Impressed inspectors make five-star award

A LUXURY countryside hotel has proved its star quality after receiving a top rating in its first year of operation.

Eshott Hall, near Morpeth, has been awarded a prestigious five star rating by the AA in its first inspection since undergoing an elegant refurbishment.

The venue earned the grade as it was received into the AA’s guest accommodation category, with inspectors impressed by the outstanding quality of its service, food and rooms.

Star ratings are allocated according to strict guidelines to ensure guests know what to expect when they visit a venue.

To qualify for five stars, hotels such as Eshott must provide a warm welcome for guests and ensure outstanding service throughout their stay. There should be luxury public areas, striking interior design and high quality furnishings, while a good wine list and excellent food, prepared by a well-equipped and pristine kitchen, is essential.

AA Hotel Services Marketing Executive Emma Davis said: “We are delighted to welcome Eshott Hall to the AA accreditation scheme and to be awarded a five star rating in its first year is a tremendous achievement.”

The hotel has been created in one of Northumberland’s finest Georgian homes.

Its opening as a luxury country hotel last year followed the refurbishment of its drawing room, ballroom and library.

The 11 bedrooms were individually designed by Personal House Manager Louise Ball and include the Oriental inspired Mandarin Room, The Tedsmore country lodge themed room and The Vegetable Patch, which overlooks the working kitchen garden. All are equipped with LCD televisions, iPod docks and locally produced toiletries.

The hotel’s food, including its breakfast, was singled out as a particular highlight, with the menu including kippers from Seahouses, local smoked salmon, Sunny Hill free range eggs and Bamburgh Bangers.

Manager Dan Ball said: “This is the first hotel that we have operated and we are absolutely delighted to enter the industry at such a high level.

“It is fantastic to receive this accolade almost a year to the day since we opened.

“The feedback from our guests has always been very supportive and it is great to have this officially recognised by the AA inspectors.”

Eshott Hall offers morning coffee, afternoon tea and dinner to residents and non-residents. Reservations are required.