Views over Ullswater, Lake District
The people behind the Watergate Bay Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, are expanding their empire. Their new hotel collection is called Another Place, and The Lake is the first to open. The 40-room hotel is in an 18th-century building in 18 acres of parkland on Ullswater. There is a restaurant serving regional food such as Herdwick lamb and Morecambe Bay shrimps, plus a more casual diner, library and spa. The grounds include a vegetable patch, herb garden and walnut grove, and oaks, beech and alder strung with hammocks and swinging seats. There is a wooden jetty by the lake for open-water swimming, standup paddleboarding and sailing.
• Opens 1 August, doubles from £160 B&B, another.place
New hostel at Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
A new youth hostel opens in July a few hundred metres from Hadrian’s Wall near Hexham, Northumberland. The Sill – named after nearby ridge the Great Whin Sill – is an 86-bed hostel and “discovery centre”, hosting exhibitions, music and plays. The eco-friendly building has dry stone walls and a green roof that visitors can walk on, and is powered by renewable energy. There are 26 rooms sleeping two or four, 18 of them en suite, plus a kitchen, chill-out areas and free wifi. The discovery centre has a shop and cafe with big terrace and views over the Northumberland national park. The hostel is in a “dark skies” area so is a great spot for stargazing as well as exploring the wall – key sites such as the Vindolanda fort are nearby.
The YHA is also spending £4.25m on 10 existing hostels this year, adding en suite doubles. This includes £500,000 on YHA Keswick (opens March), new safari tents at YHA Tanners Hatch in Surrey (opens April) and a whopping £1.8m overhaul of YHA Bath (opens spring 2018).
• The Sill opens July, group bookings open now, individual bookings from Feb, beds from £19.25 B&B, yha.org.uk
Coastal bunkhouse, Aberdeenshire
A cluster of dilapidated 18th-century buildings in Portsoy, a village on the Moray Firth, are being restored and turned into The Sail Loft bunkhouse. The former sail-maker’s loft, Georgian house and two cottages will sleep 25 across dorms and family rooms, with an open-plan kitchen/diner and a lounge with woodburner. The bunkhouse is right by the sea and a short walk from the historic harbour (dating from 1693) and village. The Scottish Traditional Boat festival takes place in Portsoy each June, and it’s a good base for exploring Scotland’s “dolphin coast”. It is also a 10-minute drive from the start of the 50-mile Moray Coast Trail at Cullen.
• Opens February, beds from £23, hostel-scotland.co.uk
Harbour master, Southampton
The yacht-inspired Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa is opening in Ocean Village this summer. The 85-room hotel will have a seafood restaurant, a roof terrace with champagne bar and a luxury spa. Studio 144, a new cultural complex, is also being built in Southampton. It will house the Nuffield Theatre, an art gallery, and a bistro and bar, and is due to open in September.
• Opens late summer, doubles from £145 B&B, harbourhotels.co.uk
Boutique hostel and bunkhouse, Isle of Mull
A 19th-century manse and a traditional cottage a mile from Fionnphort in the Ross of Mull, are being converted into a boutique hostel and bunkhouse. Achaban House sleeps 14 in six en suite rooms, has a large kitchen, lounge and dining room, and two woodburners. Ross of Mull Bunkhouse sleeps eight in two rooms, and has two bathrooms, a kitchen and an open-plan lounge-diner with woodburner. The properties are in six acres of grounds close to Mull’s red granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. Fionnphort has ferries to Iona and boat trips to Staffa and the Treshnish Isles.
• Opens late April, doubles £80, room for five from £110 (house); beds £22, room sleeping four £80 (bunkhouse), with self-service breakfast, achabanhouse.co.uk
Luxury lodges under dark skies, Northumberland
Kielder Water & Forest Park has eight new luxury lodges on the lake, taking the total number to 50. The new properties all have a master en suite bedroom, open-plan lounge/diner and rear deck. Outside there is a hot tub, barbecue and chiminea. One has a swim spa (a mini pool where you swim on the spot against the current) and one has a star-gazing pod, to make the most of staying in a Dark Sky park.
