If you’re looking for a truly magical and unique hotel to stay at in the Yorkshire Dales then Grantley Hall is the perfect place for you! Whether you’re after a luxurious spa retreat, a venue for a wedding or special occasion, or just want an amazing lunch or dinner experience, Grantly Hall near Ripon is the ultimate indulgence!
We visited for lunch during a day out in Nidderdale, and while we were expecting a beautiful location and good food, we were absolutely blown away!
The special feeling starts as soon as we pull into the private driveway and the porter welcomes us. After a brief chat he opens the gate and waves us on our way, and as we start up the long entrance road, we’re amazed by the beautiful grounds… the driveway runs alongside a flowing brook and as we round the corner, the gardens open up all around us with the Hall laying in the distance.
The original Hall dates back to the 17th century when a simple block was built to celebrate a wedding, but as we approach it it’s clear there have been a lot of additions since as it’s absolutely stunning, looking straight out of Downton Abbey!
But while Sneha is mesmerised by the beautiful Hall, Paul is more taken by the carpark, or more accurately, the Rolls Royce’s, Lamborghini, Bentley, and McLaren in the car park! The cars are available to hotel guests for a chauffeur service, or if you’re in the market to buy a prestige car, local dealer Redline offer a VIP collection and handover service at the Hall too… and we can only imagine how special that would be!!
After we park in the slightly more down to Earth visitor’s carpark (although we’re still talking Range Rover’s, Tesla’s and BMW’s) we go for an explore of the gardens and grounds before going in for lunch.
The first garden we walk through is an English Heritage listed Japanese Garden, designed in 1911 and featuring rocks from nearby Brimham Rocks. It’s like stepping into another World away from the very English feeling Hall into a Japanese oasis, with the overhanging trees sheltering the ponds and small footbridges making the garden feel completely isolated and tranquil.
Leaving the Japanese garden, we follow another small brook to the main lawns in front of the Hall (complete with a helipad if you really want to arrive in style!!), and the feature fountain and walkway leading to an artwork which provides a perfect photo spot!
During it’s time the Hall has a long and interesting history…. starting off as a private residence it has hosted Royalty in Queen Mary and the Princess Royal, before being used as a convalescence for wounded soldiers during WWII and then an educational college after the ownership transferred to the local council. In 2015 the Hall was purchased by the current owner Valeria Sykes who had a vision to restore it to past glories, and after a £70m renovation, the hotel opened its doors just before the Covid pandemic hit! So now is the perfect time to visit!
We’ve chosen to eat in The Orchard restaurant but there are enough bars and restaurants at Grantly Hall to keep you entertained for a full month’s stay!
The flagship restaurant is the Michelin Starred Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall, serving tasting menus in the evenings and Afternoon Teas during the day. Then there’s Fletcher’s Restaurant serving the best of British and European cuisine, Eighty Eight which is a pan-Asian bar and restaurant with a terrace leading to the Japanese garden, Norton Bar and Courtyard serving British food and cocktails either in an opulent oak panelled bar or outside in the beautiful courtyard, Valeria’s champagne cocktail bar providing the glitz and glamour until late into the night, and finally The Orchard, a beautiful marquee in the gardens serving seafood and steaks.
Each bar and restaurant is completely unique, and the attention to detail stretches as far as having their own induvial scents which you can buy to take home!
If you’re looking for a fancy meal to celebrate a special occasion then we’d recommend booking either the Shaun Rankin or Eighty Eight restaurants (purely based on setting as we didn’t try the food), or for a more relaxed lunch or dinner then either the Norton Courtyard or, our choice for lunch, The Orchard.
We go for the Chargrilled Swordfish and The Orchard Chicken Burger with a Norton Lager and glass of Hungarian White Wine. Paul’s burger is good… coated in bread crumbs with smoked cheddar and a sriracha mayo. But as usual Sneha makes the better choice with the swordfish, which is delicious in a smoked almond romesco sauce. We always go for two different dishes so we can try a couple of different ones, but we always pick out the same one to order so Paul always end up with the second choice!
All of the bars and restaurants can be booked and used by visitors, but if you really want to treat yourself, then staying at Grantley Hall would be a truly unforgettable experience, if you can afford it!
We’re lucky enough to be shown around some of the rooms by the fantastic Danielle, seeing what a £500-a-night Deluxe Room is like, followed by the utterly breath-taking Royal Suite, which starts at over £3,000-a-night!! Both are amazing, as you’d expect for the price, but the Royal Suite needs to be seen to be believed… split over 2-floors with the bedroom on a mezzanine level, it has a seating and dining area and great views out to the front of hotel and the gardens.
There’s also a walk-in wardrobe / changing area, leading to an exquisite bathroom which Sneha loves! But possibly the coolest feature which we like the most is the TV hidden behind a painting in a frame, which at the press of a button folds away to reveal the TV behind… Paul wants one for his house!!
Even just walking the corridors and the public sitting rooms are really cool… each one is themed differently such as the teal room (not hard to guess which photo that one is!) where we can chill out and read the books, the wine room where we’re surrounded by hundreds of bottles of wine, and the open atrium style corridor leading to some of the rooms giving an outside feeling but protected from the elements.
And as you’d expect from a hotel offering such luxury, there is a spa and gym available for use by hotel guests, or available to book for non-residents who want to treat themselves. We don’t get to look around the spa for obvious reasons (who wants us nosing around taking photos and videos when they’re pampering themselves and trying to relax?!), but the gym is more impressive and has more equipment than most specialist gyms do, never mind normal hotels!
What a stunning stunning place! When we were first told about Grantley Hall and it’s £70m renovation during our day out in Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge, we were expecting somewhere fancy and luxurious. But we couldn’t have imagined somewhere just so fancy and luxurious as Grantley Hall actually is!
While staying at the hotel is probably out of the reach of most people and something we can only dream of (imagine the dreams on those expensive soft bed sheets though!), we cannot recommend it highly enough for lunch or dinner when in Nidderdale or the Yorkshire Dales… it’s an experience you’ll never forget!
The food was great but it’s the setting which makes it so special… each and every bar and restaurant provide a unique experience, and the Hall, gardens and grounds are beautiful to walk around and explore… Paul couldn’t even resist taking a photo of the toilets on the way out!!! 😂
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