A classic British seaside hotel on Whitstable's seafront. Beach-chic rooms afford views over the Thames Estuary while a popular bistro serves Anglo-French food. Also on offer are 12 historic beachfront Fisherman's Huts, which include breakfast served at the hotel.
- Gabriella Le Breton, Travel writer
Set directly on the seafront at the beginning of the coastal promenade, ideal for beach lovers. Whitstable Castle is just behind the hotel, the fish market is a five-minute stroll along the promenade and boutique-lined Harbour Street two minutes further along.
Style & character
The Continental features pretty Art Deco exteriors and beach-chic interiors. The bar and bistro span three sea view rooms, with a vintage mood set by a large Art Deco-style mural of Whitstable painted by local artist Bruce Williams, whose abstract seascapes are dotted throughout the hotel and Fisherman's Huts. Picture windows and French doors opening out onto the front and side terrace capitalise on the views and natural light.
Service & facilities
The young staff are helpful and friendly, delivering informal yet efficient service. There's parking to the rear of the hotel while Fisherman's Hut guests receive a permit for in-town parking.
The Continental's 24 stylish yet small rooms feature well-appointed bathrooms, soft grey walls and crisp white-painted wooden shutters and panelling. Standard doubles don't benefit from sea views so, budget permitting, plump for the larger (although still snug) Deluxe Sea View rooms, two of which have balconies. Room One is a popular choice for its double aspect windows while Room 10 comes with a bath and balcony.
Non-seaview rooms benefit from a juliette balcony or patio. A tea tray, minibar and French toiletries are included but storage is minimal, so pack light. The bijou Fisherman's Huts also feature bright, beachy interiors and are equipped with a minifridge, microwave, kettle, toaster and welcome tray (tea, coffee, juice, biscuits and milk). The huts are right on the boardwalk, meaning privacy is compromised – book Hut 14, set slightly back from the path, for more seclusion.
Food & drink
The refurbished, seaview Bistro serves tasty Anglo-French lunches and dinners, with an eclectic menu spanning Whitstable Native oysters and local cod in Whitstable Brewery beer batter to pan fried sea trout with chorizo sauce and bavette steak with chimichurri dressing.
With seating outdoors on the promenade, there's a vibrant buzz and genuine seaside feel. Hotel and hut guests can take breakfast, a canteen-style buffet, in the Hotel Continental (the huts are a seven-minute walk away). There's a good selection of cereals and fruits, local breads and pastries, and ready prepared cooked breakfast items.
Value for money
Double rooms from £75 in low season; and from £120 in high. One-bedroom Fisherman's Huts from £95 in low season; and from £125 in high (two-night minimum stay on summer weekends). Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi and parking.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Room 25 is on the ground floor and is also dog-friendly.
There are spacious family rooms for three, four and five guests, cots available on request and a good children's menu. The huts are ideal for families, sleeping up to three children.