The Best Hotels In Margate | Where To Stay In The Hip Seaside Town
You can sleep well knowing that when London gets too much, a place as charming as Margate is a mere 90 minute train ride away from St Pancras.
You can sleep even better, however, knowing that besides the sea, the vintage shops and nostalgic attractions like the Dreamland amusement park, Margate is also home to a ton of beautifully-designed boutique hotels.
Lots of great nights of shut eye await, basically.
From a spot right on the beachfront with idyllic views over the sea, to a private cottage smack bang in the Old Town with proximity to all the cracking restaurants, or a neatly-preserved coaching inn with its own pub and beer garden, you can easily come to Margate with the sole intention of just staying at one of these hotels. The town itself is secondary. Maybe. Anyway, these are they: the best hotels in Margate….
FOR ROMANTIC TRYSTS: The Reading Rooms
Located in Hawley Square, this ultra peaceful boutique bed and breakfast has a feel of having the whole place to yourself, which you kind of do.. considering there’s only two rooms, each encompassing an entire floor. Owners Louise and Liam Nabb have done a wonderful job in renovating the building, a grade-II listed Georgian townhouse built in the 1760s that harks back to Margate’s old history as hotbed for reading rooms (essentially libraries, where one could be a bit social without the fear of being told to shush).
The Salon Room (on the first floor) has a fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and a cast-iron roll-top bath, while The Attic (at the top of the house) has views to the sea, antique chandeliers, vaulted timber bracing details and an equally huge bathroom with walk-in shower and roll-top bath facilities. Both feature arty peeled back walls with original plasterwork and choosing between the two is a toss-up, but the breakfast is the same deal regardless – it’s personally delivered straight to your door on a butlers tray groaning with fresh juices; pastries; cream cheese, honey and cinnamon-dusted toast (an old favourite here); and even a full English made with local produce, if that’s what your heart desires. All this can then be enjoyed privately by the window looking out to sea, or simply just in bed, of course…
Amenities: tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary toiletries from Ren Skincare; flat-screen TV, wifi and private dine-in breakfast.
Location: 12 minute walk to Turner Contemporary; 8 minute walk to the beach; 7 minute walk to the Old Town.
Dog friendly? No
Price: From £380 for two nights
Details: 31 Hawley Square, Margate CT9 1PH | Book here
FOR PAMPERING YOURSELF: No. 42 Guesthouse
Guesthouse 42 is the latest addition to Margate’s boutique hotel lineup (opening on the 14th of July), situated on the high street in a quaint Victorian building. It makes the dream of waking to the sounds of waves softly hitting the shore a reality with its beach-front setting, and it also features a restaurant, treatment rooms and a rooftop bar, in a bid to seemingly ensure you don’t actually leave the hotel to explore the town…
In total there’s 21 rooms; each fitted with a Natural Mat mattress that’s ‘dressed in a Savoy luxury hotel topper’, equipped with a turntable (you can select records from a vinyl library) and painted in a pleasing warm tan. Try to bag a balcony room if you can, for obvious reasons (though those without still possess a picturesque sea view) and the larger, guest rooms are suitable for the whole family, including the dog. If your beloved pooch is coming along, it’s a £25 extra charge with dog towels and unlimited treats both supplied.
Amenities: Coffee machine with compostable pods, recycled slippers and Frette luxury robes, turntables and records, TV with freeview and Chromecast, and the ‘right to raid their pantry’.
Location: 6 minute walk to Turner Contemporary; 5 minute walk to the beach; 3 minute walk to the Old Town.
Dog friendly? Yes
Price: From £385 for two adults, one night
Details: 42 High St, Margate CT9 1DS | Book here
FOR THE STYLE: Margate House
Margate House feels like exactly that: the home of a very stylish (read: very wealthy) friend where you and eight others have been invited to crash for the weekend. You can’t help but feel you’re wearing rose-tinted glasses – every room is decked out in warm pink and red hues, with sumptuous beds, rainfall showers, local Haeckels toiletries and an emergency supply of Tunnocks teacakes.
The hotel only opened in summer 2023, and plans are afoot to open a restaurant in future – but for now, you won’t go hungry. Breakfast is delivered to your room; fruit, cereal & Staple Stores pastries are set out on the marble table downstairs; and there’s even a special set-up where you can get hot Middle Eastern-style breakfasts delivered from The Good Egg.
Amenities: Coffee machines, wi-fi, room snacks and lovely showers – with a restaurant and speakeasy bar to follow soon.
Location: You’re in Cliftonville, 10 minutes from the tidal pool and a bit more removed from the busier Old Town.
Dog friendly? No
Price: From £115 per night
Details: 6 Dalby Square, Cliftonville, CT9 2ER | Book here
FOR THE VIEWS: Fort Road Hotel
Fort Road comes from Frieze (the art magazine and festival) co-founder Matthew Slotover, developer Gabriel Chipperfield and artist Tom Gidley, who together saved a derelict board house (originally erected in 1820) from a state of ruin and turned it into chic, art-focused getaway where plenty of local art can be found on the walls, including pieces from Margate’s own Tracey Emin and Lindsey Mendick. Of course art can also be found at the Turner Contemporary gallery, located conveniently opposite the hotel, and which you get a brilliant view of from one of the 14 rooms (even more wow-worthy at sunset).
