Margate doesn’t stay still for long. A streak of seaside nostalgia runs through the Kent town, but this is a place with its focus squarely on the future. Take Dreamland, a retro-themed pleasure park that draws visitors to its vintage carousel and scenic railway (Britain’s oldest roller coaster) as much as its Pride celebrations and a newly installed Banksy mural. Aroseaund the bay, modern art exhibitions rotate through the Turner Contemporary gallery, while kids play with buckets and spades on the beach in its shadow. New openings butt up against the resort’s kiss-me-quick attractions, and nowhere is this more apparent than along the seafront. Amusement arcades and shops selling inflatables squeeze in between microbreweries and cocktail bars, and restaurants serve both cod and chips and miso-battered tofu.
Occupies a handsome Victorian building overlooking Main Sands beach. Highlights include a rooftop bar with far-reaching views along the coast, a ground-floor spa and an elegant, light-filled restaurant serving dishes that make good use of local produce. The 18 bedrooms celebrate the local area, too, with prints and fabrics by Margate artists and vinyl for the record players from nearby music shop Ghost Papa. Proving that some things never change on a British seaside break, rooms come with beach towels for when it’s sunny, and umbrellas for when it’s not. From £149.
The decor at The Libertines-owned Albion Rooms is best described as ‘rock ’n’ roll gothic’: some leopard print here, a skull ornament there, plus heavy fabrics and dark walls in the bedrooms. It’s a convivial place, with guests likely to end up chatting in the bar, perhaps speculating about the identity of the band recording in the hotel’s music studio. From £137.
In an immaculately restored Victorian house, this newly opened pad is filled with intriguing objects, from 1970s Italian dining chairs to vintage Polish posters. Guests are encouraged to make themselves thoroughly at home, whether relaxing with a drink from the honesty bar or tucking into a breakfast hamper in bed. From £115.
When it opened in 2022, this boutique hotel brought a dash of pared-back, mid-century modernism to Margate. The 14 rooms feature Danish lighting, locally made Haeckels toiletries and plenty of wood. Be sure to check out the Tracey Emin hanging in the candlelit bar, watch the sun set from the rooftop terrace and have a seasonally focused meal in the restaurant. From £136.
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