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The best hotels on the Kent coast for breezy walks and ocean views

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest travel guidance before making your journey, and note that our writers visited these hotels prior to the coronavirus pandemic

Flanked on three sides by water, Kent boasts some 150 miles of coastline, ranging from the white sand beaches of Ramsgate and shingle expanses of Dungeness (Britain’s only desert) to the chalk cliffs of Dover and oyster shell littered beaches of Whitstable. The hotels that dot the county’s diverse coast are equally varied, running the littoral gamut from slick, Margate-cool and Folkestone-hip boutique hotels to artsy b&bs and homely restaurants with rooms. Here’s our pick of the best hotels on the Kent coast, in locations including Whitstable, Margate, Folkestone, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and New Romney. 

Rocksalt

Folkestone, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Rocksalt is the littoral culinary kingdom of Mark Sargeant of Claridge’s fame. It sits directly on Folkestone harbour and appears like a clam lying sideways, its back to the wharves and its glass front opening to the water. A sun-bleached timber terrace runs the length of the restaurant, with minimalist interiors keeping the focus on the ocean and cuisine. Out of the four rooms, Valentine is top dog with sea views, a Juliette balcony and vaulted ceiling. Given the cooking pedigree and bounty of local produce, both from the ocean and ‘Garden of England’, it’s perhaps little wonder that the restaurant achieves culinary magic.


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£
150

Britain’s best seaside hotels

This restored Georgian townhouse on genteel Hawley Square is just a three-minute walk from Margate’s sandy beach. The interiors achieve pared-back grandeur with a dash of French shabby chic and hints of industrial chic. The three bedrooms are hard to fault. The top-floor vaulted room affords views across the triangular roofs of the Turner Contemporary out to sea. Bathrooms are vast, each featuring a walk-in shower and freestanding roll-top bath. Produce at breakfast is local and mostly organic, so you can expect plump Kentish sausages and saffron-yellow eggs.


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£
160

Sands Hotel

Margate, Kent, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This proudly modern boutique hotel boasts a prime seafront location, smart AA-Rosette restaurant, and a buzzing rooftop bar. Interiors are designed to reflect the cool, bright and luminescent nature of the sea with pearly silk fabrics, blue and silver tones, painted coral lamps, vast chandeliers and ornate silver-framed mirrors. It just about works with the building’s Victorian heritage, which is clearly visible in its brick façade and iron balcony. The 20 rooms are all decorated to a very high, contemporary standard; top dog are the Superior Sea View rooms with expansive beach views from private balconies.


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£
120

• The best hotels in Margate

An attractive welcoming oceanfront hotel set on the coastal promenade just outside of Whitstable. It was one of the earliest sets of terraced houses built on Marine Drive and served as a military hospital during the Second World War. Of the Marine’s 30 rooms, all but 10 offer sea views and/or balconies. For a small hotel, the Marine offers diverse dining options from tasty, classic pub grub served at the bar and Orangery to more sophisticated dining in the sea-view restaurant. A large terrace is the spot for alfresco lunches, while guests seeking a late start can enjoy the daily complimentary room service.


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£
110
This smart hotel in Broadstairs is eight minutes’ walk from the beach. It was built in 1894 by Sir Alfred Yarrow as a children’s convalescent home and still features the extra wide corridors created to enable the children to play indoors. Facilities are also impressive with a restaurant; large bar and sun room with dedicated menu; a spa with sauna, steam room and whirlpool, treatment rooms and a hair and beauty salon; two private dining rooms; and free parking. Bedrooms have sleek furnishings, Hypnos beds and high-spec bathrooms. Top-floor rooms at the rear boast sea views.


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£
99
This characterful hotel on the Kentish coast provides great views across St Mary’s Bay, with France visible on clear days. Owners Lisa and Clinton run Romney Bay House as a boutique hotel, blending her front of house efficiency and charm with his chef skills. The interiors, and feel in general, are steadfastly traditional – think floral curtains and sofas with plump scatter cushions in the drawing room and rattan furniture in the conservatory dining room. Bedrooms and an upstairs lounge feature a fresher, beach vibe with seaside prints and gingham checks yet still feel slightly trapped in a bygone era.


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£
155

Albion House

Ramsgate, Kent, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Albion House, built in 1791, has great presence and is one of the finest buildings in Ramsgate, set in a prominent, elevated position on East Cliff, overlooking Albion Gardens and the Royal Harbour on one side and sweeping Wellington Crescent on the other. All the rooms have charm, including a smallish one in which Princess Victoria slept, but the front-facing ones are fabulous, with marvellous views. The main dining area and bar is in the former Mayor’s Chamber, where floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead out to a sea-view patio, with slightly more formal seating overlooking the harbour in the Georgian Rooms.


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£
80
A beautiful little b&b in hip and quirky Whitstable run by former art gallery owner and interiors stylist Julie Thorne. It’s ideally suited for trendy DFLs (Down From Londons) – a tranquil and indulgent retreat that’s spitting distance from the beach and Whitstable’s attractions (set two minutes’ walk back from the coastal promenade). Although the owner no longer curates exhibitions in the Victorian townhouse like she used to, her creative heritage is clear: cool white and cream interiors reminiscent of a White Company catalogue provide a backdrop for pieces of contemporary art.


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£
120
Set directly on the seafront at the beginning of the coastal promenade, this classic British seaside hotel is ideal for beach lovers. Beach-chic rooms afford views over the Thames Estuary; Room One is a popular choice for its double aspect windows while Room 10 comes with a bath and balcony. Bistro serves tasty Anglo-French lunches and dinners, with an eclectic menu spanning Whitstable Native oysters to bavette steak with chimichurri dressing. With seating outdoors on the promenade, there’s a vibrant buzz and genuine seaside feel. Also on offer are 12 historic beachfront Fisherman’s Huts.


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£
75

Source: The Telegraph Travels

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