• Opens May, booking now, sleeps four to six, from £415 for four nights and £665 a week, hoseasons.co.uk
Georgian inn, Hay-on-Wye
This former coaching inn in a Grade II-listed a Georgian building in pretty Hay-on-Wye has had a major refurbishment over the past year. The Georgian Swan at Hay is reopening with 19 rooms, restaurant, bar, events hall and small library. Everything is locally sourced, from the toiletries to the crockery and artwork. Food might be partridge with jerusalem artichokes or venison with squash, all with herbs from the new kitchen garden.
• Opens 1 February, doubles from £125 B&B, swanathay.com
Art house, Oxfordshire
The Artist Residence group, which has three small, hip hotels in London, Brighton and Penzance, is opening a fourth, in Oxfordshire. An old thatched pub, the Mason Arms in South Leigh, will become a pub/restaurant with five rooms, and a further seven rooms will open in a cottage, outbuildings and stables later in the year. Original features – flagstone floors, oak panels – will be restored and teamed with William Morris wallpaper, lots of colour, and a collection of contemporary art by the Connor Brothers.
• Opens March, doubles from £140, artistresidence.co.uk
Boutique townhouse, Bath
Three Grade I-listed Georgian houses on Bath’s grandest street have been turned into the No 15 Great Pulteney boutique hotel, opened in December. There are 22 bedrooms, a cocktail bar, and cafe. The unusual design includes minibars in doll’s houses and a chandelier made from thousands of lost earrings. Bedrooms have rolltop baths, modern four-poster beds and plexiglass furniture, and the top-floor rooms have murals by local artists. Breakfast is served in what looks like an old chemist’s, with hundreds of apothecary bottles lining the walls.
• Now open, doubles from £150 B&B, no15greatpulteney.co.uk
Harbourside castle, Isle of Lewis
Lews Castle, which was built in the 1800s and overlooks Stornoway harbour, has been refurbished with new guest rooms and apartments opening this spring. There is a concierge service to book activities such as Segway tours and whisky tasting, and the castle also has a cafe, outdoor clothing shop and museum – the latter displays some of the Lewis Chessmen (the 12th-century chess pieces discovered here in 1821). Flybe has flights to Stornoway from Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh.
• Opens 14 April, doubles from £110, apartments from £140 for two, £175 for four and £235 for six, naturalretreats.com
Titanic effort, Belfast
The Harland & Wolff offices in Belfast, where the Titanic was designed, is being transformed into the Titanic Hotel and heritage space. A sister hotel to the Titanic in Liverpool, the four-storey, 120-room building will have views from the dining room of the slipway where the ship was built. One of the drawing offices, with its high arched roof, will become a champagne and cocktail bar. The style is art deco splendour: staying here will be like sailing in a first-class cabin on the doomed ship (minus the iceberg).
• Opens early July, doubles from £150 B&B, titanichotelbelfast.com
Seaside gastropub, Cornwall
The Star and Garter pub, on the water’s edge in Falmouth, has added a flat and a penthouse room, both with a “heritage nautical” theme. The pub has won awards for its food since opening just over a year ago (the building dates from 1892). Sunday lunch could include dry-aged moorland beef, pork in cider or slow-cooked lamb; Monday is Brisket and Blues night, with US-style barbecue and live bluegrass.
• Now open, flat from £90, penthouse from £150 (minimum two-night stay), starandgarter.squarespace.com
Atlantic views, Cornwall
A new 12-room hotel and nine sea-facing flats are being built right by the beach in the surfing village of Polzeath. Atlantic House will have a restaurant with two huge terraces, serving locally sourced, French-inspired food, and the flats have a concierge service. Polzeath is between foodie Padstow and Port Isaac, of Doc Martin fame.
• Opens late May/early June, prices tbc but under £150, theatlantichouse.co.uk
Pop-up glamping, Wales
Eight cabins will be popping up in three secret locations in the Welsh countryside this summer. Architects entered a competition to design cabins based on the myths, traditions and beauty of Wales. The winning entries include a “skyhut” with a retractable roof for stargazing, a miner’s hut accessed by crawling through a tunnel, and a pod shaped like a dragon’s eye, with a wet room and woodburner. Experiences included as part of the stays include sea fishing, beer tasting, meals cooked by the country’s leading chefs and entertainment by Welsh artists. The booking system goes live in the next week or so, which is also when dates and prices will be revealed.