The building itself has a bit of an accidentally Wes Anderson vibe, and besides the views outside, what you see inside isn’t bad either – as you’d expect from a trio of discerning art types, the rooms have all been tastefully put together; with designer kettles, linen curtains, Scandi-style furniture and eco-friendly toiletries from Haeckels (a sustainable Margate-born brand). For food you don’t have to travel far, as Fort Road’s restaurant (head chef here, Daisy Cecil, worked at the The River Cafe) serves up modern dishes using local produce from Kent, and drinks can be ordered at either the green-tiled bar attached, downstairs at the other bar that’s clad in exposed brick, or upstairs on the roof terrace.
Amenities: Complimentary coffee and tea, free wifi, TVs only available in three rooms (enquire before booking and they will sort you out).
Location: 3 minute walk to Turner Contemporary; 9 minute walk to the beach; 3 minute walk to the Old Town.
Dog friendly? Yes, but must be well-trained. Enquire beforehand with the hotel.
Price: One night stays from £140 for two adults
Details: Fort Road Hotel, 18 Fort Rd, Margate CT9 1HF | Book here
FOR A HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Smugglers Cottage
Outside of a bookshop in Notting Hill, a cottage by the sea is pretty much the UK at its most romantic. Though Smugglers Cottage isn’t quite on the seafront (it’s in Margate’s Old Town), it’s barely a few minutes walk before your feet are on the sand, and it’s certainly romantic if you want it to be; with a private garden terrace, an airy kitchen, and the old & new design juggling act pulled off with aplomb. With space for four, it’s fantastic for week-long group holidays too.
The cottage itself – Grade-II listed and said to have been built in 1690 – has an unassuming facade (marked by proper old-school, traditional sign), but is right in there with all of Old Town’s pubs and restaurants, and if you’re wondering about the name, it’s a nod to the neighbourhood’s association with seafarers who also worked covertly (or not so covertly) as smugglers supplying various foreign goods for the locals (like French brandy).
Amenities: Kitchen area, garden, dishwasher, bike storage, washing machine, wifi, TV with Netflix & Amazon Prime.
Location: 6 minute walk to Turner Contemporary; 8 minute walk to the beach; 0 minute walk to the Old Town as you’re already there…
Dog friendly? Yes, free of charge
Price: 7 nights from £575
Details: 7 Lombard St, Margate CT9 1EJ | Book here
FOR CREATIVE INTERIOR DESIGN: The George and Heart House
King Street’s The George and Heart used to be an 18th century coaching inn before it took up the boutique hotel game. It’s home to six rooms, each fitted with upcycled and pre-owned furniture, each with their own completely unique look, and each designed by a local artist: for instance one is decorated in hand-designed-rose wallpaper and has a kitschy pink 70’s theme, whilst another has a dramatic serpent mosaic behind the bed, satin sheets and a black and gold colour scheme. All grant access to a private palm-lined courtyard, a guest-only honesty bar and a ‘zen den’ for yoga and wellness.
While the location puts you in the thick of it with the Old Town action and the sea isn’t far, if we’re being completely honest, it’s going to take a tough sell to drag you away from the outstanding pub below: inside with stained-glass windows, you’ve got a log fire and comfy velvet seats, and then outside you’ve got a beer garden with lots (that’s the key thing: lots) of outdoor benches. The food and drink is top-notch too, with draft beer from nearby North Down Brewery, Kentish wine, and things to eat that range from a battered hake sandwich to what many locals vouch as Margate’s best Sunday roast.
Amenities: Access to private stables courtyard garden and Reggie’s bar, tea, coffee, biscuits and night tipple from the amnesty bar, continental breakfast.
Location: 5 minute walk to Turner Contemporary; 9 minute walk to the beach; 2 minute walk to the Old Town.
Dog friendly? Rooms no, but open arms treatment in the pub
Price: From £95 a night
Details: 44 King St, Margate CT9 1QE | Book here
FOR GROUP GETAWAYS: The Margate Galley
If The Margate Galley was in the capital it would probably be the most desirable flat in East London – and it would probably also cost a small fortune and be impossible to attain. Thankfully it’s not, it’s in Margate, where it can be rented out for significantly less (with much less stress) and combined with a beach holiday, unlike if it were in London.
It’s been done up, or, well, done down, with large parts of the building – like the exposed brick fireplace, wooden floors and distressed walls – left alone, as bohemian furniture (including a rattan hanging egg chair) co-exist among the old Georgian detailing. The galley is a maisonette (the French word for little house and essentially a two-floor flat) and with four bedrooms, it’s incredibly spacious and the ideal big group retreat. Bear in mind though, that it’s also a place of quiet and in a residential area, so best to leave the loud nights behind in London…
Amenities: Fully equipped kitchen, wifi, children’s books, HD TV with Netflix, washing facilities, cot and high chair upon request.
Location: 9 minute walk to Turner Contemporary; 8 minute walk to the beach; 2 minute walk to the Old Town
Dog friendly? No
Price: From £440 for two nights
Details: Union Row, Margate CT9 1PP | Book here
Fancy a break? Peruse our picks of the best day trips from London