Presuming (read: praying) that the omicron variant doesn’t pull a fast one and ruin this year’s festive season, it’s time to get organised for New Year’s Eve.
The countdown to the, erm, countdown is on. Here is our pick of the best end of year party pads (that were all still available at the time of writing this).
Cark Manor, Lake District
Gather nineteen of your nearest, dearest - and, crucially, most fun friends - and head to this country pile (it’s set within six acres) in the Lake District. With a 1,000-bottle wine cellar to sample, an ice cream maker, fully stocked bar and high-spec cinema, there is no chance of boredom at Cark Manor. Call in the caterers or head off for a Michelin-starred dining experience at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume five minutes away. For a real taste of the good life, ask the housemaster (it’s that sort of place) to get the hog roast going.
From £20,400 for a five-night stay, sleeps 20, pet-friendly on request; kateandtoms.com
Pearl’s Place, Somerset
The former family home of fashion and textile designer Pearl Lowe (mum to Daisy Lowe) is a wonderland. Each of the eleven bedrooms is unique with statement wallpaper, shag pile rugs and art deco mirrors. Baths are roll-top and the fires are roaring. Designed with ‘hedonism in mind’, this is one hell of a party pad with a hidden gypsy caravan and wood-fired hot tub. Near the fashionista hotspot of Bruton (Stella McCartney, Alice Temperley and Phoebe Philo all live nearby), this is a New Year’s Eve getaway for those that want to see and be seen.
From £12,750 for a seven-night stay, sleeps 12, pet-friendly; uniquehomestays.com, +44 (0) 1637 881183
Set on top of the city’s ancient Roman Walls with views of the majestic River Dee, the central Chester location makes a top spot for exploring - if you can be bothered to leave the roaring fires, cosy cinema room or copper free-standing bath tubs, that is. There’s also a games room with air hockey, table football, dart board and a Jukebox, as well as parking for eight cars and an electric charging point. Road trip up north, anyone?
From £6,995 for a five-night stay, sleeps 14; bighouseexperience.com
Butley Priory, Suffolk
Made famous by Channel 4’s Extraordinary Escapes, this 14th-Century former gatehouse is a regular bolthole for songwriters and artists - the Arctic Monkeys recorded an album there. Hidden away among the woodland in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to Suffolk’s coast, it sleeps up to 19 but dinner parties can be even bigger with caterers on hand to put on a party to remember. Plus, there’s a gin bar. Interiors are light, airy and romantic with medieval touches throughout.
From £10,000 for a seven-night stay, sleeps 19, pet-friendly; kateandtoms.com
The Lady of the Twizzle, Essex
House parties are so last year. Instead, moor into 2022 in a luxurious barge with designer interiors. Stationed in Titchmarsh Marina, The Lady of the Twizzle is a salvaged WW2 barge located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sip champagne on deck or warm up in the six-seater hot tub. Below is a state-of-the-art kitchen, dining area and four en-suite bedrooms. For the less seafaring, there is the option off disembarking and diving into one of the local pubs for a classic New Year’s Eve night out.
Price POA, sleeps 14; coolstays.com
Whittington House, Cotswolds
This is proper Cotswolds luxury, set in three acres - one for the humans and two for your horse should you decide to bring him/her. Honey limestone on the outside with a heated pool; inside it’s all wooden beams, glowing log burners and sofas to sink into. Whip up a New Year’s Eve feast on the electric Aga or head to the nearby (excellent) Kingham Plough pub in Chipping Norton and keep your eyes peeled for local Kate Moss.
From £5,900 for a five-night stay, sleeps 14, pet-friendly; kateandtoms.com
Wilfred Manor, Cotswolds
History buffs will get their kicks knowing King Charles I stayed at the manor before the Siege of Gloucester in 1743. Everyone else? How does four acres, a heated swimming pool, fire pits and some serious luxury sound? Dance into the new year with a catered meal fit for a king in the ‘restaurant’ room followed by drinks at the bar. After midnight, slip into either “Cleopatra”, “King Arthur” or “Lady Guinevere” bedrooms for a royally good kip.
From £24,175 for a three-night stay, sleeps 22; big-cottages.com
Victorian Rectory, Devon
Complete with a solar-heated saltwater swimming pool, yoga studio, infrared sauna, all-weather tennis court and a helicopter landing area, this is a party pad to beat them all. The Grade II manor house sleeps up to 22 people with more accommodation at the nearby Red Lion pub. The incredible views over the Devonshire countryside will blow away any hangovers and when you’re ready for round two, gin, whiskey and wine tastings can be arranged.
From £10,000 for a six-night stay, sleeps 16, pet-friendly; partyhouses.co.uk
Pan Pacific London Hotel, London
Tablescaped by a VIP event planner and complete with a butler and hair and make-up room, this luxury suite package is the decadent party set-up you could never get at home. Celebrate with champers and a five-course menu followed by a personalised desserts buffet courtesy of pastry royalty Cherish Finden. Overdone it on the in-room mixologist’s wonder concoctions? Simply hop in the luxury car transfer to get home. Or stay over and ease the New Year’s hangover with a Bloody Mary and a recovery massage in bed. Heaven.
From £8,000 for a one-night stay, sleeps 2, plus 4 guests (extra rooms available); panpacific.com
House in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeenshire
Located on a championship golf course and near to Balmoral Castle where the royals will be seeing in the new year, this baronial mansion is about all-out extravagance. You’ll find a grand water fountain out-front to woo your guests and a grand lobby complete with a marble fireplace and crystal chandeliers will make the perfect backdrop for the first selfies of 2022. The bar is staffed – so leave all the mixing to the pros. To beat off the hangovers, head to the hot tub or the Beauty Retreat in the courtyard where you can hire a masseuse to loosen those muscles.
From £15,070 for a two-night stay, sleeps 18; big-cottages.com