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Great Escapes – Streamlined Style

For luxury, nostalgia and unrivalled style, you can’t beat Art Deco.

1. Burgh Island Hotel, Devon

One of the foremost examples of Art Deco in Europe, Burgh Island found global fame through the books and films of Agatha Christie, who wrote two of her novels on the island. A bolthole sought after by everyone from Noel Coward to Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, Winston Churchill to the Beatles, the gleaming white Art Deco building had glamorous beginnings. In 1927, the filmmaker Archibald Nettlefold bought the island and replaced the prefabricated wooden house with something more substantial, embracing the Art Deco style that was in vogue. By the 1930s Burgh Island had become one of the most fashionable hotels of the day, but sadly the Second World War saw it damaged by a bomb. After a period of post-war decline, the hotel has recently been restored to its former glory. And what a glory it is…

Burgh Island Hotel

2. The Midland, Lancashire

The Midland in Morecambe is a fine example of Streamline Moderne – a late nautical style of Art Deco with curving forms and clean horizontal lines. Designed by Oliver Hill in 1933, with sculpture by Eric Gill, including the hotel’s famous seahorses and his Odysseus bas-relief in the entrance, as well as murals by Eric Ravilious, which sadly have not endured (though the artist is remembered in the Ravilious Rotunda Bar), no expense was spared on the original. The £11m restoration, in 2008, followed suit in appropriately lavish style. With 44 bedrooms and magnificent views of the coast, the Midland is something special. It was certainly good enough, in Double Sin, for Agatha Christie’s detective Poirot, whose exacting standards are legendary.

The Midland, Lancashire


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