to Losehill House was a welcome relief after such a tough journey, and finally catching a glimpse of its beautifully-lit, white-rendered facade was like stumbling on an oasis in a dull and misty desert.
The effect of stepping out of the darkness made it feel like we were in the middle of nowhere, but we soon felt comforted by a warm reception area and a busy front counter.
Dinner was in full swing in the nearby restaurant and the building was a welcoming hive of activity.
A guest was already checking in when we arrived and I overheard him asking the friendly receptionist if she knew of anywhere he could source spares for his Land Rover the next day—commenting on his ‘nightmare’ six hour drive.
On hearing this, I quickly decided our drive perhaps hadn’t been all that arduous and as we were settling in to our room I made myself a promise that the view I would be enjoying from our window the following day would make it all worth while.
The room was a pleasant surprise. We’d been treated to a King’s room which, in our case, was split into three sections.
There was a massive bed in the main area with the usual flat-screen TV and drinks facilities, then a smaller room with a wardrobe and desk and then a huge Lshaped bathroom with a corner bath and extremely high-quality fixtures and fittings.
While my wife cooed over the ‘exclusive’ toiletries, I logged in to the free hotel WiFi —which was a quick, easy process and it worked very well.
We headed for dinner, in the Orangery Restaurant, with high expectations. Losehill House prides itself on the awards its fine food has brought in and our three courses were nothing short of spectacular.
Breakfast, in the same bright and airy room, was also a delight, and it was from our seats in this modern extension that we were first able to drink in the stunning setting the hotel enjoys.
It looks out on the rugged hills and valleys that surround the building—all of which can be enjoyed from a patio, garden or even a big hot tub.
The restaurant is the only modern addition to what was, surprisingly, a purpose-built guest house.
It was built by walking holiday company the Co-operative Holidays Association around the time of the First World War to establish a presence in the northern Peak District Nowadays it is privately owned and offers an intimate but deceptively large layout with 21 rooms, a swimming pool, sauna hot tub and spa treatment rooms.
We’d slept well in our big, comfy bed but were still more than ready for some pampering—we’d opted for a massage each as part of our winter spa break.
I’m always a bit nervous of massages.
I’ve had the odd brutal one in the past but our masseuse Tina knew exactly what she was doing and my back, neck face and scalp massage was probably the best treatment I’ve ever had.
Relaxed and refreshed, it was time to explore the fabulous setting—this time in full autumn sunshine—and any memories of my journey up through the endless pitch-black roads had faded away.
Losehill House is a hidden gem in every sense. Although it’s only once you get out and about in its surrounding area you realise you’re not that far from main routes and there is plenty to see and do nearby.
Its magic lies in its gorgeous setting though—surrounded by rolling hills and out of the way enough to give guests a true feeling of escapism.
Its dramatic setting, the surrounding attractions, the beautiful meals and range of facilities leave me struggling to think of a better place in the whole of the Peak District for a weekend of luxury.
For such a large building in such a tucked-away spot, it has a cosy and intimate feel and I would happily go again and spend a few more nights there.
Next time though, I think we’ll travel up in the daylight hours.
A winter spa special offer at Losehill Hotel and Spa costs £125 per person per night, including a mini-spa break in a King’s room or family suite with dinner in the Orangery Restaurant and a full Derbyshire breakfast along with spa treatments of up to one hour.
It also includes use of the spa pool, sauna and hot-tub.
This year’s Christmas offer is a complimentary return visit in 2013 for a ‘spa special’, worth £300 per couple for all threenight Christmas package reservations booked between December 24 and December 27.
To find out more call 01433 621219 or visit www.losehillhouse.co.uk