When is a hotel not a hotel? The answer is when it can transform itself, at least partially, into self-catering accommodation instead. This is how a handful of top hotels around England and Wales have, at very short notice, managed to move their post-lockdown reopening date forward to Monday 12 April and still stay within UK government rulings.

Treehouses, cottages and apartments attached to, or in the grounds of, these hotels are opening their doors, and many of the outdoor activities these smart properties usually offer in normal times are also available. Al fresco dining in the grounds and hamper meals delivered to your door are just some of the tweaks enabling a hotel stay, without it technically being a hotel stay, and making it possible earlier than you might think. Here are nine of our favourite hotels you could reserve from 12 April.

Are UK hotels open? The latest lockdown rules

  • Chewton Glen, New Forest
    • CHEWTON GLEN, NEW FORESTAfter a year of lockdown, a genuine change of scene is needed more than ever. And this doesn’t come much more unique than the 14 smart treehouses situated on the grounds of the Chewton Glen hotel in the New Forest. The treehouses (which sleep between two and 12) each come with their own hot tub on the elevated roof terrace, along with a wood-burning stove and underfloor heating inside. Back on the ground, the hotel is serving wood-fired pizzas in the garden and staff can deliver meals to your treetop door.Address: Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa, New Forest, Hampshire BH25 6QS
      Price: two nights self-catering from £2,700 including breakfast
      Website: chewtonglen.com
      BOOK NOWRead our review of Chewton GlenChewton Glen, Hampshire hotel reviewPLACES TO STAYChewton Glen, Hampshire hotel review
  • Thyme, Cotswolds
    • THYME, COTSWOLDSSleeping up to six, the Thyme estate’s Old Walls cottage is open for bookings from Monday 12 April. With roses smothering its walls on the outside and Chesterfield sofas and Persian rugs within, there’s little reason to leave – especially since there’s a galley kitchen where you can cook. If you do want to down aprons, the acclaimed Ox Barn restaurant will be open for outdoor dining on weekends, and the Meadow Spa will be offering a limited range of treatments between Friday and Sunday from 16 April too. Both of Thyme’s larger self-catering properties, The Tallet and The Farmhouse, will also be available from Monday 12 April for one-week-minimum stays.Address: Thyme, Southrop Manor Estate, Gloucestershire
      Price: two nights self-catering from £1,190
      Website: thyme.co.uk
      BOOK NOWRead our review of Thyme, one of the best hotels in the CotswoldsThe best hotels in the CotswoldsPLACES TO STAYThe best hotels in the Cotswolds
  • Lucknam Park, Cotswolds
    • LUCKNAM PARK, COTSWOLDSThere are only three cottages available for self-catering stays from Monday 12 April in the grounds of this handsome mansion on the outskirts of Bath, but they’re exquisite hideaways. Sleeping between six and eight, this little trio are all stone-walled charmers each with a log-burning stove and a hamper waiting for you on arrival, filled with Champagne and treats. The grounds are dotted with sculptures that make for an interesting tour, there are horses to interact with, picnics in the grounds and treatments available in the spa.Address: Lucknam Park, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 8AZ
      Price: two-night minimum stay from £2,600
      Website: lucknampark.co.uk
      BOOK NOWRead our full review of Lucknam ParkLucknam Park hotel reviewPLACES TO STAYLucknam Park hotel review
  • Cliveden House, Berkshire
    • CLIVEDEN HOUSE, BERKSHIREIt may be well known for its role in the Profumo affair (and now as the hotel the Duchess of Sussex stayed in the night before her wedding) but the urban world of political intrigue and derring-do feels far removed once you’ve checked into Spring Cottage, a bucolic retreat with three bedrooms on the grounds of Cliveden House in Berkshire. Set amid a wildflower garden on the banks of the Thames, this Tudor-revival-style hideaway, with velvet sofas and bay windows offering views of the river, comes with a Champagne hamper on arrival. And if you don’t fancy firing up the Aga to cook your own supper, you can take lunch or dinner at the hotel’s Astor Grill, which is open for outdoor dining.Address: Cliveden House, Berkshire SL6 0JF
      Price: two nights self-catering from £4,500
      Website: clivedenhouse.co.uk
      BOOK NOWRead our review of Cliveden HouseCliveden House: where Meghan Markle spent the night before the Royal WeddingAWAY FROM THE CITYCliveden House: where Meghan Markle spent the night before the Royal Wedding
  • 11 Cadogan Gardens, London
