Perfect seaside stay in West Sussex

Liz Nicholls

Beachcroft Hotel

We take a fresh look at the Sussex seaside with a stay at one of the Beach Hut suites at Beachcroft Hotel

What are a pair of thirsty sun-seekers to do if a foreign holiday isn’t on the cards this summer? Well, did you know that Bognor Regis is recognised by the Met Office as the sunniest place in Britain, soaking up more than 1,900 hours of sunshine every year? Who needs to jet off to the White Isle when you can enjoy that level of glow without leaving Blighty?!

This was one of the questions we surprised ourselves with earlier this week while staring into the swirling turquoise sea from our private deck while staying in a Beach Hut Suite, at the Beachcroft Hotel in Felpham. There are four of these suites, designed by Peter de Savary and Ivon Blumer Architects, which were opened in 2019. They have a Tardis-like quality, looking dinky from the outside but offering a regal sense of space, with a cosy double bunk room, and ample living area (complete with min Smeg fridge & kettle) as well as king size master mezzanine bedroom hovering above, offering wondrous views over the sparkling sea through the round window.

Image: Peter Flude / Flude Foto

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside… don’t you find it makes you hungry? I’m rarely not thinking about my next meal, but after a short mosey along the pebbled paradise panorama in the fresh sea air, my appetite had reached whale proportions. Just as well because the friendly staff here will make sure you’re well fed – how about a delicious picnic hamper of fresh goodies to enjoy without taking your eyes off the stunning view? Or else you can book in to enjoy afternoon tea or delicious dinner (fish & chips, of course) in the Tamarisk restaurant, adjoining Monty’s Bar just over the way, or how about a sundowner at Blake’s Bar & Beach Terrace?

The hotel’s new Doorstep Discoveries stay aims to inspire people to take a break closer to home, including a bottle of sparkling Sussex wine from local vineyard, Tinwood Estate, and after a long day exploring, two wood-fired pizzas and a salad at Blakes (which has a gorgeous pod) right on the seven-mile coastal path. There is so much to enjoy nearby – we revelled in the beauty of Petworth on our way down, and there’s Goodwood, gorgeous gardens, and ample breweries and vineyards to enjoy in this rich foodie area. The rolling hills and quaint villages are world-class, but still peaceful and untouched by stress. And then there’s Bognor itself, which was born thanks to Sir Richard Hotham’s 18th century vision to turn the small fishing hamlet of Bognor into a seaside resort which would attract nobility away from the increasingly busy Brighton and Margate. If you don’t fancy a windswept 20-minute blue-sky thinking walk, the smiley Beachcroft staff can lend you a bike to tootle off and explore the compact town of Bognor, immortalised by William Blake as “England’s green and pleasant lands” when he wrote Jerusalem while living here in the 19th century.

Image: Peter Flude / Flude Foto

Image: Peter Flude / Flude Foto

As well as being home to a recent “Pier of the Year”, Bognor has more than just Butlins to recommend it, with retro arcades, a lovely old Sweet Shop (; the fudge is insane) and perfectly Instagrammable Sweet Flamingo ice cream parlour (Sweet Flamingo), which is sure to help you hit a sugar high with its homemade gelato.

Each foray we made tuck into another Sussex gem, we were so glad to retreat to our Beachcroft hideaway where every detail is taken care of (we kept asking ourselves if we could work remotely & move in here). A recent convert to wild swimming, I did attempt a fudge-fuelled dip in the sea but this was too bracing – luckily there is a cosy indoor heated pool at Beachcroft. The hotel also offers 40 bedrooms, including dog-friendly rooms, family sea view rooms for up to four people with a private terrace and Penthouse Suite with balcony with a private terrace with direct beach access.

We all need to shine some more light on our own homegrown, independent hotels so we reckon that a stay at Beachcroft deserves its time in the sun, as does Bognor itself. This gorgeous part of the world can even like the likes of Bondi & Copacabana a run for their money… see you there!

Check out our current July competitions, you can win a stay at the Beachcroft Hotel – July competitions.

Stays start at £325 per room: to book visit Doorstep Discoveries – Beachcroft Hotel.