From a contemporary art hotel in Bristol to sleek refurbs in Edinburgh and Margate, plus three London openings
The Nici, Bournemouth
Step through the gleaming white portico of the Nici and you could be in South Beach, Miami. Statement artworks, bold fabrics and clean white walls mean Bournemouth finally has a luxury hotel that’s bang on trend. The best rooms have sea views, overlooking the pristine lawned garden and shimmering pool, while downstairs the South Beach restaurant offers cocktails on the terrace, local seafood and poolside snacks. Families are welcome, with a children’s playroom, activity centre in the garden and children’s activities in holidays and half-terms.
Doubles from £212 B&B; thenici.com
100 Shoreditch, London
A great example of the new breed of “hybrid-hotels”, 100 Shoreditch appeals as much to local freelancers who come to work in the Coffee Shop or Lobby Bar, as visitors from overseas. Of the six restaurants and bars, the Rooftop is the one to book, for wickedly good cocktails and sunset views over the capital’s rooftops. Rooms are chic with contemporary art and furnishings, and the hotel has produced a guide to local green spaces, to provide moments of breathing room amid the hustle of the city.
Doubles from £269 B&B; onehundredshoreditch.com
Parador 44, Cardiff
A hit of Spanish style in the heart of the Welsh capital, Parador 44 opened in June, with just nine rooms, all furnished in traditional Andalucían style, with vintage Spanish wooden shutters and doors reused as bedsteads, alongside polished wood floors and crisp, cream furnishings. The rooms sit above Asador 44, the owners’ existing Spanish restaurant and wine house, which has a particular focus on Basque cuisine, while in the small lounge, guests are welcome to try the family’s own Manzanilla sherry and Galician white wine.
Doubles from £195 B&B; grupo44.co.uk
The Moxy, Bristol
After a two-year delay, the Moxy finally opened its doors in May, with striking contemporary art blazing across the glass-walled lobby, where guests are welcomed with a complimentary drink and locals beaver away on laptops, until cocktail hour looms. There’s a fun, informal feel to the place, with everything available from cappuccino and croissants to midnight snacks. Rooms are crisp and comfortable, if rather corporate, with dogs welcome in some (for a fee), and the proximity of Temple Meads station makes it ideal for a car-free break.
Doubles from £107 B&B; marriott.com
Hotel Brooklyn, Leicester
Just around the corner from Leicester’s own Statue of Liberty – which crowned the Liberty Shoe Factory in the 1920s – this newly opened New York-themed hotel brings a slice of Brooklyn style to the east Midlands. For a large hotel, it feels surprisingly intimate, with 16 accessible bedrooms all including a range of features such as roll-in showers and track hoists to accommodate people with mobility issues. The buzzy bar and restaurant, the Lair, does a nice line in cocktails and has good vegan and vegetarian options.
Doubles from £89 room only; hotelbrooklynlei.co.uk
Fort Road Hotel, Margate
Originally a boarding house built in 1820, Fort Road threw open its doors in August, with 14 sleek bedrooms. Several rooms have striking views over Margate’s coastline, and all feature sumptuous Naturalmat beds, 400-thread count linens and Haeckels products in the gleaming bathrooms. The light, airy restaurant has a menu that changes daily, with a strong focus on locally caught fish. The hotel is an easy walk from the beach and the old town, as well as Turner Contemporary, the town’s renowned cultural hub.
Doubles from £140 room only; fortroadhotel.com
Lost Property, London
It’ll all about the location at Hilton’s newest City outpost, which opened in July, with the sinuous curves of St Paul’s just across the road. In spite of its 145 rooms, the hotel feels small and welcoming, with an eclectic art collection and a sleek bar and restaurant, Found, on the ground floor. But really, this is a base for exploring, with Tate Modern, Borough Market and the Globe Theatre all easily reachable.
Doubles from £250 room only; hilton.com
The Alan, Manchester
Housed in a revamped, six-storey warehouse in the heart of the city, the Alan opened its doors in May, bringing a Shoreditch vibe to the city. A huge, upper-ground floor space houses the bar, restaurant and lobby – with DJ decks replacing the usual reception desk. Rooms have bare plaster walls, exposed ducting and angular lighting and furniture, with seriously comfortable beds. All guests are offered a free two-hour guided walking tour of the city.
Doubles from £103 room only; thealanhotel.com
Virgin Hotel, Edinburgh
Virgin touched down in Edinburgh in June, turning the iconic mid-19th-century India Buildings into a vibrant hub for travellers and locals. Rooms – “chambers” in Virginspeak – come with separate dressing area, scarlet Smeg minibars and old-style dial telephones. Cocktails and dinner are taken in the moodily lit Commons Club, where the best Scottish seafood is served with élan.
Doubles from £250 room only; virginhotels.com
One to keep an eye on when it opens in two months’ time, this is the first Art’otel in the UK, promising a rooftop pool set between the power station’s chimneys, a public art gallery and four restaurants and bars. The hotel is designed by Jaime Hayon, with installations dotted throughout the communal areas and a wide variety of artworks. Bedrooms are vibrant and fun, some with statement walls in burnt orange and midnight blue and a mix of futuristic and retro furnishings, all with spectacular views across the capital’s skyline.