Britain’s most exciting new hotels – for your ultimate weekender

Posted by
Anna Melville-James

It’s been a bumper 12 months for stylish UK hotel openings, so there’s certainly no better time to plan that weekend away.

Whether it's city pads or country piles - couture luxury or cosy eccentricity - there’s a stay for every mood. Here is's pick of the best new hotel destinations to book in 2016 - and a couple in the pipeline to watch...

  • Courthouse Hotel, London

    Fancy kipping in the cells where the Kray twins were detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure? Once Old Street Magistrates Court and Police Station, the Courthouse Hotel is one of Shoreditch’s hottest new hotels.

    The doors open on 1 June and doing time here is now a pleasure thanks to spacious rooms and suites, a cinema, bowling alley and spa. Period features have been retained and rooms quirkily repurposed - Courtroom Number 1 hosts the main restaurant, Courtroom Number 2 is a members’ bar, while on the roof, the Shoreditch Sky Terrace bar will be the spot to have a cocktail this summer.

    Get ready to make your getaway.

    Courthouse Hotel, Shoreditch

  • Hilton London Bankside, London

    Once synonymous with trouser presses and conference rooms, Hilton hotels have seriously upped their game in the design stakes. London Bankside has all the style and smarts you’d want in a hotel within easy walk of the Tate Modern, Shard and the Southbank, home of the Udderbelly festival (sponsored this year by the hotel brand).

    Inside, the design has been influenced by the urban creativity of the local area, with original art and sculpture and comfy, quirky bedrooms, have secret urban fox sculptures to spot. The Distillery bar serves up its own craft beer and a gin menu to do a hipster Hoxton bar proud.

    Hilton London Bankside, London

  • The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath

    People have been taking the waters in the Regency city of Bath for well over 2,000 years, so it takes a lot to impress on the spa front. Newcomer The Gainsborough has managed it - snagging a clutch of hotel spa awards in its first year.

    The hotel taps into the town’s thermal springs to offer a 21st century take on treatments in surroundings that reference the ancient geothermal Roman spa. Soak, swim, steam - and when you’re good and pruney relax in one of 99 neutral New York-sleek rooms, or the restaurant that's overseen by German Michelin-starred chef Johann Lafer.

    The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath

  • The Mandeville Hotel, London

    Ok, so this is not a totally new hotel opening, but when Maison Christian Lacroix has redesigned your entire fifth floor that’s close enough.

    Couture meets interior design at Marylebone’s Mandeville Hotel, with the recently unveiled renovation taking inspiration from the French Riviera.

    Choose from bold rooms with hints of everything from the botanical gardens of Monaco, to Grace Kelly’s unforgettable To Catch a Thief. If you have to come down to earth, the hotel’s ground-floor Reform Social & Grill has leather banquette dining that includes a special Yorkshire pudding menu.

    The Mandeville Hotel, London 

  • Urban Villa, London

    Need more from your space? Check into west London’s new hotel-apartment hybrid. Each of the 100 suites offers muted colours, a private ‘winter garden’ and a kitchen for guests who like to whip up their own eggs in the morning - but know there’s a 24-hour concierge on hand if needed. Want spa treatments, in-room personal training or healthy meals in the fridge? Just call. You can even request your suite be decorated for romance on arrival, with a choice of three packages: sensual, playful or naughty.

    Beats raiding the minibar for a Toblerone.

    Urban Villa, London 

  • The Hollies, Norfolk

    The Hollies in the Georgian village of Snettisham, on the Norfolk coast, may only have five rooms, but they all pack a big design punch with hand-printed wallpapers and fabrics, as well as an interesting line in modern collectibles.

    Created by designer Shaun Clarkson, this is one turbo-charged B&B. Each room has it's own star turn, such as a raised bed in the Versace Room, and a private lounge in the Cabin Room. The 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and REN beauty treats come as standard.

    Venture out to golden sweep of Snettisham beach and walk just a few minutes to 2015’s Pub of the Year, The Rose and Crown. Weekend. Sorted.

    The Hollies, Norfolk

  • Twr y Felin, Wales

    Modern art meets sea air at this boutique hotel in Wales’ Pembrokeshire National Park, a paint flick away from Caerfai Bay and the UK’s smallest city, St Davids.

    Originally built in 1806 as a windmill, Twr y Felin now features over 100 specially commissioned works from 12 Welsh, British and international artists. There are 19 en-suite bedrooms and plans to open a sculpture garden created by ceramist Adam Buick.

    You can also take afternoon tea in the hotel’s Oriel Lounge gallery space, or take inspiration from original landscapes in the ‘Tyddewi’ suite - the original windmill tower, with 360-degree views of the St Davids Peninsula from its own observatory.

    Twr y Felin, Wales 

  • Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, London

    Lucky Shoreditch. Another new opening is Nobu’s first European hotel, a sharply designed steel-and-glass building set to open later this year on Willow Street, with none other than Robert de Niro as one of its backers. 

    If a possible glimpse of the Hollywood A-lister isn't reason enough to book into one of its 156 sleek rooms, the innovative Japanese cuisine may be. The restaurant is overseen, as ever, by chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Hold your breath and keep your chopsticks at the ready.

    Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, London

  • The Painswick, Gloucestershire

    The Cotswolds’ latest sleek boutique hotel is a confection of 16 luxe, softly textured bedrooms that could be straight out of Country Life.

    The smallest rooms are in the eaves, the largest in the Chapel Wing, with Palladian curved walls and huge windows. Or go all-out and stay in George’s Suite, with its four-poster bed, log burner, roll-top bath and balcony.

    There are treatment rooms for massage and plenty of rolling countryside calm. Idle away the hours with walks in the nearby Slad valley, or take afternoon tea on the hotel terrace. Evenings are for long dinners cooked up from fresh local produce at the popular hotel restaurant.

    The Painswick, Gloucestershire 

  • The Pig Hotel at Combe, Devon

    The latest addition to this ‘restaurant with rooms’ boutique brand opens in July after a £9 million renovation to turn Devon’s Combe House into a Pig hotel.

    The estate, which includes an Elizabethan manor and thatched longhouse, will offer 27 rooms in the house’s loft and stable yard. The hotel restaurant menu will feature the farm-to-fork creations so central to the Pig’s success. Dishes will be made from local produce, including Devonshire cheeses, locally reared meat and fresh ingredients from the kitchen garden and surrounding 3,500-acres of land. Let the feast commence.

    The Pig Hotel at Combe, Devon 

  • King Street Townhouse, Manchester

    This Grade II-listed building was once the Manchester Salford Trustees Bank, and the city’s latest boutique hotel has retained the stiff upper lip style of its past glories - offering up rooms full of discreetly patterned wallpapers, modern art and crisp linens.

    Step out of the hotel and you’re bang in the middle of Manchester’s King Street Conservation Area. But the best views of the city definitely come from the hotel’s rooftop terrace bar and a heated 7th floor outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Gothic spires and town hall.

    King Street Townhouse, Manchester


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Anna Melville-James

Travel writer Anna Melville-James has been trotting the globe for 15 years in search of great stories. She sifts the sands for, tracking down travel news, trends and destinations for the site to inspire holidays and daydreams. When she’s at home in London, Anna enjoys watching David Attenborough documentaries and counting her extensive collection of free sewing kits and miniature toiletries. 

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