As we all know too well, this has been a tough year for everyone in the travel industry. Yet, as you read and absorb this Tatler Travel Guide 2021, I hope you will feel a sense of joy in escaping into these pages.
After spending several months in lockdown, I frequently dream of my most memorable trips. The windblown romance of the wild world of Heathcliff and Cathy up on the moors on the St Alkelda’s Way pilgrimage path in North Yorkshire. My one-way ticket to Sicily to make a road trip across the island, seeking out ruins, Baroque churches and beachside trattorias. Or simply appreciating London in all its glory, especially its singular hotel scene and the silk-draped finery of the Connaught’s hotel suites, which are like atmospheric tabs of Prozac – and that’s before mixologist Ago Perrone’s martinis have worked their magic.
In this year’s Tatler Travel Guide, you will notice an emphasis on those places which match opulence with authenticity, kindness and generosity of spirit – and the visionary hoteliers and teams behind them. If you believe it’s just about the properties themselves, you miss the point. It’s about soul and straightforward decent values, encapsulated by Robin Hutson of the Pig Hotels. When describing the unique magic behind his award-winning hotels, he says, ‘It’s incredibly simple – just be nice.’
And so after a hard year and with an uncertain future, I hope you share our sense of renewed positivity, of fortitude and excitement about the places featured here. We celebrate these hotels for their authentic commitment to the locale and their eco-sensitivity; and for enabling us to look anew at the familiar. But ultimately, we celebrate the insurmountable quantity of stardust these places sprinkle on guests, taking us out of the everyday and keeping us dreaming of them long after we’ve left.