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Hotel celebrates at the double

LAVISH Lucknam Park Hotel has been given planning permission to build a £5 million spa, a week after being crowned the second best country house hotel in England.

Managing director Harry Murray said they were celebrating twice. "We are delighted," he said.

The spa, built 18 years ago, will double in size in a bid to compete with other resorts around the country. Mr Murray said: "I think we've got a fantastic house and gardens but the spa was letting us down.

"When it was built it was ahead of its time, but so much has happened in the last five years and spas are getting better and better."

A secret critic visited 20 hotels and submitted his report, praising Lucknam Park in Colerne to trade magazine Caterer and Hotelkeeper.

His new guidebook, Mr Particular Telling the Truth About English Country House Hotels, published this month, will be available in shops in the New Year.

To judge each property Mr Particular had a gin and tonic, dinner with wine, an overnight stay and breakfast. Marks were awarded for location, hotel, room, service, dinner, breakfast and cost.

Lucknam Park was beaten to the top spot by just 0.5 per cent of the total marks.

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