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Arty, quirky and straight-up luxury hotels coming in hot across the UK and Ireland – with a strong trend for hybrid stays in the mix – are making staycations ever more appealing. Blossom Green checks in

The Dean Galway, Ireland

First on our list is an art-driven escape on the Wild Atlantic Way whose doors opened this month. It’s Galway’s first design-forward digs, a stone’s throw from Eyre Square,
and the third property in The Dean’s stable. The 100 rooms range from stylish micro pods made for overnighters to generous suites (and a two-bedroom loft penthouse) with separate living areas, but all come with Marshall speakers, smart TVs with Netflix, rainfall showers, Smeg mini fridges and ‘Irish munchie trays’. Bold colours and parquet flooring lead, alongside plush furnishings, but perhaps most exciting is the art bedecking walls – a collection curated in collaboration with the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Food wise, Galway’s culinary reputation shines through at rooftop restaurant Sophie’s (a floor-to-ceiling glass affair with knockout views) and cosy New York inspired Elephant & Castle. It’s sustainably minded too: energy on site is all renewable and there are no single-use plastics.

Dean Cork April 21 4539

Travel Details

Doubles from £136.

thedean.ie

One Hundred Shoreditch London

Change is afoot in East London. Hot on the heels of Mondrian Shoreditch in what was The Curtain hotel – and preceding the relaunch of Boundary London – One Hundred Shoreditch takes Ace Hotel’s former spot. In keeping with the neighbourhood’s own evolution, its been enlivened by Lore Group, best known for their work on Pulitzer Amsterdam and the South Bank’s Sea Containers. The 258 rooms sport a fresh colour palette, blonde wood, bespoke tapestries and calm furnishings to create a welcoming retreat. Alongside a convivial lobby bar and coffee shop, new flagship restaurant Goddard & Gibbs focuses on fine British seafood, while a soon-to-launch rooftop bar and terrace dressed in pink marble is joined by basement drinking den Seed Library by local maestro Mr Lyan.

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Travel Details

Doubles from £175.

onehundredshoreditch.com

No.1 By Guesthouse York

This ivy-laced Regency townhouse, a ten-minute walk from York Minster, offers 39 rooms and three suites straddled across three floors. Opened towards the end of last year and evoking heritage charm at ever turn, no two rooms are the same. Designed as a bona fide home-from-home, lofty, light-filled rooms feature neutral hues, a plethora of local antiques and curios, large beds decked out in cloud-like linens, and turntables (fed by a vinyl library), as well as a shared pantry for snacks. For those travelling en famille, in-room tipi hideouts and instant cameras are provided, while local dog walkers are available for four-legged friends. Sustainable Yorkshire produce feeds a modern British menu at the restaurant and Lady Rhubarb’s bar, and the final flourish is a moody spa in the cellar arches.

TM Guesthouse York 4

Travel Details

Doubles from £125.

guesthousehotels.co.uk

The Nici Hotel Bournemouth

Bringing the spirit of South Beach Miami to the sandy southern coast, this convivial new lifestyle hotel is set to formally launch this summer following the revival of the landmark seafront building, The Savoy. An attention seeker in the most charming of ways, it’s the brainchild of Nicholas Roach – whose clutch of Harbour Hotels has made waves across the British coast – and marks the inaugural property for his new group, Nici. Revitalising the historic strip of golden sand at West Cliff – close to Bournemouth Pier and a ten- minute walk from the town centre – it’s set to be playfully stylish, with bold colourways, abundant greenery and mid-century style furniture. With 54 bright and breezy bedrooms and suites already refurbished, many of them saluting the sea from its clifftop perch, large windows ensure every bit of the view can be soaked up.

A brand-new pool area and outdoor terraces will sit amid freshly landscaped gardens overlooking the seafront, with the beach easily accessible straight from the grounds. On the food front, sprawling all-day restaurant and bar Southbeach champions modern hospitality with a distinctly American soul, its destination dining room centred on local seafood, grills, globally inspired sharing plates and fresh salads and sandwiches.

By day, a fleet of bicycles will be on hand for those looking for an easy way to explore the coastline with its quays and harbours – picnics and grab-and-go beach bags provided. It’s 6.5km along the sand to Dorset’s iconic Sandbanks and, for those looking further afield, a 20-minute drive will take you into the New Forest with its vast network of rambles and hikes. A rooftop bar, spa and destination garden restaurant will follow suit next year. Watch this space.

The Nici South Beach

Travel Details

Doubles from £175.

nicihotels.com

Wild Thyme And Honey Cirencester

A weekend in the Cotswolds never goes out of fashion and when it comes to elevating staycations the area just keeps on giving. This 24-bedroom bolthole in Gloucestershire’s Ampney Crucis, on the banks of a babbling brook and nestled alongside a cosy village inn dating back to the 16th century, opened at the end of last year and acts as a love letter to the region. Taking its honey-hued stone as inspiration, natural timber is softened by soft greys and creams, while exposed brickwork draws on New York loft styling. Guests are welcomed by a decanter of sloe gin, with Hunters poised for all weathers. After an idyllic countryside wander, cross the courtyard to The Crown for robust farm-to-table menus driven by a robata grill and undulating with the seasons. Owners Red Lion Holdings have also just relaunched a boutique pub with rooms, Hare & Hounds, near Newbury.

