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New boutique hotel Oddfellows (tel: 01244 689809) has just opened in Chester - and it's seriously stylish. A private dining room described as a 'dark, velvety burrow' seats twelve (nice touch - you can control your own lighting)and a walled garden built around a water feature has poolside cabanas for al fresco dining.
Just opened in Birmingham is what etc.venues is calling its first ‘truly dedicated training, meeting and event space'. Maple House (tel: 020 7105 6088) has 13 training and meeting rooms, with the largest holding 150; as well as six syndicate rooms, a 200-seater restaurant, café and private dining room - all just five minutes walk from New Street station.
The Spa Bridlington (tel: 01262 401400) has just reopened following a lengthy refurbishment. Dating back to 1896, the East Yorkshire coast venue has a variety of spaces to choose from, whether you’re looking for a grand dinner in the huge 1930s art deco Royal Hall Ballroom, holding up to 3,500, or something on a smaller scale in one of the suites or lounges overlooking the sea.
South Lodge Hotel, one of the loveliest hotels in the South Downs, has just finished its £7.5m refurbishment and extension. Built in 1883 and set amongst 93 acres of woodland, parkland, and manicured flower beds, South Lodge now boasts 89 stylish bedrooms, with luxurious extras such as hand-carved four posters, steam rooms and private terraces. Look out in September too, for new restaurant The Pass, incorporating a live kitchen.
Just in time for summer (what summer?) The Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (tel:01334 474371) has opened a new roof terrace, available for private hire for up to 80. It adjoins The Road Hole Bar, with its choice of 174 malt whiskies, and commands impressive views of the Old Course and the coastline.
New Southport hotel The Vincent (tel: 01704 883800) has opened just in time for the 2008 British Open Golf, from 17-20 July at Royal Birkdale. Private dining and function rooms holding 200-plus guests, plus a spa and golf simulator on which guests can play any of the top 50 courses worldwide, make for an entertaining golfing base.
The last weekend in June sees the launch of the inaugural Festival of Food in Jersey, masterminded by Albert Roux, consultant chef at The Grand. One of the island's most exclusive hotels, and fresh from its multi-million pound refurb, the hotel now boasts a new Elemis spa and hi-tech meeting and event centre, together with Jersey's only private cinema.