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It’s a fickle, fickle world, but there are some things you can rely on. Hotel of the week, for example, which swings by every Friday without fail, to kick-start your weekend. Today’s temptation, Hotel Grosvenor, adds a shot of modern glamour to Shaftesbury’s cobbled streets. It’s worth a visit for its Smith offer alone: a half-bottle of champagne and an assortment of home-made truffles and fudge.

Style Revamped Georgian retreat
Setting Shaftesbury’s Hovis hilltop

Why this week? Stay for less, with the Grosvenor’s current boutique hotel offer for Smith members – bed down for three nights, but only pay for two.

Our favourite bits We love the hotel’s stately Georgian façade and 16 smart, city-style bedrooms, adorned with gigantic headboards, Cecil Beaton fabrics, Tassimo coffee-makers and the cleanest lines in Dorset. Treasure by name, treasure by culinary talent: the Greenhouse restaurant’s chef, Mark Treasure, is blazing a trail in Dorset’s gastropub-dominated cuisine scene with Michelin-friendly fine-dining delicacies. The menu may be small, but it makes use of fresh, local ingredients to create plates worthy of a Parisian gastronome.

Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘When we first accepted our reviewing mission to Shaftesbury, Mrs Smith and I were expecting a country tavern-style stay: all open fires, beam-loads of brass tat and perhaps a splash of Farrow & Ball to up the chic. Not so at this hip hotel: in an area of Britain dominated by chintzy B&Bs, cosy coaching inns and wellie-trodden wayside gastropubs, Hotel Grosvenor stands out like a manicured urban thumb.

The listed Georgian facade in the town’s main square is impressive enough, but inside, a mammoth two-year renovation has turned a – by all accounts, dodgy – pub-hotel into a gleaming space of calming taupes and olives, walls hung with tongue-in-cheek artworks and celebrity sketches. The only traces of the building’s period history still apparent are in the odd under-carpet hump in the floorboards and in the vast dimensions of the first-floor ballroom…’

Read the full anonymous review of Hotel Grosvenor, in Shaftesbury

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