As the waves crash against the shore just a few metres away from the full-length window of our living room I’m snuggled up warm and cosy with a hot chocolate. I love watching the sea as it’s colours and mood changes from day to day.
Our stay at The Beachcroft Hotel’s Beach Huts Suites was complimentary for review purposes arranged by CJ Hotel Consultancy.
The following morning it was as flat as a pancake. And, having witnessed a beautiful sunrise, it was warm enough to sit outside on our terrace gazing out across the beach to the shimmering ocean beyond and enjoy my coffee alfresco, even in December.
Whatever the weather and whatever the time of year, a stay at the Beachcroft Hotel’s Beach Huts right on the seafront in Felpham, West Sussex is an absolute joy.
We’d arrived on a sunny afternoon and, having checked in by phone, were soon settled into our holiday home by the sea, enjoying a glass of Sloe Gin courtesy of the hotel.
With a living room, maisonette double bedroom, small second bedroom with 2 bunk beds and a shower room, the inside of our beach hut was surprisingly spacious. It’s the perfect self-contained holiday accommodation for two adults and two children.
And with Bognor Regis getting more sunshine than anywhere else in the UK, year after year, it’s in a winning location too.
The Beach Huts
One of four suites along the seafront in the village of Felpham, our Beach Hut suite was bright and cheerful, tastefully decorated with a contemporary seaside theme and a pleasing nod to nostalgia. The most striking feature is the full-length wall to wall picture window looking out to sea from the living area. Opening up onto a private wooden terrace with a small table and reclining chairs it’s the perfect spot to take in the sea views and relax.
Back inside from the large comfortable L-shaped sofa the view was equally mesmerising. We had everything we needed at our fingertips – a smart TV with Netflix, a kettle, Nespresso machine with tea, coffee and fresh milk provided in a stylish, bright red Smeg fridge. There was also a very welcome complimentary bottle of wine.
Up a few stairs, the mezzanine master bedroom has a second TV, several draws, a dressing table and a small wardrobe/cupboard with ironing board and iron inside. Best of all is that you can lie in bed and gaze out to sea through the large portal window opposite
In the second bedroom back downstairs by the front door, there’s little room for anything more than the two bunk beds and a small table. Buckets, spades and nets are provided for sandcastles and rock pooling fun.
The shower room is next to the downstairs bedroom and is a reasonable size with a luxurious rain shower, fluffy bathrobes, slippers, towels, toiletries, and a hairdryer all provided.
Breakfast at the Beach Huts
Breakfast is included and guests may choose between dining at the Beachcroft Hotel’s main restaurant, just across the road, or have a breakfast hamper delivered at the time of their choice to their front door.
On our first morning, we opted to breakfast in the restaurant and tucked into a hearty full English with toast, jams, orange juice and plenty of coffee.
The next morning we changed it up with a pre-booked a hamper. We were delighted with its contents which included cheese, ham, croissants, and pain au chocolat, orange juice, a great selection of fruit and natural yoghurt.
The tough decision was whether to eat it in bed, the living area or out on the terrace – so we opted for a mix of all three!
Dining at the Beachcroft Hotel
We dined in the hotel’s Tamarisk Restaurant one evening and enjoyed a fabulous three-course meal. The Crispy Prawn Medley with red-velvet, chilli mango, filo, breaded butterfly and tempura prawns with sweet chilli dip were particularly good, superb in fact. Both our main courses and dessert (we had to share one because we were stuffed) were excellent, as was the service.
The Bistro Restaurant offers a more casual atmosphere while The Garden Terrace, which enjoys wonderful views of the sea, is the perfect place to relax on a warm sunny day. I’m looking forward to a return visit for afternoon tea in their quirky outdoor dining pod.
Dogs welcome at the Beachcroft
Dogs are welcome to stay at two of the four Beach Huts, subject to availability and booking in advance. Dogs can also enter the hotel itself and sit with their owners in the Bistro Restaurant during breakfast or evening meals. Plus of course, the beach is perfect for leisurely walks with your pooch, especially at low tide.
Parking at the Beach Huts
The four parking bays, with an electric car charging point, are immediately behind the huts are suitable for smaller cars, while larger cars can be parked in the hotels’ main car park just across the road.
Excellent service at the Beachcroft Hotel
We really do need to give a special mention to all the staff at the Beachcroft. They couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful. The service throughout our stay was excellent and every care was taken regarding health and safety in these difficult times.
Where to eat in Felpham
As well as the hotel restaurants, there’s a lovely beachside bar, which serves drinks and light meals which is the perfect spot for warmer days.
