Sunnier times are ahead, and what better way to welcome spring (and look forward to summer) than honing in on your next holiday. Fortunately, we’ve sought out some of the hottest new hotels to kickstart your planning – from a pair of picture-perfect UK rural retreats, to a double Dutch duo taking you from town to country.
1. The Retreat Elcot Park, Berkshire – UK
Opening April 2022
This April, The Retreat Elcot Park will open as the sister property to The Mitre Hampton Court. The 55-room Grade II-listed 18th-century property is located between Hungerford and Newbury and enjoys a storied past – once being the childhood home of the great poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s mother. Interior designers Taylor and Turner strike a delicate balance, nodding to the hotel’s history and location yet bringing the playfulness that The Signet Collection brand is known for, creating a refined retreat for guests of all ages. There’s a strong design ethos with vibrant colour, pattern and touches of antique and Art Deco furnishings.
The Retreat spans three floors, each with a theme, and rooms named after champion racehorses, famous jockeys, local points of interest, or weaving in British country pursuits such as shooting, fishing, hunting and racing. The three Signature Suites, The Sutton, Bushby Bacon (a family suite), and the Percy Shelley, are named after the hotel’s previous inhabitants. The Retreat will open with a Whiskey room, two private dining spaces and two restaurants: Yü, a Pan-Asian restaurant and 1772, an all-day-dining Brasserie. A third eatery – The Orangery, will open later this year. The hotel’s ground floor spa will boast an impressive Health Club, including hydrotherapy pools, three treatment rooms, a steam room & sauna, gym, spin studio and a relaxation area for the ultimate UK spa break.
SLH Insider Tip: Contact the SLH Voice Team for a special twin-centre package, staying at The Retreat at Elcot Park and The Mitre Hampton Court (pictured above), including breakfast, an overnight stay at each hotel with 15% off Best Available Rate.
2. Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire – UK
Built in 1817, Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa is a honey-stoned Georgian manor that seamlessly blends period detailing and modern-day comfort. The hotel is set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside in 36 acres of grounds and forest. The very definition of ‘home away from home’, the 32-room property invites you into a period drama-worthy world of rolltop baths, sink-into-sofas and wraparound views in each individually designed bedroom – much like its stylish sister property, Homewood in Bath. It also features an extensive wellness centre and boutique Halcyon Spa. Guests can stay active in any of the two swimming pools, fitness centre, or outdoor tennis court. Alternatively, they can choose to unwind with a full menu of luxurious treatments, enjoy the Thermal Suite, sauna and monsoon shower experiences or the Rasul Mud Therapy Room in Halcyon spa. Halcyon Spa holds a unique water supply extracted from deep underground, filtered through limestone and natural activated carbon.
The hotel’s restaurant is a light-filled contemporary space, serving up locally sourced food with traditional flavours of guinea fowl, venison and wild vegetables. The cuisine can also be enjoyed in the private dining domes set under the garden trees. Guests are also welcome to dine with their dogs in the lounge, which offers a more relaxed menu, or on the terrace.
SLH Insider Tip: Through the red brick tunnel which links the hotel’s gardens to the river, you’ll discover an 18th century walled garden with a magical temple built around 1770, a summer house, and the remains of a historic boat house and vine house jutting out over the river. From here, you can watch the River Wylye flow.
3. Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Maurits at the Park, Amsterdam – Netherlands
Opening Autumn 2022
Urban living meets lush greenery with the opening of Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Maurits at the Park. Launching this autumn in Amsterdam, the new hotel takes prime position in the Oosterpark in bustling Amsterdam-East, next to the Tropenmuseum and within walking distance of Artis Zoo. It’s the seventh outpost from the Pillows Hotels brand, and guests can expect five-star luxury within what was formerly a university building which was constructed in 1908. Architect Uri Gilad (Office Winhov) and interior architect Paul Linse (Studio Linse) have created a soft and serene atmosphere, honouring the charm of the building and the local environment. The hotel has been seamlessly added to the park, accessible to hotel guests, local residents and passers-by. It features 88 luxurious rooms and suites, each decorated with individually selected art. It also has a gym and three lounges, ideal for private dining and events.
Other public spaces include the fine dining Felix Restaurant, formerly located in Cultuurhuis Felix Meritis on Keizersgracht. It has now been relocated to the hotel, bringing its rising star chef, Floris van Straalen and sommelier Saskia Smeenk. Fitz’s Bar is an intimate space with a Cuban vibe to enjoy drinks and light bites, and Spring Café Brasserie offers cocktails and an all-day dining menu on the large outdoor terrace merging with the Oosterpark, where guests can also enjoy a view of the open aviary with birds freely flying in and out. As if this weren’t enough, the rooftop bar has the most magnificent view over the Oosterpark.
SLH Insider Tip: Fitz’s Bar houses an impressive rum library with an extensive selection of worldwide rums. Ask the mixologist to make you a Cuba Libre.
4. Op Oost, Oosterend – Netherlands
A quaint and chic farmhouse tucked away on Texel Island, Op Oost joins SLH’s Considerate Collection, celebrating its actively sustainable status. The twelve-room, adults-only hotel is a former 18th-century farm and seaweed barn which opened in July 2021. The property underwent a meticulous restoration, maintaining its traditional features while upcycling its old furniture and wooden window frames and sills. All rooms and suites are light-filled and understated featuring sustainable furnishings such as CocoMat mattresses and Texel-wool pillows. Guests can even enjoy in-room massages courtesy of the hotel’s resident masseuses.
There are plenty of local attractions and activities, including foraging fields, horseback riding and surfing. The Michelin Guild Nl – Restaurant Kook Atelier – delivers a ‘served by nature’ philosophy embracing a Nordic culinary ethos where everything is bred, foraged, and preserved. Op Oost even retains its own farmer and sources plenty from the beautiful edimental gardens on its grounds. The result is a deliciously light and fresh meat-free menu where breakfast is vegetarian-only. Deservingly Green Key Gold certified, Op Oost is an elegant eco-conscious gastrofarm which honours the Wadden Sea island where it sits.
SLH Insider Tip: Stay on Saturday and enjoy a boat trip to the local fish market in Den Oever to handpick fish for your very own private dining experience.