We don’t doubt that you had envisioned yourself spending your summer by the Caribbean sea, rum punch in hand; or possibly soaking up that Mediterranean sun at La Colombe d’Or, Le Club 55 or any number of Riviera-based establishments.
If you are indeed jetting off to sunnier skies, we wish you joy on your holiday (without just the barest hint of jealousy). But if you’re staying put for the foreseeable, we’d say it’s about time you made the most of the many (many, many) bays, coasts, piers and beaches the UK has to offer. Because when it comes down to it, the UK is a pretty glorious place to spend your summer: and we’ve curated a selection of Britain’s best seaside hotels to prove it.
The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Padstow
If you’re a Pig aficionado, you’ll be well versed in its luxurious aesthetic and quintessential British charm. Should you opt for a British road trip, there seems to be a Pig around every lush green corner, clad in soft grey stone and nestled in its well-tended surroundings: but where seaside credentials are concerned, we’ve got our eye on The Pig at Harlyn Bay.
It’s not the only seaside Pig; there’s The Pig by the Beach in Dorset, too, which is just as picturesque. But the views at Harlyn Bay really are second to none — and when you’re happily ensconced in your 15th century room (or in one of the more private and charmingly named ‘Garden Wagons’), gazing out at those panoramic Cornish views, you’ll wonder why you ever bemoaned your cancelled Riviera holiday.
The Pig at Harlyn Bay
The Atlantic Hotel, Jersey
If you’re adamant that you want to at least feel as though you’ve made it abroad (albeit not technically), then Jersey might be just the place for you: specifically, The Atlantic Hotel. It’s modern luxury encapsulated; and with those sweeping ocean views, breathtaking natural beauty in the form of St Ouen’s Bay and its blissfully secluded location, you’ll feel as though you’ve journeyed much further than the distance of the English Channel.
It’s small, but perfectly formed; the elegant Palm Club will see you relax and restore in style, with its swimming pool and saunas (among other amenities); and don’t even get us started on the dining: the Ocean Restaurant is luxury dining in on elegant package, while The Tasting Room offers a gastronomic experience of the very highest standards.
Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes
We have no doubt that you’re highly familiar with this one already; belonging, as it does, to the Polizzi Collection of hotels (Olga Polizzi being Deputy Chairman and Director of Design at the world-famous Rocco Forte Hotels company). But we’ll take any excuse to wax lyrical about a stunningly beautiful luxury hotel: so we’ll fill you in anyway.
Taking the form of a collection of whitewashed buildings that used to serve as a yacht club, you’ll feel as though you’d journeyed to Cornwall and, inexplicably, landed slap bang in the heart of the Mediterranean. With just 30 rooms, you’ll be well removed from London’s urban pandemonium — and we’d highly recommend taking advantage of Pinuccia, the 8 metre classic yacht that was built in 1939 to race for Italy, and on which guests can spend a day sailing around Falmouth Bay with the resident skipper.
Bodysgallen Hotel, North Wales
When we think of ‘UK beaches’, our thoughts tend to dart to Salcombe, Cornwall, Dorset and the like. But what about Wales? It’s got some of the most outstanding natural beauty in the country; and there’s nowhere better to soak it all up than at the Bodysgallen Hotel. It takes up splendid residence in 200 acres of wooded parkland: and its all-encompassing views stretch to Conway Castle, Snowdonia and beyond.
Just two miles from the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno, the hotel is just a hop, skip and a jump from a quintessential day at the beach: assuming you can manage to tear yourself away from the hotel itself, of course. The main Hall comprises 15 individually decorated bedrooms, or you can take your pick from 16 cottage suites in the garden court. And with a full spa, award-winning gardens and reams of history ebbing from every nook and cranny, we’d say you’ll be hard pressed to leave.
The Harper, Norfolk
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that you can only relax, unwind and restore if you make it off our drizzly shores. But this is an incorrect truth (so, in fact, it’s an out-and-out falsehood). Because if you were to hop on over for a stay at The Harper this summer, you’ll find your cares leaving your shoulders faster than you can unpack your swim shorts.
