St Benedict - credit Georgina Piper


The Best Hotels in Hastings & St Leonards

The Best Hotels in Hastings and St. Leonards | Eight Great Escapes

What to look for when choosing the right accommodation in Hastings and St. Leonards?

Make sure the hotels are in Hastings and St. Leonards.

That should be your starting point.

And from there, you can really start to pinpoint the finer details – ‘Is a view of the sea really necessary? Do I want a lush walled-in garden rife with greenery? Would a lovely cooked breakfast made with free-range Lohmann eggs from Catfield and homemade sausages improve the holiday?’. Of course, the answer to all these questions is yes, and from renovated period villas to seaside apartments and dreamy bed & breakfasts with huge roaming gardens, you’ve certainly got plenty of options in East Sussex’s seaside.

While St Leonards is full of quality restaurants, shops and places to explore, there will be some time on your holiday where you’ll be inside – and you’ll want these to be comfortable as possible, preferably with an ocean view and a king-sized bed within arms length. So on that note… we’ve narrowed down a selection of stays for all styles and tastes: here are the best hotels in Hastings and St. Leonards.

The Knowle

the knowle boutique hotel st leonards

It’s easy to make the most of a trip to St Leonards if you’re in The Knowle. This handsomely decorated Edwardian villa, done up by affable, accommodating owners David and Derval, is a 15 minute stroll from the sea and is furnished with three generously-sized rooms that have nailed the perfect mix of luxurious and homely, each including a lovely view over either Marwick Gardens on the sea itself (the beauty is best seen during sunset). Sustainability is big here with eco-friendly bathing products offered, as well as flasks of cold milk from local farmers delivered to your door each morning, as is breakfast, whose dishes are made with organic produce sourced from the local butcher or nearby farms (some of the veg from their own garden) and served alongside fresh cold-pressed juices… and perhaps even a breakfast cocktail.

Location: The quiet, green neighbourhood of Marwick Gardens – you’re 1.2 km from St. Leonards Beach and 1.3km from Hastings Beach. There’s free parking if you wanted to check out Battle Abbey, Bodiam Castle and the rest as well.
Amenities: Rooms have king-sized beds and black out blinds, while bathrooms have underfloor heating and eco-friendly toiletries. Expect a welcome tray awaiting you in your room with coffee, tea and homemade treats. The sitting room has books and games (and a wood burning stove to ramp up the cosiness if it’s cold) and there’s also treatment room where you can book in messages, facials and other self-care sessions.
Details: 8 Brittany Rd, Saint Leonards-On-Sea, TN38 0RA | Book here

Marina Beach House

sea view apartment marina st leonards

Marina Beach House is bookable on just its living room alone. Pull the blinds wide open in the morning to reveal the ocean in all its splendour, while in the day the space is bathed in sunlight as the sea shimmers before you in full view. As you can tell, it’s a ridiculously nice living room and you’ll take at least one social media-baiting photo sipping a coffee (there’s a Nespresso machine) on the table that’s positioned right before the view. It’s not an official house rule per say, but it would be a missed opportunity…

The rest of the flat – a converted townhouse on the promenade – holds up its end of the bargain as well, with rooms colourful, contemporary and dotted with pot plants. And for when you do decide to head out and explore, all the best restaurants, bars and shops in St. Leonards, as well the beach, of course, are right on your doorstep.

Location: It’s billed as ‘bed to beach in 45 seconds’. The restaurants, cafés, galleries and so on might take you a few minutes more, but they’re not far. A bus stop 200 ft from the front door gets you to Hastings’ town centre in 10 minutes, while St. Leonards Warrior Square Station is a 15 minute walk.
Amenities: Fully-equipped two-bedroom apartment – kitchen facilities, TV, washing machine, dishwasher, oven, the works.

