The Tawny – Is the deconstructed hotel the future of hospitality, or is it a covid-proof nightmare?

This deconstructed hotel idea is the future covid-proof of hospitality. According to this writer, The Tawny is a hotel that truly delivers luxury and escapism.



The traditional hotel model is under threat in rural Staffordshire. Set in 70 acres of thicketed countryside, dotted with lakes and copses and follies – the Tawny provides each guest with a socially-distanced hideaway from the covid-laced drudgery of everyday life. It is truly a masterpiece of design. You will feel like you are in a special place the minute you drive onto the private driveway that leads to the estate grounds.

Wildwood Huts - James Andrew Photography

Wildwood Huts by James Andrew Photography 

A variety of accommodation options are available. Each has its private deck and Jacuzzi bathtub. The Shepherds Huts are small in size, but they have a cozy interior with log fires and double beds. This makes them a great choice for romantic winter getaways. You can also find larger accommodations like double Huts or Lookouts as well, Treehouses or Boathouses. 

Boathouses at the Tawny - James Andrew Photography

James Andrew Photography: Boathouses on the Tawny

I was lucky enough to stay in one of the boathouses named Kingfisher – a two bedroomed delight overlooking one of the lakes. You can enjoy the stunning view from your large tub and floor-to ceiling glass walls. My plan was to spend the weekend there, but the three-year old beat me to it. As he watched every heron, duck, and coot pass by, he spent several hours bubble-laced and prune-like. The Boathouses offer two huge bathing areas. I went to my private balcony and soaked in the outdoor spa.

Kingfisher - one of the lakehouses at the Tawny

Kingfisher, one of the Tawny lakehouses

During our stay the British weather was predictably unpredictable – throwing out sunshine, rain, high winds and more over a two-night stay; so I discovered that this is a hotel for any weather. There were many paths that could be explored when the sun shined, including bridges and follies as well as an outdoor pool heated year-round. As the storms raged, I was content to lie in my lakeside bedroom and empty the minibar before settling into the large and very comfortable bed. The room’s décor is a nod to the traditional with a contemporary twist. All accommodations have their own unique colour schemes and feature luxury touches like designer lamps, velvet pillows and soft blankets.

Rooms at The Tawny

The Tawny Hotel Rooms

Kingfisher has an open layout main bedroom and lounge. This gives it light and space and also allows for a lot of natural light. A separate room contains bunk beds (or adult) and includes a shared bathroom as well as a door that leads to the decking. Six boathouses are available, four are right next to one another. However, they have been well designed so each feels private. 

Private decks at The Tawny

The Tawny has private decks

The property’s overall layout is well thought out. Privacy and space are prominent features, as well as being eco-friendly and environmentally sensitive. There are 55 properties on the sprawling estate, plus many more under construction. But you will never feel overwhelmed or pressured by any other guests. The dwellings are so well dispersed that the hotel has special golf carts to carry guests and luggage to and from rooms if needed – the farthest rooms are approximately a ten-minute walk from the reception building and restaurant. For any other assistance, friendly receptionists are only a call away.

The Plumicorn at The Tawny - James Andrew Photography

The Plumicorn At The Tawny James Andrew Photography

Two dining options are available at the hotel. The Feather Lounge is casual and serves delicious pizzas, with inventive toppings. Plumicorn Restaurant is the fine dining option. The stunning building at the center of the estate overlooks both. Dog lovers will find both buildings dog-friendly. However, dogs must be restricted to specific areas in the Plumicorn. 

Food at The Tawny

The Tawny Restaurant offers delicious food

Plumicorn offers an imaginative and outstanding menu. I was delighted with the plumicorn’s local beef, and I was also enchanted and captivated by the honeyed carrots. The charred lettuce was another revelation. I enjoyed the whimsical version of an apple crumb, which was made with white chocolate and had a mousse middle. It was absolutely delicious. The Plumicorn also serves breakfast, which includes a buffet as well as a variety of menu choices. All day room service is offered.

Dining at The Plumicorn restaurant

The Plumicorn restaurant

The property has a spa that offers a range of services. Private yoga classes can also be offered within its grounds. In 2022 larger accommodations will be available for groups up to 8. However, these facilities are still being constructed so some parts of the estate are not accessible.

The grounds at The Tawny

The grounds of The Tawny

It is ideally located to take you to many local attractions and the Peak District. However, it is my suggestion that short trips be made within the grounds. It is a very peaceful place. We took a brief excursion outside the hotel and were disappointed. There is limited phone signal but good WiFi, so you truly have the opportunity to switch off from the outside world completely and enjoy nature gift-wrapped in five-star luxury and – considering the past two years – isn’t that exactly what we all need and deserve?