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By Katie Wilson

If a hotel makes you want to move in, you know they’ve got it right – and that’s exactly the feeling we got when we first stepped foot in No.42 Margate.

A high-end addition to the Margate hotel scene, it’s the latest offering from independent boutique hotel group, GuestHouse. Perfectly located on the seafront and with its own roof terrace and the excellent Pearly Cow restaurant – both open to non-guests – we’d go as far to say it’s now the best and most luxurious hotel in Margate.

GuestHouse, created by three brothers – Tristan, James and Tom Guest – is all about one-off, wonder-filled hotels. They already have GuestHouse establishments in Bath, York and a soon-to-open hotel on Brighton seafront, but Margate is our favourite so far.

Take it from us, it’s the place you want to book for a special occasion or romantic weekend escape by the sea. Tip: If you can afford it, book a Large Guest Room with Balcony and Sea View for the best room in the house.

Here’s what happened when The Boutique Handbook checked in for the night…

Read next: How to spend a weekend in Margate

No. 42 Margate Hotel Review

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Lounge Bar No.42 Margate
The Lounge Bar in the lobby. Credit: The Boutique Handbook

No.42 Margate opened on the site of the former Sands Hotel in mid July 2023 and The Boutique Handbook team were privileged to be among the first to visit. Put simply, it’s stunning.

The paint was still drying on opening weekend, but it didn’t take anything away from the fact that this new Margate hotel is seriously impressive.

Walking into the reception and Lounge Bar area, you can really feel the wow factor. As we sat down with a glass of champagne in hand, we could have been in a beachside retreat in Miami rather than the Kent coast, which in our opinion is just as beautiful when the sun is shining.

Staff were attentive, friendly and couldn’t do enough for you. It’s exactly what you want from a boutique hotel, and then some.

THE ROOMS

GuestHouse Hotel Margate new UK hotel
Credit: GuestHouse Hotels

There are 21 rooms at No.42 Margate ranging from Guest Rooms, the smallest but still spacious, to three sea view suites with their own private balconies (called Large Guest Room with Balcony and Sea View on the website).

Decor is neutral, but fabulous with accents of creams and golds and extra special touches you won’t find anywhere else. In the hallway of our Large Guest Room we loved the ‘Kent Riviera’ print by local artist Lisa McGuinness so much it’s on our to-buy list. Above the beds there are freehand murals by Margate illustrator Laura Ann Coates.

Another room highlight is the wardrobes; hanging rails with drapes in the style of Victorian bathing machines, with a cleverly-concealed fridge underneath. While tea and coffee are hidden in a white beach hut the size of a doll’s house.

Whichever room you pick, all have Naturalmat mattresses dressed in a Savoy hotel luxury topper and 300-thread count Egyptian cotton linen, which make for a blissful night’s sleep. You’ll also find bluetooth Roberts radios, turntables with records and coffee machines with compostable pods. Guests can also help themselves to treats from the ‘pantries’ in the hallways, featuring jars of cookies and brownies to retro sweets like Haribo and love hearts.

Bathrooms are dreamy with green and cream tiles, huge rainfall showers, gold taps and luxury toiletries from British brand Bramley. Some have freestanding slipper baths.

FOOD AND DRINK

Pearly Cow restaurant No.42 Margate
Pearly Cow restaurant. Credit: The Boutique Handbook

Breakfast is served in the Pearly Cow (in all GuestHouse hotels) downstairs, one of the best new restaurants in Margate whether you are staying at the hotel or not. Those with a sweet tooth can tuck into Brown Butter Waffles with Caramelised Bananas and Toffee Sauce, or traditional breakfasts like Eggs Royale and Avocado on Toast with Eggs Your Way. There is the option to add tasty extras like Smoked Salmon, Smoked Bacon and Slow Roasted Tomatoes.

Non-guests can book tables for lunch or dinner. There is also space for drinks on the downstairs terrace, but these appear to be first-come, first-serve.

The all-day menu focuses on locally sourced seafood, high-welfare meat and just-picked plants and is split into bites, small plates, ‘ice’ (raw bar) and ‘fire’ (meat and fish cooked over their open flame grill).

Menu highlights include the Garlic and Parsley Stuffed Jumbo Tiger Prawns with Mango Hot Sauce (£21), Kentish Lamb Rack (£27) and sharing dishes like the Côte de Boeuf (£85 including sides). Veggie options are somewhat limited, with dishes like Spiced Cauliflower with Halloumi and Kale (£14) and Asparagus with Jersey Royal Cannelloni and Almond Pesto (£18). But there is a kids menu for those visiting with little ones.

Those wanting to pop in for a drink should book a table in The Rooftop Bar, open until 11pm at weekends. It’s the perfect beachside spot to watch the sun go down, and one of the only rooftop bars in Margate. Snacks and small plates are also served here.

EXTRAS

Bathrooms at No.42 Margate
The dreamy bathrooms. Credit: Toby Mitchell

Spa treatments are available to book in the hotel’s Field Trip rooms using eco-luxury products blended in Britain that are pure, vegan, organic and ethically and sustainably sourced. Thirty-minute TLC massages start from £45, bespoke facials from £90 and Top-To-Toe Glow treatments are from £145. Treatments for two, such as the signature Copper Cove (£285 for both), sees guests bathe in a specially prepared copper bath with a glass of English fizz. This is followed by a back, neck and shoulder massage, scalp massage and choice of bespoke facial or eucalyptus-infused foot massage.

GETTING THERE

Margate is easily accessible by car and No.42 Margate has 10 private parking spaces on New Street, opposite the hotel entrance on the High Street. These must be booked before arrival and are £20 per car per night. You can find further pay and display parking in the Old Town.

The town is also easily reached by train. Journey times take 1 hr 30 minutes to 2 hours and go from London Victoria, Waterloo East, Charing Cross, St Pancras International and Stratford International.

Book a train to Margate on Trainline here

OVERALL VERDICT

No.42 is the best new hotel to book in Margate with dreamy bedrooms, a stylish lounge and restaurant and its own rooftop bar. You can also book GuestHouse hotels’ signature spa treatments. It can be a pricey option at weekends when rooms start from £300 upwards in peak season, but if you can travel midweek do so for better rates. It’s definitely worth making a trip to the Kent coast for.

Prices start from £155 a night

Book a stay at No.42 Margate here

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