Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Close House Hotel, Heddon on the Wall, in the News

Anyone who has ever met Graham Wylie will know he does not do anything by halves. Having made a fortune with Sage he has put a large amount of his money, and created hundreds of local jobs, by renovating and expanding Close House Hotel and Golf Club over the last 5 years.
I have seen the project at varoius stages of development and it is truly amazing on a number of levels:
- If you want a great place to stay then the Hotel's 31 rooms, 8 miles from Newcastle, in stunning countryside, are a cut above. The Times last Saturday cited it favourably in their "Cool Hotel Guide", and rightly so. I quote from Neal Crocker, the very nice general mamager, who says about Graham: "He wanted better rooms than you pay £900 a night for in London", and the Times reviewer added, "everything did seem very upmarket and stylish - and a bit of a bargain with B+ B doubles from £150." I can add little more to the Times reviewer who states that "quietly one of Britain's best new country house hotels has taken shape. But it is far from traditional or stuffy." In short you would go for the hotel on its own. It is rightly described as the Gleneagles of the North East.
- However, as everyone knows I am sport mad and the key to Close House is the incredible golf course: Lee Westwood is the visiting pro. Both Graham and I have been trying to tee up a grudge match between us two high handicappers, but I fear that our diaries will have to wait to the spring. However, I can assure anyone that there are holes on this course that anyone would want to play.
This is a local project, run by a local man, putting his local money into lots of local jobs. This alone would get my vote. But as a fantastic hotel with all the trimmings, and a great golf course, in a stunning setting, overlooking the Hadrians Wall Walk and the River Tyne it has so much more going for it - I urge my readers to go before everyone hears about it. It is yet another reason why tourism to Northumberland is changing all the time.