8 modern hotels with bags of personality

Friday 02 June 2017

There are more and more excitingly modern places to stay cropping up in Britain. Add cutting-edge facilities to the expertise of the country’s centuries-old hospitality. The Good Hotel Guide has put together a list of strikingly modern hotels where a warm welcome and attention to detail are always in fashion.

Coastal cool

St Brides Spa Hotel

Minimalism rules at this clifftop hotel overlooking sandy Carmarthen Bay on Wales’s wild Pembrokeshire coast. St Brides Spa Hotel makes a big deal of its coastal location. The 34 calming bedrooms each have seaside-styled interiors. Locally landed seafood adorns the menu, and there are dramatic sea views: try a seaweed leaf wrap in the excellent spa’s dual coastal room – it has floor-to-ceiling windows. And don’t miss the infinity-edge hydropool, which appears to blend into the seascape beyond.

Vintage funk

Cathedral 73 hotel, Cardiff

The building may be Victorian and close to Cardiff’s historic castle, but chic Cathedral 73 is anything but old-school. It’s the perfect marriage of dignified, on-point service with thoroughly 21st-century funk. There’s an optional butler service – think laid-back rather than stuffy – a personal chef, and a chauffeur-driven vintage chrome-and-yellow Rolls Royce available for guests. The smart bedrooms are equipped with walk-in showers, smart TVs and deluxe linen and toiletries, and the sleek apartments have a state-of-the-art kitchens.

Retro design

Kaywana Hall, Devon

From bed to breakfast, adults-only Kaywana Hall is ultra-modern. Built in 1962, it’s one of only 4 ‘butterfly’ design houses in Devon. The roof has a distinctive butterfly shape and the light, airy interior is filled with glass, unexpected angles and curving stairways. The 4 bedrooms have a heady mix of floor-to-ceiling windows, abstract art, private decks, espresso machines and home-made biscuits, while breakfast is made with ingredients all sourced from within a 5-mile radius.

Eco chic

The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall

The Scarlet has all the mod cons you would expect from a luxury, adults-only hotel – and an environmental code you would not. The eco-friendly, low-tech ethos gently makes its presence felt in all the right ways. The Cornish clifftop location is brought inside with clever use of enormous glass windows, sea-thrift roofing, and shallow reflective pools that turn the sea and sky views upside-down. The spa has a reed-filtered outdoor swimming pool, a thermal solar panel-warmed indoor pool, and complimentary yoga, meditation and fitness classes. And we haven’t even mentioned the views over Mawgan Porth bay yet, best seen from one of the cliff-top hot tubs.

Awesome architecture

Tigh an Dochais B&B, Isle of Skye

Designed by RIBA award-winning architects, Tigh an Dochais, on the Isle of Skye, makes the most of the natural light and the constantly changing views of island-speckled Broadford Bay and the Cuillin mountains. The B&B’s lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows, underfloor heating, a wood-burning stove, a soaring ceiling and a bookcase crammed with books. Downstairs, the 3 tartan-accented bedrooms have sliding doors leading to a larch deck, and binoculars so you can take in even more of that spectacular view.

Scandi style

Brocco on the Park Hotel, Sheffield

Sheffield’s Brocco on the Park is bang on trend with its Scandi-luxe style. The renovation of this red-brick Edwardian villa was thorough, thoughtful and striking – so much so that the owners receive enough questions about their interior design scheme to warrant a page on their website dedicated to all the designers they worked with, from the creators of the coffee pots to the company behind the cast iron and copper baths.

Warehouse art

Zetter HOtel, London

The cool, contemporary Zetter Hotel embodies modish Clerkenwell, the London neighbourhood frequented by meatpackers and media types. The space of this converted Victoria warehouse is used to maximum effect, with a changing roster of modern artists on display in the atrium, and – of course – a pink chandelier in the lobby. Don’t worry that it might be too cool for school though – the staff are exceptionally friendly, while the bedrooms sport unashamedly cosy hot-water bottles and Penguin paperbacks.

Capital value

CitizenM Hotel, London

CitizenM is as budget friendly as it is forward thinking. Self-service is the norm here so there’s no need to make small talk as you check yourself in to your impressively techy room. Lighting, temperature, blinds and television are controlled using a touch-screen tablet. There is a branch at London Bankside and a new flagship near the Tower of London. https://www.citizenm.com  

For more hotels in the UK, see www.goodhotelguide.com.

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