UK hotels and resorts that feel like a foreign getaway
Enjoy the experience of overseas destinations closer to home
The staycation trend looks set to stay. With ongoing uncertainty around a third coronavirus wave and questions as to whether it’s safe to travel abroad this summer, UK holidaymakers are looking forward to making the most of destinations closer to home.
Whether it’s a sense of adventure or a craving for different cultures, hotels and resorts in the UK have much to offer in the way of unique stays. And with restrictions for accommodation set to ease from 17 May, it’s time to get booking for the summer months.
If you are looking to get up close to tigers or enjoy a taste of southern France without leaving England, here are hotels and holidays designed to transport guests to places further afield.
Dreaming of a safari? The award-winning Port Lympne is the place to be. A hotel stay or short break in one of this Kentish park’s unique accommodation options helps to support The Aspinall Foundation’s conservation work, which began in 1984. The park is home to more than 900 animals including giraffes, gorillas and wolves, and guests can experience a ranger-led safari against the backdrop of the Kent coastline. The luxury lodges offer the opportunity to observe tigers, lions and rhinos from the comfort of your sofa.
The Oxfordshire destination Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is the vision of chef Raymond Blanc, and nods to his French heritage are evident throughout. Lavender-bordered lawns are reminiscent of Provence fields, and the two-Michelin-star restaurant offers a gastronomic experience to rival even the best Parisian restaurants. Guests can book cookery classes too, sampling recipes from souffles to patisserie, and even those of Maman Blanc, the patron’s mother.
New New York
Step inside and you would be forgiven for mistaking The Artist Residence in Brighton for an iconic red-brick apartment block in the Big Apple. Complete with clubhouse and cocktail bar, this hotel comes with the added bonus of rooms with sea views and a location two minutes walk from the beach. The self-described “downright eccentric” hotel has 24 rooms including accomodation for groups in the form of bunk houses and a spacious apartment too. With rainfall showers and roll-top baths in many of the en suites, the hotel is ideally suited for a city break with a difference.
A strong contender to challenge the vineyards of Bordeaux or Tuscany, a trip to Tillingham in East Sussex provides sustainable, seasonal wine and dishes, and is just over an hour from London. An a la carte lunch and set dinner menu make the most of the farm’s natural produce, and the wines themselves are produced using “experimental” methods, including biodynamic practices. A stylishly converted barn houses 11 rooms, and bell tents with king-sized beds and wood burning stoves are also available to book from 10 May.
Budapest’s thermal baths attract locals and tourists alike throughout the year, but UK spas have much to offer relaxation-seekers too. For a wellness break that will feel further from home, Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort in County Antrim is home to Northern Ireland’s first Termal Spa Village. With 125 spacious bedrooms and suites to choose from, guests can make the most of scandi-style treatments including riverside forest bathing, or the Arabian-inspired Forest Rasul experience.
An Airstream style caravan makes for a city break that feels more Los Angeles than Somerset. With rooftop views over Bristol, Brooks Guesthouse offers unique accommodation in the centre of the city. Each caravan is kitted out with double beds and en suite facilities, and can accommodate family groups too. With Saint Nicholas market on its doorstep, and the harbourside just a stone’s throw away, there’s plenty of options for fine-dining and sightseeing.
In the clouds
This six-sleeper treehouse is more Rocky Mountain cabin than you may typically expect from a stay on the North Yorkshire Moors. Rufus’s Roost is surrounded by wildlife, with deers, badgers and bats living in the surrounding woods. The veranda features a pizza oven and hot tub, providing a quiet vantage point to relax and escape. Canopy & Stars is committed to reducing its environmental impact, and the treehouse itself puts these principles into practice with a biomass boiler, LED lighting and a heat recovery ventilation system.