10 of the best hotels for a British city break | City breaks

Table of Contents Market Street Hotel, EdinburghCow Hollow Hotel, ManchesterJudges Lodging, YorkArtist Residence, BrightonNumber 38

Market Street Hotel, Edinburgh

Scotland’s first member of the Design Hotels group, Market Street won new hotel of the year at the 2020 Scottish Hotel Awards. It was rewarded for its innovative architecture, and slick locals-meet-visitors vibe. Its X-factor is the top-floor lounge and reception – ensuring that your check-in experience comes with panoramic views of the city – along with the Nor’ Loft champagne bar, where breakfast and afternoon tea are also served. Rooms are comfortably unfussy and have a complimentary minibar and luxury vegan bathroom treats. Edinburgh’s picturesque old town is on your doorstep.
Doubles from £141 B&B, marketstreethotel.co.uk

Cow Hollow Hotel, Manchester

Palm d’or: Cow Hollow Hotel’s palm-dotted cocktail lounge

This turn-of-the-century former textile mill has undergone a hugely imaginative reinvention, emerging as a slick 16-room boutique hotel, combining the original Victorian architecture with contemporary fittings and design. Rooms marry exposed brickwork with modern art, Hypnos beds and rainfall showers, while the palm-dotted cocktail lounge has one of the best booze lists in the city. There’s no restaurant (a breakfast bag is delivered to your room), but staff are ready with a comprehensive list of the best eateries in the neighbourhood.
Doubles from £99 B&B, cowhollow.co.uk

Judges Lodging, York

Pavement Cafe in St Samson’s Square in the city centre with a tower of York Minster behind, York, North Yorkshire, England. Image shot 06/2009. Exact date unknown.BBK60F Pavement Cafe in St Samson’s Square in the city centre with a tower of York Minster behind, York, North Yorkshire, England. Image shot 06/2009. Exact date unknown.
Cafe culture: York’s main attractions are minutes from Judges Lodging. Photograph: Ian Dagnall/Alamy

An impressive Georgian-Victorian building, which housed visiting judges until the mid-1970s, the hotel has recently been given a sleek facelift, with the 21 bedrooms now featuring bold wallpapers, button-back armchairs and polished-wood furniture. The cellar bar has an appealing, pubby feel, while the award-winning restaurant is housed in a grand Georgian dining room with double-height windows and leather-backed banquettes. The hotel is a stone’s throw from all of York’s main attractions, with the river Ouse just a minute’s walk away.
Doubles from £125 B&B, judgeslodgingyork.co.uk

Artist Residence, Brighton

Artist Residence, Brighton - Garden
Retro elegance: get a feel for Brighton life at the Artist Residence

If arty, youthful Brighton was a hotel it would be the Artist Residence, an eclectic, bohemian bolthole on one of the city’s most elegant Regency squares. The rooms – many of which have shimmering sea views – fuse retro styling with a diverse collection of contemporary art, which continues in the downstairs cafe and cocktail bar. This is one of Brighton’s hippest addresses with G-plan armchairs, scrubbed wood floors and maxi-bearded mixologists – but it’s also unpretentious, friendly and a great place to really get a feel for Brighton life.
Doubles from £154 B&B, artistresidence.co.uk

Number 38 Clifton, Bristol

The lilbrary at Number 38 Clifton
Quiet time: retire to Number 38’s library after exploring Bristol’s hippest suburb

Leafy, affluent Clifton has long been Bristol’s hippest suburb, and No 38 – a 12-room boutique hotel in a Georgian townhouse – makes a great base for exploring the area, including the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. Rooms are light and airy, with pale-stone décor and sumptuous beds, and charming communal areas include an outdoor terrace with rooftop views and a peaceful library.
Doubles from £126 B&B, number38clifton.com

Titanic Hotel, Liverpool

Titanic Hotel, Liverpool Titanic Hotel Liverpool Stanley Dock
Waterfront history: the dining room at Titanic Hotel, a converted Victorian warehouse at Stanley Docks

Set within the historic Stanley Dock, the Titanic is housed in a former Victorian warehouse, with exposed brickwork and original windows in many of the 153 rooms. On warmer evenings, the waterfront terrace at Stanley’s Bar & Grill is a great place for dinner, while the Rum Bar’s mixologists deliver a bewildering array of cocktails. The city centre and Albert Dock are 20 minutes’ walk.
Doubles from £109 B&B, titanichotelliverpool.com

Frederick Street Townhouse, Birmingham

The smart front of Frederick Street Townhouse
Central spot: the smart front of Frederick Street Townhouse. Photograph: Nick Maslen/Alamy

A new addition to bustling Frederick Street in the Jewellery Quarter, the hotel is a sister property to the adjacent Button Factory, one of the city’s hippest drinking and dining spots. It operates as the hotel’s breakfast room, bar and restaurant, while the Townhouse has 15 fun, colour-filled bedrooms, ranging from compact to spacious suites. The city centre is a mile away.
Doubles from £107 B&B, frederickstreettownhouse.co.uk

Grey Street Hotel, Newcastle

Tyne Bridge spanning the river Tyne to join Gateshead and Newcastle
Northern light: the impressive Tyne Bridge into Newcastle. Photograph: Bailey-Cooper Photography/Alamy

With contemporary interiors set against an elegant Georgian backdrop, Grey Street is a classy, understated hotel in the heart of the city. The City Retreat spa adds to the feeling of being cocooned from the hectic streets outside, while the flower-bedecked bar at Leila Lily’s restaurant softens the industrial-chic design. The menu is modern British with carefully sourced ingredients, such as Wye Valley asparagus and Lindisfarne oysters and steaks from local farms.
Doubles from £84 B&B, greystreethotel.co.uk

Brocco on the Park, Sheffield

A bed facing a large window and a gold, roll-top bath at Brocco on the Park, Sheffield
Scandi touches: relax amid the pared-down style of Sheffield’s Brocco on the Park

The owner and designer of Brocco, Tiina Carr, is half Finnish and her Scandi touch runs through this under-the-radar gem. The eight rooms ooze pared-down style, with a palette of stone, grey and white across the furniture and fabrics. The restaurant, which modestly bills itself as a “local neighbourhood kitchen” is Michelin-listed, serving vegan and veggie-friendly small plates, along with hearty roasts on Sundays and the city’s best afternoon tea. The city centre is 10 minutes away by car.
Doubles from £125, brocco.co.uk

The Hoxton, Southwark, London

People on benches in the sunshine on London's South Bank looking across to the city skyline and financial district
River views: enjoy London’s South Bank, a stone’s throw from The Hoxton, Southwark. Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/Rex/Shutterstock

The Hoxton in Shoreditch was London’s original affordable design hotel, and this sister property – a stone’s throw from Borough Market, the river and the South Bank’s theatres and galleries – ups the ante. The slick bedrooms channel the area’s industrial past – concrete ceilings, exposed brick walls and industrial windows – softened with vibrant works of artwork and crisp white linen. There are two excellent restaurants: the Albie pulls in as many locals as guests for breakfasts and bistro dishes, and the rooftop raw bar, Seabird, has stunning views.
Doubles from £143, thehoxton.com