Revealing Stylist’s edit of the coolest cottages and hotels that still have space on the 31st…
Words: Anna Hart
The Suffolk Escape, Suffolk
Book it for: Scandi-chic in the south-east. Everything about these contemporary lakeside log cabins is high-spec and expertly judged; from Smeg fridges and wood-burning stoves to freestanding oval stone baths and your own dining deck overlooking a lake. You’ve also got a private outdoor hot-tub under the stars; perfect for relaxing after a day mountain-biking or exploring the 300-acre farm. Since you’re on a working farm, self-catering becomes a lot more fun; everything from eggs to 28-day-matured Red Poll sirloin steaks is available with a food mileage of zero. All you need for a healthy, hearty start to 2013 – just a 90-minute drive from London.
Reserve now: Four chalets are available, each sleeping four, at £1,100 per chalet for a week (£275 per person per week) starting 30 December; suffolkescape.co.uk
Portland House, Peak district
Book it for: Doing a Downton. This historic manor house, built in 1870, has its own bar and gaming room, and you can even hire caterers and a butler for the ultimate decadent country house party. Just bring your own jazz playlist and a vintage Twenties flapper gown. On New Year’s Day, banish those cobwebs with a frosty walk along the dramatic Derwent River; it’s right on your doorstep, so no designated drivers required.
The details: A five-night stay, sleeping 24, costs £5,985 over New Year, (£50 per person per night); premiercottages.co.uk
The Longhouse, Weeke Barton, Devon
Book it for: A Shoreditch House vibe... in a wooded valley on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. Owners Jo Gossett and Sam Perry worked for Conran restaurants in London before taking on this 500-year-old whitewashed hideaway, so expect a hefty dose of Hackney hip alongside the stunning natural scenery. The well-stocked honesty bar and kick-ass hangover breakfast make this a New Year’s no-brainer.
The details: Doubles start at £110, but the entire longhouse (sleeping 10) can be booked for £600. A three-night minimum stay applies over NYE; mrandmrssmith.com
The Glasshouse Hotel, Edinburgh
Book it for: The unbeatable skyline views. The roof terrace of this modern, atmospheric boutique hotel has breathtaking views over Calton Hill, surely making it one of the most sought-after spots on NYE. Ring in the first day of the year by watching the legendary fireworks on the roof, wrapped up warm with a tumbler of 16-year-old Lagavulin in hand. All the atmosphere of Hogmanay; none of the crush and craziness of the streets below.
The details: A standard double room starts at £395, including breakfast; theglasshousehotel.co.uk
Aikwood Tower, Scottish Borders
Book it for: Game Of Thrones-style grandeur. Built in the 1540s, this Grade I-listed tower delivers lashings of medieval atmosphere alongside luxurious touches such as roll-top baths, woollen rugs and purple velvet sofas. You’re just 40 miles south of Edinburgh, but a million miles from the real world. Plus, you have access to the nearby snowy turrets when it’s time to get the sparklers out…
The details: Aikwood Tower sleeps 11 and costs £4,750 for a week over Hogmanay, (£431 per person per week); aikwoodtower.com
Portmeirion Hotel, North Wales
Book it for: Riviera chic in rural Wales. It doesn’t get much more eccentric and enchanting than this; Portmeirion is a petite Welsh village modelled on an Italian one and lovingly built between 1925 and 1976 by the renowned Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis. This architectural curiosity is utterly charming, and thanks to music festival Festival No 6 every September it’s back on the hipster radar...
The details: Dinner, drinks and a double room (plus fireworks in the piazza) costs £399 per couple per night; portmeirion-village.com
Assynt House, Evanton, Scottish Highlands
Book it for: Facebragging that the Roosevelts honeymooned here. This Georgian lodge (just 20 miles north of Inverness) is steeped in history, but a stylish update has transformed it into the perfect 21st-century party pad. The wood-panelled living room, with a roaring log fire and sumptuous sofas, calls for cocktail hour, while the huge banquet table (seating 14) sets the stage for a meal to remember.
The details: The house costs £4,700 for a week over New Year, sleeping 14 (£335 per person per week); sawdays.co.uk
Wool Cottage, Norfolk
Book it for: A New Year’s Eve far from the madding crowd. For a romantic 31st, escape to this cosy medieval cottage for two, in picture-perfect Lavenham within easy reach of Norfolk’s dramatic coastline. The historic Swan Hotel is a few minutes walk away if you’re feeling social, but you won’t want to stray far from home when there’s a roaring fire with exposed beams, a roll-top bath and a decanter of sherry waiting for you...
The details: The cottage sleeps two and costs £550 for a four-night break, arriving on Monday 30 December; premiercottages.co.uk
The Watermill, Exmoor
Book it for: Sheer atmosphere plus serious stargazing. This historic watermill (which once powered all the street lights in Portlock) is crammed with original features and antiques. Quirky and luxurious, French doors open onto a balcony right over the wheel; our chosen spot to clink champagne glasses at midnight. The morning after, clear your head with a stroll to nearby Porlock Weir pausing for a pint in The Bottom Ship Inn.
The details: Sleeps four and costs £1,095 for a week (£275 per person) arriving on 28 December; premiercottages.co.uk