“The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life,” claimed George Bernard Shaw.
He had a point.
Following a year of being cooped up in our houses, the idea of a future change of scenery has never been more appealing and the thought of having someone else cook, clean and even pull the curtains at night is blissful.
Although lockdowns and tier restrictions have created barriers for hoteliers, many plan to open new properties in 2021.
If you’re dreaming of an escape once we are able to travel again, here are a few of the top new hotels due to open in Ireland and the UK that will be well worth seeking out.
The Londoner, London
The UK capital has lost its mojo in recent months, but glamour and sophistication are set to bounce back next year with the opening of new hotel, The Londoner.
Billed as the ‘world’s first super boutique hotel’, the 350-room property promises to deliver all the best bits of an intimate, designer set-up on a much bigger scale. Built with sustainability in mind, it has already received an excellent rating from BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), exceeding requirements for energy and water use and choice of materials.
Expect to find a ballroom, private screening rooms, underground spa and six restaurants in the Leicester Square setting. Open from April 12th. Visit thelondoner.com
The Cashel Palace Hotel, Co Tipperary
Following a meticulous restoration project, this sprawling country house is set to re-open in 2021. Built in 1734, it was once home to an Archbishop, eventually becoming a hotel in the early 1960s.
Along with 42 bedrooms, new additions to the property will include a ballroom, a spa overlooking the gardens and the Bishop’s Buttery Restaurant serving a seasonal local menu.
Highlight attractions close to the 25-acre site in Tipperary include The Rock Of Cashel, an ancient monument that was once the seat of the High Kings of Munster. Visit cashelpalacehotel.ie
Bodmin Jail Hotel, Cornwall
A night behind bars might not sound too appealing, but the new Bodmin Jail Hotel is set to put a fun spin on mock prison stays.
Find bars on the windows, stone walls and an original guard tower at the 70-room Cornish property, which sits alongside a new immersive visitor attraction inside the revamped 18th century Bodmin Jail.
Fortunately, the cells today, which form part of the original civil, naval and women’s wings, also have more luxurious fittings such as free-standing baths and vast beds.
The Governor’s Office has been transformed into a cocktail bar, and there’s a restaurant serving traditional afternoon tea and filling British fodder. Open from February 12th. Visit bodminjailhotel.com
The Harper, North Norfolk
Forced to close its doors before even opening, this new Norfolk hotel plans to finally welcome guests from March 5th.
A short drive from Blakeney on the coast, in the village of Langham, the former glass-blowing factory will feature 32 rooms, two restaurants, a bar, a lounge with wood-burning stove, play area with a projector for movie nights, and a luxury spa with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and treatments.
Paying homage to its past, the property will be decorated with locally-crafted artisanal glass features. But the best artwork of all sits outside – in Norfolk’s big skies and beautiful seascapes. Visit theharper.co.uk
Eden Project hotel, Cornwall
The Eden Project is already one of the highlights of a visit to Cornwall. But next year, a new £8.5 million (€9.4 million) project will see the addition of a 109-bedroom hotel, welcoming even more guests to the attraction.
Designed by Tate Harmer, one of the UK’s leading architects for sustainability and natural environments, the property has been built to blend into the surrounding environment, incorporating existing features such as trees and stone walls.
There are also plans to create a meadow and an orchard around the hotel. Alongside bedrooms, a series of classrooms will support students enrolling for educational programmes. Open 2021. Visit edenproject.com
Famous for being the archetypal Scottish country estate in Perthshire, Gleneagles launches its urban arm in Edinburgh in Autumn 2021.
Housed in a renovated 200-year-old Bank of Scotland building in St Andrew Square, the townhouse will have 33 bedrooms, an all-day restaurant and two bars – including a panoramic rooftop terrace.
Local residents can enjoy access to a members’ club – for work or play, with access to exclusive private spaces and on-site gym and wellness facilities. Visit gleneaglestownhouse.com.