By Amira Hashish
We may all be planning our great escapes this year but the UK staycation game is still strong with a handful of hotly anticipated boutique hotels around the country set to open their doors. From motels to mega revamps, spanning Manchester to Edinburgh, here are the spots to have on your radar…
Boys Hall, Kent
What’s the vibe? Fabulous foodie escape.
The lowdown: On the southern edge of the North Downs, Boys Hall has undergone months of restoration to transform into a beautiful restaurant with seven rooms set within three acres of grounds. Originally built in 1616, the Grade II listed retreat is the passion project of husband and wife team Bradley and Kristie. They have painstakingly restored the house to its former glory with the help of family, friends and a variety of local specialists. Bradley was the former operations director of East London Pub Co, and Kristie is the founder of Drink, Shop & Do as well as Keystone Crescent members club in London’s King’s Cross. They’ve coupled their wealth of experience with bundles of love. Just a 35-minute train ride from London, this is the ideal escape from the city.
Cowley Manor, Cheltenham
What’s the vibe? Not your average country retreat.
The lowdown: Experimental Group, known for its wacky Wes Anderson-esque collection of restaurants, hotels and cocktail bars, has taken over Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds. The group’s first UK property outside of London is gearing up for a summer opening with a full revamp and four new rooms in the pipeline. Rooms will be spread across the main house and the surrounding stable buildings with 55 acres of natural lakes, Victorian cascades and woodland to explore. Not forgetting the spa with indoor and outdoor swimming pools. We can’t wait to see what Experimental does with the place. The clue is in their name.
What’s the vibe? Motel chic.
The lowdown: Soho House is venturing up North with a much-anticipated Manchester opening. Whilst the house may not have rooms, the brand’s Mollie’s motel is conveniently opening next door as part of a revamp of Manchester’s Old Granada Studios. The famous city landmark is currently being reinvented as part of a vibrant new cultural destination. The iconic 1950s television studios were home to the Beatles and Sex Pistols first TV appearances…if only these walls could talk.
What’s the vibe? Boutique city retreat
The lowdown: In the heart of Chester’s city centre, nestled away within the historic Rows, this luxury boutique hotel will comprise 18 bedrooms, a swish spa, restaurant and cocktail bar. The sympathetic redevelopment of the historic Victorian building in which it sits will merge its heritage with a contemporary style. Period fireplaces and exposed beams will add the character we are seeking from a cosy bolthole.
100 Princes Street, Edinburgh
What’s the vibe? A truly Scottish celebration.
The lowdown: At the address of the former Overseas League, the new era of 100 Princes Street will nod to the history of the many great Scottish explorers and adventurers who made this historic building their ‘home away from home’. Inspired by Alexander McQueen, the design team is working with local artisans to create bespoke pieces including custom-made tartan designed by Araminta Campbell and a central staircase which features a hand-painted mural by Croxford & Saunders. Keep an eye out for the wine wall with more than 200 fine wines, showcasing the range from the family-owned vineyard Bouchard Finlayson.
House of Gods, Glasgow & Manchester
What’s the vibe? A love of maximalism.
The lowdown: With the tagline ‘More is More’, House of Gods doesn’t do things by half. Maximalism runs throughout the design of their Edinburgh hotel and the same can be expected for the brand’s new openings in Glasgow and Manchester. A clash of styles, broken rules and a balance of opposites speaks to the unapologetic extravagance. If you have always wanted to sleep over at one of your favourite cocktail bars, these boutiques have you covered.
The Gallivant Littlestone Beach
What’s the vibe? Bicoastal brilliance.
The lowdown: The Gallivant’s Rye property already has a loyal following so the Littlestone Beach addition to its portfolio is warmly welcomed. With 12 bedrooms, a sitting room, orangery, dining room, library, members bar, yoga studio, sauna and treatment room it is set to cultivate quite the community. There will also be a coast garden with a beach gazebo, kitchen garden and dining area. The design is down to co-owner Sigrid Cragoe and will pay homage to the glamour of east coast America in the late 1920s, complemented by the Edwardian history of the property.
Raffles at The OWO, London
What’s the vibe? Iconic in every sense.
The lowdown: If you are set on a London staycation, this project is causing waves amongst the jet set who cannot wait for the big unveil. Turning a Grade II listed Whitehall building, within walking distance of The Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, into an ultra luxury retreat is no easy feat so it has been a long time coming. However, it is set to open its doors this summer. The Edwardian Old War Office will be transformed into guest rooms, a grand ballroom, a Guerlain spa and several restaurants headed by Mauro Colagreco. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, there is a dedicated Champagne bar.