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Sands Hotel 4.0

Margate, Kent, England

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Review Summary

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  • Ideal beachfront location, close to attractions and dining options
  • Fashionable boutique property in a 19th-century building
  • Pretty, upscale rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and kettles
  • Trendy restaurant and bar with patio seating overlooking the sea
  • Chic rooftop terrace with stylish furniture and ocean views
  • Free breakfast buffet and room service for a fee 
  • Homemade artisan gelato parlor for post-beach ice cream
  • One fully equipped meeting room topped with chandeliers
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout


  • Some rooms lack windows
  • Bothersome noise from restaurant and neighborhood
  • No fitness facilities or pool on site

Bottom Line

The four-pearl Sands Hotel is an upscale boutique property on Margate’s beachfront that attracts couples on weekend getaways. Its 20 neutral-hued rooms are classy and come with flat-screen TVs, kettles, and mini-fridges; however, some lack windows. Dining options are plenty and include a bar, a restaurant, and a gelato shop. There's also a rooftop terrace and a single meeting room, but the hotel lacks other key amenities such as a gym or an on-site parking lot. As an alternative, Crescent Victoria Hotel has a similar ambiance and an on-site restaurant, and while it’s not on the beach, it generally has lower rates.

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Boutique hotel in a 19th-century building with chic design and a romantic atmosphere

Sands Hotel occupies a 19th-century brick building with sea-green accents located in the heart of Margate. It was purchased in 2011, refurbished for two years, and opened in 2013 as a romantic beachfront property. Guests enter the hotel from the back, not the seafront. Compared to the rest of the hotel, which is elegant and sophisticated, the small lobby is a let-down, with a basic front desk, a few velour maroon-colored benches, and ocean-themed photographs on the walls. Past the lobby, things get a bit more chic. There’s a sitting room in front of the elevator with cream carpeting, a chandelier, and a sofa, plus windows that look out onto a wooden stairway with silver railings. The restaurant has windows that look out to the sea, giving it lots of natural light, and is similarly elegant, with wooden floors, abstract art on the walls, and a large piano. There’s also a rooftop terrace with cozy gray seating and beautiful ocean views. The style and location draws couples on romantic getaways, especially those who can afford to pay top-dollar for a boutique stay. 


Appealing beachfront location in the center of Margate

Sands Hotel has an ideal location on the beachfront in the city center of Margate. It’s an eight-minute walk to the Dreamland amusement park, and eleven minutes to the Shell Grotto. The Margate Clocktower takes three minutes to reach on foot. If the hotel’s restaurant is too pricey, there are plenty of dining options and bars on surrounding streets. There are also some shops in the area, though the closest mall -- Westwood Cross Shopping Center -- is a 13-minute drive away. The London City Airport is the closest airport and takes two hours to reach by car, while London's Victoria Station can be reached by train in just under two hours; from here, there's bus and tube service to Heathrow Airport, another hour away.


Sophisticated rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, kettles, and air-conditioning

Rooms at the Sands Hotel are elegant and tastefully decorated, with a neutral cream-and-beige color scheme and feminine furnishings, including tufted headboards and velvet throw pillows. However, a hit of bright color is sorely lacking in the muted decor. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, safes, kettles, and mini-fridges. Some rooms have balconies and sea views, while others have views of the town. Bathrooms are luxurious and romantic, with wood floors, vessel sinks, walk-in rainfall showers, and LED lighting under the standalone tubs. (Accessible rooms simply have wet-room style showers.) Lubatti toiletries and hairdryers are provided. Take note that ground-floor rooms may be subjected to noise from the upstairs restaurant, while other rooms may receive bothersome street noise or noise from nearby bars. The Undercroft Rooms are large, but lack windows.


Restaurant with ocean views, afternoon tea, gelato shop, and a rooftop terrace

While the Sands Hotel lacks a gym or business center, it does have a surprising amount of lovely features for a small-scale boutique property. The on-site Bay Restaurant offers three meals throughout the day, and has room service and afternoon tea service in a room with an inviting patio overlooking the sea. The chef uses locally sourced ingredients, and a full English breakfast is included in the rates. There's also a bar serving local brews and wines as well as an on-site homemade gelato shop -- the ideal post-beach treat. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace with plenty of cozy seating and views of the ocean plus one fully equipped meeting room decorated with medallion chairs and topped with chandeliers. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, and while there's no parking, there are garages in the area offering parking for a fee. 

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16 Marine Drive, Margate, Isle of Thanet CT9 1DH, United Kingdom

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