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Our little black book of enchanting places



Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O'Sullivan

The first hotel cinema I came across was at the luxurious Carlisle Bay resort in Antigua in 2003. Surely nobody had come all the way to the Caribbean to want to watch a movie? It turned out they had. And when I saw the hotel’s chic little screening room, I understood why. There is something so glamorous – so old-school Hollywood – about a private cinema. Forget your local Odeon. A hotel is the only place to catch a movie.

Barnsley House, Gloucestershire

One of my current favourite hotel screening rooms is at Barnsley House, above left, in the Cotswolds. With (pink) seats for just 30, it organises regular Movie Nights for guests and non-residents. The movie on Wednesday, November 19, is Delirious, chosen by (and starring) actress Emma Samms, above right. Emma will also be present on the evening and will give a talk about the making of the film. Cost is £29.50, which includes supper at The Village Pub (opposite Barnsley House) and a £5 donation to Starlight Children’s Foundation. 

Further information, 01285 740000; Barnsley House

The Soho Hotel, London

Firmdale Hotels boasts some of the world’s coolest, state-of-the-art hotel screening rooms at its properties in New York and London. This one, above, furnished with chairs in cowhide and red leather, is the smaller of two screening rooms at The Soho Hotel. All of the Firmdale hotels run a Sunday Film Club, open to guests and non-resident and featuring new releases and old favourites. Look out for some real classics at The Soho Hotel in December (Miracle on 34th street, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life…) Tickets cost £35, including lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.

Further information, 020 7559; The Soho Hotel 

W Hotel, London

The Screening room at London’s hip W hotel in Leicester Square, above, tends to be used mostly for private events, but it does run a Tuesday-night W Film Club and coming up this month and next are Fury, Third Person and Boyhood. Seat only is £15; seat and a cocktail, £20; and seat, cocktail and a burger, £35. The popcorn is free.

Further information, 020 7758 1060; W London 

The Courthouse Hotel, London

The screening room at The Courthouse Hotel, in Soho, above, seats 94 and is itself quite a vision with its pink carpet, suede walls and green leather seats. A ticket for its Saturday Cinema Club costs £21.50 and includes a cocktail and a movie, more likely to be a ‘classic’ than a new release. Coming up in December are Casablanca, Love Actually and the not-terribly-festive Last Tango in Paris.

Further information, 020 7297 5555; The Courthouse Hotel 

Whatley Manor, Wiltshire

Whatley Manor, above, has just added a Thursday Evening Cinema Screening to its popular monthly Sunday Screenings with Lunch. Cost for the former is £23, which includes a glass of wine, a tub of ice cream and popcorn; cost for the latter is £8.50 but tickets are only available to those having lunch in Le Mazot restaurant (starters from £6.50, main courses from £16.50 and puddings from £7.25). Movies are usually blockbusters, with Dallas Buyers Club later this month and The Grand Budapest Hotel and Gravity in December.

Further information, 01666 834 026; Whatley Manor 

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