As country hotels go, this one has all the picturesque scenery and none of the stuffiness. Instead, it’s luxuriously contemporary: its elegant stone exterior gives way to suave, stylish interiors, clocking in at 32 bedrooms and packed to the brim with state-of-the-art amenities. We’ve got our eye on the smooth stone pool; or, alternatively, you could walk the mile or so to the beach, and partake in the al fresco dining experience at The Yard restaurant upon your return. The possibilities are endless.
Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall
We’re back to Cornwall again: and for good reason, too, because that’s where you’ll find the Watergate Bay Hotel in all its beachy, surfy glory. This really is a hotel for active folk: if you’ve been longing to get your surfboard out all year, you won’t want to leave it behind. This hotel is all about becoming one with the elements: whether that’s taking on those waves, practicing yoga or Pilates in front of the ocean, or watching the surfers do their thing from the sanctuary of the hotel pool.
Of course, it’s not compulsory to be active: you could take advantage of any number of dining options, for example, like the stylishly aesthetic Zacry’s Restaurant — or you could opt for a more laid-back vibe at The Living Space. Either way, prepare to leave feeling wholly rejuvenated: always assuming you can tear yourself away.
Watergate Bay Hotel
North House, Isle of Wight
Of course, we couldn’t curate a selection of beachside hotels without including the beautiful Isle of Wight: and if you’re island-inclined, you couldn’t do better in North House. It’s located in West Cowes, for a start — so just the place to stay if you’re planning to cheer on those yachts at Cowes Week.
Cosy is the word du jour here; as a Grade II listed townhouse, maintaining a pristine residence in the heart of Cowes’ old town, it’s the perfect old-world escape if you’re looking for breathtaking sea views and some quiet, refined living (after the wild celebrations following Freedom Day, we certainly wouldn’t blame you for wanting to get away from it all). Take a stack of books, and let those whirling, busy thoughts calm down.
Burgh Island Hotel, Devon
There’s no two ways about it: this is a hotel bursting with style, oozing glamour and evoking a golden age that, regrettably, no longer exists. Except at the Burgh Island Hotel, of course. Located on its very own tidal island, accessible only by a sea tractor, this renowned hotel was built in 1929, extended in 1932 and now harks back to an era of 1930s glamour that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
It’s steeped in luxury, of course, as well as reams of history: guests can opt to stay in any number of individually named rooms, from Agatha Christie’s beach house (where she famously wrote Evil Under The Sun and And Then There Were None) or the Noel Coward suite, to name just two. If you can bring yourself to leave your room, you can partake in tennis or croquet; swim in the exquisite Mermaid Pool; or any other beachside activity your heart desires.
Burgh Island Hotel
The Nare, Cornwall
It’s quintessential; it’s luxurious; and its sea views are second to none. The Nare is a privately owned country house hotel (five stars, naturally), with 40 bedrooms to its name and more Cornish charm than urban city dwellers will know what to do with.
Sea views are becoming something of a recurring theme, but these sea views really are worth a mention; the hotel takes up residence in a quiet, secluded bay, and the views extending over Carne beach and beyond will have you reaching for your iPhone before you’ve even opened the rosé. Make the most of the two swimming pools, as well as the tennis, the croquet, the sailing, the horse riding; need we go on?
The Rose, Deal
If your holiday desires are a little less glamorous and a little less modest: we’ve got you covered there, too. Hop on over to the Kentish coast, and prepare for a blissfully cosy stay at The Rose hotel: a quintessential, charming hotel overlooking the North Sea and brimming over with luxurious home comforts.
Taking up residence in a former pub, it’s a hotel with character; and not only character, but a chic, stylish interior design that’ll have you noting down tips for when you finally get around to repainting your hallway. There are just eight rooms, all decorated with their own unique vintage flair; and Deal itself is a quaintly quirky seaside town, rife with history and bursting with Instagram opportunities.