Set in the Malvern Hills of mid-England's Worcestershire County, Great Malvern was a 19th-century hot spot, drawing thousands of annual tourists to its elegant hydrotherapy spas. Today's visitors come to its hotels to visit the medieval Priory, hike or enjoy productions at the Malvern Festival Theater complex. Of the handful of hotels with Great Malvern addresses, four stand out for their proximity to hiking paths, views, decor or cuisine.
Mount Pleasant Hotel
For Great Malvern visitors in a hurry to begin exploring the hills, the Mount Pleasant Hotel is the place to stay. The Georgian establishment is a few seconds' stroll from Rosebank Park and the 99 Steps Path that climbs to the Worcestershire Beacon, with views of 14 counties in clear weather. Views of the Vale of Evesham, the Severn Plain and the Malvern Priory from within the hotel are as appealing. The Mount Pleasant has 14 guest rooms, some with antique furnishings. All have free Wi-Fi and multi-channel, Freeview television. The hotel's Spring Restaurant serves seasonal local produce and organically raised meats in "modern European" dishes from a chef skilled in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Lamb cutlets cooked until pink and served with broad bean mash -- an alternative to mashed potatoes -- and seasonal vegetables, finished with apple cider just is a representative 2010 entree.
The Abbey Hotel
When its covering of ivy turns deep russet in fall, Great Malvern’s Abbey Hotel appears even more distinguished. That russet repeats in combination with shades of gold, brown and cream in the hotel's earth-toned restaurant's and guest accommodations' decor. Rooms in the centrally located establishment have free high-speed broadband and satellite television. Many have views of the hills or Vale of Evesham. Dogs are welcome for an additional nightly fee. The Priory View Restaurant serves seasonal entrees like pan-fried, Parma ham-wrapped supreme of chicken with Dauphinoise potatoes and spinach in wild mushroom gravy. The Lounge offers sandwiches, lighter meals and afternoon tea. Locally brewed ales are on tap at the bar.
The Great Malvern Hotel
The Great Malvern Hotel is a five-minute stroll from the 99 Steps Path and -- for stage, concert and film enthusiasts -- even closer to the Malvern Festival Theater complex. Cheery pastel colors in twin and double rooms repeat throughout the hotel. Public areas have complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotel lounge has a selection of books, games and magazines. Rates include a breakfast buffet and full English breakfast. The light-filled Brasserie serves of snacks and light meals. The bar, with exposed beams and fieldstone fireplace, has an extensive selection of real ales, and the beef sandwiches are a bar specialty.
Bredon House, boasting a four-star Automobile Association Guest House rating, is a Georgian residence in the Malvern Hills overlooking the Severn Valley. Its nine guest rooms have relaxing armchairs, distressed wood furniture with colorful fabrics and computer access points. Some have fireplaces or freestanding tubs. Bredon House welcomes children and well-mannered dogs; children younger than 10 stay at reduced rates and dogs for a one-time fee. Prices include full English breakfast. The guesthouse is a seven-minute walk from Great Malvern's Prior's Croft Restaurant. The dinner menu offers seasonal entrees like venison and forest mushroom pie, served with braised root vegetables and sage potatoes.