Hotel expert Ianthe Butt shares nine of the best new properties set to open in July and August in England
With hotels in the UK now open for overnight stays, plenty of exciting new properties are planning to open this summer, providing lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
Given the ever-changing situation, it’s worth checking the hotel’s policy on cancellations (due to a change in government guidance, or personal Covid-related circumstances) as some offer rebooking or refund options.
Here are the best of the bunch.
Wildhive Callow Hall, Derbyshire, Peak District
If the pandemic has done one thing, it’s given us all a fresh appreciation for the great outdoors, so the arrival of boutique hospitality brand Wildhive – with a rooted-in-nature philosophy focusing on community and sustainability – feels particularly timely.
The debut property is Derbyshire’s Callow Hall, a historic house surrounded by ancient woodland peppered with working beehives and home to badgers and tawny owls. The main house’s 15 rooms – opening in August – have been given eccentric British interiors by Isabella Worsley, where natural fibres (think olive sacking wallpaper) rub up against botanical prints, and murals paying homage to the Peak District’s hills and valleys. The property’s grounds will be home to 11 one-bedroom Woodland Hives; particularly special are two treehouses with outdoor hot tubs. Other flashpoints include events such as ‘Be nice to nettles’, plus there’s a communal firepit for marshmallow toasting.
From £179, room only; wildhive.uk
The Tawny Hotel, Staffordshire, Peak District
Another reason to hot foot it to the Peak District is The Tawny Hotel, opening on the fringe of the National Park in rural Staffordshire in July. The owners of Consall Hall Estate have spent three years restoring the 70 acres of land bordering the property and have created 55 design-forward self-contained digs.
From huts with Scandi-style interiors and artisan tin bathtubs to quirky treehouses and glass-fronted lakeside boathouses, all offer the opportunity to get back to nature in style. There are yoga mats for stretching out on private terraces, and a roster of birdwatching and stargazing activities are planned. The Plumicorn restaurant, overseen by Chris Alexander, will have a Staffordshire-inspired menu, there’s a dinky spa cottage, and later this year a fleet of recycled bikes and two more restaurants will arrive.
From £230, B&B; thetawny.co.uk
Leopard Creek at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve, Kent
While far-flung safaris remain off the agenda, a stay at Leopard’s Creek, opening in July at Kent’s Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve, is the next best thing. It’s first and foremost a breeding sanctuary for endangered species, and profits from stays fund conservation efforts and the reserve has a strong track record of releasing animals back to protected habitats. The new Leopard Creek accommodation consists of five shepherd’s hut-style cabins and two wigwams kitted out with rainforest showers and woodburners, but the real USP is the chance to spot endangered Amur leopards and white rhinos right from the rooms.
From £530; aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne
Harbour Beach Club & Hotel, Salcombe, Devon
As well as reopening a revamped Richmond hotel this July, Harbour Hotels will also open the 50-room Harbour Beach Club & Hotel in South Devon mid-month. Close to the shoreline of Salcombe’s pretty South Sands Beach, seaside-inspired bedroom hues riff on creamy sands and turquoise waters, married with zig-zag patterned headboards, wave motif throws, Bramley toiletries and minibars with complimentary G&Ts. Many have balconies which look out onto the big blue, while interconnected options – and childminders – make family stays a breeze. A seafood restaurant and tropical-feel beach bar where guests can sip mojitos soundtracked by the ocean from hammocks or under fringed parasols are set to be hotspots from the get-go, followed by a spa and indoor pool come August.
From £340, B&B; harbourhotels.co.uk
The Lost Poet, Notting Hill, London
There’s no doubt about it: from the arty Mayfair Townhouse to exclusive-use seven-room Georgian-glam Henry’s Townhouse, London townhouse revamps are having a moment. The latest to join the club, opening in July, is The Lost Poet on Portobello Road. It might be small, with just four rooms, but it’s a stunner. Designed by hotel first-timers Cubic Studios – known for re-injecting oomph into old buildings – it’s a modern take on a traditional guesthouse, set moments from Portobello’s hip restaurants and old-school boozers. Bedrooms, which are available to book individually or guests can book the entire property, are a riot; one is dressed in earthy yellows with a wood-panelled snug, while another is all dashing blues and has its own sunroom. Antique furniture and marble bathrooms add extra pizzazz, and breakfasts by The Sloe Kitchen will be packed with seasonal fare and Grind coffee.
From £200, B&B; thelostpoet.co.uk
Beaverbrook Town House, Chelsea, London
Hot on its heels, another townhouse affair is opening in August, this time from the folks behind much-loved Surrey country pile and spa Beaverbrook, in partnership with Cadogan Estates. Two restored Georgian townhouses will bring a rural glam to Sloane Street, thanks to interiors masterminded by Nicola Harding, who’s served up considerable romantic whimsy at Hampton Court’s The Mitre, The Rose in Deal and Beaverbrook’s Garden House. While details remain under wraps, 14 suites will take their names from London theatres, and there will also be a 60-cover Japanese restaurant with decor inspired by the works of Hoksuai of The Great Wave fame.
From £500; website tbc
Fairmont Windsor Park, Egham, Surrey
Home to a whopping spa, Fairmont Windsor Park, opening next to Windsor Great Park on 1 august, places wellness front and centre. Expect pools aplenty, a cryotherapy chamber and hammam alongside 4D body scanning facilities, an aesthetics clinic and hair salon. Aside from more than 200 elegant rooms, another draw is the indulgent rather than abstemious dining offering, with seven restaurants and bars on-site. Produce from the Royal Farms will be transformed into British fare at fine dining restaurant 1215, while middle eastern fusion cuisine – think baba ganoush salad – fills out the menu at MOREISH, and sweet treats such as strawberry pistachio roly poly will be served atop floral crockery in the Orchid Tea Room.
From £425, room only; fairmont-windsorpark.com
Graduate Hotels – well-established for its university-city-hooked properties in the USA – makes its European debut, with two properties opening on 1 juli. In Cambridge, the former Doubletree by Hilton on the banks of the River Cam has a fresh new identity as the 148-room Graduate Cambridge. Embracing its academic history, bedrooms have pops of Cambridge blue and dusky pink, clever punting boat-themed cabinets, and leather, library-feel desks. At the Garden House restaurant, helmed by Adam Wood, feasts cooked over open flames will take centre stage. Over in Oxford, 151-room The Randolph Hotel will open close to the Trinity college and the Ashmolean Museum. Heritage riffs abound here too, with portraits of Oxford alumni on the walls juxtaposed with floral wallpapers, as well as top-notch Brit cuisine at The Alice restaurant.
Rooms at The Graduate Cambridge from £189, room only; graduatehotels.com/cambridge
Rooms at The Randolph Hotel from £229, room only; graduatehotels.com/oxford-uk