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The Albion Rooms, Margate, Kent
The first indications that this is not your average Margate guesthouse include the coal-black facade, a pub sign saying The Waste Land, and the hotel's name emblazoned across the front in red neon. Yes, The Albion Rooms is owned by a rock and roll band, and the rather louche Libertines at that. Yet despite the musicians' somewhat shambolic image, they've managed to create a rather stylish stay; think Goth-chic, with crucifixes, ravens and taxidermy all making an appearance. Some spectacular artworks are hung around the walls, there's a profusion of tasteful leather and velvet furniture, elegant gilt mirrors, and pretty patterned floor tiles. The seven bedrooms are furnished with antique finds, from brass bedsteads to Chinese laquered coffee tables, and there's a surprisingly sophisticated restaurant.
Strolling along the blustery seafront towards the town centre will blow any cobwebs away.
The Albion Rooms is a short stroll from the beach and 15 minutes' walk from Margate town centre.
By car: the hotel is 2 hours from London, 2 hours 15 mins from Cambridge and 3 hours 30 mins from Birmingham. There is limited free of charge street parking available opposite.
By train: London St Pancras to Margate takes around 90 minutes. The hotel is a 5-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Rock fans, design aficionados, and anyone with a sense of humour will love it here. The whole thing is pretty tongue in cheek. There's the occasional in-joke, such as the word 'death' painted across a set of steps (referencing their 2002 single, Death on the Stairs).
Service & Facilities
We love the (very) relaxed vibe; staff are sometimes so laid back they're horizontal but that's part of the overall charm.
- Beer garden
- Coffee shop
- Free Wi-Fi
- Music studio
William Blake has dark, crocodile effect walls, leopard print cushions and a rococo bed frame; it's the one Carl Barat stayed in while the hotel was being renovated. We love the fun in-room bingo card, which has a range of 'typical' Margate sights to cross off, from spotting a seagull stealing someone's chips, to eating vegan food or getting publicly arrested.
The Loft, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, The Delaney, The Mowsle Barton, The Rowntree, The Lombard
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, Haeckels toiletries, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities, Beats soundsystem
Food & Drink
Dishes change regularly so you might sample anything from pork belly with roasted hoi sin, to skate wing with sambal and pickled pineapple. Roasts are served on Sundays, while you'll find the likes of Korean fried chicken and cheese toasties at the downstairs bar.
The Arcady Lounge: local produce, Asian-inspired dishes, small plates and snacks, roast dinners. Open Weds-Sat 6-11pm and Sunday 12-8pm. Mains from £13.
The Waste Land: dive bar, burgers, Korean fried chicken. Open daily 1-9pm. Mains from £8.
Breakfast: included in room rate, cooked to order. Open to public daily 11am-1pm.