If 2021 was the year of the staycation, with many of us discovering a new-found love for destinations closer to home, the trend shows no signs of abating in 2022. From a restored Irish palace to a socially conscious bolthole in London and a maritime-inspired warehouse conversion in Wales, a host of exciting new properties are set to throw open their doors across the UK and Ireland over the next 12 months. Hotel expert Ianthe Butt rounds up the best of the lot.
The Dean, Galway, Ireland
Opening January 2022
The Dean it an arty opening in Galway
(Jason Ennis, Press Up Hospitality Group)
Starting the year with an arty bang is The Dean Galway, opening close to Eyre Square. The third property from the boutique brand behind quirky properties in Dublin and Cork is similarly creative. Walls are hung with art curated in partnership with the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the likes of bespoke neon by Domino Whisker sit inside restored and reimagined historic structures – a decommissioned railway tunnel and two stone cottages dating from the 1800s.
Melding Art Deco and modern, 101 bedrooms have crimson and sapphire velvet furniture, rainforest showers, record players and an ‘Irish munchie box’ stocked with Tayto crisps. Galway’s already known for its innovative food scene, and the Dean’s rooftop restaurant Sophie’s – with views of Galway Bay and the Connemara Mountains, and excellent wood-fired pizzas – and outpost of famed chicken wings joint Elephant & Castle are sure to cement that further.
As well as no single-use plastics, all energy is renewably sourced and beehives are being installed on the roof.
Rooms from £128, room only; thedean.ie
Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, Bayswater
Opening February/March 2022
Inhabit Queen’s Gardens prioritises wellbeing and environmental initiatives
(Tim Evan Cook)
When it touched down in 2019, Inhabit Hotels upped the eco bar with its beautiful, environmentally and socially conscious bolthole in London’s Paddington. The brand’s next act is Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, an 159-room hotel inside a crescent of 19th-century townhouses in Bayswater.
Their approach, with well-being and environmental initiatives and responsible hospitality at its core, reads like a roll call of things we’d love to see adopted more widely. Scandi-style decor using sustainable materials provides a calming backdrop to bespoke joinery by Goldfinger, known for its high-end, people and planet-positive design, and pretty, soft furnishings by Kalinko Homewares, which are made by artisans in Myanmar.
Community partnerships will be woven into the property’s fabric from the get-go, as will working with socially conscious businesses going forward. The Kitchen restaurant will serve a meat-free menu featuring the likes of saffron-pickled cauliflower and halloumi and burnt aubergine with tahini yoghurt. A quiet library space will have shelves lined with wellness, arts and nature-related books, and guests can head to an underground wellness area with fitness and yoga studio for GAIA spa treatments, and complimentary morning meditations.
Rooms from £170, room only; inhabithotels.com
Cashel Palace Hotel, Tipperary, Ireland