9 of the coolest places to stay in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
Sometimes you need to get away from it all. We mean, really get away from it all. Experience pure escapism. Here are just a few extraordinary places where you can do just that. Sweet dreams.
Multi award-winning Tuddenham Mill near Bury St Edmunds can boast some of the slickest bedrooms in the county – very 007. But did you know there are cutesy wooden pods to sleep in too? The arched Meadow Nooks in the grounds are just the perfect place to snuggle up on a romantic getaway.
Fitted with all the mod-cons, they offer a squishy king size bed, walk-in rainforest shower with Espa toiletries, TV, fresh tea, coffee, juice and homemade biscuits, and a private, screened garden area. Two even have their own red cedarwood hot tubs – fancy! Make sure you book for dinner in the restaurant or tipi. Tuddenhammill.co.uk
A Hobbit Hole
Working with local Tolkien Society members, Jan Lengyel has painstakingly recreated a Lord of the Rings Hobbit Hole, buried beneath earth and wildflowers in the woodlands, at West Stow Pods near Bury.
Set within the King’s Forest Estate, nature is literally on the doorstep of the south-facing underground dwelling, which is a 100% replica of the home, unmatched elsewhere in the planet (as far as he knows).
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It offers everything you could need for a great break, including a large living and dining area, two double beds, a kitchen, and bathroom with walk-in shower. A remarkable place to stay. weststowpods.co.uk
A Safari Lodge
Now this one really is a bit of a hidden secret. Tucked behind Hintlesham Hall Hotel and the golf club, is a poetically beautiful landscape. Where once was an 18th century pleasure garden (once painted by Gainsborough), now stand a clutch of specially-designed safari lodges, nestled between towering sequoia, cedar and pine trees. The silence only broken by the call of an owl or sparrowhawk, or the curious snouts of deer.
Set around what was a swimming pool (now a lush, wild pond), Elisa and Richard Bostock’s six-person accommodations at The Lost Garden Retreat are nothing short of magical. Each has been thoughtfully designed, and packed with more than you could need – two king sized beds and a bunk room, a hidden play den, wood store, parking, terrace with Weber barbecue and wood-fired Scandi hot tub, bespoke furniture, games, hot water bottles, picnic ware. You name it.
This is beyond glamping. Richard even says the bathrooms (with roll top and separate drench head shower) are better than what they have at home. Yoga, pilates and massage can all be arranged on site, so you really can retreat. Lostgardenretreat.com
Everything about Kesgrave Hall Hotel screams glamour. From the tree-lined driveway, to the Anglo-American-style public sitting rooms, spacious all-day-dining restaurant, and purpose-built woodland spa – where the air is scented with Elemis essential oils.
The four star hotel has 23 en suite rooms, including luxury linens and toiletries, king-sized beds, mini bars with complimentary soft drinks and biscuits, Sky TV and superfast Wifi as standard. Upgrade to a Superior room for a super king bed. To a Deluxe including a seating area and separate shower and bath. A Principal (for more space). Or book one of the Top rooms, where you’ll find a freestanding bath within the room, and huge walk-in showers. Breakfast is included.
And the hotel’s well-positioned to explore Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. Milsomhotels.com
Moored at Snape on the river Alde, Onderneming (built in 1899) is the last word in barging luxury. At 94ft long, she more than comfortably sleeps six across three bedrooms, and is kitted out with everything you could possibly need – from two fitted kitchens, to a den for the kids to play in, a log burning stove, flat screen TV, linens, free bike use, and even a welcome breakfast hamper. She’s abound with original features too, from timber panelling and the original wheel and leeboards to historic finishing touches.
Cross the gangplank and you’re straight into some pretty amazing riverside walks – and of course have the Maltings’ shops, eateries and concert hall at your disposal. Up to three dogs are allowed on board too. woodfarmbarges.com
A Round House
Ever driven past an old gate lodge or round house and wondered what it’d be like to step inside? Well wonder no more, because this three-bedroom, two-bathroom property in Easton is ready to take your booking. It sleeps up to six, and is dog-friendly, with loads of walks nearby. Accommodation includes a well-equipped open-plan kitchen diner and conservatory, an outhouse for your bikes, parking for up to four cars, and a cute summerhouse. Linens, towels, biscuits and a welcome bottle of wine await. A great place to stay to explore Easton Farm Park and Framlingham. Bestofsuffolk.co.uk
A Coastal Lookout
Get a bird’s eye view of the Southwold shoreline from your very own glass-floored lookout tower at the top of this property, which is practically on the beach.
Inside, Cannons looks like the kind of palatial, glamorous pad you’d stay in on the Californian coast. All high ceilings, chandeliers, big windows and white space. The property sleeps up to 14 across six en suite bedrooms, the majority with sea views. Two even have slipper views, so you can watch the tide from the tub. There’s a sunken garden for outdoor dining. Plenty of parkling. And even a rooftop bar area for sundown cocktails. What more could you want? Bestofsuffolk.co.uk
Jane and Paul have put loads of love into their five, individually designed yurts at Suffolk Yurt Holidays, with Jane saying lots of people want to hire the whole site to enjoy with their friends.
Communal facilities include a kitchen area (you get your own cutlery and crockery), bathroom facilities, a huge firepit, and an outdoor bar with wood fired oven, where one night a week you can buy an easy (and delicious) dinner.
“And we have the most amazing playground,” adds Jane. “so the kids can go off and play, but each yurt has its own little garden for them too.”
Each yurt comes with a hammock for chilling, a barbecue, and a log-burner inside. “They sleep six, and they all have different decoration –we're known for being a bit quirky,” Jane adds. “The beds are a big feature. One is made to look like a tree, another’s made from doors, and one from glass bottles. There’s no electric, so they’re quite basic in terms of glamping, but those beds are really comfy.
“We’re in such a good spot for the heritage coast – it's easy to get to the beach. But we quite often find people don’t want to go anywhere else. They come for two nights and decide to stay here!” suffolkyurtholidays.co.uk
The Windmill at Cockfield near Lavenham really is quite something. You can’t fail to miss it as you drive the stretch of road leading to Bury. Everything about this place is glossy and heaped in decadence. From the kooky, curvy POD at the top, with its snuggly sofas and blankets, to the stunning bathroom, complete with an enormous, shell-shaped bath tub (big enough for two), and walk-in monsoon rain shower.
The accommodation sleeps up to four (adults only), and includes two bedrooms with superking beds, a ground-floor kitchen/diner with bi-folding doors to a private garden, and a balcony. There’s even a telescope on the upper floor so you really can watch the world go by. Thewindmillsuffolk.com