3 -min. read

For cool, contemporary hotels in the UK, it used to be London that got all the glory, while the rest of the country was reserved for sprawling Georgian country spa hotels, coastal chic beach hotels and a whole lot of chintz in between. Thankfully, things are looking up and hotels across Britain and outside of the metropolis are getting their contemporary on…

First up is the brand new Tamburlaine hotel, which opened in Cambridge last month 300 meters from the main train station, and provides a much welcome update to the city. The striking design has a double-height lobby, sweeping library and atmospheric library bar full of great art; the bedrooms are masculine with heavy wooden headboards and marble bathrooms; while the Instagram-friendly garden room could not be more feminine. It’s a light-filled colonial style room: all pale pink velvet sofas, lush foliage and ornately patterned Victorian wallpaper.


With a string of hotels across the country, the quirky Artist’s Residence is a hotel brand to watch. Ok, so their first did open in London: but they’ve since set up stylish outposts in Brighton and Penzance, and their latest addition will be in Oxfordshire later in May. The rooms are all completely individual – many have indeed been designed by artists and are a colourful mix between a boutique hotel and an art gallery. Packed with personality, the same theme carries through all the public spaces, where much of the art is for sale.

Of course, the eponymous Soho House is always ahead of the game and the Soho Farmhouse, set in 100 acres of rolling Oxfordshire countryside, has set the bar high: think ready-mixed negronis and copper bathtubs outside. They’ve even made farm shopping trendy and unmistakably on brand. Never have we felt more ready for an escape to the country…


Sara D'Souza
Sara d'Souza is a travel content strategist on the MSN specials team, contributing editor to the Travel Edit and travel writer for ELLE,, Red Online, Sunday Times Travel, MSN Travel and Upward Curve inflight magazine, Visit London, Jetsetter and Virgin.

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