Monkey Island Estate, Berkshire
Sadly, there are no monkeys on this island in the Thames, which is accessible only via footbridge or boat. The name comes from the monks who formerly lived there but the hotel that replaced them has 51 guest rooms and four meeting spaces. The Marlborough Ballroom can host receptions for up to 200.
Celebrity stays: King Edward VII, H.G. Wells, Edward Elgar.
The Langley, a Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel, Buckinghamshire
This Palladian mansion has 41 guest rooms and 5,747 square feet of meeting space, including a private cinema and the (indoor) Winter Garden which can host dinner for 100 guests. The property is set on 150 acres of grounds designed by legendary English landscape architect Capability Brown.
Celebrity link: The home used to be owned by Sir Winston Churchill’s great-great-great-great-grandfather.
Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire
The former ancestral seat of Baron Grantley, the hall was used as a convalescent home during WWII. The property replaced convalescents with hotel guests in its 47 rooms and suites, who can relax in The Three Graces Spa or find peace in the Japanese Gardens.
The hotel’s conference center can accommodate up to 180 for a presentation in the state-of-the-art Grantley Suite.
Celebrity stays: Queen Mary was a frequent visitor.
The Fife Arms, Scottish Highlands
Sim Canetty Clarke
Located near the Queen’s Scottish home at Balmoral Castle, The Sunday Times recently dubbed this 46-room property the Hotel of the Year. The hotel’s Brae Room is designed for presentations for up to 30 guests, followed by dinner in the Clunie Room. While the hotel décor features multiple sets of antlers and other hunting trophies, there is also an impressive and eclectic art collection including a Louis Bourgeois sculpture and a watercolor by Queen Victoria.
Celebrity stays: Legendary Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli was a regular visitor and the Fife’s cocktail bar is named for her.
Hawkstone Hall, Shropshire
The 37 guest rooms and suites are served by a team of butlers. Each suite is named for a literary figure such as Shelley, Byron, and Keats although the origins of the Hall lie with a merchant and friend of Henry VIII rather than a poet.
There are five event venues plus a chapel, the largest of which, The Refectory, can accommodate a banquet for 200. The Saloon, Ballroom, and Winter Garden can host receptions for up to 150 guests and the Tapestry Room seats 100.
Celebrity stays: During the 1900s the hall was a center for religious study and was visited by two popes.
Oakley Court, Berkshire
While this 118-room hotel has been open for more 18 months, its location 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport makes it an easy meeting place for an international gathering.
The Windsor Suite can host presentations for up to 200 guests, and six boardrooms provide meeting space for between 12 and 40 delegates.
Celebrity stays: Oakley Court was the filming location for Frank-N-Furter’s castle in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and during its time as a private home it hosted Edward VII and Napoleon IV.