The most exciting opening in Aldeburgh this year is The Suffolk. Following a hugely successful pop-up, L’Escargot Sur-Mer, George Pell opened The Suffolk in August after a sensitive refurbishment of the historic building. Now, there’s a 60-cover restaurant named Sur-Mer, a rooftop terrace with sea views, a wine bar, 12 and 24-seater private dining rooms and – as of late November – six elegant bedrooms. All come with super king beds topped with Lansdowne Cashmere mattresses and the décor takes its inspiration from the surrounding area, with room names including ‘Orford Ness’ and ‘The Butley’, and a green and purple colour palette inspired by the native Elephant Hawksmoor moth. Bedroom furniture has been sourced from local antique dealers and all rooms come with Roberts radios. Guests will find a shared pantry on the first floor stocked with pre-mixed cocktails and nibbles, which are included in the room rate.
Tucked away just outside Aldeburgh, Five Acre Barn is one of the country’s most architecturally appealing B&Bs. The restored 19th-century barn acts as a communal area, while a zig-zagging extension houses five bright bedrooms. Pairing an idyllic rural setting with well-crafted modern materials, this spot is available to rent by the room or in its entirety.
For an atmospheric stay, The Martello Tower – the largest and most northerly of a chain of towers in England built to keep Napoleon out – has been transformed into a rental. The quatrefoil-shaped building stands at the foot of the Orford Ness peninsula, between the River Alde and the sea. The landmark is a good place for a family or a group of friends that want a shared experience – the bedrooms are screened from the central living area but not fully divided, so guests have a sense of being in a larger space. The stone-flagged battery on the roof is a great place to open a bottle of wine and watch the boats race from the nearby club.
Wilderness Reserve is an 8,000-acre estate of woodland and lakes in Saxmundham, one of Aldeburgh’s neighbouring towns. Doxie is its newest addition. The property has its own natural swimming pond and country views. Perfect for a romantic weekend away, Doxie sleeps two in a cosy double bedroom with an open-plan kitchen/living area featuring a cool twisted brick fireplace. Relax in the outdoor hot tub built into the patio, cook local produce on the Big Green Egg, and unwind in the sauna and steam room. As with all Wilderness Reserve properties, guests can also book a range of experiences, from falconry to kayaking.
Elsewhere, Kip Hideaways has a number of properties in the area. The Gallery is a pared-back and light-filled hideaway for four guests near wild meadows and coastline in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while Castle View in nearby Orford is a lovely, well-stocked bolthole for a weekend exploring the Suffolk coast.