Details: 88 Marina, St. Leonards, TN38 0BL | Book here

House In Hastings

house in hastings

Believe it or not, The House in Hastings does actually manage to stand out from the other houses in Hastings. The Grade-II listed five-floor Regency house sits at the top of Croft Road on the West Hill; a power location with outrageous views over the Old Town and the Channel. The current owners took two years to restore the house to their liking, lovingly decorating the rooms and communal areas with hand-picked antiques, handmade rugs, modern artwork and other pieces of decadent vintage furniture. The Admiral Suite, for example, has a custom-made sleigh bed with a faux mink blanket slung over it, a 1940s French chandelier, and a roll-top bath right by the window.

After a long day slogging yourself around Hastings, coming back to this is a pretty exciting prospect. A home-catered barbecue seafood dinner in the private courtyard surrounded by ivy and ferns awaits, and then maybe a hot drink huddled up by a log fire on one of the velvet sofas in the sitting room, followed by a cosy film projected from a 6ft HD screen to cap it all off.

Location: A short walk down a hill to the Old Town, Hastings Beach, Blue Reef Aquarium, Flamingo Park, Hastings Contemporary Gallery and other attractions. The West Hill lift is a 10 minute walk away as well, taking you up to Hastings Country Park if you’re not sick of views yet…
Amenities: Rooms are equipped with integrated music systems and smart TVs, some feature knockout views, while one (the Crow’s Nest) has bunks, which is handy if you have kids in tow. Then there’s a terrace (perfect for a morning coffee/holiday read), a courtyard garden, a cinema room and a fully-equipped kitchen & scullery – they can also arrange for chefs to come in and prepare you a meal.

Details: 57 Croft Rd, Hastings TN34 3HJ | Book here

Georgian Maisonette

georgian apartment st leonards

A three bedroom, grade-II listed Georgian maisonette tastefully outfitted with a blend of both modern and old furniture, a fully-equipped kitchen, cosy living room, and a private terrace where you can sit back on a pair of rattan moon chairs and digest just how good a choice you’ve made for your accommodation. You’re reasonably close to all the attractions (including the antique shops on Norman Road, and Hastings & St. Leonards beaches) and if you’ve hit a stroke of bad luck with the weather, it’s not like its holiday is over as we’d wager you won’t be too devastated at the thought of being ‘trapped’ here…

Location: St. Leonards Beach and Gardens are right outside. Hastings Beach is a further 400 metres, while Warrior Square Station is 15 minutes.
Amenities: Private entrance, everything you need to extend your stay further than a few days (washing machine, oven, towels and fresh linen) and the terrace. Pets are welcome too.

Details: 4A East Ascent, St. Leonards, TN38 0DS | Book here

Little Turret

Putting your feet up in front of log burners with a glass of red wine, completely tuning out of whatever life is throwing at you, after a long day hiking the hills around St. Leonards, Little Turret feels a million miles from the big city. That’s because, yes, it’s a while from London, but it was originally a farm building and cowshed, built in 1838 that’s been renovated to fit the requirements of a modern-day minibreak without losing any of its rustic appeal. You enter by ascending the turret, up a spiral stone staircase, where the living areas are fitted with Morris & Co Wallpaper, couches that you sink into, stripped floors, a galley-style kitchen and more of those log burners. It couldn’t be cosier if it tried…

Location: It’s at the foot of the hills, so hiking opportunities aplenty, and a 30-minute bus will take you to Warrior Square Station and the seafront area. There’s also free parking for those with cars.
Amenities: A front porch with an umbrella for shade, fireplace, a cloakroom and washing facilities.

Details: 9 Beauport Home Farm Cl, TN37 7BW | Book here

The Old Rectory

the old rectory hotel hastings

Fashion designer Lionel Copley’s luxe B&B on the fringes of Hastings Old Town – first built in the 15th century – is the ultimate couples retreat; eight chic, uniquely decorated rooms with wallpaper designed by local artists, including one with a toilet hidden behind a bookshelf (The Crown, if that piques your interest…); a lounge with a cracking fire; beautifully-done breakfasts where much of produce is made on the premises (the granola, the sausages, the bread… they even cure their own bacon and smoke salmon and kippers in an in-house smokery); and a huge walled-in garden, teeming with plants, tables & chairs for contemplation over wine, and a pond with lily pads. In fact, the space is pretty popular for weddings – something to bookmark for when you do return…

