With the government’s travel “green list” still looking pretty slim, self-catering properties across the country are booking up fast, with prices surging as a result.
For those who don’t want to check into a hotel, there is a budget-friendly alternative – the aparthotel.
Long seen as the boring but functional alternative to traditional hotels for business travellers, stylish versions more akin to boutique boltholes have been popping up all over the country in recent years.
They come with their own private kitchens, and sometimes even a lounge, which post-lockdown will provide couples and even families with much-needed space in which to bubble. And unlike cottages or Airbnbs, there’s generally much better availability, flexibility and facilities, just like hotels.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, here are some of the best options around England to check into.
Your Apartment’s new outpost is in the heart of leafy Clifton Village, where cute coffee shops and gourmet delis are just a stroll away. Each of the 34 studio apartments come with a double or king size bed, kitchenette, dining tables and chairs. Everything is contactless – you can check yourself in via your mobile phone. And if you stay for a week or more, for a workation (there’s a co-working space in the building), for example, they’ll even give you a discount.
From £75 per night; yourapartment.com
Locke has a small empire of design-led aparthotels in London and the latest to open is Kingsland Locke in the heart of Dalston. Upstairs there are 124 apartments, subtly attired in mossy green, each with a full-sized kitchen. But perhaps the best bits are found elsewhere in the building where, aside from a gym and co-working space, you’ll find KRAFT Dalston, a gin distillery and microbrewery in one. And yes, you can get those drinks to go with the kebabs from Le Bab.
From £115 per night; lockeliving.com
Just two minutes’ walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station is Native Manchester: 166 smart apartments housed in a warehouse that once stored bales of cotton imported from the US. There are seven different styles of room to choose from, including bijoux studios all the way up to a two-bed penthouse duplex. Every apartment has its own fully equipped kitchen, lounge space and king-size beds. There’s plenty to keep you busy in the building, including a restaurant, cinema and even a studio offering fitness classes.
From £79 per night for a studio; nativeplaces.com
A short walk from Tate Liverpool is IHG’s pet-friendly Staybridge Suites. You have the option of two different sized apartments – a smaller studio suite or a one-bedroom suite with a lounge spacious enough for a sofa bed for guests. If you’re in one of the 132 guest suites that offer stunning views of the Royal Albert Dock then you may well be tempted to stay in and enjoy the view. But otherwise the city’s waterfront bar scene is ready to be soaked up. Oh, and they’ll treat you to breakfast the morning after.
The Book Now, Pay Later rate (free cancellation up to three days before the stay and no deposit) starts from £111 per night for a one-bedroom suite, B&B; ihg.com/staybridge
Hiding Space have a few boutique-style aparthotels in Bath but the most centrally located is Westgate Apartments, just a few paces from the city’s celebrated Thermae Spa. While perfect for a couple, you also have the option of adding sofa beds to the airy, Scandi-inspired living rooms for bigger groups. There’s no on-site gym or restaurant here, but with the city’s gorgeous, honeyed architecture and vibrant food scene right on the doorstep, you’re unlikely to spend much time indoors.
From £90 a night in low season and £110 a night in high season; hidingspace.co.uk
Perched on the edge of the River Stour in Christchurch is the Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa, which has a set of 12 self-catering apartments designed for groups. It’s all about the views here – the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge area look out over the river and across to the Hengistbury Head nature reserve. And to welcome you to Dorset, a hamper of local treats, including a bottle of the award-winning sparkling wine from nearby English Oak vineyard, awaits.
Entry level suites – featuring a double bedroom with an en suite, a single bedroom plus family bathroom and open-plan kitchen and lounge area – start from £2,450 for a seven-night stay; captainsclubhotel.com
Hyatt House Manchester’s 116 studios and one-bedroom suites sit snugly between the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. The Laureate restaurant and The Graduate bar pay homage to its location but it’s the 18th floor lounge, with high-flying views of the city, that’s the real star here. Breakfast is included – right now you can order ingredients to cook in your own kitchen or get it ready-made… just like room service.
From £85 per night, B&B; HyattHouseManchester.com
Stay Camden is made for workations – downstairs is hip co-working space LABS Collective while upstairs you’ll find 169 apartments ranging from an airy one-bed to a spacious three-bed. Regardless of size, each of the Scandi-inspired apartments offers a fully-kitted kitchen and lounge area as well as a balcony to enjoy the London skyline. Pootle along the towpaths of Regent’s Canal to access the bars and restaurants on Camden High Street.
From £205 a night with a seven-night minimum stay; stay.com