• Three-night weekend stays and four-night midweek stays; register at epicretreats.wales to find out when booking opens
Gothic revival, Manchester
A sister hotel to Oddfellows in Chester, Oddfellows on the Park is opening in a 19th-century mansion, Bruntwood Hall, in the southern suburb of Cheadle this spring. The hall is in the middle of Bruntwood public park, which has bootcamp fitness classes, BMX tracks and archery. The 22 rooms range from doubles with park views to a bridal suite over three floors. There is a restaurant, two bars and a terrace, and a beauty salon, the Pigsty. Decor is tongue-in-cheek Victorian gothic.
• Opens late March, doubles from £135, oddfellowsonthepark.com
Coal bunker, Cardiff
The spectacular Coal Exchange in Cardiff was built in 1886 and is where the price of the world’s coal used to be set and where the first £1m business deal was made (in 1904). The sadly dilapidated building is now being restored as The Exchange, with 200 opulent bedrooms (velvet bedding, grand dressing tables) and chandeliers and a mural in the Great Hall.
• Opens 7 April, prices tbc, exchangehotelcardiff.co.uk
Small is beautiful, Isle of Wight
The people behind Vintage Vacations, the first Airstream caravan holidays in the UK, are opening a new site called Tiny Homes, also on the Isle of Wight. Six homes are being built on a smallholding next to Parkhurst Forest near Newport. Like Airstreams, the tiny house movement originated in the US, among people choosing to downsize and live more simply. The same ethos applies on the Isle of Wight site: each Tiny House has a kitchen, compost loo, shower, woodburner and deck with barbecue. There is a studio with a programme of workshops and activities from yoga, Pilates and mindfulness to crafts such as spoon whittling, plus walking meditation in the forest. Guests can sign up for a single class or attend a three-night wellness retreat. The site is especially designed to cater for people with disabilities, older people and people with dementia – and their carers.
• Opens June, homes sleep four from £150 for two nights, retreats from £250, tinyhomesholidays.com
Right on the money, Bristol
Two iconic former bank buildings in the city centre have been renovated to create the Bristol Harbour Hotel, which will be fully up and running next month when 12 new bedrooms open (bringing the total to 42). The basement vaults will also open as an unusual underground spa in February with many original features, such as the listed doors, maintained. Behind the striking facade, the hotel has plenty of character and The Jetty restaurant is big on local produce and winning cocktails.
• New rooms open in spring, doubles from £145 B&B, bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk. Special offers of two nights for £255 DB&B, and Sunday nights for £109 DB&B, run until late March
Pig out, Hove
Winner of Brighton and Hove’s best food pub for the past three years, the Ginger Pig will be the first in the Gingerman group (there are four restaurants in total) to offer overnight stays when it opens 11 contemporary rooms in June. A two-minute walk from the beach and stroll to the boutiques, delis and restaurants of Church Road, it’s the perfect spot for a foodie seaside escape.
• From £80 room-only, breakfast in the new Orangerie, thegingerpigpub.com
Splash the cash, London
Designed by Edwin “Ned” Lutyens in 1924, the former Midland Bank headquarters, next to the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange in the City, has been transformed into The Ned (opens April, doubles from £250), a sumptuous 252-room hotel in the City, worth considering for a special occasion. Expect old-school glamour, nine restaurants, rooftop and indoor pools and a spa. If you’re under 30, there’s a special discount – rooms from £150 a night; if you’re any older, expect to fork out £100 more! Other flamboyant new options include the 150-room, five-storey Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, the first hotel from the sushi maestro, opening in spring (room rates tbc). Also in Shoreditch, The Curtain (rooms from £240), a stylish hotel and members club, opens in May with 120 rooms, rooftop pool, ballroom and a restaurant, the Red Rooster, by chef Marcus Samuelsson. At the other end of the scale, the Premier Inn is opening its latest “hub” hotel in Kings Cross this summer – the seventh in its new chain of compact, city-centre hotels (from £69).
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