We do like to be beside the seaside, and these beach hotels in the UK are perfect for a sunny staycation in 2021. Although we might not be able to travel around Britain at the moment due to the latest lockdown rules, there’s no harm in dreaming or planning ahead for summer. From family-friendly resorts to super romantic, boutique B&Bs, the UK’s coastal resorts have something to suit every travel style.
Note: lockdown restrictions vary across the UK’s four nations. Before planning a British beach holiday, check government guidelines and local restrictions to find out where (and if) you can travel.
What are the best beach hotels in the UK?
- St Michael’s Resort, Falmouth
- Cohort Hostel, St Ives
- Titchwell Manor, Brancaster
- The Royal Golf Hotel, Dornoch
- Hotel Una, Brighton
- Escape Boutique B&B, Llandudno
- Sands Resort Hotel, Newquay
- Cary Arms & Spa, Torquay
- Harvest Moon, East Lothian
- Moonfleet Manor, Wemouth
- Pebble Beach, Barton-on-Sea
- Porth Veor Manor, Cornwall
- Best Western Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea
- Sandbanks Hotel, Poole
Best beach hotel for spa seekers: St Michael’s Resort, Falmouth
This luxury resort in Falmouth has been certified AA Covid-confident and Covid-secure ‘Good To Go’ by Visit England. Just a short stroll from the town centre, St Michael’s boasts incredible views over Gyllyngvase Beach and Falmouth Bay. It’s ideal for a wellness break: it’s home to the largest spa hydrotherapy pool in the south-west, an outdoor spa garden with a red cedar hot tub and the first Cornish sea salt steam room in the world. Social distancing measures are in place across the resort, with online check-in and timeslots for using the spa. The changing rooms are closed, so guests are encouraged to get ready in their rooms.
Best beach hotel for surfers: Cohort Hostel, St Ives
This budget-friendly hostel in the heart of St Ives is just a short stroll from Porthmeor beach and has a seriously cool vibe. The 19th-century building was fully refurbished in 2015, with the historic features updated with modern touches. The rooms are fitted with handmade bunk beds with a bit of nautical style. The owners have changed things a bit due to COVID-19. Rather than sharing with strangers, the dorms are now only available for private occupancy for you and your bubble (up to 6 people). The colourful lounge also has limited occupancy, so get in early if you fancy some post-surf socialising.
Best beach hotel for nature lovers: Titchwell Manor Hotel, Brancaster
This 26-bedroom country retreat sits right beside the North Norfolk coast. It overlooks the RSPB reserve at Titchwell Marsh, so it’s perfect for twitchers, and there are plenty of lovely coastal strolls nearby. Brancaster Beach, with its golden sands, is just five minutes drive away. It’s a popular spot for kitesurfing, and you can spot the shipwreck of the SS Vina. Back at the hotel you’ll find eclectic décor, including a bright yellow chesterfield sofa. Relax by the fire in the cosy lounge, or grab a bite at the triple AA Rosette restaurant. Some of the rooms have their own private hot tub terraces, if you fancy a soak after a long day of rambling.
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Best beach hotel for countryside: The Royal Golf Hotel, Dornoch
The Royal Golf boasts one of the shortest walks from room to first tee in the world, but it’s also an excellent place for a seaside break. It sits just beside the long sandy strip of Dornoch Beach, and many of the rooms in this elegant hotel have sea views. It’s an ideal base for exploring the Scottish Highlands, with attractions like Dunrobin Castle and the Glenmorangie Distillery just a short drive away. The hotel has also got a comprehensive COVID-19 policy in place, which includes a pre-booking app if you want to dine in the excellent restaurant as well as enhanced sanitisation of public spaces and bedrooms.
Best beach hotel for city breakers: Hotel Una, Brighton
This 17-room boutique guesthouse spans two regency townhouses and is just a short stroll from Brighton’s pebble beach. It’s also within striking distance of the city’s historic sites, including the Royal Pavilion: once the seaside retreat of King George IV. The famous pier is just five minutes’ walk away, too. Rooms are impeccably decorated, and some have sea views. Due to COVID-19 they’ve introduced new measures such as sanitising guest’s luggage with UV light, and putting 2m social distancing measures in place. Their bar is closed unfortunately, but they are offering a room service menu. Beer in bed: what more could you want from a city break?
Best beach hotel for couples: Escape Boutique B&B, Llandudno
This design-led bed and breakfast in Llandudno has just nine rooms, each one with its own theme. For example the Modern Romance room has a clawfoot bathtub and hand-painted furniture, while The Boudoir boasts crystal-studded LED wallpaper. This grand Victorian villa is just as impressive from the outside, too, with its wedding cake-style tiers and pillars. It’s about 10 minutes walk from the sweeping bay that made Llandudno the “Queen of Welsh resorts”. Take a wander along the crescent-shaped promenade, wander down the Grade II listed pier or just chill on the golden sands.