    • 11 CADOGAN GARDENS, LONDONOne of the great secret London gardens is yours to enjoy when you book a stay at 11 Cadogan Gardens. The main hotel is off limits until Monday 17 May but the self-catering apartments across the street (which have one, two or three bedrooms) are open for business, their fridges fully stocked with essentials (tea, milk, bread and more) upon arrival. The hotel restaurant, Hans’ Bar and Grill, is open for outdoor dining and, best of all, you’ll be given a set of keys to the private Cadogan Gardens: an ideal spot for an early spring Chelsea picnic.Address: 11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2RJ
      Price: three-night minimum stay from £1,050
      Website: 11cadogangardens.com
      BOOK NOW
  • Lime Wood, New Forest
    • LIME WOOD, NEW FORESTWhile the bedrooms in the main house will sadly still be closed to guests from April 12th 2021 the self-contained garden suites, Forest Cottages, Lake Cabin and Forest Cabin are all bookable now. All of these rooms have their own access and guests can expect to find some goodies on arrival in the larder. On top of this, the Herb House spa will also be open for some much needed indulgence and Hartnett Holder & Co, the Italian-influenced restaurant headed up by Chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder, will be popping up outside under canvas on the terraces – complete with heaters, blankets and umbrellas, with fire pits dotted around. Everything on the menu is inspired by alfresco piazza lunches – simple, easy and designed with outdoor eating in mind.Address: Lime Wood, Beaulieu Rd, Lyndhurst, Hampshire SO43 7FZ England
      Website: limewoodhotel.co.ukLime wood made our list of the best hotels in the UKThe best hotels in the UK 2021
  • Gara Rock, Devon
    • GARA ROCK, DEVONThis cliff-side hotel couldn’t wait until Monday 17 May either, so they’re opening self-catering apartments, Junior Suites and Garden Junior Suites, which all have mini kitchens, from Monday 12 April. The outdoor pool will also be open (plus it’s just a short wander down to a usually deserted beach) and the hotel is hoping to be able to offer a limited list of spa treatments. While the restaurant is remaining closed until 17 May, the Garavan will be in action for snacks and light bites. Read more on Gara Rock.Address: Gara Rock, Salcombe, East Portlemouth, Salcombe TQ8 8FA
      Rooms from: Self-catering options from £390 for two nights
  • Bovey Castle, Dartmoor
    • BOVEY CASTLE, DARTMOORThe hunting jackets and wellies for guests’ use at this vast Dartmoor estate make you feel you might run into a young Prince Philip or Siegfried Sassoon at any moment. Rooms inside the main castle building are off limits until May 2021 but all 22 of the stone-floored, handsome lodges, each sleeping up to eight, are open for bookings from Monday 12 April. The hotel kitchen is open and ready to serve meals to your door and outdoor activities around the estate are back on the cards too – including trips to get up close and personal with the herd of deer.Address: Bovey Castle, North Bovey, Dartmoor National Park, Devon TQ13 8RE
      Price: three nights self-catering from £1,887
      Website boveycastle.com
      BOOK NOW
  • Cary Arms, Devon
    • CARY ARMS, DEVONRight on the South West Coastal Path in the sun-dappled heart of the English Riviera, the five homely cottages at the Cary Arms, which sleep between two and six from one household or bubble, are opening from Monday 12 April. Expect White Company bathroom products, complimentary sloe gin and framed vintage Devon tourism posters on the walls, while continental breakfasts and full meals including Brixham crab salad and ale-battered fish and chips can be delivered to your door from the hotel kitchen. Guided walks around the English Riviera are also available to book, as well as sailing trips on the hotel’s antique wooden yacht, fittingly named Escape.Address: Cary Arms and Spa, Babbacombe Beach, South Devon TQ1 3LX
      Price: two-night minimum stay from £990
      Website: caryarms.co.uk
  • Rockliffe Hall, County Durham
    • ROCKLIFFE HALL, COUNTY DURHAMWhether your preference is for the fairway or a facial, Rockliffe Hall in County Durham is ahead of the game. The main hotel building will not be open until May but, amid the 365 acres of ponds and woodlands, you’ll find the one- or two-bedroom Armstrong House Apartments and four-bedroom Woodland Mews, self-catering spaces with modish furnishings and fully fitted kitchens – two of which are dog-friendly. It’s an ideal spot for a day of golf or spa treatments in the grounds (both are open from Monday 12 April) and you can order hampers stuffed full of goodies for breakfast or brunch..
    • Source: cntraveller.com