On 24th September 2008, the directors of Historic House Hotels gave the company and all its interests in its three hotels to the National Trust.
To this day it’s the largest gift the National Trust has ever received.
The three houses Bodysgallen Hall, Hartwell House and Middlethorpe Hall and their parkland and gardens were gifted to the National Trust to ensure the protection of their historical significance. Managed by Historic House Hotels, the three hotels are run to the highest standards, while also giving guests a unique cultural experience, akin to the service experience in country houses.
Now 10 years on, the three hotels are welcoming thousands of guests a year, who are all helping to contribute to the continued existence of historical houses such as these and the others in the National Trust’s care, with all profits supporting the work of the conservation charity.
By operating as hotels, guests are able to immerse themselves into the culture and heritage that is so unique to the UK and helps to deepen their connection with it.
Much like each house, the gardens and parklands surrounding them are significant in their own right, with the gardens at Hartwell House landscaped by Richard Woods, a contemporary of ‘Capability’ Brown. To help guests get the most from their stay, and understand the nature around them, they receive a tree guide to learn about the history of the many and diverse trees.
Richard Broyd OBE, chairman and founder of Historic House Hotels comments: "The ten years since the donation to the National Trust in 2008 have witnessed a seamless transition and the continuation of high standards of maintenance of the historic houses and of the hospitality they provide."
Alongside the three hotels, the National Trust also offers a portfolio of Holiday cottages, bunkhouses and campsites, as well as a host of unique working holidays.
James Ingham, Head of Holidays for the National Trust reveals the important place the hotels have in the holiday portfolio: “The Hotels are a wonderful addition to our holidays offer, broadening our appeal, particularly in terms of reaching new customers. The experience offered to guests is also a great extension to our visitor experience at our historic houses; the service, décor and ambience unveils a different world.”
As a charity entirely independent of government funding, all sources of income, including that from guests staying at Historic House Hotels, enable the National Trust to look after the places in its care, which includes 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves, 778 miles of coastline and more than 247,000 hectares of land. In the last financial year the National Trust spent £139 million looking after these places.
Seventeenth century Bodysgallen Hall enjoys a privileged location in North Wales with spectacular views of Snowdonia. Grade I listed, the house now features 31 spacious bedrooms split between the house and cottage suites. Each of the bedrooms has been individually furnished in a traditional style and decorated with antique furniture and works of art. The rooms enjoy glorious views over Bodysgallen’s 200 acres of parkland and gardens. Several cottage suites benefit from their own private gardens.
Beautifully housed within a converted stone farmhouse in the award-winning historic grounds, Bodysgallen Spa includes a large indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna and gym. There is a tranquil relaxation room and sun terrace for warmer days. The restaurant at Bodysgallen Hall overlooks the stunning gardens and has been awarded three AA Rosettes for 15 consecutive years.
Hartwell House is a Grade I listed property standing in over 90 acres of gardens and parkland. Guests at Hartwell House will be staying in illustrious company. The most famous resident was Louis XVIII, exiled King of France. In 1938 the house and estate were acquired by Ernest Cook, an early hero of the conservation movement.
Forty miles north west of London, in Buckinghamshire, Hartwell House is home to 48 bedrooms and suites. All have been individually designed in a traditional country house style, each with antiques and fine paintings. The main Dining Room has been designed in the style of the eminent early 19th century architect, Sir John Soane. The restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes. Hartwell Spa resides in the grounds with a mosaic-lined indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, gym and Hartwell Café.
Middlethorpe Hall is the only country house hotel in the City of York and is the perfect base to combine both a country and city experience.
Standing in 20 acres of its own award-winning gardens, the beautiful William and Mary house was formally the home of the famous 18th century diarist Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. There are 29 bedrooms, an award-winning restaurant and boutique spa. Each of the bedrooms at Middlethorpe Hall is individually designed and has its own distinct story. The classically panelled dining room provides the perfect setting to enjoy the contemporary take on traditional British food. The restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes. The boutique spa at Middlethorpe Hall, with its blue-tiled pool and sauna, is the perfect place to relax and recharge.