Best beach hotel for activities: Sands Resort Hotel, Newquay
Five minutes’ walk from Porth Beach, on Cornwall’s north coast, Sands Resort Hotel has plenty to keep kids entertained. Due to COVID-19 they’ve put lots of safety measures in place, such as reducing capacity by a third. All of the great activities the hotel is known for are still going, just with a few small changes. There’s a one metre distancing requirement at the outdoor sports areas like the tennis courts, mini golf course and zip wire. You also need to pre-book a 25-minute slot to use the indoor and outdoor swimming pools or the indoor fairground. It’s also possible to hire freshly disinfected wetsuits and bodyboards from the on-site Surf Shack, if you want to hang ten.
Best luxury beach hotel: Cary Arms & Spa, Torquay
For a treat, this high-end hotel overlooking Babbacombe beach on the English Riviera fits the bill. Accommodation options include eight New England-style rooms in a historic, stone inn, once visited by Queen Victoria. There are also ultra-modern beach huts with floor-to-ceiling windows, and two suites that look out onto their own beach. The hotel’s COVID-19 policy includes offering free upgrades to rooms with their own entrance, a complimentary hand sanitiser on arrival and reducing restaurant capacity by half. Rather than leaving tea bags and White Company toiletries in the rooms, they now give guests a wax-sealed box with everything they need on check-in.
Best beach hotel for glamping: Harvest Moon, East Lothian
Appeal to your sense of adventure at this glamping resort, just 45 minutes from Edinburgh. Each unit is self-contained, so it’s perfect for social distancing with your own bubble. We love their treehouses, which have their own private swing sets and outdoor decks boasting views across the Forth Estuary to the Bass Rock. If you want to be closer to ground level, choose a beach cabin just by the dunes of Tyninghame beach. It’s a great coastal hotel for families, although even adults will love Kids Corner petting zoo with its alpacas, pygmy goats, bunnies, chickens and lambs.
Best beach hotel for families: Moonfleet Manor, Weymouth
Once a Georgian manor, this grand hotel overlooks Chesil Beach on Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast. The hotel has lots of amenities for adults and little ones including a spa, tennis courts, a climbing wall and an indoor soft play area in what was once an indoor bowls club. Their parent company, Luxury Family Hotels, has a comprehensive COVID-19 policy in place. At Moonfleet Manor this includes takeaway breakfast, which you can bring to the beach, as well as outdoor picnic options so you can make the most of the grounds.
Best beach hotel for foodies: Pebble Beach, Barton-on-Sea
This award-winning restaurant with rooms on the south coast sits on a clifftop, and has become famous for its seasonal fine dining menu. Food is served from 12pm until last orders at 8:30pm, both inside the restaurant and on the famous sun terrace; which has sweeping views over the Solent to the Isle of Wight. As for sleeping, this boutique hotel only has four rooms, all decorated in subtle neutral tones. They each have king size beds, decked out in soft Egyptian cotton sheets, and the bathrooms are stocked with White Company toiletries.
Best beach hotel for self-catering: Porth Veor Manor, Cornwall
With a number of self-catering villas and apartments in the grounds of its manor house, the Porth Veor Hotel is an excellent option if you fancy a bit of privacy. Most of the one, two and three bedroom villas and apartments sit around the heated outdoor swimming pool. Others have views across the well-manicured gardens, where you can sit out and enjoy a picnic in the Cornish sunshine. It also has quick and easy access to the sandy stretch of Porth Beach, which is less than 200m away. To combat the impact of COVID-19 they’ve brought in strict cleaning regimes and offer free cancellation cover.
Best beach hotel for history buffs: Best Western Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea
First opened in May 1866, the Royal Beach Hotel Southsea is packed with history. During WWI it was a hospital for wounded soldiers returning from France, and during the 50’s it hosted celebrities like Laurel and Hardy. Today, the shimmering chandeliers, sweeping staircases and elegant restaurant echo the glamour of the Victorian era. The 124 recently refurbished bedrooms have modern touches – such as flatscreen TVs and free Wi-Fi – along with traditional décor in-keeping with the hotel’s past. Its prime location across the road from South Parade Pier puts you right in the heart of the action.
Best beach hotel for sea views: Sandbanks Hotel, Poole
When it comes to location, it’s hard to beat the Sandbanks Beach Hotel in Poole. It has direct access to the famous Blue Flag Sandbanks Beach, with seven miles of soft golden sand. All of the rooms have sea views: either towards the beach itself or over Poole Harbour. At ground level, the beachfront terrace bar is the perfect spot to watch the sunset with a glass of wine. Feeling active? The on-site watersports centre offers a range of classes in windsurfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and more.
Are you ready to hit the beach?
Before you speed off on your seaside stay, we recommend getting in touch with the hotel to double check any questions you might have. It’s also important to check local government guidelines: regulations are slightly different in Scotland to England, for example, and there are regional lockdowns in the north of England. On the morning of your trip, double check that nothing has changed – nobody wants to get caught in a local lockdown.
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