The Best Holiday Apartments to Book in the UK

The lure of apartment-style hotels is growing in the UK – and with it, the standard you can expect
The lure of apartment-style hotels is growing in the UK – and with it, the standard you can expect | Courtesy of The Halcyon Apartments / Expedia
Callum Davies

For an authentic stay in the UK, book yourself into a holiday apartment. You could find yourself a stylish apart-hotel in Liverpool; a secluded bolthole in Edinburgh; or a luxe townhouse in the swishest part of London. But whatever you choose, a short-stay rental will allow you to see your destination of choice as a local would. Here are the top holiday apartments in the UK, all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. The Richmond Apart-Hotel, for spectacular city views of Liverpool

Boutique Hotel

A black and white piano bar at The Richmond in Liverpool
Courtesy of The Richmond / Expedia
There’s something curiously appealing about an office space that has been cleverly converted into accommodation, and the Richmond is a fine example of this. Close to the main railway terminus in the city, Lime Street Station, this modern apart-hotel is hidden within a 1906 building that was once the headquarters of Liverpool’s tram network. The hotel is split between 151 rooms, divided into 52 apartments, many of which have balconies offering views over the city. The kitchenettes are surprisingly spacious, with a decent-sized fridge and oven, but you can always hit up the restaurant if you don’t have the energy to cook.

2. STAY Camden, for home comforts with boutique features in London

Apartment

An apartment with modern furniture and decor in a neutral colour palette at STAY Camden.
Courtesy of STAY Camden / Expedia

The aptly named STAY Camden comes with all the trappings of a boutique hotel, but with a undeniably homely feel. It’s tucked away next to Hawley Lock on Regent’s Canal, an idyllic spot within easy reach of the many bars, restaurants and gig venues in Camden. There are 169 apartments, varying in size but all deal in sleek, convenient, Ikea-showroom appeal. There are interactive smart TVs/speakers, fully equipped kitchens, floor-to-ceiling windows and a rooftop terrace from which to admire the North London skyline.

3. Cheval Old Town Chambers, for the best of Edinburgh's landmarks

Serviced Apartment, Apartment

An old room at the Cheval Old Town 2 with bare-brick walls and a standalone bath tub
Courtesy of Old Town Chambers / Expedia

Another hidden gem, Old Town Chambers lives up to its name, a concealed collection of apartments just past the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The Scott Monument and St Giles Cathedral are both within walking distance and yet, somehow, all the noise of the daily bustle is elegantly sidestepped. The apartments themselves retool the city’s archaic concrete bones to accommodate modern bedrooms, kitchens and terraces with neat touches including a stonewall bathroom. You can have just about any amenity you name delivered to the room, and there’s a well-equipped gym ready and waiting, not to mention a wealth of restaurants and bars on your doorstep.

4. Native Apartments, for a range of accommodation options in Glasgow

Suite Hotel

A vibrant guest room at Native Glasgow with bright blue walls and a bed with an orange headboard
Courtesy of Native Glasgow / Expedia

The Native hotel chain has created clever apart-hotel solutions in several cities, but the Glasgow edition is extra-special. Once the HQ of a shipping business – with an imposing facade disguising a functional bare-bones interior – it reserves all the design flair for the rooms, which are appealingly sleek and feature kitchenettes. The bedrooms also have washer-dryer combos and the penthouses have balconies overlooking the city. The highlight is the pair of independent restaurants connected to the building: the Anchor Line, which specialises in prime beef and fish prepared in a traditional Scottish style, and the Atlantic, which serves French specialities and has a commendable wine list.

5. Paintworks Apartments, for easy access to local culture in Bristol

Apartment

An industrial-style apartment at Paintworks Apartments in Bristol with a lounge and kitchen space
Courtesy Paintworks Apartments / Expedia

Far from being just an apartment complex, Paintworks is a cultural hub, built over the skeleton of a Victorian-era paint factory. There are just five loft-style apartments available, but they are operated by a group of staff who live on site. You can really feel the care taken in imbuing each with apartment with its own personality, from the local art on the walls to the endearing patchwork of furniture. The rest of Paintworks is easily accessible, and you could soak up entire days visiting the cafes, bars, art installations and other places that line this charming Bristolian gem.

6. The Halcyon Apartments, Bath, for a great location close to the Roman Baths

Apartment

A traditional-style lounge at The Halcyon Apartments in Bath with a period fireplace
Courtesy of The Halcyon Apartments / Expedia

The Halcyon Apartments are split between two buildings, one on the ever-lively George Street in the epicentre of Bath; and the other on the quieter but no less convenient Henry Street. The first set of apartments reside in a Grade I-listed building, while the others are in a more modern structure, but all the rooms tend towards the same neoclassical style with antique wooden pieces arranged next to abstract art and other accent pieces. Even the smallest of the apartments have full kitchens and living rooms, including washers, dryers, dishwashers and fireplaces. The George Street building is connected to a restaurant – Clayton’s Kitchen – as well as the Circo cocktail bar, which stays open late and has a Cuban music night once a week.