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Travel Details

Doubles from £150.

wildthymeandhoney.co.uk

The Other House London

Meet your next South Kensington pied-à-terre. A hybrid hotel meets member’s club meets serviced apartment, The Other House – in the making for some eight years – is tearing up the rule book. Coining itself a ‘resident’s club’, from June you’ll be able to book in and make the space your own with flexible club flats and apartments with separate lounge, dining space and kitchenettes for both short and long stays. Services are driven by the Other House app including check-in, room key, spa bookings, food orders and even calling the lift. There’s also a section to check your energy use. On the design front, eclectic British craftsmanship is at the fore, with gutsy use of colour, soft tweed and comfortable furnishings across eight room categories. A film screening room, indoor pool, whimsical craft cocktail bar and street-side restaurant seal the deal.

TOHSK Duplex Club Flat Render 02

Travel Details

Doubles from £263.

otherhouse.com

Chateau Denmark London

Marking the start of a modern chapter in the tale of a historic patch of Soho, hedonistic 55-key Chateau Denmark is set to open next month as part of the new Outernet district that ties together immersive spaces. Comprising a mixture of session rooms and apartments spread across 16 story-rich buildings, it’s inspired by Denmark Street’s heritage as the home of the British music scene. Creative design plays on British baroque with rich detailing from gilded ceilings to opulent soft furnishings combined with superlative tech, kitchenette-like maxi-bars, psychedelic Sixties- style artwork, neon and grafitti. It makes sense when you know that lyrical glitterati such as David Bowie, Chrissie Hynde, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd all have ties to the space. One of the city’s most eagerly anticipated launches, with a lounge bar and basement club to come later this year.

MY Chateau Denmark 0031 M 300

Travel Details

Doubles from £459.

chateaudenmark.com

Inhabit Queen's Gardens London

Joyfully homely and entirely functional, the second iteration from fledgling brand Inhabit is set across a crescent of mid-19th-century townhouses on a leafy square tickling Lancaster Gate. An uplifting space, opening next month, will reveal 159 tranquil rooms bathed in light, with clean lines, pared-back colours and mid-century furniture evoking a Scandinavian feel complemented by curated art and in-room aromatherapy scents. The key tenets are a focus on guest wellbeing (the wellness centre channels holistic Eastern philosophies) and positive social impact, which is best seen in its use of sustainable and reclaimed materials, its community collaborators and meat-free stance. The Kitchen is designed as a verdant space serving global flavours across vegetarian plates set alongside a marble-dressed bar showcasing English wine and small-scale UK spirit producers.

INHABIT 2 1 Tim Evan Cook

Travel Details

Doubles from £170.

inhabithotels.com

The Retreat Elcot Park Newbury

Back in 2020, the launch of The Mitre Hampton Court was met with rapturous applause. Next month, the home-grown brand responsible for it, The Signet Collection, reveals its latest project in the heart of bucolic Berkshire. Pitching up in a Grade II-listed estate – the childhood home of poet Percy Shelley, whose words will adorn the walls of the entrance – close to Newbury, it will offer 55 rooms oozing character and interior nous. Expect eclectic antiques, heritage detailing and punches of colour. Dramatic lounge spaces will be joined by a health club and spa, while a walled garden, infinity pool with cabanas, tennis courts and croquet lawn dot the 16-acre grounds. As at The Mitre, Ronnie Kimbugwe will be in charge of all things culinary, overseeing a brasserie and pan-Asian restaurant, with a third to be revealed come 2023.

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Travel Details

Doubles from £156.

retreatelcotpark.com

Leven Manchester

Versatile, vibey and welcoming, Leven Manchester, which opened in November on the corner of Canal Street, is part boutique getaway part aparthotel. Set in a heritage warehouse (previously housing a brewery and comedy club), the facade – all red brick walls and Crittall windows – evokes Brooklynesque industrial edge. Local entrepreneurs Joshua and Ben Senior are behind it, alongside Wellbrook Hospitality, and there are 42 rooms to pick from. While each has its idiosyncrasies, exposed brickwork and high ceilings are emblematic and some champion stand-alone bathtubs for cosy weekenders, others offer kitchens for elongated stays. Generous communal areas include plush lounge spaces and large tables for cocktails, house-roast coffees and snacks. While an on- site restaurant is in the pipeline for next year, for now one option is to book a private in-room chef.

Heiko Prigge The Leven Hotel0478 V1a 1

Travel Details

Doubles from £88.

liveleven.com

The Londoner London

Stealing the show on a corner plot of Leicester Square, the monolith that is The Londoner landed last September, revealing 350 elegant-chic rooms spread across a staggering 16 storeys. It comes complete with ‘The Residence’ (three spaces sectioned off, a little bit like a member’s club, especially for overnight guests), multiple lounges replete with art, giving a nod to the area’s past, and a striking wellness floor with a pool, spa and breathtaking architectural detail. The concept is that of a ‘super boutique’, combining a sense of place, luxury, intimate nooks and careful attention to detail with the top-notch amenities and accessibility afforded by a grande dame. Five restaurants and bars serve the hotel criss-crossing global palates – rooftop isakaya 8 is quite the standout. While none of this comes cheap, it’s a worthy contender for a special occasion.

The Londoner Lobby Credit Andrew Beasley 1

Travel Details

Doubles from £503.

thelondoner.com

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