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The best new UK hotels that opened this month

Hotel expert Ianthe Butt shares six of the hottest new British properties to check out while checking in

Wednesday 29 September 2021 11:52
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<p>The latest iteration of THE PIG has now opened in West Sussex</p>

The latest iteration of THE PIG has now opened in West Sussex

From an affordable motel which is seriously funking up mid road-trip slumbers to a new PIG in the South Downs and a duo of ritzy new London big-hitters, there are plenty of new hotels ripe for an autumn escape. Here are the best ones that opened their doors in September.

Mollie’s Bristol, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol

Mollie’s Motel in Bristol

When necessity calls for a night’s slumber just off the motorway - mid-road trip perhaps - it’s often a case of accepting that four walls, a bed to sleep in, dreary design and minimal facilities might be the best one can hope for. Swooping in to change that - and hot on the heels of their Oxfordshire debut in 2019 - is Mollie’s Bristol, an 123-room motel off the M5 outside Bristol which offers an occasion-feel, comfortable place to bed down, from a bargain £50 a night.

Masterminded by the Soho House design team, bedrooms are cocooning with oak-lined walls, crisp white bedding, orb lighting and Conran armchairs alongside GHD straighteners and refillable Cowshed toiletries in rainforest-style showers. There’s complimentary tea and Darkwoods coffee in the reception’s funky co-working lounge, as well as a suntrap garden.

Next door at retro-Americana cool, monochrome-floored Mollie’s Diner, sunny-natured staff serve cheeseburgers and plates of crispy aubergine parm to diners at navy leather banquettes. Come breakfast, raspberry French toast or a waffle stack accompanied by a salted caramel milkshake makes for a strong, decadent choice.

From £50, room-only; mollies.com

THE PIG in the South Downs, West Sussex

An Even Bigger Comfy Luxe room (number 2) at THE PIG in West Sussex

When it comes to boutique hotels, the PIGS don’t need any introduction - the clutch of beloved properties by Robin and Judy Hutson are renowned for their trademark countryside cool vibe, upcycled decor and locavore-ethos restaurants. The eighth PIG to join the litter opened in Madehurst, outside of Arundel, in early September.

The old-hand hoteliers have injected fresh life into a Grade II-listed Georgian building in the South Downs National Park, with around 30 rooms inside a high-ceilinged main house and series of timber-clad stableyard buildings. Kitted out with garden-inspired fabrics which riff on the surrounding South Downs, there are also a handful of wagons with log burners.

True to form, a greenhouse restaurant will source ingredients from the on-site kitchen garden, VOYA spa treatments can be enjoyed in the Potting Sheds, plus a newly planted vineyard will have its first harvest next autumn.

From £155 room-only; thepighotel.com

Sculthorpe Mill in Norfolk was once a water mill

Fresh from a top-to-toe six figure transformation, this 19th-century riverside inn and former watermill near Fakenham is the latest opening making waves in North Norfolk (following the summer arrival of The Harper in Langham). Restaurateur and hospitality whizz siblings Siobhan and Caitriona Peyton - co-founders of hit bakery-cafes Peyton & Byrne - have smartened things up and enlisted Shaun Clarkson to ramp up the interiors. Six ensuite rooms - including family rooms and dog-friendly affairs - have views of the garden or winding River Wensum, original wooden beams, vintage cane furniture and antique Iranian rugs.

Classy pub grub from head chef Elliot Ketley is the main draw here - expect the likes of sweetcorn fritters with lime mayo, Cromer crab and avo salad, Heath Farm rump steak, and decadent knickerbocker glories.

Nature lovers are spoilt for choice with the Hawk and Owl Trust’s Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve next door, scores of walking trails on the doorstep, and pretty Holkham and Blakeney beaches a short drive away.

From £110, B&B; sculthorpemill.uk

The Londoner, Leicester Square, London

A Corner Suite bathroom at The Londoner

As behemoth openings go, they don’t get much larger than The Londoner, a new 350-room affair in the heart of always-thronging Leicester Square. While its ‘super boutique hotel’ tagline presents an odd dichotomy, it certainly offers scope for a range of new experiences - for both slumbering and eating - in one of the capital’s most touristed-about destinations.

Behind a facade of handmade, eye-catching blue architectural faience tiles and punched bronze-framed windows are 16 floors, six of them sitting underground. Bedrooms channel neutral palettes with gently-curved taupe and dusky pink chaise longues adding glamour, and piano illustrations which nod to the property’s historic theatre district locale.

As for dining and other fun, highlights include 8 At the Londoner, a rooftop Japanese izakaya; Joshua’s Tavern for punchy G&Ts; The Whisky Room, a guests’ only 14-cover sultry parlour accessed via secret passage; a two-screen subterranean cinema; and The Retreat - an entire wellness floor, barber, blow-dry bar, 25m pool and gym.

From £400, room-only; thelondoner.com

Pan Pacific London, Liverpool Street, London

The 18.5m infinity pool at the Pan Pacific London

Another big-hitting London opening bringing a hefty dose of Singaporean flair to The City is 237-room Pan Pacific London. Well-placed to explore Spitalfields Market and Shoreditch’s boutiques, bedrooms are kitted out with plaid carpets, botanical art, bee-adorned cushions, Diptyque amenities, mini libraries, yoga mats (and on-demand virtual sessions) and a smattering of potted plants.

Another hub for foodies, five eateries include The Straits Kitchen - overseen by Chef Lorraine Sinclair and pastry guru Cherish Finden - for heritage-inspired dishes such as chilli soft shell crab sliders, Mee Siam noodles with tamarind gravy, and kaffir lime pavlova with kalimansi sorbet. For classic afternoon tea, or a Singaporean-style Kopi Tiam featuring bao, dim sum and choux bites, there’s The Orchid Lounge, while for green tea and citrus highballs, and a 200-strong Champagne list, there’s dimly-lit Ginger Lily bar. Oh, and the 18.5m infinity pool on the dedicated wellbeing floor is a real showstopper.

Rooms from £325, room-only; panpacificlondon.com

The entrance lobby at Innside Liverpool

Opening mid-month in Liverpool’s commercial district inside the former home of the Echo and Daily Post, this 207-room property might have a big-hitting brand name - Melia - behind it, but zones in on all things local.

At the entrance there’s a living wall and floral installation by cult plant concept store A Slower Space, as well as a shop by the much-loved brand whose original store is on iconic Penny Lane. Light-filled, minimal bedrooms have soft grey headboards, bathrooms with rain showers and walls hung with artwork chosen by local indie gallery and social enterprise dot-art. Pieces by Bexy and David Gilligan add personality to ready-for-business surrounds, and the most plush rooms have retro PlayStation consoles too.

An exhibition space - also curated by dot-art - kicks off with a display of Kirsten Todd’s expressive acrylic portraits, there’s a Gino D’Acampo restaurant for Mediterranean meals, and the 360 Sky Bar for cocktails with a view. After a culture hit? The Liver Building and Tate Liverpool at Albert Dock are a 20-minute stroll away.

From £109, room-only; innside.com/liverpool

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