10 of the best new hotels in Britain
Jacobean manor, Kent
Boys Hall, a gorgeous Jacobean house in Ashford, Kent, has been restored as a restaurant with rooms. There are five suites with original four-poster beds, window seats and roll-top baths; three doubles with en suite bathrooms; and two smaller doubles with shower rooms. The oak-beamed dining room looks out on to the walled garden and serves dishes inspired by classic British comfort food: fillet of venison with spinach and smoked garlic (£32), say, followed by beef suet sticky toffee pudding (£9). There is also a wood-panelled pub serving Kentish ales and posh bar snacks such as confit duck eclairs. The Grade II-listed hall, built in 1616, has more than a hectare of landscaped grounds; treatment rooms and luxury cabins around the pond are in the pipeline.
Doubles from £160 B&B, boys-hall.com
Hikers’ haven, Derbyshire
Bike and Boot, whose first hotel opened in Scarborough in 2020, is opening a second outpost in the Peak District this spring. Like the original, B&B Derbyshire is design-conscious but relaxed, welcoming dogs, bikes and muddy boots. The new hotel, which is between Hathersage and Hope, has 60 rooms, a bar/restaurant/cafe, a 24-hour lounge with free hot drinks all day and cake at teatime, facilities such as bike storage and services including dog grooming. There is also a free cinema club showing three films a day. Future plans include hotels in Wales and Scotland.
Doubles from £99, opens in May, bikeandboot.com
Budget beach stay, Carmarthenshire
A long-awaited budget beach hotel is finally opening this spring after setbacks including the pandemic and storm damage. The Caban, a 14-room hotel sleeping with doubles, triples and family rooms, is a two-storey new-build overlooking seven-mile Pendine Sands on Carmarthen Bay. It has an all-day bar/restaurant with sea views, and is next door to the new Museum of Speed, which will open at the same time. Many land speed records have been set and broken on this stretch of sand, but visitors may prefer more sedate activities such as rockpooling and coastal foraging, as well as hiring kayaks, surfboards and paddleboards.
Doubles from £80, opens 31 March, cabanpendine.wales
Country resort with activities, Devon
The Highbullen Hotel’s 50-hectare (125 acres) estate, near Chittlehamholt in Devon, is undergoing a £30m transformation into the Mole Resort, with 58 luxury lodges, a refurbished hotel, cottages, bar and restaurant, and 40 activities including swimming, fly fishing, horse riding and footgolf. The full opening is planned for June, but the hotel, restaurant and spa are open now, as are 15 lodges. These sleep six or eight and have open-plan kitchen-diners, large private decks and hot tubs. There are plans for an all-day cafe and farm shop.
Doubles from £80, lodges for six from £388 (two-night minimum), themoleresort.co.uk
Seaside views, Kent
A historic building in Margate overlooking the sea and dating from the days when JMW Turner lived in the town has been restored and turned into the 14-room Fort Road Hotel. An added top floor and a roof terrace give guests sunset views of skies that Turner called “the loveliest in Europe”. Many rooms have sea views too, and all have vintage artworks, secondhand books and bespoke wood-and-marble vanity units; the bathrooms have handmade Mexican tiles, herringbone Carrara marble floors and toiletries from premium local brand Haeckels. There is an all-day restaurant serving seasonal Kentish produce, and a double-height subterranean cocktail bar with snug. Highlights of the art collection include works by Tracey Emin and many mid-century female artists; Margate memorabilia includes postcards, photographs and antique maps.
Doubles from £140, fortroadhotel.com
Timbered Tudor hall, Shrewsbury
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Drapers Hall, built in 1576 as the home of the Shrewsbury Drapers Company, reopened last autumn as a restaurant with rooms. In the six bedrooms, dark wood furniture and oil paintings in ornate frames are mixed with more modern decor – colourful cushions and feature wallpaper. The restaurant, called Rhubarb, the restaurant is home to a long table built in situ 450 years ago that has never left the building. The food, however, is firmly 21st century, showcasing seasonal Shropshire ingredients such as salt-baked celeriac with truffle and crispy artichoke (£9), or pheasant breast with parsnip rosti, red cabbage and pickled walnuts (£23).
Doubles from £130 B&B, drapershallshrewsbury.co.uk
Wilderness cabins, Isle of Skye
The 21-hectare grounds of the Bracken Hide, a new “wilderness hotel” within walking distance of Portree on the Isle of Skye, are scattered with 45 luxury cabins. All come with room service, underfloor heating, power showers and views across Loch Portree and the Sound of Raasay. A central hub houses a restaurant serving meals made with Skye scallops and mussels, and foraged mushrooms, berries and herbs; a whisky bar, a lounge and a cinema room. Outside there are two Estonian saunas, a plunge pool and a swimming pond. Skye Adventure has an office on site, offering activities such as canyoning and climbing, and nextdoor neighbour Target Sports has axe-throwing and archery.
Cabins from £150, opens 31 March, brackenhide.co.uk
Seaside guesthouse, Anglesey
Driftwood, a boutique guesthouse with sea views, opened in December in Rhosneigr, on Anglesey’s west coast. There are six bedrooms in the main house, and the annexe is now a self-catered lodge. Rooms are simple and bright, mainly white with blue accents, and stocked with local Aberffraw biscuits and toiletries by the Welsh brand Cole & Co. The house is a short stroll from the beach, which is a watersports hub offering kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and wing foiling. Rhosneigr has plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants, including new opening Y Parlwr, a 16-cover, tasting-menu-only venture.
Doubles from £110 B&B, rhosneigr.co.uk
A 19th-century sporting lodge turned hotel is reopening in March after an £800,000 refurbishment by its new owners. The Tongue Hotel in the north-west Highlands has 19 renovated bedrooms, with more modern touches added to the original paintings, wood panelling and antique furniture. All rooms have toiletries made on the Isle of Arran, homemade shortbread and a decanter of sherry. The Varrich restaurant and Brass Tap bar are also having a makeover, but will still have open fires, local beers and spirits, and Highland catches such as crab, scallops and sea trout. The hotel is on the scenic North Coast 500, near Varrich Castle and the Kyle of Tongue, and 40 miles from Thurso, for ferries to Orkney.
Doubles from £149 B&B, opens late March, tonguehotel.co.uk
Converted chapel, north London
A Methodist chapel in Camden has been converted into The Wesley, a 38-room hotel over four floors, keeping a worship and community space on the lower ground floor. (A sister Wesley hotel has been running in Euston since 2012.) The facade and some features dating back to 1824 have been retained, but the interiors have been refurbished in a modern style, using sustainable materials. The hotel is just off Camden High Street, with its bars, restaurants, shops and music venues.
Doubles from £126 a night, thewesley.co.uk