Beyond the hotel, the village of Felpham is on the doorstep with several cosy historic pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops for basic groceries close by. We particularly love the Lobster Pot just around the corner from the Beach Huts. For a traditional pub try The Thatched House or The George Inn, both within walking distance.
Things to do in Felpham and Bognor Regis
The Norman church of St Mary’s in the heart of the village dates back to the 12th century. Don’t miss the beautiful stained-glass window, dedicated to the poet, artist and mystic, William Blake, consecrated in 2011.
Just a short walk from the church is the thatched cottage where Blake and his wife Catherine lived between 1800 and 1803.
Walking and cycling
The Beach Huts are located along a lovely coastal walk along the Bogor Regis Promenade. It runs for nearly two miles to the west, passing Bognor town centre, elegant Victorian homes and the shops, park and gardens of West Bognor.
In the other direction, the prom continues to the east along Felpham beach before turning into a grass track. A walk to Sea Lane in the neighbouring village of Middleton is just over two miles. Continue up the lane passing picturesque, thatched cottages and a duck pond and you’ll find a fabulous fish n chip shop.
At low tide, you can walk in either direction for much further along the sand. The beach faces south and both the sunrises and the sunsets here are often superb.
The prom is also open for cyclists and two adult bikes are provided for Beach Huts residents plus there is storage space in the car park if you bring your own children’s bikes.
The hotel has a small swimming pool but of course, the beach is literally on your doorstep. I grew up in and around Bognor and spent many a summer holiday on the beach and in the sea.
The beach along this stretch of coast is both pebbly and sandy with only the pebbles exposed at high tide. The pebbles can be quite steep in places but the sand itself is gently sloping so there is a vast difference in low and high tides throughout the day. The sea can get very rough at times and there are no lifeguards. Most days, however, it is safe to swim and a few hardy local residents swim all year round.
I don’t live far from Felpham at all so I’m still a regular visitor to the local beaches. The earliest I tend to swim in the sea most years is in May or June, but it is chilly in the water most of the year. I love it nevertheless.
Rock pooling and sandcastles
The beaches of Bognor and Felpham are pebbled but at low tide, a vast stretch of sand is uncovered and there are several areas of rock pools. There’s an annual Sandcastle Festival held on nearby Bognor Beach too.
Bognor Town Centre
In town, you’ll find a theatre, a lovely historic cinema, a range of pubs, restaurants, takeaways and shops. Butlins Resort is just a short walk away and is open to day visitors in the summer. Hotham Park with its boating pool, mini train, crazy golf, lawns, wooded groves, Alice in Wonderland statues and fabulous restaurant is within walking distance too.
Live Music in Bognor Regis | Rock, Folk & Classical
There is a thriving music scene in the town with several pubs offering live rock music at weekends. There a number of annual music festivals including the South Downs Folk Festival and The Rox Music & Arts Festival.
Sudley Road is home to The Regis School of Music which hosts some exceptional classical concerts featuring a range of local, national and international performers. I’ve seen world-class musicians here playing warm-up gigs, before going on to perform in London, and paid a fraction of the price that it would have cost the following evening in the capital.
South Downs National Park
The South Downs National Park is just a twenty-minute drive away with many beautiful walks through ancient woodlands and over the hills often ending in an inviting country pub. Throughout the spring, summer and autumn you can join me for a guided walk in the South Downs.
Historic pubs, towns and villages
Bognor Regis is surrounded by several ancient villages, including Felpham, North and South Bersted, and Pagham, all of which are referenced in the Doomsday book written in 1086.
Today, together with the village of Aldwick, they are included in the suburbs of Bognor Regis, clustered around the central Victorian town centre. Pagham, in particular, has several wonderful pubs and a walk around Pagham Harbour is a must. You won’t find any boats here because it is now an RSPB Nature Reserve.
There is no end of wonderful historic towns and villages to visit nearby. Our favourites include Amberley, Arundel, Bosham, and Chichester, all within 30 minutes by car but also accessible by train from Bognor. Our favourite country pubs include The Gribble in Oving and The George in Eartham.
Above: A traditional West Sussex flint and thatched cottage in Bognor Regis
I enjoyed our short break at the Beachcroft Hotels’ Beach Hut Suites even more than I expected to and I had gone with high expectations.
The suite, the food and the service were all spot on but it’s the location right by the beach that really steals the show. I could never tire of the view through the wall-to-wall windows to the sea. And I’m so pleased we had the chance to experience it on both a glorious sunny day as well as when the rain poured down and the waves whipped up. I loved it throughout.
When it was time to leave I felt very sad to be going. Thank you to everyone at the Beachcroft for making this such a wonderful stay.