Driftwood Beach House
We're big fans of Whitstable, which is in many ways the perfect year-round beach destination – a short hop from London and with lots of stuff to do when the sun isn't shining. Driftwood Beach House, run by affable hosts Jez and Michelle Hills, is a great beachfront B&B from which to enjoy the best of this funky resort and get away from it all at the same time.
With a cool, shabby chic decor partially inspired by Jez and Michelle's travels, Driftwood Beach House has three double rooms – the soothing Maroc Spa Room, the Garden Spa Room and the Blue Jacuzzi Room – all with comfy beds, en-suite bathrooms, smart TVs and ultra-fast wifi. All three rooms have their own private decked areas and hot tubs heated by burning wood underneath – the Garden Spa Room is light and airy and opens out onto the B&B's lovely courtyard and hot tub; the Blue Jacuzzi Room has its own private entrance; while the Maroc Spa features a newly renovated outdoor area and includes the conservatory areas with a perfect view of the countryside. You should consider also their very comfortable self-catering property on the same site, The Boathouse.
Outside there's Seasalter Beach, which has breathtaking views across Whitstable's bay in one direction and the marshes and surrounding countryside in the other. You could walk for miles across the marshes, even as far as Faversham through the nature reserve, if you wanted. But you might prefer to head off in the other direction to the more varied delights of Whitstable itself – after all, those oysters won't eat themselves! The property is about two miles out of town – a leisurely stroll around the bay or a 5-minute drive. In the other direction lies the excellent Sportsman gastropub, a well-known place beloved of food critics that is a very handy place for a spot of dinner – if you can get a table! If you can't, Jez and Michelle have lots of other local recommendations. Driftwood also makes a great base for Whitstable's annual Oyster Festival every July.
Three double en-suite rooms, with 24hr access.
Maroc Spa and Garden Spa rooms £100 a night midweek, £120 weekends (plus £40 a night for us of the hot tub), Blue Jacuzzi Room £135 midweek, £145 weekends – all including an excellent breakfast.
Open all year.
Coming from London on the A299, take the Whitstable exit and follow Borstal Hill down towards the town centre. At the bottom of the first hill – where Borstal Hill becomes Canterbury Rd – make a left onto Joy Lane (by a bus shelter) and follow this into Seasalter, where it turns away from the sea and becomes Faversham Rd. It shortly turns back towards the sea and reaches Driftwood Beach House on the left, just after the Alberta Holiday Park.
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