Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa

126 Reviews

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Nov, 2013

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You're sure of a BIG surprise.

Hidden within a 49 acre Silver Birch woodland forest on top of the ridge which overlooks the Wharfe valley and the market town of Otley, is this superb hotel and spa complex.

The low-rise main building is constructed of pine logs and is apparently the largest log cabin in the U.K.

There are log bothies situated throughout the forest, whilst to the rear of the main building is a large Spa complex, again of pine log construction.

Externally, it looks like something you would find in the Swiss or Austrian Alps, yet is perfectly at home amongst the Silver Birch trees of Yorkshire.

There are numerous country walks right from the doorstep.

There is ample yet discreet parking to the front and side of the hotel.

As soon as you enter, there are roaring open fires, even in Reception, which was welcoming on a cold November day.

Everything internally is also pine and has a homely, warm feeling.

The standard rooms are not huge, yet are perfectly fine. All have en-suite facilities and we found it clean and in good order.

Superior rooms have a small patio with chairs, each overlooking the woodland lake and forestry which are immediately to the rear of the hotel.

So peaceful.

The impressive Garden Room, effectively a large lounge with comfy sofas and a huge open fireplace also overlooks the lake and gives access to a wooden decked area with outdoor seating for the warmer months.

The intimate bar has cosy nooks and crannies in which to relax and, unusually for a hotel bar, has a real ale pump from which the beautiful and locally brewed Ilkley Gold is dispensed.

The dining room has ample space for guests and benefits from picture windows looking out over the lake and the antics of the local wildlife.

The evening menus are impressive in quality and breadth but we were on a deal which included a six course tasting menu (and a free bottle of very acceptable house wine).

The taster menu held some trepidation for a trencherman such as myself, though I need not have been concerned. Six courses were enough to satisfy the heartiest of appetites and left us very pleased at the high quality. This is no bog-standard hotel restaurant.

How about this to make your mouth water?

Scallop and chorizo – served on a Chinese style porcelain spoon. X Smoked salmon & crayfish parcel, dill mayonnaise. or Wild mushroom, bruschetta, pesto dressing. X Parsnip and ginger demitasse. X Loin of venison, Charles MacLeod Stornoway black pudding, potato rosti, redcurrant reduction. or Supreme of chicken, creamed Savoy cabbage, haggis croquette, cranberry juice. or Polenta, sweet capsicum, goats cheese. X Dark chocolate brownie, almond ice cream. or Baked apple, cinnamon, clotted cream. X Taste of Isle of Mull cheddar, quince jelly.

Mouth watering?

Now, I consider myself to be something of a black pudding expert and aficionado, and I had expected award winning puddings from Weegman's of Otley or Lishman's of Ilkley, both local suppliers.

I have to say however, that the Charles MacLeod Stornoway black pudding was simply the best I have ever tasted. I think it must be the Scottish oats which gave it the creamy, melt in the mouth texture.

A further serving was my delight at breakfast the next day, together with a round of haggis and a herby sausage with all the other usual suspects of a gorgeous full cooked meal.

The spa was bright and airy with a 13 x 7 metre pool, an outdoor hot-tub next to the lake, an indoor spa bath, steam room, sauna and Elemis treatment rooms all available for guests to use.

All the hotel staff we encountered were friendly and down to earth, giving us a feel-good factor.

We left feeling refreshed, having had a high quality all round experience, one we are keen to repeat and always a sign that Crerar Hotels have got this one just right.

And yes, since you ask, there is porridge for breakfast too.

Crerar have twelve hotels, eleven across Central Scotland and the lonely English outpost at Chevin Lodge in Yorkshire.

The overall rates are not cheap but there are a number of occasional excellent deals available which are of stunning value.

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