The dreamiest new hotels
In need of an indulgent weekend away? Er, ALWAYS. Here's our pick of the best new - and downright desirable - hotels to book pronto.
Make like Bridget Jones and Daniel Cleaver and whizz off for a naughty weekend – we know just the place!
The Langley, Iver, Bucks
I donned my hard hat a couple of months ago for a sneak peek at this new 41-room luxe country house hotel, due to open this summer, and, believe me, it’s got wow factor. The 18th century gardens are Capability Brown-designed but the big draw here is the super-sexy spa. Alongside the treatment rooms, mani/pedi bar, hair salon and pools, there will be a thermal area, a cryotherapy chamber and a high-tech fitness suite designed and run by PT to the stars, Matt Roberts.
Monkey Island Estate, Bray, Berkshire
It may sound like something out of a Disney theme park but it’s actually a très chichi new boutique hotel, opening 1 April, on an historic private island in the middle of the Thames. Sadly there are no actual monkeys (booo!) – it’s named after the monks who used to live there. The design team behind The Dorchester in London and The Carlyle in New York are conjuring up 41 rooms and suites, from £275 and all with amazing river views, of course, plus a floating spa on a converted barge.
Heckfield Place, Hook, Hampshire
A hotel so hot right now, you’re more likely to see Heckfield Place on a celebrity Instagram account than Soho Farmhouse (shock). Harry and Meghan babymooned here, Cara Delevingne stayed for Eugenie’s Royal Wedding, the Beckhams, Liv Tyler, have all checked in. This luxury country crash pad opened at the end of 2018, a Georgian eco-friendly estate set in 400 acres. Rooms are flop down homely yet stylish, superstar chef Skye Gyngell (ex Petersham Nurseries) is manning the kitchens and guests can swim in the lake, indulge in the spa or sit back in the glamorous cinema room. An infinity pool is planned as part of next year’s spa unveiling. The hotel has 47 rooms, the most expensive costing £10,000 a night. Don’t panic, they start at £300.
The Standard London, King’s Cross, London
I’m rather excited about The Standard group’s first non-US hotel – back in another lifetime, I would often stay in their West Hollywood hipster hangout on work trips (for unknown reasons there was always a performance artist squished into a perspex box behind reception). This outpost, opening date tbc, will be directly opposite St Pancras station, aka the hottest spot in the Smoke right now (there’s a Muddy feature on this locale heading your way soon so stayed tuned). It’ll have 266 rooms, some with outdoor bathtubs on their terrace (oo-er!), while the rooftop restaurant looks set to be a huge draw.
The Stratford, Stratford
This previously unloved corner of East London continues its post-Olympics purple patch with this Spring arrival. It’s designed by the Danish team behind the legendary Copenhagen restaurant Noma and is every bit as cool as you imagine it’ll be. Think seven-storey glass atrium, sky gardens, a triple height lobby and 145 ridiculously chic, minimal rooms (from a reasonable £132 per night), where room service is available 24 hours per day. Woohoo!
Vintry & Mercer, City of London
The City used to be a dead zone when it came to stylish fun (let’s face it, bankers may be rich but they’re not cool) but Vintry & Mercer chalks up some serious hipster points. The 92-room boutique hotel, near Mansion House Tube station, opened in February and every nook and cranny has been designed with maximum Instagrammability (is that a word?!) in mind. The basement bar, Do Not Disturb, is a Prohibition-style speakeasy but we’d suggest heading up, up, up to the Mercer Roof Terrace with its lush hanging foliage adorned bar and gorgeous views across to St Paul’s and The Shard. There’s currently an offer on every Saturday and Sunday until 28 April, with 25 percent off food and drink. Rooms from £175.
The Biltmore, Mayfair
Previously the Millennium Hotel Mayfair, this Grosvenor Square 257-bedroom mega-townhouse has been bought by Hilton’s luxury arm, who’ve spent millions on it. Its snazzy new look will be revealed sometime in spring. This one’s all about location, location, location – Mayfair restaurant par excellence, Scott’s, is a couple of minutes away on the elegant Mount Street, which is also lined with chic boutiques. The credit card-bashing delights of Bond Street are nearby too, as is Hyde Park.
This is a neat (and no doubt lucrative) idea – a health-based hotel [sheepishly backs away from the giant room service club sandwich and fries]. Wellbeing fans will love the 24-hour guest access to a pantry stocked with healthy fare (no Pringles, soz), juice bar, well-equipped gym, soothing indoor gardens, tranquil library and running route maps for nearby Hyde Park. It’s due to open this summer – a prize to the first person to spot Gwyneth Paltrow checking in.
Great Scotland Yard hotel, Westminster
It’s a fair cop, guv – this five-storey, redbrick former Met police HQ in St James is being transformed into a 153 room boutique hotel, due to open later in spring. Details are sketchy but we do know that this historic spot was where Victorian policemen attempted to solve the case of Jack The Ripper. We suggest you, however, sit back, relax and stick to pondering the crossword over a full English.
Artist Residence, Bristol
This mini-chain excels in hip, boho hotels and their new Bristol branch looks, opening June, looks like no exception. In St Pauls (dangerously close to the retail thrills of Cabot Circus), it’s a former boot factory – I like the fact they call the smallest of their 22 rooms the “shoe box” option. At least they’re honest, right? And there’s so much going on in Brizzle, you probably won’t spend much time in it. The bar, with its exposed brickwork and copper bar, looks like hipster catnip so basically exactly what you want from a weekend city break.
Studley Castle, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Fancy being queen of the castle? You’re in the right place. This 210-room rural hotel, built in the 1830s, has just reopened after a £50m refurb. It’s a good choice for culture vultures – there’s a sweet onsite cinema and lots of live music, including, on Saturday 13 April, a festival featuring Jo Whiley introducing new bands and playing a DJ set. Check their website for special flash deals such as a Sunday night stay for just £59.
The Pig at Bridge Place, near Canterbury, Kent
The Pig On The Beach at Studland Bay is Muddy’s happy place so we’re thrilled to hear another new piglet is due on 30 April, this time in Kent. The Pig at Bridge Place majors in two of our favourite things – rock’n’roll (a former country house, it once played host to Led Zep and Pink Floyd and maintains a hip, clubby feel) and booze (it’s in the heart of English wine country, hic!). There will be 29 rooms, seven of which will be Kentish hop pickers’ huts, sitting on stilts by the river. How cool!
Grantley Hall, near Ripon, North Yorks
If you’d like to stay in a house, a very big house, in the country then we suggest you bookmark Grantley Hall for when it opens this summer. This 47-room Palladian perfection is built on a private island with a lake, has an English Heritage-listed Japanese garden and extensive spa and gym, and will feature seven drinking and dining venues. Can you blitz them all during one weekend, we wonder? We’ll give it our best shot!