It’s an absolutely bumper month for new British hotels, with a trio of London big-hitters, an affordable aparthotel in Manchester and a divine countryside escape in rural Somerset all opening their doors.
Here are six of the most interesting new properties for September.
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Taking over a vast Victorian warehouse on Dulcie Street on the edge of Manchester’s historic Northern Quarter, Native touches down with its biggest opening to date: a 166-room aparthotel. Original details such as a glass atrium, wrought iron columns and brick arches have been preserved by David Archer of Archer Humphryes Architects (behind London hit Chiltern Firehouse).
Each aparthotel has its own kitchen (great for business travellers on longer stays) and 20th-century furniture sourced by Conran. On the ground floor is the independently run Cultureplex, created by the folks behind east London institution Bistrotheque. It brings together a roster of film and visual arts events, an 80-seat outpost of Bistrotheque, casual coffee and dining spot Klatch plus a mini cinema. Communal lounging spaces with handy charging panels will appeal to workers, and there’s a boutique gym, Blok, too.
Studios from £93
After taking Paris, LA and Rio by storm, it was only a matter of time before on-the-pulse affordable boutique hoteliers Mama Shelter arrived in London. In keeping with its history of opening in lesser-known parts of well-touristed cities, the brand has chosen east London’s Hackney for the UK debut, taking over a spot once held by RE Hotel London.
King-sized beds and design by Dion & Arles give the 195 rooms (from £99 a night so a real steal) a spoiling feel without being OTT. In the downstairs restaurant and bar, cheeky design abounds with vintage lamps and Liberty prints alongside chalkboard ceiling graffiti by artist Beniloys and a giant Twister board. When balmy nights call for al-fresco cocktails there’s a courtyard area and there are also karaoke rooms kitted out with old-school video games and pinball machines.
Other brilliant London openings this month include the Great Scotland Yard Hotel – a luxe 152-room affair with a clutch of Robin Gill-helmed restaurants and bars inside the former Met Police HQ in Westminster – and, in Southwark, just moments from the Thames, the third London crashpad from always-on-trend Hoxton Hotels.
Rooms at Mama Shelter from £99, room only
Rooms at Great Scotland Yard Hotel from £430
Rooms at the Hoxton, Southwark from £209 including a breakfast bag
The Newt in Somerset, Somerset, England
Just when you thought Somerset – home to Glastonbury, top-notch farm-to-fork dining and a Hauser and Wirth gallery – couldn’t get any cooler, along come the folks behind glorious South African hotel Babylonstoren with a new heaven-for-horticulture lovers country pile. Opening just outside Bruton, the so-called Notting Hill of the West Country, is the Newt in Somerset, a 23-room hotel on a working country estate, with spa and splendid gardens.
Designed by Patrice Taravella and managed by Iain Davies (who arrives from Cornwall’s Lost Gardens of Heligan) there are acres of formal gardens, a Baroque maze, Victorian fragrance garden, ancient woodland and an apple-tree-filled parabola walled garden to explore. Tasteful rooms and suites sit inside the Grade II-listed Georgian Hadspen House, estate-grown fare is served at the Garden Café (overseen by Ben Bulger, ex-River Cottage), while at the Cyder Bar, made-on-site 100 per cent juice cold-fermented cyders are ready for the sipping.
Rooms from £300, B&B
Palisociety has a knack at opening in the coolest parts of a city. Last year’s star LA opening was Palihotel in up-and-coming Culver City, and now the brand has turned its gaze eastside with a 54-room boutique property in the “Brooklyn of LA”, Silver Lake.
A 1980s motel reimagined, Silver Lake Pool & Inn’s design and architecture, by Electric Bowery, features cascading, terraced social spaces inspired by the area’s surrounding hills and public staircases, and California-cool rooms with factory-style windows and steel doors. Interiors have a range of inspirations, blending Old Hollywood-era glamour with sun-drenched colours and natural materials inspired by Mexico City, and handmade Moroccan tiles with pieces by local artists. An elevated pool deck and coastal Italian restaurant, Marco Polo, is set to become the go-to spot for hip residents.
Rooms from £200, room only
Puku Ridge, Zambia
The latest head-turning addition to the luxe safari scene is Puku Ridge inside Zambia’s South Luangwa national park. A collaboration between Chiawa Safaris (the first carbon-neutral safari business in Africa) and Chichele Safaris, just eight thatched suites look over a floodplain and waterhole that is home to masses of wildlife – everything from leopards and elephants to hippos and honey badgers.
The scenery can be admired on game drives led by expert guides, on walking safaris, from each tent’s plunge pool, or from a unique starbed – each suite has a four-poster on its rooftop for slumbers set to the sound of the bush. Inside suites feature earthy tones and plenty of local artwork. A stay at the property helps contribute to several existing conservation and social charities including Conservation South Luangwa and the Zambia Carnivore Project. There’s a hide for photography enthusiasts and at night time animal-spotting stories are shared by a blazing firepit, or there’s a quiet terrace and telescope set up for stargazing.
Rooms from £713pp per night including transfers from Mfuwe Airport, all meals, beverages, game drives and conservation, carbon and park fees
While Nobu might have made its name as a restaurant, it’s now a well-established cool cat on the hotel scene too. Nobu Hotels’ fourth European offering is a 259-room affair in Barcelona’s former Gran Hotel Torre de Catalunya in Eixample, about 15 minutes from La Rambla.
Design by Rockwell Group blends together a heavy Japanese influence, including kintsugi – a craft where cracked pottery is repaired with lacquer mixed with precious metals – and artwork by Gaudi, reflecting the locale. As well as an outpost of Nobu on the top floor, where Japanese and Spanish fusion fare is served up, there’s also a more casual lobby dining joint Kozara, for plates piled high with Japanese tapas, and cocktails with a sake and whisky focus. For unwinding after jam-packed sightseeing days, there’s a smart spa, where design riffs on a traditional onsen.
Rooms from £200 a night, room only
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