Location: Hastings Beach is about 500 metres, with the Old Town and Rock-a-Nore are other points of interest that can be walked without overstraining your legs…
Amenities: A library-lounge with books, treatment rooms, bathrooms equipped with their own ‘Copley made by the sea’ toiletry range, cooked-to-order breakfasts and a truly massive garden.
Details: 2 Harold Rd, N35 5ND | Book here

Stunning Period & Family Apartment by the Sea

st leonards holiday apartment

A spacious, homely and pet-friendly grade-II listed Georgian apartment, designed by James Burton (the man who designed the terraces around Regent’s Park, among many other London properties). The current owners also run an antique shop, so you’ll spot a few interesting items on display throughout the rooms. Besides generally just being an incredibly pleasant space to sleep and relax (there’s even a fireplace for winter), if you are here to get out and about and, you know, maybe want see some of area, the apartment’s main allure is it’s beachfront location – getting to water takes as quick as it does to make a coffee (maybe test out that theory), and you’re not far from St Leonards’ main hub either. 

Location: Beachfront and smack bang on the marina.
Amenities: Free parking, sea view, pet-friendly, a flat-screen TV and a kitchen – all the essentials for a holiday escape. 

Details: 102-103 Marina, St Leonards TN38 0BP | Book here

Moore House

moore house boutique hotel hastings

A hop & a skip from the beach, close proximity to a reputable pub with a beer garden (owners George and Charlotte also own Porters, a few doors down), cooked breakfasts, bright and comfy rooms with en-suite bathrooms and views leading out to the water… you really can’t ask for more. But more is Moore, so this converted grade-II listed Georgian townhouse even has a private dining room ready to handle the rigours of brunch and champagne afternoon teas, lest you were thinking of booking the whole place out for a celebratory getaway weekend with a group of your closest friends.

Location: You’re in the heart of Hastings’ Old Town, the beach is two minutes away and the same goes for antique shops and art galleries.
Amenities: While each of the seven rooms is different in appearance, they all come with tea and coffee-making facilities, smart TVs, towels and locally-produced vegan toiletries. If you fancy it, the owners are happy to arrange extras like vineyard tours, sunrise yoga and guided walks for you. And they also speak French, just in case that’s of use…
Details: 57 High Street, Hastings, TN34 3EN | Book here

St Benedict Victorian Bed and Breakfast

st benedict b&b st leonards

St Benedict was first built in 1881 and it feels like (cleaning duties aside) it’s been left untouched since. The time warp interiors are decked head to toe in authentic Victorian decor, with Watts of Westminster wallpaper, china tea cups, chandeliers and other antique objets d’art and furniture from the era; all personally amassed by owners Paul and Stephen at fairs and markets over the years, who got hold of the house in 2002. It’s busy and a sight to behold – the wackiness of it all kind of makes you want to dress up in period clothes during your stay, which is actually encouraged at their Victorian-themed supper clubs dinner parties (set menus are £40 and you can BYO for no corkage).

In terms of sleeping arrangements, the rooms are similarly decorated and on theme, but it’s not as though you’re doing an overnighter in a museum; the main room, named Mr Parry’s Room (‘designed to be used by the mother and father of the family’) has a four-poster bed with a canopy, views over the building’s landscaped garden (which is also a treat to walk through and admire under the morning sun) and 19th century bathing facilities. The luxury kind…

Location: A four minute walk from St. Leonards Gardens, ten minutes from the sea, and if you were to hop into a car, a ten minute drive to Hastings. There’s loads of restaurants in the neighbourhood too, including Babilicious and Farmyard. 
Amenities: Hairdryers, bathrobes, allergy-free bedding upon request and a full English cooked breakfast alongside cereals, fruit and toast. Paul and Stephen live in the house (though are not on site 24/7) and can be called upon for extra help.
Details: 81 Pevensey Road, TN38 0LR | Book here


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