There’s nothing like Grantley Hall. Not in his native Yorkshire, not in the north of England, not anywhere else in the whole of the United Kingdom.
This is an ongoing project of such richness that property prices in the area have apparently increased by 20 percent.
And it’s all down to Valeria Sykes who, following her divorce from billionaire and Brexit supporter Paul Sykes, spent an unconfirmed £100 million on saving this 17th century mansion and transforming it into a glitzy and glamorous resort hotel just a few miles from Ripon.
Arriving after dark is a pleasure, the driveway is lit and the River Skell flows alongside.
Handsome young men in tweed waistcoats greet us at the front door: one takes the luggage (and it’s important to arrive with a lot of luggage here), while another parks our car.
The inspector checks in at Grantley Hall, located in North Yorkshire, a few miles from Ripon.
Grantley Hall offers 47 rooms and five restaurants, including Shaun Rankin’s Michelin-starred restaurant
Then it’s a seat in the lounge and a glass of champagne during check-in before being escorted to one of just 47 rooms (with over 400 staff).
There are five restaurants, including Shaun Rankin’s Michelin-starred restaurant; a nightclub; the fanciest gym (plus an underwater treadmill); cryotherapy chamber, motorsport simulator; lifestyle consultant; indoor/outdoor swimming pool at the Trois Grâces spa; a “snow room”; Souvenir shop; Japanese garden and so on.
Sometimes it feels like you’re in Dubai. In others, it’s Claridge’s or The Dorchester — with prices to match.
“Even in low season, you won’t get a room for less than £500 a night,” reveals the inspector.
The inspector dines at the pan-Asian restaurant EightyEight (pictured). “Service is slow but apologies come quickly,” he says
The inspector: “In general, quality is present at all times. » Above, the hotel’s spa pool
Footballers and their wives come here to spend money, but most of the guests we meet are, like Ms Sykes, born and bred in Yorkshire – and proud to have such a prestigious hotel in the county.
We eat at the pan-Asian restaurant EightyEight, in the basement of a separate building where there is also a wedding reception space. This seems to be the brash part of the resort. Service is slow but apologies come quickly and quickly.
In general, there is quality throughout – which makes me wonder why so many paintings are fake copies of old masters in tiny frames. And there is background music almost everywhere.
Even in low season you won’t get a room for less than £500 a night but, frankly, anyone quibbling over price probably shouldn’t be here in the first place.