Hotel Stories

The Room with the Best View in the World

It's official. We’ve found the best hotel room with a view – and we want to share it with you.
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I’ve had a lifetime’s love affair with English cathedrals. When I was 18, while our contemporaries were making their way to Marrakech, my oldest school-friend and I hitchhiked around a bunch of them, from the mighty York, working southwards.

Visiting a cathedral can be like walking around a great art gallery such as the Tate or the Prado. There is too much to take in and, before long you’re art blind and your calves ache from unyielding stone floors. So here are a few tops tips:

  1. My first tip is so obvious; I’m almost embarrassed to deliver it: buy the blessed guide!
  2. Next, speak to a human guide. They’ll invariably be only too pleased to pass on their own special insights.
  3. Make sure you look u. It’s astonishing how many visitors are looking down, either at those guides I told you to buy or at a tombstone, but the real beauty is above.
  4. Finally – though of course there is nothing final about a cathedral visit – do try to put the cathedral at the centre of your day, rather than dashing in unprepared and under briefed.

It also can’t help if you can stay nearby; here are three Best Western hotels close to our greatest cathedrals:

Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection, York – Situated in the shadow of the beautiful York Minster Cathedral stands the boutique-style hotel. It was originally built in 1865 to house the clergy of the minster and has a rare sign on the side elevation – a set of crossed keys.

Best Western Salisbury Red Lion Hotel – Originally built in the 13th century at The White Bear Inn, the hotel was constructed to house the draughtsmen working on the new Salisbury Cathedral. It is therefore possibly the first purpose-built hotel in the world.

The Lincoln Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western - With scenic views of Lincoln Cathedral, the hotel offers comfortable rooms and delicious dining all in the perfect location to explore this medieval city and beyond.

We decided we liked Lincoln best and St Paul’s in London least, because in our youthful naivety we thought so much marble made it like a Victorian public convenience.

But the best view of a cathedral? That had to be awarded to Wells Cathedral from the Cathedral Suite at Best Western Plus Swan Hotel.

We'd heard about the 'The Room with the Best View in the World' so as Wells was on our list of cathedrals to visit, we asked the hotel if we could take a look. We weren't disappointed.

From the comfort of the bed, the 15th century first floor Cathedral Suite bedroom enjoys uninterrupted views of the historically important 13th century cathedral across its ancient courtyard. If this were the view in Venice, Rome or Florence it would be celebrated the world over. If it was in Monaco it would be have millionaires clamouring to claim it. But we could see why this room, the view and the bed has been rated the best in the world.

The Best Western Plus Swan Hotel has 50 rooms and five self catering apartments and while all are comfortable, the Cathedral Suite is extra special. It would be wonderful even without the view – but with the view of one of Britain’s finest cathedrals. WOW.

Alas, it wasn’t always thus. An enterprising owner a couple of hundred years back took the opportunity to buy and demolish the two houses opposite the hotel that stood in the way of the view – that wouldn’t be allowed today, but we’re all glad that it happened.

Why not discover it for yourself?

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