Five chic hotels still with availability for the second May bank holiday

Emma Beaumont
·4 min read
The Mitre is a great option for bank holiday weekend
The Mitre is a great option for bank holiday weekend

With hotels allowed to reopen only on May 17, for many the second early summer bank holiday (May 31) marks the first real chance for a long weekend away and, unsurprisingly, a number of favourites are already booked up. Here are five top options that still have availability.

Coastal break

If you like... the Brudenell, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
Try... Roslin Beach Hotel, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Roslin Beach Hotel, Essex
Roslin Beach Hotel, Essex

An unpretentious seaside hotel in a prime location overlooking Aldeburgh’s shingle beach, the Brudenell is not short on repeat guests. You’ll be hard-pressed to secure a stay during the last weekend in May, but down the coast at on-the-up Southend-on-Sea is another beachy hotel with a similarly loyal fan base, and a few rooms still available. Across the road from the family-run Roslin Beach Hotel are the Blue Flag sands of Thorpe Bay. Inside, there’s a lightly tropical theme – think palm print wallpaper and plenty of plants – but the main focus is the sea views, which can be enjoyed from the terrace restaurant or balcony in some rooms.

Doubles from £124;

Cotswolds cool

If you like... the Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, Cotswolds
Try... Kings Head Hotel, Cirencester, Cotswolds

Request Room 103 for a copper roll-top bath.
Request Room 103 for a copper roll-top bath.

In honey-stoned Northleach, the Wheatsheaf sets the standard for chic but relaxed Cotswolds hotels, with its patterned rugs on flagstone floors and claw-foot tubs in bathrooms. There’s no room at the inn over bank holiday, but a 15-minute drive south in the centre of Cirencester is the Kings Head. Though contemporary in style, parts of it date back to the 14th century, and its past lives are felt in fireplaces and exposed beams in bedrooms. Most striking is the preserved mosaic in the reception (the original inn was built on Roman ruins). Request Room 103 for a copper roll-top bath.

Doubles from £119;

Capital digs

If you like... Shoreditch House, London
Try... Vintry & Mercer, London

Head to Vintry & Mercer's roof terrace
Head to Vintry & Mercer's roof terrace

Sadly, non-members can no longer stay the night at hedonist’s dream Shoreditch House, but Vintry & Mercer is an alternative city spot with fun at the forefront. Head up to the hotel’s heated roof terrace for a “St Paul’s Sour” and views of the cathedral, or down to the basement DND (Do Not Disturb) bar, modelled on a speakeasy with Charleston tunes as a soundtrack. All rooms come with Marshall speakers and complimentary soft drinks; the best have balconies looking towards the Shard. Breakfast at the Japanese-inspired Vintry Izakaya offers novel options such as bacon and fried-egg sandos.

Doubles from £175;

Bath time

If you like... the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath
Try... the Bird, Bath

The Bird: an art-filled four-storey Victorian mansion
The Bird: an art-filled four-storey Victorian mansion

For a classic Bath stay, few hotels can rival the Royal Crescent, a grand Georgian townhouse in an unbeatable location. Perhaps due to fans of the TV series Bridgerton hoping to live out their Regency dream, the hotel is fully booked at the end of May. Instead, try new kid on the block the Bird, an art-filled four-storey Victorian mansion, a 10-minute walk from the Roman Baths. An avian theme runs throughout, with swallows printed on the hotel’s exterior, blue tits on lampshades and even bird-embossed pies in the restaurant. Guests also receive a news-sheet each day: The Daily Squawk. Other quirky details include bright pink bathroom tiles and one room with an outdoor hot tub.

Doubles from £117;

Surrey stay

If you like... Beaverbrook, Surrey
Try... the Mitre, Hampton Court, Surrey

The Mitre: a revamped riverside hotel opposite Hampton Court Palace
The Mitre: a revamped riverside hotel opposite Hampton Court Palace

Surrey rose in the style stakes with the opening a few years ago of opulent Beaverbrook, with its art deco cinema and stained glass-ceilinged spa. It remains hugely in demand and has a price tag to match. For a still dashing but more affordable option, try the Mitre, the new venture from old Beaverbrook boss Hector Ross. This revamped riverside hotel opposite Hampton Court Palace impresses with individually designed rooms (some feature vintage tennis rackets, others hand-painted wallpaper), which come with complimentary cookies and ginger liqueur. Order rock oysters and a crab toastie at the brasserie, or the hotel can arrange for a picnic on the banks of the Thames.

From £150;

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