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LUXURY HOTELS: Peak Edge Hotel, Chesterfield, ENGLAND

Style: Contemporary chic with a laid back approach.

Scene: Boutique hotel for those who like active weekends with a touch of luxury

Seen in the lobby: Beautiful couture dresses on display which have been designed by a member of staff's fashion student daughter. Do we have a new 'Fashion Hotels' candidate? 
 
As we pulled into the car park it is easy to see which is the 'newbie' out of the two buildings. Having just opened in April 2011 the Peak Edge Hotel looks much younger and fresher next to the Red Lion Pub and Bistro (despite both being of similar style). But when you know the history it is no wonder. The boutique hotel only opened in April 2011 while the pub has stood here for a couple of centuries.

As soon as you step through the doors it is clear that the Peak Edge Hotel is not your traditional Peak District hotel of old. It is modern and stylish and makes use of the stunning scenery around with large windows throughout.

bistro
bistro
lounge bar
suite
peak edge hotel
bar
red lion

Located on the edge of the Peak District (hence the name) the hotel is very conveniently located in the UK. The Luxury Travel Bible was amazed to be checked- into our suite, drinking champagne and looking out over the stunning scenery after leaving London merely a couple of hours before. If you wish to arrive in greater style the hotel also has its own helipad. 
 

Each of the four luxury suites, (Harrogate, Heath, Lytham and York) have been named after places close to the owners' hearts (where both of them grew up, where they married and where they live today). TLTB's Harrogate suite was impressively large and the bathroom was so big I could have moved in. The beds were extremely comfortable and the room has clearly been designed to be user-friendly with a plenty of hanging space, a dressing table and seating area.

The bath was extremely inviting and I wonder how many guests end up being late for dinner as they are quite content to just soak in the deep standalone tub.

Our suite also featured under floor heating and heated mirrors in the bathroom, a rainfall shower, a glass Juliet balcony overlooking the lake, tea and coffee making facilities, flowers, a LED flat screen television  and the always appreciated free wi-fi throughout (why all luxury hotels don't offer  this is beyond us!).

Everything in the rooms has been handpicked with a stylish eye by the owners and the decor is sleek and contemporary.   However, the star of each of the twenty seven rooms must be the views each one has over the countryside.

One of the great things about the boutique hotel is how 'inclusive' it is. From an initial view the suites rooms are luxuriously large and spacious yet the owners have considered this in their design so extra beds can be put in for little luxies without the accommodation becoming cramped.  The bathrooms are huge yet for a family they are a conveniently sized space for children's bath time.

The hotel is also accessible for the disabled and there is Wheelchair Access to public areas, rooms and the restaurant and bar.  One point that is picked up upon is that the rooms have facilities for the disabled without making them obvious and therefore not making people feel any different from any other guest. 

I'll admit it ... I was a little worried that those who aren't 'traditional' visitors to the Peak District might not find any activities outside of hiking. Not the case here. I dare you not to find an activity to suit you and your energy levels.

From mountain biking to hiking to clay pigeon shooting, the hotel can book activities and advise on local attractions. TLTB decided to take a scenic mountain bike ride to Chatsworth House and have the bikes picked up from there so we could enjoy the stunning house. Once we realized that you really don't ever forget how to ride a bike the journey was extremely enjoyable through some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer. It was a leisurely and fun way to get to the house with plenty of stops along the way to admire the views.

When staying at the hotel Chatsworth House is a must for any to-do list, whether you are a first time or returning visitor. The guides are entertaining and informative and the house is more than impressive. A visit to the farm shop is also recommended.

The house has featured in many TV and film productions and is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Rumour has it that the day TLTB visited Prince Charles was also at the house. Unfortunately our North Face fleeces didn't give the best impression if we were to run into Pride and Prejudice's Mr Darcy roaming the house that was his Pemberley in the 2005 adaptation.

And then there was the Peak Edge food...

Attached to the hotel is the Red Lion Bistro and Bar. The hotel's owners took over the pub a few years ago and refurbished it while still keeping its rustic charm. The stylish furniture, open fires and friendly staff create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for a drink or dinner.

A good indication of the pub and food was that there are also lots of locals dining there, not just guests of the hotel.   Head Chef, Steven Mower is young, passionate and talented and this is reflected in his food. The menu was creative, modern and most importantly extremely delicious. Despite not being the biggest fan of Chicken parfait, since experiencing it at the Bistro it is now a firm favourite. The desserts are decadent and fun ... who knew so many adults could be kept amused by popping candy - Heston would be most impressed!

During our meal there were plenty of murmurs of 'I think we deserve this after our bike ride today'. Wishful thinking maybe but there was no guilt felt whilst our party indulged.

All ingredients have been locally sourced from the 'extended garden that is Derbyshire' and the hotel grows its own vegetables and herbs in the grounds. Seafood also plays a big part of the menu and it is extremely fresh, as it should be.    The hotel's owner Damian had earlier in the day gone and caught the seafood at Anglesey (where Wills and Kate live) for the Bistro's menu.

The full English breakfast is delicious hearty and definitely fuels guests for the day (it even comes with Haggis for the adventurous foodies). I am worried I might be gushing about the food but it really is that good.

The boutique hotel is also extremely popular for weddings and the hotel's wedding co-ordinator can help brides and grooms plan their special day with the promise only one wedding will be held each day. The hotel host weddings up to 500 guests and is licensed to host civil ceremonies up to 180 guests.

Ultimately one of the biggest trump cards the hotel has is the passion of the owners, Damian and Jo. Not only are they extremely friendly and welcoming they are clearly extremely involved and know the hotel, the bistro and the local area.   Having travelled as individuals, as a couple and now as a family with young Lilly and Thomas they are also tuned to knowing what us wide-ranging luxe travellers want and need (and also what we don't).

With so much packed into just a few short days TLTB left the Peak Edge Hotel feeling like we had been on a week long holiday and we must admit we are still reminiscing about the food and suite.

Check in: Darley Road, Stone Edge, Chesterfield, England, S45 0LW
Ultimate Luxury:  A plate full of the freshest Oysters, followed by just as fresh Lobster ... if you like seafood you will be happy
Most Indulgent Moment: Indulging in the delicious food and sinking into the cosy chairs for a nightcap after a day of activities in the fresh air.
Insider Secrets: When filming in the area Keira Knightly was spotted eating in the pub.
The Little Things: Beautiful artwork in each room - each room has unique artwork. Not only is it beautiful, it inspires the next day's activities to get out and see it for real.
Junior Luxies: Welcomed with open arms. This is a family hotel and has been designed to accommodate ever member of the family, without it feeling too much like a 'family hotel' for the grown-ups.
Dress code: North Face for the daytime activities, smart casual for evening dinner in the restaurant and bar.
Dent in the platinum:
Luxury Hotels Link: www.redlionpubandbistro.com
Sarah Bryans 5/9/11
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