Staycations have, undoubtedly, been the go-to holiday of 2020. While this has been mostly due to necessity, it’s allowed us to explore the beauty of our backyard.
As the weather cools, it’s time to extend our summer love affair with staycations and, praise be, there are plenty of brand new hotels to get excited about.
There are new offerings from some of the UK’s coolest boutique hotel groups – a Bristol outpost for Artist Residence and a The Pig is opening a Cornwall abode, while country piles are getting a modern spin at The Mitre and Birch.
Whether you’re looking for a week away or a weekender, read on to see where to rest your head this autumn.
Brighton has long been the preferred staycation spot for Londoners and now there’s even more of a reason to visit. Selina launched its third UK outpost (alongside Manchester and Birmingham) in Brighton this summer and visitors are already lusting over its nomadic, experience-led vibe. All rooms boast glorious sea views and the hotel hosts drag bingo parties, beach yoga and even beach cleans for the eco-conscious. The rooftop, which will open in a few months time, will be the place to be next summer.
From £50 per night, selina.com
Artist Residence, Bristol
After delaying its summer opening, the latest Artist Residence is set to draw the cool crowd to Bristol this November. The latest brainchild of AR founders Charlotte and Justin Salisbury, the Bristol outpost is just minutes from the city centre in a converted boot factory with rooms decorated in the group’s signature ‘gram-friendly style.
From £110 per night, artistresidence.co.uk
The Mitre, Hampton Court
Set on the banks of the River Thames, just by Hampton Court Palace, The Mitre sits in a Grade II-listed building and marks the first opening from spanking new British hotel group, The Signet Collection. Each of the 36 rooms are individually designed by Nicola Harding (who did most of Beaverbrook), but it oozes its own distinct personality too. The in-house brasserie, Coppernose, is helmed by Ronnie Kimbugwe, former sous chef of Gordon Ramsay at Claridges and, if the salmon tastes extra fresh, this is because its smoked on the roof next to the beehives.
From £200 per night, mitrehamptoncourt.com
A country pile with a difference, the recently opened Birch is part-hotel, part-co-working space and part-member’s club. Added delights include ceramic workshops in its on-site pottery studio, sourdough lessons in its interactive bakery as well as beekeeping and glass-blowing sessions. If this isn’t enough to keep you occupied, try your hand at the yoga and meditation classes, or take a dip in the 25-metre heated lido that will open in the walled garden later this year. Peckish? Birch has you covered for that, too, with its two restaurants, The Zebra Riding Club and Valerie’s.
From £150 per night, birchcommunity.com
New spa suites at the Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Lake District
Anyone who knows a thing or two about the Lake District will know about the Gilpin and, in particular, its spa lodges. This autumn, Gilpin is opening its newer, and bigger, spa lodge – the first of five planned to open in 2020. These lodges are 25 per cent bigger than the original, and come with a circular bath, a private hot tub inside a walled garden, a private steam room, sauna and treatment room with infrared lounge beds. While there, dine at the Michelin-starred HRiSHi restaurant or tuck into tapas-style dishes at Gilpin Spice.
From £795 per night, thegilpin.co.uk
The George, Cheltenham
Fans of The Lucky Onion group (No. 131 in Cheltenham and The Wheatsheaf Inn in the Cotswolds) will be delighted to know it’s branching out into a new arm, aptly named Cult Hotels. The new group is expected to launch design-led hotels all across the UK but it’s staying local for the first, The George, which opened in Cheltenham last month. Occupying five Grade II-listed Regency townhouses, expect all the things you love about its parent group (luxe furnishings, industrial design and mismatched textures) but with the added bonus of it being built for a post-pandemic era, with automated, contactless check in.
From £90 per night, culthotels.com
The Mayfair Townhouse, London
Opening: late October
The sister property to luxury country piles, Cliveden House and Chewton Glen, The Mayfair Townhouse sits pretty near London’s Green Park. With 172 rooms – including two Penthouse and Garden Suites – the boutique hotel will also include The Dandy Bar, event spaces and a private gym. One for literary lovers, the hotel sits on Half Moon Street surrounded by townhouses that formed the setting for Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
Rates TBC, themayfairtownhouse.com
The Bath Arms at Longleat, Wiltshire
Nestled on the Longleat Estate, just two hours from London and half an hour out of Bath, The Bath Arms is a stylish pub with rooms to have on your radar. The 18th century pub has been lovingly modernised by seasoned hoteliers, the Beckford Group into 16 lovely rooms – some with freestanding tubs – and guests can dine on the fancy, yet unpretentious, pub grub in the restaurant below.
From £95 per night, batharmsinn.com
The Guardsman Buckingham Gate, London
Just a short walk from Buckingham Palace, The Guardsman Buckingham Gate is London’s newest boutique hotel with just 53 rooms. Six residences for longer stays will also be available – including a penthouse with a wraparound terrace. Shiva Hotels acquired the property in 2010 and has worked with Dexter Moren Associates (The Curtain Hotel, Shangri-La at The Shard) and Tonik Associates (Searcys, Silverstone) to bring the hotel to life.
From £245 per night, shiva.co.uk/theguardsman
The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall
Continuing their British countryside domination, Robin and Judy Hutson have taken their Pig group to Cornwall this summer. A short stroll from Harlyn Beach and a 10-minute drive from picturesque Padstow, The Pig at Harlyn Bay is where those in the know will be wiling away balmy summer evenings. The Pig continues its local produce commitment here – all food is sourced within 25 miles of the hotel.
From £219 per night, thepighotel.com/at-harlyn-bay