Bordered by the bright lights of Brighton on one side and the medieval town of Rye on the other, the south coast county of East Sussex has a delightful mix of golden sand dunes, historic attractions and quaint villages. And we have found some fabulous boutique hotels in East Sussex for you stay in, each personally selected by our team.

If you want to be near a buzzing city, why not try Kemp Townhouse, an 8 room boutique hotel in Brighton with excellent personal service. Or, if you’d rather be based in a smaller seaside town with a slower pace of life, have a look at the George in Rye, a comfortable East Sussex boutique hotel set in a 16th-century building which has been sensitively restored by its owners. Room 43 is one of our favourites: think Arts & Crafts inspired wallpaper and a vintage vibe. Our other recommendation for boutique hotels in East Sussex is 5 The Lawn, a romantic adults-only retreat for two in St Leonards, near Hastings with a private cinema, a marble pool and outdoor Jacuzzi (you can also order a delicious lunch hamper through an in-house chef and take it down to the beach).  A great alternative to a boutique hotel in East Sussex is Caple Gardens, a 3 bedroom house in St Leonards-on-Sea and the perfect seaside Chic Retreat for a mid-week dash or weekend break with or without the kids.

What to do and where to go in East Sussex 

The best beach in East Sussex is Camber Sands, thanks to its five-miles of golden sand. It’s a perfect bucket and spade destination: take a picnic and watch the local kite surfers while the children build castles. Three miles away, the hilltop town of Rye is home to a creative contingent of authors, musicians and artists. Wander the cobbled streets, scour the antique shops and climb St Mary’s church tower for a great view over the terracotta roofs and beyond. Other seaside towns worth exploring include genteel Eastbourne with its smart promenade and landscaped green spaces; Hastings old town, where you can visit Battle Abbey and the 1066 battlefield, Lewis for its castle, and of course, Brighton, a shoppers’ paradise with a vibrant nightlife.

For a culture fix, head to the award-winning Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, which houses a collection of 20th and 21st century British art, plus a changing programme of exhibitions, or renowned arts venue De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill. As well as exhibitions, you can listen to live music or watch dance and comedy performances. For more art links, drop by Charleston House, near the village of Firle, which was home to Duncan Bell and Vanessa Grant, part of the Bloomsbury group of artists, alongside Virginia Woolf and EM Forster. Children will enjoy a day at Drusilla’s Park, one of the best small zoos in the country. They can help feed the penguins, meet the lemurs and meerkats and have an adventure in the interactive maze.


Every town in East Sussex has its own restaurant gems but if you’re in Lewes, why not have lunch or a relaxed dinner at Bill’s: the menu is a crowd-pleaser for all ages with everything from pumpkin risotto to fish pie and burgers. Badger’s at The Old Village Bakery, in the picture-perfect village of Alfriston, offers a traditional afternoon tea and for a special treat, head to Terre à Terre, a top notch vegetarian restaurant in Brighton. 


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Situated right by Camber Sands beach in East Sussex, The Gallivant is a trendy barefoot chic boutique hotel with an on-site bistro. Just 3.5 miles from the medieval town of Rye, this laid back hideaway is perfect for a few nights away by the sea.


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Not content with a standard boutique hotel, owner Jude has created a luxury Chic Retreat for two in a magnificent Georgian villa at the heart of St Leonards-on-sea in East Sussex.  5 The Lawn comes complete with your very own private marble pool, 3D cinema and steam room.


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George in Rye is a gorgeous recently renovated boutique hotel in the heart of pretty Rye, East Sussex. This former coaching inn has just 34 individually decorated rooms, a cosy bar and a restaurant offering a mouthwatering menu of local produce with a Mediterranean influence.


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Kemp Townhouse is the most elegant boutique hotel in Brighton. This luxury boutique hotel offers unparalleled personal service 24 hours a day and is the best place to stay in this buzzing and trendy coastal town.

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