It is generally agreed that the first English country house hotel was Sharrow Bay, which opened in 1949 on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District. For 71 years it prospered, before succumbing to the economic fallout of the pandemic in 2020. Sharrow Bay created a new genre, thanks to its handsome main building, lavishly decorated accommodations, reliably excellent food and a gracious atmosphere created by its famously genial owners. Success spawned numerous imitations, and soon, a network of country house hotels had transformed the experience of travel in Britain for Americans. Nearly everywhere, visitors could now enjoy international standards of comfort and cuisine. Of course, these early properties were simple in comparison with their descendants. There were no spas, swimming pools, equestrian centers or lengthy menus of activities. Guests went sightseeing, took country walks or just read quietly by the fire. Over time, however, hoteliers became more ambitious and a process of evolution began that has continued to the present day.