7. Leman Locke, for a stay in the heart of East London

Boutique Hotel

A modern bar at Leman Locke, London, with light-wood stools and plants hanging above the bar
Courtesy of Leman Locke / Expedia.com

Aldgate is a garden of high-rises marking the edge of the Square Mile, with easy passage into East London. The up-and-coming vibe of the area is well suited to Leman Locke – a complex of 171 apartments just yards from Aldgate Station and an easy walk to Shoreditch. The interior design evokes modern comfort, with the apartments taking an open-plan approach. There are lots of millennial-friendly features, including complimentary yoga mats, sustainable toiletries by AS Apothecary from Lewes in Sussex, regular meditation classes and exhibitions by local artists. There’s a gym, too, and a surprisingly upscale restaurant with lots of outlandish and enticing menu options, should you eschew the allure of the Smeg-decked kitchen.

8. Quebecs Luxury Apartments, for a want-for-nothing retreat in Leeds

Hotel, Apartment

A cosy lounge space at Quebec Luxury Apartments in Leeds with seating and a dining area
Courtesy of Quebec Luxury Apartments / Expedia
Even though there’s nothing about it that relates to Canada, Quebecs Luxury Apartments live up to the luxury element of the name. There are just 23 apartments, right in the heart of Leeds, all of which offer a tremendous amount of space that dwarfs most hotel suites – for a fraction of the cost. As well as the fully functioning kitchens and wet rooms, you can utilise personal shoppers, order massage therapy services to the apartment, and take advantage of the in-room films and PlayStation console. There’s a business-lounge area, a gym, and a restaurant that can provide room service.

9. UR STAY Apartments, for a simple stay in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham

Apartment

A modern seating space at UR STAY Apartments in Birmingham with a small lounge area and dining table
Courtesy of UR STAY Apartments / Expedia

UR STAY are another emergent apart-hotel chain, and the Birmingham iteration enjoys a prime spot in the middle of the trendy Jewellery Quarter in an old metalworks. The apartments have a Nordic vibe, favouring space over frills, which anyone planning to cook will be thankful for with the sizable kitchenettes and big fridges. Unlimited broadband is available throughout, as is Netflix, and the staff are very attentive and ready with recommendations for things to do around the city. For international travellers, airport transfer is also readily and happily provided.

10. Brighton Square Apartments, for a lively stay near the Lanes

Serviced Apartment, Apartment

A modern sitting room at Brighton Square Apartments with a grey sofa and bright cushions
Courtesy of Brighton Square Apartments / Expedia

The historic Lanes are one of the greatest draws in Brighton, so booking a stay right next to them is a prized asset. Brighton Square Apartments offer this and more. Each apartment has a bedroom, kitchen and lounge area with an extra pull-out bed. Some also have an outdoor terrace, which is great for looking out over the busy Lanes and towards the pier. Just about every appliance and comfort you can name is provided, and there’s ample space to cook and have a sit-down dinner.

11. Cambridge Orchard Apartments, for a peaceful retreat close to the action

Apartment

A cosy seating space at Cambridge Orchard Apartments with a light-grey L-shaped sofa
Courtesy Cambridge Orchard Apartments / Expedia

In the Orchard Park area, around 15 minutes by car from the centre of Cambridge – and even closer to Milton Country Park – Orchard Apartments is removed enough to be peaceful, but still connected enough that it doesn’t feel like a slog to get into town. This is just a single apartment with two bedrooms, a kitchen and an open-plan living/dining room. The accommodation has been furnished throughout with a quirky appreciation for Cambridge and England at large – the second bedroom has a board of vintage photographs of British landmarks between the twin beds – and there are cute little touches such as a spice rack with bottles shaped like lightbulbs. Alongside the upcycled light fixtures and Scandi furniture there’s also a Now TV-enabled flatscreen, Mason & Miller toiletries and Bosch kitchen appliances (including a coffee maker).

12. Temple Twenty5, for a home from home in Oxford

Apartment

A modern kitchen-lounge space at Temple Twenty5, Oxford, with wooden floors and dark-grey sofas
Courtesy Temple Twenty5 / Expedia

A single apartment, Temple Twenty5 has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room, meaning that it verges on being an actual house. It’s in easy reach of attractions such as the Bridge of Sighs and the New Theatre. The bedrooms open out onto patios, providing a place to relax in better weather, and the appealing design features exposed brick juxtaposed with white walls; a long, airy dining area with a glass table; and more cabinet space than you’d ever need for a short stay. The nearby area is awash with quality bars and restaurants – so if you don’t feel like cooking, merely step outside.

13. 11 Cadogan Gardens, for apartment living with hotel conveniences in Chelsea

Apartment

Rustic-chic lounge at the Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens with large bookshelves and armchairs made of leather or velvet
Courtesy of The Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens / Expedia

In one of London’s most well-heeled ‘hoods, these spruced-up Chelsea apartments in a six-storey Victorian townhouse offer all the comforts and conveniences of a private residence (plush sofas, large dining tables and flatscreen TVs) with the service of a luxury hotel. Breakfast baskets can be delivered to your room and you have the option to dine out at the all-day Hans’ Bar & Grill, around the corner. Bosch kitchens come stocked with fresh bread, pastries and orange juice, and living areas overlook leafy gardens where you can rejuvenate away from the city bustle. Fancy some shopping? The artisan food outlets of Pavilion Road and designer boutiques of Sloane Street are a saunter away.

Joel Rabinowitz contributed additional reporting.

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